Thursday, July 30, 2015

Has it Changed Me?

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday, the second reading will be from Ephesians 4:17, 20-24, but I strongly suggest reading the skipped verses, as well as the other readings.

I think it was my dad that told me the story of a teacher he had it grade school who could tell whether a child had gone to church by how he behaved on Monday.

And in a manner of speaking, that’s how it’s supposed to be. When we have an encounter with the most high, it should change us.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Gratitude for the Small Things

If you've been reading for about the last two weeks, you've probably noticed two things.
(1) I have been incredibly busy.
(2) I have been sick.

Between being sick and having a funeral to attend, it's easy to get caught in the poor, poor, pitiful me's, like I did when I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto's. (Which, by the by, is even harder to eat for when your sick and ALL of your comfort foods are carbs.)

It's a good deal harder when you're dealing with problems to have a grateful heart, to think of all of the little gifts that God has given you along the way while he's been carrying you through your convalescence.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Unity Among Christians

17th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday, the second reading will be from Ephesians 4:1-6.

In this passage in Ephesians, Paul urges the church in Ephesus to nurture and maintain their unity.

How sad it is that Christianity today is so deeply divided! Divided to the point that some Christians refuse to acknowledge one another as fellow laborers for Christ.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Announcement: Post Delayed

Sorry to do this two weeks in a row, but I'm going to have to delay this week's post until Saturday as well.

I've been sick with a bad cold for over a week now, and I'm only just now starting to crawl back into the land of feeling a bit better, but not nearly well.

Daniel and Pitter Patter are both almost completely better, and Daniel caught it after me.  (Kind of infuriating, but I'm glad he's better.)

Please include me in your prayers. I'm attending a class next week to maintain one of my professional designations. There's a test at the end of the week that I really need to pass; I'm really concerned about my ability to pay attention with all the coughing I've been doing.

I do not foresee any delay in posts next week due to my class as my hotel claims to have free wireless; I will post if this turns out to not be the case.

Thanks for your understanding and prayers.

Monday, July 20, 2015

When the Retreat Isn't What You Hoped For

I usually go on a silent retreat in June with my mom. I know a fair few people for whom this would be sheer torture, but I absolutely love the fact that I get left alone all weekend.

On my retreats, there are usually talks twice a day. I’ve been on retreats where there are three or maybe four, but that’s about the limit. These talks are usually interesting and educational, and on a topic that has good application to my spiritual life. I’ve been to retreats on “Praying with Mary,” “Healing our Understanding of God,” “The Practice of Reconciliation,” and “The Beatitudes.” They were all wonderful.

This year was different. This year I found the retreat to be really lousy. I mean really lousy.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

What we can Learn from the Early Church about Loving Other Christians

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday, the second reading will be from Ephesians 2:13-18. I’d suggest reading the other readings. It’s Lectionary #107, if you’re reading from a hard copy.

This section is primarily addressed to the Christians who were once Gentiles. It speaks of how the Messiah is able to reconcile all people in himself, not just the Israelites.

This was kind of a big deal in the early Christian church. The idea that God might have reconciled people from every nation was revolutionary in the Jewish community.

And in some ways we need to take a lesson from this, in the same way as the early Jewish Christians.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Daniel and I received word yesterday that someone he was close to in high school passed away suddenly on Saturday. We will be attending the funeral tomorrow.

Because I had not pre-prepped my reading reflection for this week, that post for this week will be delayed until Saturday. (I will hope for Saturday morning, but I think it is unwise to make promises.) This will give me additional time to look after my husband's needs before working on the blog.

Please keep Stephen and his family in your prayers.  He leaves behind a wife and three kids - two of which are under the age of four.

Thanks in advance for your patience and prayers.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Benedict Option: What We Should Do Instead

Last week, I discussed what is becoming known as “The Benedict Option”, why it’s attractive to some (myself included), and why I don’t think it’s an appropriate option for the Catholic Church.

The question of what should we do instead is a hard one to fully answer, largely because there are a lot of components to it, but we certainly can’t keep banging our heads against a wall like we have been. It leads to the kind of emotional exhaustion that led me to abandon Facebook entirely for over six months.

Something I heard on Catholic Answers recently really touched me. They were taking questions about the SCOTUS marriage decision and where we go from here, and the guest mentioned as part of an answer that before we do anything else, we first have a morale problem to handle.

I immediately knew this woman couldn’t be wrong - because I know that what I have experienced is first and foremost a morale problem.

I don’t think I can fully address the morale problem itself, as I am neither a spiritual director, nor a professional counselor. If you’re frustrated and angry, and really struggling emotionally or spiritually, I would suggest seeing a spiritual or mental health professional to help you dig out of the hole you’ve found yourself in, then I have a few practical suggestions to help keep this from happening again, in addition to whatever they suggest for you.

Friday, July 10, 2015

{7 QT 15} - Baby Updates

So... I lied about doing a post this week about the party. I just didn't manage it, but I'll try again next week. I wanted to do some pregnancy updates instead.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Unique in the World

Original photo from Pixabay.
15th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday, the second reading will be from Ephesians 1:3-14. I also suggest reading the other readings, but for the first reading, begin at 7:10.

In this section from the beginning of the letter to the Ephesians, Paul gives thanks for the blessings received from God in the community of the Ephesians, and in the Christian community at large.

God made us to be holy before him, to be adopted by him, he’s give us forgiveness of our sins, and given us rich graces by which we are able to do his will in an unfriendly world, he’s revealed to us his will, and given us knowledge of his plan for us.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Benedict Option: It's Attractive, but We Shouldn't Do It!

Original Photo from Pixabay.
I’ve seen a few posts in the not-too-distant past regarding something called “The Benedict Option.” I was intrigued by the the idea, and I did some reading.

What is "The Benedict Option"?

As I understand it, the Benedict Option is to withdraw from politics, just like St. Benedict did when he came to Rome, found its morality crumbling before its ultimate collapse, and established the first monasteries.

It’s mostly a response by some members of the so-called “religious right” to the realization that they might no longer represent the way most Americans think about matters of morality (the “moral majority”), because the country’s morality has “crumbled” just as Rome’s did.

This is only a partial characterization, but these were the details that stood out to me. It means that we would focus our evangelistic eyes inward only, and don’t worry about everywhere else.

Friday, July 3, 2015

{7 QT 14} - Good Times

So... last week was REALLY busy for me. I hosted a birthday party for my beautiful little girl, who insisted on eating her cake daintily instead of squishing it like she did last year.
See how dainty?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Opposition from Within

Original photo from Pixabay.

 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday, the second reading will be from 2 Cor 12:7-10. I’d also strongly recommend the other readings.

God warns Ezekiel in the first reading of opposition in Israel, on account of the Israelites being a rebellious and obstinate people.

In the Gospel, Christ himself encounters resistance in his hometown, which hindered the propagation of the Gospel.

And Paul encounters problem people of his own. There are lots of valid interpretations on what this “thorn in the flesh” was. According to one of my footnotes, it is a similar expression to the English, “A thorn in my side”, which we often use to refer to obnoxious, persistent, and frustrating people.