Friday, August 26, 2011

My Buddy, JC.

Jesus Christ is my buddy.  He goes where I go, no matter what.  Have you thought about that?  It definitely makes you re-think some of your choices...  I haven't always thought about having JC at my side- I mean- I knew, proverbially, He was there, but in the last few years I have really been aware of Him.

Do you talk to people who practice other branches of the Christian faith?  I have quite a few friends who actually left the Catholic church, and their primary reason for being "born again" and "rebaptized" was because they never felt like they had a personal relationship with Jesus.  I try so hard to understand their perspective, how they could say that they went to church every week, Sunday School, Youth Group, etc, and not have a relationship with Christ?  It makes me very sad for them, that they missed one of the best friends they could ever have had for the last 20-30 years of their lives.  But-- it also made me instantly think of the movie Dogma, and how they're trying to promote the Catholicism-WOW! movement with the image of the Buddy Christ- aka Sacred Heart Christ giving a winking thumbs-up.  The first time I saw that movie was in college, and we had the members of Catholic Club watch it.  If you haven't seen it, or saw it and hated it, I ask you to watch it again- with a little more of an open mind, and really look at the message it's trying to get out into pop-culture.  (No, I don't think God is really Alanis Morrisette, doing cartwheels barefoot in the grass, or a homeless man playing skeet ball)  But really- bring Jesus down to you!

Talk to Jesus like you would a friend.  Yes, it's good to have formal prayer times, but I challenge you to keep an open dialogue with Him.  Encourage your friends & family to participate in this challenge.... You'd be surprised how present Jesus is in your life, whether you knew it or not.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mary's Got the Blues.... ?????

Last night, on my way home ... (I feel like a lot of my blogs are starting this way lately???)... I was listening to Sacred Heart Radio and with the stormy weather, the AM station was going in-n-out.

It was the (somewhat cheesy) Rosary with the pretty music and the people with the Irish accents lilting through the decades, and I absolutely love it.  The Rosary is my favorite prayer so far, and I find so much peace and strength in it.

I was letting myself fall into rhythm when it was lost to static... and when the radio station came back, it was Blues music!  I don't know how that happened, but last night's ride home not-so-smoothly transitioned from one of my most favorite Holy things to one of my most favorite secular things.  Talk about Utopia! 

Now.... if only I could find someone who would pray the Rosary with me and lead me in blues dances for the rest of my life....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Can't be Baptized in Milk Shakes!

Isn't that an absolutely hillarious visual image?!  I love it! 

Driving in to work today, EWTN's 7am broadcast of The Catechism, with Fr. Nagel (a rebroadcast of a show that aired in March, year unknown- I wish they would offer bibliographies on their programming or something!)  He was talking about the Sacraments, and it was great.  Let me tell you, though, I wish they had transcripts I could read over after I'm done commuting!  It's really hard to take notes and drive at the same time!

While talking about the Sacraments, he was talking about the "stuff" of Sacraments- using physical things to help us relate to God, Jesus, the Mysteries, and the Miracles.  That's when the reference came up about the right parts for a Sacrament, that you have to have the right tools in place, you have to have a minister, you have to have the intention... "You have to baptize in water; you can't use a milk shake or pop..." 

Fr. Nagel also talked about how the Sacraments need to be performed in the right place, in the Church.  Sharing in these life-changing events is something that needs to be done - quite literally - through Him, with Him, in Him, in unity with the Holy Spirit and the body of Christ- the church-body of Christ.  Your Faith Community is where you find the strength as you reach these important times in your life! 

It really made me miss having a Faith Community.  I long to find that fellowship, especially with some fellow women of Faith.  It's such a challenge. 

This feels somewhat disjointed.  I will have to revise and maybe even repost later... ttfn- ta ta for now!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Please Pray

Pray for Big Joe. 

He is sick, in the hospital for a week (?) now, and is still not getting any better. 

Please, pray for him and his family. 

Thank you,
In Christ.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Eeeny-Meeny-Miney-MO! ...?

Listening to NPR (National Public Radio) on the way into work today, they were discussing how theological scholars were debating whether or not to continue accepting Adam & Eve's creation story in Genesis.  Some theologian from somewhere (you can tell I was really engaged in what he had to say) said that it's scientifically and statistically impossible for the entire human race to have come from just two people.  He said that it would take about 10,000 people to create the world we have today, and that science shows humans are descendants of primates. 


I guess I didn't realize we could pick-n-choose what to believe in the Bible.  I mean, obviously we can, "free will" and all... but really?  I think that study, with all of their statistical facts and findings, missed the whole point of what it means to have Faith.  If I sit there and pick any random teaching, of course science can prove it "wrong".... it doesn't mean I believe in it any less.  Yes, science shows that evolution exists, and I believe that- if you have brown rabbits and white rabbit living in a field of hay, the brown rabbits are going to blend better, the white rabbits will not be able to hid from prey as easily, and slowly the brown rabbits will exist in that field.... because of natural selection, because of survival of the fittest, the fastest rabbits who blend in will survive and pass their genes to generations after them.  It doesn't mean I think that humans came from monkeys, but it does mean that I believe in evolution.  Who's to say that God didn't create natural selection to help species evolve and survive for their environment? 

You can choose to believe in Faith and science, but you have to be opened to both.   

Monday, August 8, 2011

Breath of Heaven (I found this post in my "drafts"- somehow it wasn't published?!)

(This blog entry was started back in December 2010, when I was still in choir, when I was singing the solo as Mary for the song Breath of Heaven.  Sadly, we had to cancel the concert, and due to the severity of my cat allergies and how many choir members had cats, I had to make the difficult decision to leave Songs of Sonoro)

Mary really had to trust, a lot.  Blindly.  Wow.  I've written about how Mary's "Yes" led her down her path, and how my "Yes" led me to Norway... hardly the same, but for me, it was still a huge risk. 

But I digress....

The lyrics to Breath of Heaven are written in the first person, Mary wondering if what she's done was the right choice, if her "Yes" was the answer she should have given.  I don't know, maybe it has something to do with me being raised and most comfortable as a Roman Catholic Woman of Faith, but I really do identify with Mary. Not to say- not at all- that I think I'm like her, but more that she is a role model, a hero-if you will, to look up to. She had to have the ultimate Faith.  Does this mean that, in scripture, it shows where Mary doubted God?  I can't answer that- sadly, I'm not that well versed.  What it does mean to me is that it's okay to have moments of doubt.  God still leads you down your path, you can still have Faith that He will do that for you, even as you doubt that you're going the right direction. 

It wasn't until I was practicing for the solo, embracing the words, the meaning, becoming the "voice" in the piece, that it really dawned on me... My doubts in Faith, no matter how incredibly trivial they seemed, were okay.  I mean- if Mary could doubt God's plan, then surely it was okay that I did, right?  As long as I find my voice and say "Yes." 

Faith in the 21st Century

We often don't realize how today's culture influences our knowledge and understanding of things, especially for children.  Here's the conversation I overheard while browsing around the Catholic book store in my town

Boy, "Daddy, who do you like better- God or Jesus?"
Father, "Well, I like them both the same."
Boy, "No, Dad.  You have to pick one!"
Father, "No, son, see- it's like God is inside of Jesus."
Boy, "Oh.  Why did Jesus eat God?"
Father, "No, no, no.  It's more like God and Jesus are the same."
Boy, "Oh.  Okay.  (pause)  Dad?  Why do they have fairies with Jesus?"
Father, "What?!  Oh- those aren't fairies, son, those are angels."
Boy, "Noooo.  Blue Angels are airplanes.  These are blue fairies."
Father, "No, the Blue Angels are blue planes that are nick-named 'angels'.  These statues are of actual angels wearing blue robes, with Jesus."
Boy, "Oh.  Okay."

It was so precious, I smiled right down to my soul and said to myself, "I miss kids' logic."  I was in the elementary schools for a while when I was still a school-of-ed major in college, and it was so refreshing and entertaining to listen to how kids processed the everyday stuff we take in and take for granted!