Wednesday, April 29, 2009
We have been trying to get her to want to drive and hoping that she will be driving by fall, which would make my life so much easier. She could drive herself to class, and possibly even drive her sister since they are taking classes at the same campus. She has been studying the rules of the road book for over a month, but never seemed to be ready to step up and take the test. Part natural shyness, part fear I think.
Anyway, today was her first attempt at the permit test, and she missed one question more than is allowed. She was crushed. I told her that both her brother and sister had to take it more than once, and now that she has seen the questions that they ask she will have some idea of how to study for the next time she takes it tomorrow (I hope).
I wish there was more I could do for her, but realistically all I can do is take her to take the test as often as it takes. I did talk to her a bit about how to take a multiple choice test (eliminating the least likely answers first to cut down the possible choices on the ones you have to guess at).
I really hope she passes it the next time. I don't think she can take another failure.
Monday, April 27, 2009
A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.
Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.
You can read her entire letter to Fr. Jenkins (as it appears on First Things.com) here.
Unfotunatly, rather than leave the Medal unawarded this year, Fr Jenkins has already stated that they will "regift". I am just wondering if there is anyone who is truly pro-life who will be willing to take the dias with the President? I seriously doubt it, for the same reasons as Dr. Glendon found it impossible to do so.
I only wish that President Obama would realize the harm he is doing to the body of Christ and find some state emergency that will keep him away from Notre Dame on the day of commencement, for the greater good. Yeah, like that is likely to happen.
'Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights.'[James 1:17]
Moreover, every divine procession of radiance from the Father, while constantly bounteously flowing to us, fills us anew as though with a unifying power, by recalling us to things above, and leading us to the unity of the Shepherding Father and to the Divine One. For from Him and into Him are all things, as is written in the holy Word.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
You can read the article here.
Fr. Denis quoted JH Newman often in class (which was an amazing feet since the class I was taking was the History of the Early Church, but he managed). I was also lucky enough to be present at a lecture Fr. Denis did on Cardinal Newman and faith formation. It was evident that he was a devotee of the esteemed Cardinal.
I also had a spiritual director a few years before I went to Gradual School that loved Cardinal Newman. He practically had a shrine to Newman in his office.
I have read Newman, both on my own and for classes in Gradual School. While I found his writing to be complicated and very dense. I didn't have much difficulty understanding it after the second time I read it. I had to read Ratzinger three or four times before I understood what he wrote.
Anyway. I am glad this is moving forward. He deserves sainthood eventually and this is all part of the process.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Earlier this month I had decided that I want to focus on writing more this summer, now that I don't have such an intense program of study for my internship ahead, so I began to write the characters again. Only something interesting happened. The characters began to move in directions that was very interesting, but changed the story line dramatically. In fact an entire story arc just dissolved right in front of my eyes as I worked on a portion of the story this week.
Was I nuts I wondered? All the hard work I had put into the sections I had already written, and all the characters that would now be cut from the story were just decimated. What I had though was an even better, more believable story.
Then something even more amazing happened. When I told a friend of mine in my internship program about it she said that a similar experience to the one I was describing had in fact happened to her. She thought my new story line was really great, and I should definitely keep it.
In fact she even offered to help me out by being my reviewer, so that as I write the sections that deal with emotional issues that I have never personally experienced and she has lived through, she will help me to make sure that they ring true. I am so blessed that she is willing to do this for me because what I am writing about is deeply personal and emotional. I want it to resonate, but also I don't want it to hurt my friend to have to revisit a time in her life that was so emotionally draining and painful.
Now, as I go through what I have written and see what I can salvage, and begin to rebuild, and then write new content things will flow much more smoothly, because this new storyline is fresh and will be fun to write. My goal is to try to write a thousand words a day all summer and see if I can get a working draft by fall.
We shall see where these characters take me next, they have already proven that they are in charge of the story and I am simply the scribe.
Creative, versatile and imaginative you appreciate beauty in all forms. You have great inner strength and courage and have the ability to accept large responsibilities or challenging situations with patience and humility. Others admire these qualities and follow your lead. You are honest, discerning and self-disciplined and need to have a peaceful environment. Putting others before self your talents are used to make life better for everyone.
You are charming, talented and have a very positive attitude to life so it is hardly surprising that you attract success and recognition. Focussed and patient you understand that material rewards are a result of discipline. Being so creative and with a need for self-expression you may be drawn towards the arts, travel is also likely to be important. A loyal friend, you are a person who must be allowed freedom and independence.
Laurel wreath, bay tree "Latin"
You are both a visionary and a realist able to bring your dreams into a tangible form. Pioneering and ambitious you accept new challenges and the responsibilities which go with them willingly. Your sound judgement, resourcefulness and positive nature means that your progress in life is assured. Certainly your kindness and generosity to others and your inspirational manner attract success as well as many admirers.
You are fairminded, wise and peaceloving and are always willing to help others. Your mental capabilities and creativity are well marked with wonderful and original ideas which you need to bring to tangible fruition. Perceptive and understanding of others your positive approach to life and influential nature means that you have leadership qualities. There is great potential for success both financially and spiritually.
If you would like to find out what your name means you can go here and try for yourself.
h/t to Teresa for the link.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The above verse is taken from the Torah and is at the core of Jewish prayer. It can be loosely translated Listen God-wrestlers, IS/WAS/WILL BE is OUR DIVINE SOURCE, IS/WAS/WILL BE ONE!
The greatest bit of knowledge comes from listening to the syllables of the Sh'ma itself.
Shhh -- the sounds of silence, quieting our inner voices if you will so that we can hear that still small voice.
mmmm -- the sound of grateful fullness and abundance, of having enough no matter what our circumstance
ahhh -- the release into wonder, the unknown, letting go of all we hold dear to be filld once again with life giving spirit.
We are asked to listen to a God who is bigger than any one dimension or faith tradition or belief system. Who can speak to us in many and varied and unexpected ways.
Listen, what do you hear?
(excerpted from a reflection by Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit in Listen A Seeker's Resource for Spiritual Direction International April 2009, Vol 3 Issue 2.)
Just after I read the above passage yesterday I drove to pick up my daughter from her class. It had just stopped raining and the sun was shining. As I drove through the Shining sun A huge rainbow, probably the largest one I have ever seen in my lifetime, appeared on the horizon in front of me as I crested a hill just before the turn. It was totally awe inspiring and a perfect example of what I had just read. Sh'ma!
Somehow I understood that prayer in a way I never had before because of the words I had read and the rainbow in the sky. My senses were full of the majesty of God. I was awestruck and humbled, and felt very loved all at the same time.
God is so good. I just wanted to share with you.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Click on this link and leave a comment saying
angelmeg sent me to Oldman's.
If three people do this for me before three people do for anyone else I will win.
I can't believe I want this so much (well, not so much The Tuxedo, but the signed print I would love to have because I love his cartoons).
So, come one you guys, I only need three of you to go right over there and leave a message.
I WON!!!!! THANKS TO ALL MY WONDERFUL FRIENDS I HAD MORE THAN ENOUGH COMMENTS . I RECOMMEND THAT THOSE OF YOU WHO WENT THERE TO LEAVE THE ONE COMMENT BOOKMARK HIS SIGHT AND VISIT OCCASIONALLY. NOT ONLY ARE HIS CARTOONS HILARIOUS, BUT YOU CAN LEARN A THING OR TWO ABOUT MARTIAL ARTS AS WELL.
"The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous; the red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My most tender Mercy at that time when My agonizing Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross....Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him."
Thursday, April 16, 2009
A really great friend of mine is a member of Curves and she loves it, so I joined two weeks ago. The workout is set up so that you don't have to think about what you are doing, you just do the circuit and you get a total body workout with cardio and stretching in 45 minutes, which is great for me. Besides that, the Curves that I joined is right down the street from the school the angelbaby attends and both of the campuses that make up the Community College where the other girls are taking classes. Not the least bit out of my way. Since I pass by the place almost every day without really going that far out of my way it really is a convenient and helps me stay motivated and showing up.
While I wouldn't say I am enjoying the workouts I haven't had any trouble at all getting there at least five days each week. I am hoping to jump start getting in shape by really working hard to get things going. I have been working with the Curves Smart program this week, which is a computerized tracking system that helps me not slack off on any of the machines on the circuit because it tells me how hard I have to work and how many reps I have to do on each machine each day.
The really nice thing about Curves Smart is that I get immediate feedback after each workout by placing my tag in the computer at my Curves when I am done. The computer tells me how many calories I burned, and how hard I worked each muscle group for that specific workout and then it compares that to the last ten workouts. It shows the percentage of effort I put forth for each muscle group based upon my range of motion that was tested when I started the program (and then each workout it gets a little more strenuous).
I hate to love this new workout regime, or love to hate it I suppose. I enjoy the company of the other women who are there to work out when I go in, and I know that I am getting a well rounded workout and I can tell that I am working very hard every day and that is rewarding. I am hoping to see results very soon. It has only been not quite three weeks after all.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
It is awesome in the most politically satirical, lowbrow humor kind of way that really tickles my funny bone and makes me laugh until I, well, embarrass myself in ways only women will understand.
Then, through the website we found out that Stephan Patis, the creator of this awesome strip actually has a blog!! You have to check this out! It is absolutely hilarious. Just as funny as the strip, and very informative about his process, which is great for someone who is a total geek about that kind of thing (the creative process I mean).
It has also given me the most awesome idea for the angelbaby's next birthday cake; I can't wait to order that Shalom Stan cake with a Menorah on it in the middle of May!!!!!! Don't tell her though, I want it to be a surprise.
I am adding his blog to my blogroll. A word of warning; don't be drinking any liquids while you read his entries. Trust me on this one.
Monday, April 13, 2009
When you read this you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to human beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. ~ St. Paul, Ephesians 3: 3-6
Wednesday I said Mass in the Mamertine prison, in which St. Peter was confined by order of Nero; and also St. Paul. The pillar is there to which they were chained, and the fountain remains which sprang up miraculously at their feet, in whose waters they baptized their jailors and twenty-seven soldiers. There were with me four American students, and you can easily imagine that I prayed earnestly in Holy Mass to obtain for us all the zeal of the Apostles for the conversion of our country.
~ Father Isaac Hecker, Servant of God, founder of the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle (1819 - 1888)
Sunday, April 12, 2009
For seven weeks we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and what that means to us. For fifty days (even longer than the Lent we just passed through, we enter into a new kind of apprenticeship of our journey with our loving Saviour; for in the resurrection stories we learn something new about Jesus.
As Father said at Mass this morning, quoting from Fr. Larry Gillick SJ (of Creighton University ) The risen Christ plays a game of Now you see me, Now you see me in a new way in the stories we hear during the Easter season. Each new encounter draws us deeper into the mystery that is our union and communion with Him in faith and belief. We become so enamoured of the Good News that we cannot keep it to ourselves; like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, who after their encounter with the Risen Lord ran all the way back to Jerusalem to report the Good News to the others with the phrase "Were not our hearts burning within us?" (Luke 24: 5-34)
Or like the Apostles at Pentecost, we are so emboldened by the Holy Spirit that we cannot keep silence, and are called out of our hide-away to preach what we know to be true to the crowds, some of whom I am sure weren't receptive to the message. (Acts 2)
And also like our friend Steven the first martyr for the faith. Steven teaches us that we must be bold enough too stand up for the truth, and our faith even in the face of the most crushing contempt and unbelief. We must be willing to do so even if it means doing so at our very own peril. (Acts 7)
So my dear children, enter into this season of Easter with Joy and thanksgiving. Allow yourself to seek the Lord where he may be found and draw strength from Him while He is still near. Grow strong and bold in your faith, because I can tell you that dark days are ahead when even your own brothers and sisters will reject you because of your faith in Christ.
Do not be swayed, stand up for the truth and be bold in proclaiming in loudly. You have a right in this country to the free expression of your religious faith. Use that right.
Friday, April 10, 2009
I didn't post on Wednesday or Thursday due to too may commitments outside the house. I will just skip adding those reflections and continue with my Friday John of the Cross meditation:
My mother used to say, Jesus is in hiding until Holy Saturday Mass when the consecration happens again and the balance is restored.
We are on our way toward the Resurrection, Happy Good Friday.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
This verse is a very personal verse to me. Again John could be writing my journey with these words.Before I was closed off, unable to receive the grace that God was freely offering. Now I am open to the grace and beauty that God has given me. Now I can see myself more clearly as God sees me.
Monday, April 06, 2009
This year I have decided to delve more deeply into the poetry of John of the Cross. I am going to attempt to resisit the urge to read the commentary (you might not know this, but John wrote commentary for every line of poetry he wrote.) and just savor the words themselves without explanation.
Here is the stanza I have chosen today from The Spiritual Canticle:
Now I occupy my soul
And all my energy in his service,
I no longer tend the herd
Nor have I any other work
Now that my every act is love.
Without any commentary I believe that I understand this verse. Do any of you, dear children understand the feeling that one's life of work changes dramatically when one encounters He that is Love Personified?
Remember: Lent ends Wednesday Night! Thursday begins an entirely new season of the Church. If you have been fasting or have given up something, that fasting can end on Thursday if you so choose. My parents when I was growing up made us wait until Easter morning to end our fast from television, or candy or whatever it was we had given up. But also remember that Friday is a day of solemn fasting in honor of the day that Christ died on the cross.
I was telling Fr. Bill yesterday after Mass that I could set up a cot in the back of church and just live in the church from Thursday until Sunday I love those liturgies so much. If you have never taken the time to explore the liturgies of Holy Week I recommend that you do. There is so much symbol and presence in the liturgies of the Triduum, from the Stripping of the Altar on Holy Thursday to the veneration of the Cross on Good Friday to the lighting of the New Fire on Holy Saturday and then, my personal favorite the singing of the Exultet which is an ancient hymn that recounts our need for salvation and our need for Resurrection.
I am offering you these links to the Three Holy Days so that if you choose you can prepare yourself and your family for these days.
I also want to give you a gentle reminder that Easter, dear children, is a Season of the Church year and not just a Sunday. We in the Church celebrate Easter for 50 days, from the Sunday of Christ's resurrection until Pentecost. Don't be stingy with your celebration.
We are an Easter People after all.
See you in Church.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
We have begun a prayer petition to Blessed Pope John XXIII that he might intercede on John's behalf that John might be cured of this illness, but also that there might be a cure found for the disease alltogether so that all who suffer from it might be cured. To that end I have added a picture and petition on my sidebar that links directly to John's blog. Please consider praying with us for a cure to this horrible disease.
Friday, April 03, 2009
My talk is on Saturday at 12:30 and concerns what to do in times of Drought or Spiritual Dryness. I know what the Holy Spirit wants me to speak about, but every time I try to sit down and type up some notes or set out and outline something comes up and I don't get it done. By now I am skilled enough at retreats to know that I simply have to trust that whatever happens will be what was meant to happen for this group at this retreat, but I would feel a bit less queasy if I could at least have a few notes in front of me.
The way things are going I may be sitting up late tonight trying to get something down on paper. To my credit I do have an ending and a beginning and I am fully aware of how much time I have to fill. so I will just trust that the Holy Spirit is capable of adding the middle of the content, so long as I stay out of the way. Maybe there is something that is going to happen during the talks that come previous to mine that will alter what I need to say.
Right now it is time to get dressed and go get in a workout and get my tire checked out because it keeps losing air. Then shopping for retreat essentials, and packing and taking my daughter to her volunteer job and a bit of clean up around home and getting the kids situated so I can be gone overnight, and then I will be off.
If you get a chance, say a quick prayer for my talk tomorrow. I will appreciate the presence.
I found it disturbingly funny. Which either shows that I have some serious mental issues or a very miss-spent youth. I think I will leave that to my loving and compassionate God to untangle.
h/t to a newly reconnected childhood friend Mark at Oldman's Boobishi for the link.