Sunday, January 25, 2009

Year of Squee...

Catching up on my Happy Blog reading.

Jen at Musings from the Big U has decided that she's going to do 30 Days of Happy RCC Squee. While I tend to blog fairly frequently, I don't think I have 30 straight days of squee in me. So... I've decided to make it a year long effort. So this means, no bitching, ranting or attempts to discuss any kind of politics in here.

I actually have a comment yet to answer from a post from a couple weeks back, before Dad got sick and I burned out. I still may do that, however, I was going to preface that comment with this: I know a lot of stuff about many things, but most of what I know is enough to get me in trouble. Having said that, I'm going to remember my mission of this blog, which is to post my thoughts, reflections and feelings about being a Catholic GenXer today. That's it.

So... here's my list of things that I'm looking forward to this year as a Catholic. (I'm going to try to do this chronologically. And I'm tired, so look for links and additions later).

This week, one of the sister's from my parish is going to present an evening on Celtic Spirituality and I would like to go to that. She is the one who let me into the church to pray on the day we took my dad to the hospital and I'd like to go to this. I think it will be something worthwhile, interesting and a nice change of pace.

Feb. 2, my catechism students make their First Confessions. It's the first step in their journey to First Eucharist. Tomorrow we have one more class before the Reconciliation service and I really pray that I can help them through it all right. I have yet to prepare my own lesson for that class. I was supposed to do that today. There's always tomorrow.

Ash Wednesday and Lent. It's coming up quick. I can't believe January is almost over. One of my goals this year is to make the annual pilgrimage to Chimayo. I have never done it before in all my years living here. A group from my parish walks the nine miles from Nambe to the little village of Chimayo, which occurs during Holy Week. People walk from Santa Fe and elsewhere, but I'm going to go with a group of people I know and can feel comfortable walking with. I seriously considered it last year but changed my mind at the last minute. I didn't know many people then so I wasn't sure I was comfortable going "by myself."

Then of course Holy Week. I'm planning to attend the Easter Vigil. I experienced Mass on Holy Thursday for the first time ever last year and was blown away by it all. I actually wrote a scene for my novel based upon that experience. Good Friday services were also incredibly moving and I decided that I will never miss those two days as a Catholic ever again. I didn't attend the Easter Vigil and so this year, I plan to attend.

I believe sometime in the spring my friend Patrick, (aka Paedraggaidin) from LJ,
wants to come visit Santa Fe. I'd enjoy showing him, his sister and his new girlfriend around. I'd also enjoy meeting him in real life. He'd be the first person I've met in real life from online that I didn't know from Fandom first. I've only met people I know online because of Fandom. I suppose in some ways being involved in Catholicism related communities, blogs and forums online has been a bit like Fandom. And you know I've been quite a Catholic fangirl lately. I think my real life (non-Catholic, non-religious) friends think I'm a bit obsessed, so what else is new?

I think probably the next big rewarding event will be watching my students make their First Holy Communions. Most people of my generation joke about not receiving good CCD and I honestly can't say that my experience was bad. I clearly remember being told and understanding the significance of the Eucharist. I truly believed at 8 that I was really receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus. I also remember the sisters who taught us that we could not chew the host AT ALL. I remember being told how wrong it was to chew Jesus. I still hear the words every time I go up for Communion today. I can't recall what the sisters looked like. The wore habits, but I don't recall what order they were or who they were but I recall that. My class received on the tongue but now, I usually receive in my hands. I am actually ok receiving either way and people in my parish do both.

Come June, my biggest squee will be the city's annual Novena to La Conquistadora. I'm sure that there are many things else I'll find to squee about in the days, weeks, months ahead.

Today, we, like it seems like a lot of parishes celebrated The Conversion of St. Paul. In his homily, which I really enjoyed, but Father said something that made me smile. I'm paraphrasing badly, but essentially he said not to worry about the wrongs that people do, that their bad behavior is not our problem, it's for God to handle. That made me think about how disheartened I get sometimes when I see all the uncharitable behavior tossed around on the Catholic blogosphere. I hate seeing Catholics being unchristian and unkind to each other. All I can do is try to live as best that I can, to follow Jesus' teachings and follow the Great Commandment, by loving God with all our heard as well as loving our neighbors as ourselves.

And yes, Bambi makes me very happy, even though it's sad.


Garpu said...

My first confession was a really wonderful experience. I should blog about it sometime.

Meh, I was terrified to receive communion back then. Didn't help that the CCD teacher I had was mean.

Maria said...

I don't know if I've ever told my first confession story before. I grew up at the Cathedral parish, an old stately church, with old-fashioned confessionals. At the time the priests were Franciscans but I didn't know them. My family went to Mass every week. I had every sacrament there and I went to CCD three years, but felt a bit detached from the parish. Anyway, I was scared. I didn't want to confess in a confessional-- maybe we weren't overly prepared and I can't recall seeing the confessionals before. I just remember being terrified and wanted to go face-to-face with the priest, who I remember being kind and gentle, but I made my mom come with me. She probably didn't go to confession but she sat with me as I told the priest my sins. I never went again till I was an adult, I think I probably missed out a lot.

My first confession story. You can tell yours on one of your days of Squee.

Maria said...

Meh, I was terrified to receive communion back then. Didn't help that the CCD teacher I had was mean

And look at you know, a grown-up EMHC at your parish.

After yesterday, I can understand why some CCD teachers get mean. Kidding.

We got to practice with unconsecrated hosts and I even think we got to taste the wine. I believe we may have received by intinction.

Garpu said...

It took me awhile and the influence of a few Benedictines to help with my fear of the Eucharist. :)

Hrm. That would make a good Squee item.

Maria said...

Well, I'm glad you got over that fear.

Now I have a fear of 8-year-olds!

And you know that comment about CCD teachers being mean? I wish I had one to mentor me. I wanted to kill the kids tonight. I even talked to them about how badly they behaved on Saturday. Grr!