Monday, September 29, 2008
Sometimes Catholics crack me up, in a good way. Really. Check out this fun thread "Where to Deleted Characters Go?" over at Catholic Online Forum. I read the title as a writer, so I had a totally different answer than the rest of the gang. But still, the philosophical and theological perspectives are interesting. ;-)
Friday, September 26, 2008
Our Sunday Visitor, Teaching Catholic Kids section.
Blest Are We. The website for the text book my parish uses.
Catechist. The online companion for the magazine.
Catechetical Resources Many many activities for kids are here. These are games.
Catholic Catechist. I joined their email list. We'll see if I find some support. They have Free Resources too.
Catholic Kids. I found some humor related stories I might be able to use. This seems to be more of a parent related site, but had some good links which lead me to the resources above. Same with Catholic Parenting.
Searchable Website with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Not sure if these are especially Catholic, but Questions Kids Ask.
Family Pages by Plfaum Publishing.
Educational Programs and Catechist Resources at Loyola Press.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Apparently a non-profit group in Utah has asked the City of Santa Fe to join them in a law suit against a group of atheists who are challenging the existence of several monuments they have placed along Utah's road sides in honor of police officers who have died in the line of duty. Apparently these crosses are similar to our own Cross of the Martyrs in Santa Fe. Reported in a news story in today's Journal, it brings our own Cross's standing in question. This one pictured here, is actually the second cross to our own martyr's, the orignal still stands in an old, popular Santa Fe neighborhood. It's hiding up in the hills. The monument was erected to honor the 21 Franciscan Friars who were killed during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and is still a popular place of devotion for locals and a spot well visited by tourists. Unrelatedly, I wonder if Rome has made any recognition of their martyrdom. Anyway, the Cross here is historic and I certainly hope that this challenge in Utah doesn't lead to a similar group posing a challenge here.
A few entries down, you can see a night view of the Cross taken on the last night of the Fiesta. When I have my wits about me, I'll post pictures and a brief history of the Fiestas of Santa Fe.
Also, it makes me wonder about all the Descansos on our roadways. In New Mexico they are protected from destruction and removal. Most of them are left for the loss of a loved one in an accident. Could they also be subject to challenge-- most of them are crosses. With Freedom of Religion, there are also those that call for the Freedom of Religion. While, I'm a strong advocate in the former, I do see the other side's point of view and it really is a touchy situation.
There is so much to think about this November and we can't get caught up in one issue. I will admit I don't agree with this video 100%, this video seems to show that a bit more objectively than I've seen or heard so far. Yeah, it's got some cheesy footage and there are strong images, it's not that far removed from the homily I heard recently at Mass by one of the priests at my parish.
After reading a comment in the sister's blog, it seems it was made by a conservative group which supports McCain, however, despite that the video still seems to recognize that there are other issues of importance to consider in this election, the economy, the war, healthcare, poverty, equality issues, immigration and so on and so on. For those reasons-- I can see why some people are struggling with their conscience and how they will vote this November. I'm not struggling-- I know how I will vote. I just hope it makes a difference no matter what.
Also, if you're undecided and still thinking about whom to vote for, there are resources on the Internet to help you decide. The US Bishop's Guide to Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship is one place to start. That's a link to the whole document and it should help you weigh your own conscience should you be having troubles. Here is the pastoral letter from the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. I was looking for a really good link- non-biased- I'd heard on the radio but can't find it. I am looking for one that is neither pro-Republican nor pro-Democrat. Here's the League of Women Voter's homepage. And an Election and Voting information site.
I'm not guaranteeing any of the links above. I'm just finding things that I might think are useful.
These spiritual imperatives are meant to be like salt for the meal of your life. Too much salt might spoil it, but a little a time might make it tasty!
And that's my approach to reading it. This passage, which I read today, really summed up how I was feeling that day. I didn't read it then, as I hadn't purchased the book yet. But now that I have it, I have found some soothing and comforting words through his experiences of heartache, pain and his own inner-bouts with anguish and darkness.
The end of the chapter titled "Live Patiently with the Not Yet" hit me poignantly. I wish I'd had seen it a few weeks back when I needed to see/hear/read those words from someone else.
Be Patient. When you feel lonely, stay with your loneliness. Avoid the temptation to let your fearful self run off. Let it teach you its wisdom; let it tell you that you can live instead of just surviving. Gradually you will become one, and you will find that Jesus is living in your heart and offering you all you need.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Also the kid's kick ball I bought in an attempt to imitate the bender ball to do sit ups and ab crunches may not work.
Feeling a bit of a malaise today. I also hate being overly hormonal. I'm not sure which is worse PMS or mid-cycle ovulation.
I think I'll do some reading, maybe watch TV and check in one more time before going to bed.
Monday, September 22, 2008
It's the first day of Fall and my favorite time of year. I need to get pictures before we get an early frost.
America Magazine seems to be down and there was an article I wanted to read about Catholics and the Bible.
I also have a bit of a sinus headache, so I think I'll go nurse that and turn off the cell phone. No need to wait for it to ring.
I have attended a low Mass and it was a lovely experience there was a quiet and a peace to it that you don't find in the Ordinary Form, but I've yet to attend a Solemn High Mass or the Ordinary Form celebrated in Latin. Maybe one day. I suppose it would be a special event here, although we have three parishes in the archdiocese that exclusively celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and I know the Archbishop has celebrated it at the Cathedral Basilica, so hopefully there will be an opportunity one day. Still, after reading accounts like this and watching it celebrated on TV, I am more anxious to attend a Solemn High Mass.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Here's a bit about him from Catholic Online.
St. Januarius was born in Italy and was bishop of Benevento during the Emperor Diocletion persecution. Bishop Januarius went to visit two deacons and two laymen in prison. He was then also imprison along with his deacon and lector. They were thrown to the wild beasts, but when the animals did not attack them, they were beheaded. What is believed to be Januarius' blood is kept in Naples, as a relic. It liquifies and bubbles when exposed in the cathedral. Scientists have not been able to explain this miracle to date. St. Januarius lived and died around 305 A.D. and his feast day is September 19th.
photo credit from Patron Saints Index
I've been thinking about some earlier posts I've made this week, most particularly a snarky one I made about the revivalists coming to town. I had a couple of anon comments, which surprised me, but didn't bother me. I don't get a lot of comments in the com box, which is ok, as this is really my quiet place. When comments come in, I'll do my best to answer most of them and of course, I reserve the right not to publish others.
Nonetheless, I still don't believe that Santa Fe needs to be revived or is a den of despair. This is a community that celebrates and welcomes diversity, whether it's diversity of race, color or creed. It's an old, tolerant and accepting place. Christianity has thrived in this place for 400 years and it will continue to thrive. While Catholicism's place in this town is obvious by the rituals, traditions and festivals that color the City year round, other Christian faiths practice here free of intolerance. There is a strong, thriving Jewish community, an Islamic community as well, Buddhists and every other faith under the sun. There is an interfaith dialog and lots of ecumenical events and functions for the people of faith (and those not of a faith) who can come together and learn from each other. Never have I heard a message of hate, intolerance or judgment been preached in any of the churches I've attended.
So from the media, it was implied that these revival santa fe people had come to pray for our city, to show us our river dried up because of our immoral and wicked ways and that is what I found offensive. These were people making judgments that only God can make. The city's strong and thriving LGBT community took offense, our Mayor stood up in protest and I don't blame them or him. I, as a citizen, also took offense. I find it truly outrageous that someone would have the audacity to say someone in my family whom I loved, a family friend, a co-worker or a stranger down the street was a sinner because he or she was homosexual. That is wrong. Even my own Church, which isn't without controversy on the subject, does not decry such a person a sinner. The Church is opposed to any sexual acts outside of marriage. Period. So, in the eyes of the Church anyone having sex who is not married to each other or those committing adultery, are committing a mortal sin. Gay or straight, the act outside of marriage is the sin, not the person nor the sexual orientation of the person.
Now there are people who believe differently and they have every right to believe so, to preach their message and say all their prayers. They believe they are sincere, so I shouldn't mock them, but I reserve the right to take their message with a grain of salt. In my own parish yesterday, we offered our prayers on behalf of others too, for the poor, the oppressed, the persecuted. For the sick, for the dead, for our loved ones, our Church, our leaders and for those struggling to get by in this weakened, almost depressed economy. I hope none of them found our prayers offensive.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Anyway, I'll spend this week really preparing. Honestly, I needed to know what it was like before I could really prepare. It was awkward, some of the children were late, but it seemed to go all right. At least I hope so. Those years of doing kids' care with Campfire should prove useful.
The kids seem great. Some are quite, others extroverted, some like to talk, others not so much. Some have more energy than a hummingbird, others not so much.
I think once I know their names, know what to do and what to expect, I'll have it mastered. Ok, not mastered but at least more controlled. I will definitely look for ideas and other activities that I can use next week. We went through the chapter pretty quickly, so I think we can get through the whole book before the end of the year, but I need to get them to focus. I need to focus. I might actually practice my lesson before next week's class.
I know in my heart and in my mind that I can do this, but it's really easy to fall into self-doubt. I do feel that God lead me to this ministry and I believe I can teach the children something about faith, Christ and the Church, and they can teach me the same things. I know I will learn with the children as we take this journey together. God willing we'll all come through the year together stronger in our faith and closer to God and we will celebrate together when they receive their First Holy Communion.
Friday, September 19, 2008
When I met with my priest to talk about prayer he suggested this for me to try. It's formal, which makes it easy for me to actually do, formal prayer is something I'm already used to but it's also different for me to actually sit down and pray. Praying the Office, requires me to sit quietly, think and reflect on the psalms, the gospel canticles and the readings. I've noticed that the prayers of intercession sometimes, just hit the right mood or moment, or the other psalm prayers seem to really reflect on what is going on in my life, which Father said might happen. Of course this doesn't always seem to happen, but it's nice to stop and give pause in the midst of the prayers.
One day, I'd like to find a Vespers service at either a local monastery or perhaps even the local Carmelite convent to witness it in all it's glory. Till then, I'll keep on praying as often as I can. Meanwhile, here's a good live journal community which posts the prayers and readings. The whole Liturgy of Hours can found and prayed from here at universalis. and this is another resource for the Office. It's actually a link back to the badge in my sidebar.
And here are a couple of other resources. The St. Thomas Moore online tutorial for evening prayer. This website offers detailed instructions for praying the LoH.
The elderly priest, speaking to the younger priest, said, "You had a good idea
to replace the first four pews with plush bucket theater seats. It worked like a
charm. The front of the church always fills first now.'
The young priest nodded, and the old priest continued, 'And you told me adding a
little more beat to the music would bring young people back to church, so I
supported you when you brought in that rock 'n roll gospel choir. Now our
services are consistently packed to the balcony.'
'Thank you, Father,' answered the young priest. 'I am pleased that you are open
to the new ideas of youth.'
'All of these ideas have been well and good,' said the elderly priest, 'But I'm
afraid you've gone too far with the drive-thru confessional.'
'But Father,' protested the young priest, 'my confessions and the donations have
nearly doubled since I began that!'
'Yes,' replied the elderly priest, 'and I appreciate that.... But the flashing
neon sign, 'Toot 'n Tell or Go to Hell' cannot stay on the church roof.'
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Things with the parents seem to be slightly more under control. I'm paying all the bills now. Dad's ok... but it worries me when he gets so foggy. I still think he's over medicated. We had a serious talk yesterday about my short-term goals, wants and desires. He was actually supportive. I seriously do need to get a better job before year's end. I don't know if I can continue to do real estate in an ever-slowing market and who knows when we'll hit bottom and I don't think it will get better for quite some time, no matter who gets elected. So... I'm going to go on the serious job hunt, if I'll be able to find one. Oh, there's a part-time web thingy I should apply for at one of the radio stations here in town.
I'm so procrastinating about everything these days. I think it's an end of summer sort of malaise. I don't want the summer to end even though I love fall so much. At least it's warm that I can still sit outside and enjoy my back patio. However, I've already put the down blanket on my bed because it's getting cold at night. Ah, life in the desert. My allergies are wiping me out. It's chamisa and yellow-stinky flower season 'round these parts, so I'm living on Claritin right now. Still, the sky is golden, the trees are starting to turn on the mountain, and the roadsides are dotted by purple and gold wildflowers. The light has that soft, muted hue and it's just gorgeous here. It seemed like it happened overnight. Fall is my favorite season of all seasons. Yeah, I know, it's not fall for another few days. If feels like it. It's crisp and chilly.
I think it's an early night tonight. I'll either do some reading or fight with the muses. I can't end either of my stories. I may dig "Andrew" out of the character box and write more of his story. He is fun. Or, perhaps, work on some other semi-fleshed out story beginnings for other stories, but bed might be best.
I really need to watch and listen to my Catechism DVDs. I teach my first class on Saturday. I've been studying the teacher's guide for a while now, I've been looking up resources online and am preparing myself for 18 third-graders. I'm teaching straight from the book, but I'm still nervous. I keep telling myself I know more than they do. I know more than they do... heh! I've been assured there is a music CD in which we can sing along with, because there is no way I'm going to lead the group in song! Then starting in October, for 12 nights till April, I start to teach the sacramental classes-- the kids will make their first Confessions in January and then their First Holy Communions in May. That will be fun, seeing them to a goal.
Now... who would have thought three years ago I'd be a supporting member of my parish church? I blame the Czech for all this! If he hadn't broken my heart, I never would have felt the need to work through all the pain through a new novel, which had a throw- away line in the story about the OFC's brother, the priest, who then I had to flesh out and research, then he grew on me and became a main character, and I really had to figure exactly who he was, so then I started going to Mass again (actually, it's my friend's fault, she dragged me to a really special novena) but I kept going afterward-- all in the name of research... yeah, right. Eventually, I then joined the parish, had a meeting with my priest, then talked to the director of religious ed and somehow I ended up here... gulp. Lord help me from writing bad grammatical sentences and third graders.
Speaking of Catechism. I am going to teach 3rd grade catechism and sacramental classes at my parish. I am incredibly nervous and apprehensive about it, but I'm also very, very exciting and looking forward to it very much. I need to keep repeating my new mantra, "while they know a lot at that age, I still know more than they do."
So... back to my original point. Why is Amazon prime evil? Because I get free shipping when I order things and they show up on my door step mighty fast. This last shipment was a big box of books. Religious books. I usually buy novels and fiction on the spot at Borders. Amazon, with Amazon Prime, everything is so much cheaper in the end and it arrives in a couple of days, so if I find it at Borders and can order it I do. So... I have a few new books to add to my list of books by my night table. Besides a few new novels, I have St. Therese's Story of a Soul, The Pope's Jesus of Nazerth, I also have some writings of Blessed Teresa and some thoughts and reflections from Henri Nouwen which, along with Mother Teresa's book, were recommended to me last week in the middle of an emotional, hormonal crisis. I also have some Bible study reference guides and a new study Bible. So Amazon is going to think I like religious books and exercise equipment these days. ;-)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Coss said he was troubled by the Web site's assertions that the country is heading toward destruction. Reasons for this, on the site, included the removal of God from society; "so-called social problems" like violence, rape and abortion; disintegration of the traditional family; a spirit of selfishness; Supreme Court decisions on abortion and separation of church and state; and the "homosexual explosion."
"Enough is enough," it (it being the website) says. "The comparisons of Sodom and Gomorrah to the United States are, unfortunately, accurate. We must stop affirming the homosexual lifestyle as an accepted behavior within society."
Idiocy abounds! I just can't believe that people think and believe this crap and they are everywhere! Yes, I'm a Christian, but I don't believe in literal interpretations of the Bible and this sounds just like bible-based Christianity to me, with it's literal interpretations and fundamentalist practices, which are just wrong. Like so much going on with the religious right, they are co-opting Jesus and the Bible to suit their agenda.
The mayor in his refusal to address this group is standing up for the fair treatment of all human beings, rational thought and our City's history of tolerance and celebration of diversity.
It also claimed this: Questioned about his comments that the Santa Fe River is dry because of the sins of mankind, Martin quoted from 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
That cracked me up the most. The City damns the river to provide water for all its citizens. This is a desert, but it is not a dry spiritual desert. We've had long periods of drought, and we have a ever-growing population with huge demands on our water system. The reservoirs are full, water has been released so the river is actually flowing right now. If they'd been here two weeks ago they would have seen just how much of a spiritual oasis this city is, the Fiestas are both a secular and spiritual time here. The spirituality here is not just Christian, but every kind of spirituality imaginable, to people with no spiritual beliefs what so ever.
I checked out the website revivesantafe.com and found myself amused, offended and annoyed all at once. Grrr Arrgh! The blog which was mentioned in the article no longer seems to exist, so I guess I can't leave a comment. Bummer.
Oh... and they've held their own press conference.
ETA: Had the start of a decent discussion of this post in comments, mostly a Catholic view of the Bible. Had I been keeping up with my blog reading I could have sent the commenter to this post, at Stuff Catholics Like for a good commentary on Catholics and the Bible. America Magazine also had an article I wanted to point out as well. I think this might have been it. Not sure thought.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
They showed a clip of the nighttime procession at Lourdes and it looks incredibly beautiful. I can only imagine what it must be like to be a pilgrim there. For example, here where I live, on the last night of our Fiestas, there is a Candlelight Procession to the Cross of the Martyrs to commemorate and acknowledge the deaths of 21 Franciscan Priests who were killed at the onset of the Pueblo Revolt. This procession, leaves the Cathedral Basilica and winds it way through, old city streets up to the Cross which marks the event. It is one of the most solemn, most beautiful events I've ever experienced living here and I'm glad that I finally discovered it.
I'm so exhausted i really can't even articulate anything on my mind. Manana as we say here, Manana.
Friday, September 12, 2008
To quickly sum up:
Fiestas came and went, I have tons and tons of pictures. I did spiritual and secular things. Town was dead-- and by dead I mean very few tourists. It reminded me of the Fiestas of my childhood when the tourists were gone after labor day. I don't dislike tourists-- most people buying houses in Santa Fe are tourists (or once were)d who fell in love with this old, vibrant and diverse place-- but every now and then, it's not when we're not overrun with tourists.
I noticed that even for Fiestas it felt quiet among the locals. Oddly enough, I didn't see too many people I knew. But still, looking at the faces of those in the crowd, most were locals, either born here or long-time residents.
Let's see, I just dropped a lot of money at Amazon.com on spiritual books. I'm also going to be teaching catechism this year, God help me. Seriously. I could use all His help.
Things at work continue to be slow, though I have a new listing. I have a short window in which to sell it, but I'm hoping it sells. My mom has read 3/4 of my first novel, half of my second and she likes my stories so far. I guess that's a good thing. I just hope she's not just being a mom, being nice.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
-Pope Benedict XVI