Sunday Style: Pin-ture Perfect

Congratulations to Rosie on the birth of her new baby! (That has nothing to do with what I wore to church, but it’s still nice.)

Sunday Style for November 27

Had to use my app again. I usually adjust the exposure on the full-length in post-process.

Dress (worn as a skirt): Kohl’s
Blouse: Target
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: old, old gift

Oh, hey there, Advent. Thank you for the twice-a-year challenge to wear every purple item I own to Mass.

This outfit is a recreation of this pin. As soon as I saw the pin, I knew I should try to recreate it with this dress, but it took a while to acquire the right shirt. I love this dress. I purchased it so long ago that the couple whose wedding I originally wore it to now has a two-year-old. This might be the last time I can find a new way to wear it, but it was worth a try. And yes, it’s rather more fuchsia than purple, but that totally counts.

“Thanks be to God for giving us another Advent,” said Fr. Pastor. That’s not something I’ve ever thought about before. I think about Lent as another chance to get right with God, but never about Advent as another chance to prepare for what is coming at the end of the world. I didn’t think he would mention the second/end-times meaning of Advent, which is my favorite, but he did. Hooray!

He also sang several lines from Handel’s “Messiah,” but he didn’t point out that it’s an Easter oratorio. Most people don’t realize that, but think about it: What time of year do we sing “hallelujah” so exuberantly? Not Christmas. In the end, anything that gets people singing (or at least enjoying singing) about the King of Kings and Lord of Lords can’t be all bad, right?

Finally, Fr. Pastor said that going to Mass on Sundays is a chance to stop and pray, so even if that’s the only thing you do to prepare for Christmas, it’s better than nothing. I have never even thought about being so busy that I would skip church. (I’m not saying I’ve never missed Mass, but not on purpose; not since I came back.) I would imagine that people who are so gift- and party-focused that they would skip church aren’t going to church in the first place; however, encouraging Sunday Mass as a bare minimum can only be a benefit.

Since my new parish sings the seasonal Marian antiphon after Communion every week, I got to try out the Alma Redemptoris Mater, which I learned for Night Prayer last December. It was very comforting. It felt like peace.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Sunday Style: Not Quite Warm Enough

I went home this week for my grandmother’s funeral (finally), so I went to Mass on Saturday. I can totally still post this today. That’s valid, right?

Sunday Style for November 20

Top: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Old Navy
Scarf: gift
Earrings: none; I forgot to put any on!

I have officially given up and decided that it’s cold weather time now. I used my day off from work today to switch out my winter and summer clothes. Now that I think about it, there might be some stragglers in the hamper, but I’ll get those later. This skirt is one of my transition items. Since I was traveling on Sunday, I went to the Vigil Mass on Saturday evening. I forgot how much the temperature drops when the sun goes down, so I was actually cold when I left the church! I otherwise really liked this outfit combo. I wear a lot of black and white, but it looks good, so I see no reason to stop.

We had Msgr. Old Pastor again. He started Mass and then his homily with a long tangent about the liturgical cycle. It was only on his final mention that he correctly highlighted Christ the King as the last Sunday of the church year, not the last day.

As was mentioned in the Gospel, it was scandalous for Jesus to be crucified under a sign proclaiming him the king. The Jews had a king: God. Monsignor called the sign “a bold sign of faith.” It is for us who live with the resurrected Christ, but he missed an opportunity to point out that the people who had him crucified hated that sign. It was Pontius Pilate who ordered the sign to be written. He intended it as mockery. The priests wanted the sign changed specifically because they didn’t believe Jesus was their king. That extended reference was what we ed school grads call a “teachable moment.”

I also noticed that Msgr. Old Pastor’s homily had no mention of King David, who was king after Saul, even though we just heard a reading that mentioned both of them. However, our music director selected Psalm 23 instead of the one given in the lectionary. (Substitutions are frequently allowed.) I thought that was a nice connection to the shepherding responsibilities of a king. True kingship is not just about ruling people and making them suffer. Kings are supposed to be caretakers.

The music was excellent again, including the monsignor’s chanting, although I realized that “This Is the Feast of Victory” is really hard to sight sing! Maybe that’s why my former parish did it frequently but never gave the congregation a number to sing along!


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Can We Be Catholic and American? (A Response to Archbishop Chaput’s Bishop’s Symposium Talk)

__Author’s note:_ Over at the full post, faithful reader DanC pointed out that I had my Chaput speeches mixed up! I have edited the text here and there to correct my error.

I spent a while learning how to teach adolescents in addition to my time being one, so I have thought a lot about identity formation. Facing a future with President Donald Trump is forcing many Americans to reconsider what the country really thinks, believes, and wants. If the election results demonstrate anything about our national culture, it is that we are divided, and the division is sharper than many of us realized. It even extends into our religious identities. I have seen more than one report that Catholics voted almost 50/50 for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The Catholic vote is not as easy to pin down as it once was.

So who are we as a church and as a country? Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia offered some thoughts several weeks before the election at the USCCB’s Bishop’s Symposium. He was speaking to Catholics who are involved in the political sphere, but I think his message is helpful for all of us who seek to be both Catholic and American. I offer some of his remarks here with some commentary of my own.

America’s cultural and political elites talk a lot about equality, opportunity and justice. But they behave like a privileged class with an authority based on their connections and skills.

One of the things I’ve learned from living in so many cities, states, and countries is the true meaning of culture and the power of experience. The best definition of culture I know is “how we do things around here.” In Austin, we don’t honk our car horns out of anger in stop-and-go traffic (and boy, do we have that traffic). In other cities, people honk. It’s not a matter of rudeness or nonchalance; it’s just how we do it. Before the election, many in the media wondered who would ever vote for Donald Trump. Now we know: quite a lot of people would, and did, and most of them are residents of areas far from major media’s usual concern. A Trump presidency was a possibility from the moment he received the nomination. The many who expressed disbelief may have forgotten about all the rest, and it was those voters who secured Trump’s win.

flag-pixabay

Consider the elitist attitudes we find…. Read the rest at ATX Catholic.

Recommended Reads: 46/2016

pile of books

Here’s another long-overdue installment of a regular feature at Lindsay Loves. Enjoy!

— 1 —

Title: Listening to Your Commitments
Source: Next Action Associates

None of us GTD practitioners trust our memories, or anyone else’s—because we have a far more effective and less stressful methodology for keeping track of what matters (versus trying to keep it all in our head).

I used to say I had a terrible memory. Since taking up GTD, I don’t say that anymore. It’s still true, but committing to GTD helped me stop forgetting things. The UK GTD organization Next Action Associates published a post recently about how GTD helps you identify, record, and track your commitments.

My new catchphrase is: “Paper doesn’t forget.” When you agree to do something, or someone agrees to do something for you, write it down! People forget. Paper doesn’t.

— 2 —

Title: How To Learn Something New Every Day (And Actually Do Something With It)
Source: Guest Post at Productivityist

This is a long read, but it goes step-by-step. I highly recommend his method for two points: daily action and sharing. Something you do daily (or even weekly) is something that really matters to you. Teaching is the best way to learn. Just do it. (I write this blog for myself, too!)

— 3 —

Title: How Do I Discern My Vocation?
Source: FOCUS Blog

I can never get enough about discernment. I’ve covered this in a post for ATX Catholic, but this is the text version. If you’d rather read than watch, this is your best bet.

— 4 —

Title: 32 (Or the Long Overdue Life Update)
Source: Choosing Raw

More should be written about “failure,” if that’s what we want to call it. We read so much about triumph over adversity, persistence in the face of great odds, and unlikely successes. We don’t always read about what it’s like to do something and find out that you’re not very good at it, or to work hard and not improve, or to desperately want something that you’re nevertheless incapable of pursuing any further.

And that, dear readers, is the story I’m about to tell.

Long yet amazing reflection on failure. I don’t condone the part about cohabitation at the end, of course, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a better, more honest account of the reality that you really can’t always get what you want.

— 5 —

Title: 7 Things to Say When a Conversation Turns Negative
Source: Harvard Business Review

Great advice. I hope I have some of these in my back pocket the next time I’m having a difficult conversation!

— 6 —

Title: Marriage Rx: Can Divorced & Remarried Receive Communion Now?
Source: Can We Cana?

You’ve been wondering about this, too, right? Pro tip: ignore the troll in the comments section. Karee Santos is an excellent writer, focusing on marriage and the family. She and her husband recently published a book about marriage. I am not-so-patiently waiting for it to be relevant to my life.

— 7 —

Title: Composing a Family Rule of Life
Source: Guest Post at Waltzing in Beauty

This is a guest post from Christina’s series about home. I wrote about organizing, but this was my favorite post that wasn’t by me. I have a rule of life for myself, but I haven’t thought much about what I want for my potential future family. Maybe that’s for the best; there will be at least one other person in it, after all.


For up-to-the minute recommendations from what I read, follow me on Pocket.

Sunday Style: Starting the Transition to Fall

I’m pretty sure it’s fall now. They only time it’s really warm enough to be out without a coat is midday, so we’ve probably transitioned. Maybe my Day After Thanksgiving project should be putting my summer clothes away.

Here’s what I wore on Sunday:

Sunday Style for November 13

Blouse: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: gift

I am still adjusting to my new Sunday schedule (since my new parish doesn’t have a Sunday evening Mass), so I legitimately forgot whether I needed to adjust last week’s wake-up time forward (to wake up later) or back (to wake up earlier). I chose forward, and I chose poorly. This outfit needs no ironing.

I think we had Deacon G preaching at Mass this week. He’s the same deacon we had serving last week; I just don’t know his name! He said that false prophets come in many forms. At the time of Malachi’s prophecy in the first reading, the Temple in Jerusalem was being beautifully constructed, but the people’s faith had long been abandoned. Malachi warms the unjust, the liars, and the hypocrites to fear the exposure of the truth at the end of time, although the just have nothing to worry about. As Jesus tells us, we’ll see all kinds of signs leading up to the end of time, including disaster and divisiveness, but we still won’t know that the end is coming until it does.

He also dropped in some very even-keeled election talk, which was surprising (that he mentioned it; not that it was even-keeled) but not unwelcome. Even among Catholics, who were apparently 25% of all voters, the split was roughly half and half, slightly in favor of Trump. That shows that many chose, as Deacon G put it, the lesser of two “undesirable options,” but it also shows the difficulty of following our consciences. It furthermore shows how divided we are as a country and how much we need unity.

He ended his homily with a prayer by Archbishop Carroll at the first ever synod of bishops in the U.S. The prayer spoke of the reality that all power comes from God and that our leaders need his guidance, wisdom, and strength to exercise it justly. Overall, this homily seemed to have a much less scary focus on justice than I usually hear from people who are knocking justice in favor of mercy. Both are needed.

We finished Mass by singing “The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns,” which I love for Advent. It also seemed appropriate this week, with its focus on the return of Christ Incarnate at the end of time as opposed to the initial Incarnation that we celebrate at Christmas. This parish has excellent music. That’s not why I go there, but it is a lovely bonus.

Did you have any election talk at church this week? How did it go?


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Not Alone Series: Prayer Routines

notaloneseries

What do you do in the morning, and evening, and during the day, to keep up your relationship with God? Do you have any pro tips? As single people, we’re not forced to attend to families when we get home from work, but it’s easy to just have a Netflix binge (especially during the cozy winter months). What can we do to maintain a thriving prayer life?

I am all about my habits, routines, and organization around here. For me, what gets scheduled gets done. This is what my prayer life looks like right now:

  • Roll out of bed: the Morning Offering and the Prayer to My Guardian Angel (the same one we teach little kids, except that I had to learn it as a teenager)
  • When I get to my email: read Evangelio del dia (the Gospel of the day, in Spanish; plus a reflection, also in Spanish)
  • Before eating lunch: the Angelus
  • On my drive home from work: the rosary
  • Before Mass: prayers of thanksgiving for being at Mass and for whatever is on my mind and heart
  • During Communion: my favorite prayer, some secret prayers, and whatever comes to mind
  • After Mass: the Divine Praises, the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and a Glory Be
  • Saturday mornings (usually): Morning Prayer, from the Liturgy of the Hours (LOTH) using my single-volume breviary and iBreviary
  • Sunday evenings: LOTH Evening Prayer
  • Before bed: LOTH Night Prayer

One of those is Scripture reading, but otherwise I just stuck with prayer for that list. Trying to wrap up all the parts of my spiritual life would be almost impossible!

I say all of this not to brag, but to point out that I have customized my prayer life to my personality and my state in life. As we discussed last link-up, it’s not so much that single people have more time for prayer but that it can be shoved into our days basically wherever we want it. I don’t have a toddler wandering out of bed and into my room when I’m praying Night Prayer. I am a total GTD fan, so I stay on top of my email inbox and don’t let the daily Scripture readings pile up. For me, the Morning Offering is a joyful habit, not a burdensome obligation or membership requirement.

I do what works for me. You should do what works for you. If you can find time to binge a show on Netflix (or even just watch one episode every day), or to read a whole book in a single day, you can probably find time to peruse the daily readings.

What works for your prayer life? How do you pray without ceasing?


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Booking Through Thursday: Location, Location, Recommendation, and Life Lessons

bookingthroughthursday

One more catch-up post is all I need to be back on track. I hope this becomes a regular feature again; I really like it.

In real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. But how about books? Does where a book is set affect your reading choices? Are you more or less likely to read books set in places you know or love?

I like to read fantasy, so those books tend to take places in imaginary worlds. I love world-building; it’s one of my favorite things about Harry Potter. I prefer books set in well-built worlds, even if that world is a fictionalized version of the ordinary United States, but I don’t think I’ve ever chosen a book specifically based on its setting. I tend to choose more general settings, like dystopian U.S. or high school (or dystopian high school, where applicable).

Do you read books from places you don’t know and haven’t been as a substitute for actually traveling there?

I’ve always thought of the idea that “a book can take you to another world” as just a beautiful metaphor. I’m not looking for anything literal. I do have a soft spot for books and movies that are set anywhere in Maryland that is not Baltimore, though. There’s more than just the one city!

Somebody walks up to you and says, “I need a really good book to read—any genre. What do you recommend?” What’s the first book off the top of your head?

I’ve been talking about 168 Hours consistently since I read it. I read plenty of productivity and time management things online and off, but nothing has made it seem quite so concrete and doable as that book (and GTD, of course). Laura Vanderkam is a good writer, and she practices what she preaches. I got my to-do list and budget under control a while ago, but I hadn’t done the same for my schedule. Her 168-hour principles are helping me with that.

What’s the best life lesson you learned from a book when you were a kid?

If only little Lindsay had been using Goodreads, I could answer this question much more easily! I am going to go with The View from Saturday. I had my (paperback, sadly) copy signed by the author many years ago. I’ve liked all of E.L. Konigsburg’s books I’ve read, but the takeaway I had from The View from Saturday was that you can find friends among the most eclectic of characters. I’m black, but I’ve never felt compelled to only befriend other black people. I gravitate towards people who think, talk, and act like me; absolutely. But race has never been a determining factor. You never know who someone really is underneath their skin.


For more short queries about books and the reading life, visit Booking Through Thursday.

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