Thursday, January 31, 2008

Junk Mail...

So today in my newspaper box, just below my mail box there on top of the Realtor newsletter from a fellow Realtor in my neighborhood was a copy of The Watchtower. Usually it hits the garbage as soon as I take it out of the box, but it intrigued me today because on the cover was a picture of Notre Dame in Paris, (I'm pretty sure it was ND. It could have been another Cathedral that looks a lot like ND) and so I skimmed through it. Inside there were a couple of intriguing pictures, one was a procession, probably Greek Orthodox or Orthodox because as they were walking in the procession they were carrying very Eastern looking Icons. Anyway, the caption said something like: would God approve of such a spectacle, then there was another photo, it looked like a Catholic priest saying Mass for US soldiers in Iraq and the caption was something like was this appropriate.

As I skimmed it, I didn't find anything overly interesting or thought provoking, but there was an article about how parents feel with a child leaves Jehovah. It reminded me of articles I've seen lately about parents of Catholics whose children are leaving the faith. I guess parents in every religion lament the loss of their child leaving the faith.

In general, the tract didn't offend or even interest me. The only reason I looked at it was the cover shot of a Catholic church and I wondered if I'd find any anti-Catholicism inside. It may have been there, but overly subtle, and I didn't read long enough to really find out.

I'm still very fortunate that where I live and grew up I haven't encountered much anti-Catholicism. I've had Evangelical acquaintances try to invite me to their services, but when I tell them I'm not interested, they haven't pursued.

When I was a kid my baby sitter was a JW. I adored it when she'd come stay with me because she was so much fun. She was probably 5 or 6 years older than me and most of the kids in the neighborhood. She'd tell us stories about the Great Teacher etc. I guess she was going through Sunday School or whatever it's called and felt compelled to share what she was learning with the younger kids. It was quite entertaining to hear her stories. I was probably going through CCD at the time too, so I was also learning my Catholic faith. I certainly think that I was learning a lot then from the sisters who taught our CCD classes at the parish school. I didn't attend Catholic school because we had moved and it was quite a long drive for my mom then. Perhaps my parents felt like they couldn't afford it then. I've never really found out why I didn't go to the parish school, we certainly went to Mass every week when I was little... but I digress. I remembered her stories well. My parents never told her not to stop-- I guess they didn't worry too much that I'd convert. I do remember talking about what my babysitter was teaching me (and the other kids in the neighborhood) and telling my parents then that I'd never want to be a JW because they didn't celebrate Christmas and Easter like we did as Catholics, but what really convinced me not to convert at such a young age was that they even celebrate BIRTHDAYS. I just couldn't fathom not having birthday parties and getting presents. (I am an only child. I always had great birthday parties and got lots of presents.)

Of course as I grew up, I learned more about my Catholic faith, maybe not as much as other kids who did go to Catholic school then, but when I got to high school, I went to a Catholic school and felt like I got a pretty well-rounded education. Though I probably missed out a lot because I was not confirmed in junior high with the rest of my classmates.When I was born, infant confirmation was still in practice in our archdiocese so I was confirmed as a child. Growing up I had two Godmothers. My mom's sister baptized me and my dad's was my confirmation sponsor. Had I not been confirmed as an infant, I would have probably learned a lot more.

Of course, then sometime in college, I drifted away from the Church. I'd go from time to time with sorority sisters. We'd always seem to get Ashes for Ash Wednesday, but I wasn't a regular church goer then. It took a while for me to come back to the faith. Oddly enough, I feel as though I haven't left it. (with the exception of a few things we didn't have back when I was in high school-- female altar servers, liturigcal dancing and as much lay participation but it doesn't bother me to the point that it distracts me from what's happening at the altar.) In fact, thinking about any future children I may have one day, girl or a boy, I'd strongly encourage them both to be more involved in the church and yes, I'd let my daughter be an altar server and would hope that my son would want to as well.

Well, this is a nonsensical post in the sense that I couldn't sleep and wanted to try to compose some of the thoughts running in my head. I should know better.

Coke Light - Have A Break!

I shamefully admit that I totally find this video more amusing than I should... of course... it's all just fantasy.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tom Cruise Knows...

He just knows. I'm not one to mock anyone for his or her religion, as I happen to be a member of the one Church that always seems to get bashed with tons and tons of anti-Catholic vile, but this speaks for itself. It's the Tom Cruise, the Scientologist Story. From what I gather, it was a video made to talk about his experiences as a Scientologist to be used as a recruitment tool and he looks totally sincere as he relays his message. After watching this, does this mean he and fellow Scientologists believe they can save people from just about everything-- dying in car accidents, crime, drugs? Can they save the world from Global Warming? Disease? Hatred and Intolerance? War? Since I didn't understand what he said, I found this Scientology Glossary to help translate what Tom said.

Should we all sign up? That power must be amazing.

I guess Tom's people and the Church of Scientology are a bit pissy that the video has hit the Internets and aren't too pleased that Andrew Morton (the one who wrote about Princess Di) has written a bio about Tom.

A friend told me about it and looking for a distraction I had to go find it. Man, he's weird. That was cheesy weird and definitely wouldn't indoctrinate me into the world of Scientology. My priest will be pleased to hear that, though two weeks ago at Mass he said we should look for new ways to come to God, of course he also said that didn't mean checking out the other churches down the street, where they are aplenty... a non-demoniational, a Baptist, a Methodist and the JWs. Eh, I'll stick with Catholicism. At least it's rational and sane. ;-)

:::Sighs:::: Now I'll never be able to watch my favorite, albeit cheesy movies with Tom Cruise in them and think about how I adored him so. Also? Why didn't someone tell me that Chachi (Scott Baio) had a reality show on VH1. Man, he's 46, married with a baby girl now. Oy. What happened?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sometimes you choke on the smell...

I know I have a post to make...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Just putting this link here for a reminder that I want to do something with it later. And this one too.

Related to above sentence.

Latin service

At 2 p.m. on Sundays, the Rev. Arthur Jakobiak celebrates Mass in Latin at the San Miguel Mission, 401 Old Santa Fe Trail. The Mass is supported by the Latin Mass Community of Santa Fe and is approved by Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Sunday Mass is celebrated in the traditional liturgy at 5 p.m. at the mission.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

He is Born...

And I'll pick up with the rest of Christmas 2007 later.

Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel.

The anticipation of Christmas usually starts for me in late November. I'm not the kind of person who digs out the Christmas Tree and puts it up the weekend after Thanksgiving, I don't go shopping on Black Friday nor do I get it done early in the year. Christmas is more to me than presents, bad fruitcake and sappy Christmas music. (There are some songs that I just want to know why the hell they were ever recorded. Gag me with a spoon!) And while I've always recognized the birth of Christ, lately it was almost forgotten in the midst of all the hype. This year, I really dwelt on His birth and the meaning of His life to the world. I thought about things I hadn't thought about in a long time and I totally felt like Christmas meant something again. From the first day of Advent, through today, the Solemnity of Mary, I totally listened, felt it and absorbed it all.

Yes... I still liked the part about the presents. I loved spending time with my family and friends, decorating my tree (which I got up late and may not come down till mid-January. It's fake), but there is so much more to Christmas when you stop and reflect on what it all means. Sure you can celebrate it in a non-religious, secular way without thinking about Joseph and Mary and their arduous journey to Bethlehem, you don't even have to think about the baby Jesus laying in a manger on that morning to celebrate Christmas, but I can't. I never could. From the minute my mother pulled out her aunt's nacimiento (nativity set) with its many pieces, I'd find myself totally fascinated by miniture representation the Birth of Christ. I'd secretly play with the pieces (she has all the stable animals, a few shepherds, a host of angels, the Magi and of course the Holy Family. She would decorate with lights, tree branches and fake snow. I'd play with it in secret, reenacting the story of the nativity as I knew it as a child. I haven't thought about that memory in a long time, but I've always known what Christmas was all about. As I grew older, I got my own set, one of those commercial sets sold at Price Club (Costco-- as it's called now) It's pretty, but nowhere as charming or meaningful as my mom's set, which my great aunt collected piece by piece from dime stores like Woolworth or TG&Y stores. For a long time I put up my set, just like Mom did with the boughs, lights and fake snow, but it wasn't the same. I'd put it up when I'd do the tree, then later on Christmas Eve as that seemed more "authentic" and finally a few years ago I stopped putting it up. It was just another decoration to lug out of the garage. This year, as I've grown stronger and have renewed my faith, I put up a nativity, but it's not the one from the garage. A bit before Christmas my dad bought me a new set-- it's by a local Santero (an original I couldn't afford) I really like. While it's a mass production piece it's still quite beautiful and has meaning to me. This set, at least the nicho and the Holy Family will probably never go into the garage for a 11 months in anticipation of the next Christmas. So... while I won't play with the pieces and reenact the nativity, I have that feeling again.

A Sundry of Things.

Nearly a month ago I logged on to read my syndicated feeds on my LJ and was a bit saddened to read that one of the blogs I enjoy most is ending its run. Probably a little over a year ago, I was doing some research for my second novel. (I have one that's 3/4th finished, another probably 7/8th finished and one that is about half done, the second.) One night I found myself googling up information about the Catholic Priesthood. I believe my search string was something about the daily life of a priest and I found Father Jim Tucker's blog and a post he made on the subject. I then started reading his blog and found myself enjoying it quite immensely. Now, I am a cradle Catholic, who drifted in and out of the faith for some of my adult years, but I had a decent Catholic education so I thought I knew a lot about the faith-- well, I've learned a lot in the last year or so as I've been reading and researching for my story. I've definitely found a lot of insight, information and history in his blog. He's eloquent, smart, honest and someone I think worth knowing in real life. Also, a hell of a lot smarter than me. ;-) I was not a commenter or really interacted with him, but his blog is greatly appreciated. Through his blog, I've discovered great resources and other blogs of interest, which is good, however, when he announced last month that he posted his last post, I was a bit bummed to see that he's leaving the blogosphere, but it's totally understandable as I've been on LJ for nearly 6 years and have started growing wearing and tired of journaling myself. There is only so much fangirl squee I can muster these days.

I've only started on blogger this last year, this journal is pretty much a big secret as I don't really to it or announce that it exists on public forums. As I pretty much stated in one of my first entries this is my quiet place while I explore "real life" things and my faith. On LJ, I have a writing journal, which I rarely update and a fandom journal. I know many of the people on my friends list in "real life" and it's pretty much the only place I stay in touch with them these days, so that's why I haven't left LJ, but I don't post all that often
these days. Most of my deep thoughts I save to post over here and sometimes I don't even do that.

Posts about my faith have been really few. It's interesting because there are lots of interesting things I stumble upon or feel like sharing, but I guess I'm just not ready to post about it. I haven't updated my blog roll yet. There are definitely a lot of blogs of note that I read, but I've been too lazy to make mention of them yet. Maybe this year, I will try to do that.