In going through even more newsletters, I found “The Death of a Marriage,” by Cameron Conant. It was really beautiful and powerful. I liked the tone best, I think. It’s an excerpt from a book, so I give you an excerpt from the excerpt.
Lent is my favorite season of the church calendar because it reminds me of an important reality: Living the “Jesus Life” is not easy.
The Jesus Life is not the happy-go-lucky “Jesus is my homeboy” life that pop culture would have us believe. The Jesus Life is not the health, wealth, and prosperity life that television evangelists would have us believe. The Jesus Life is not the politically driven “us versus them” life that some Christian leaders would have us believe.
The Jesus Life was best expressed on a crude wooden cross: Nails. Blood. Death. Love. Forgiveness. Sacrifice. The Jesus Life is about going out into the world and taking up our cross as Jesus did and as He commanded us to do.
I generally prefer NAB and RSV for Bible reading (though I dislike some of the revised Psalms of the NAB), but I like this version of Romans 12:2 from the New Living Translation:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
I am all about the links lately. When I was searching for more info on Miraculous Medals, I stumbled across a wonderful old article about Jim Caviezel, back before he did The Count of Monte Cristo. For those that don’t know, he played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. It was so weird watching Frequency and seeing “Jesus” swear and be a police officer. But anyway, the article is wonderful because he seems like such a great guy in it, and so authentically, happily Catholic. I borrowed the term “happy Catholic” from Julie because it fits so perfectly with the way I want to be (and hopefully am becoming). I want to be open and honest and upbeat about my Catholicism, but not in an aggressive, exclusionary, or hugely evangelical way. I want to be the Catholic who’s always doing Catholic stuff, but won’t pressure you about it — but if you ask, I’m more than willing to talk about it. A happy Catholic.
Yesterday, my Af Am lit teacher cancelled class again. How?, you might ask. By sending a grad student to cover for her. The grad student was nice and all, but we were all completely fed up. We have a paper due Thursday, so she couldn’t have met with us even if we’d wanted to meet. She tried to give us another research thing on top of that, but this one guy decided we should just agree to turn it in Tuesday, since she will also be out on Thursday. We had a presentation and a half, which will be graded from the grad student’s notes. Then we started watched a video about “artists” of the Harlem Renaissance as our introduction to that time period. Mind you, this is the time period in the course title. It’s after our midterm and we’re just now getting to 1910. That video was about actual artists: painters and sculptors and such, so we stopped watching after about five minutes. Then we watched the beginning of a DVD, which mentioned absolutely nothing about the literature of the time. I despise that class. As it turns out, she’d left my name to be volunteered to return the videos to Hornbake. I never go anywhere near Hornbake, but I decided to take them anyway as an act of Christian charity — in both senses of the word. I used my downtime to edit my Keystone stories in Hornbake instead of the HH lounge. All I can do at this point is pray. That whole line about loving your enemies (Luke 7:27) just keeps running through my mind. Not that I think of her as an enemy, per se, but still. That class sucks.
On my way to Hornbake, there were a lot of young-looking black kids walking past Hornbake Mall. I think they were just straggling on a tour. Anyway, I crossed the street and went on my way, when suddenly I heard a lot of yelling, something about long hair. They were talking about me — not even just talking, but yelling. Yes, dear children with ineffectual home training in manners, I am black and I have very long hair. Yes, it is real. But I have, you know, feelings, too. I don’t like being yelled about like I’m a mannequin or livestock or something. It was so offensive, but I was already in a bad mood after Af Am lit, so I just let it roll off my back.
I was disappointed on Sunday when I went upstairs for church and only my mom was there. I thought she took the rugrats every other week, but apparently not. This makes me worry. If she doesn’t take them when I’m there, I can’t be sure she’s taking them when I’m not home. I don’t know if she goes when I’m not home, and I can’t think of how to check. I’m obviously not her keeper, but I care about my family. And, you know, their souls. I’d never been to Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation before last All Saint’s Day (the Assumption was a Monday, my dad converted at Easter Vigil, and I wasn’t practicing last Feast of Mary, Mother of God). I’m pretty sure she’s never been… ever. Well, at least in the last 12 years. Courtney will be of Confirmation age for our parish soon. I want her to know about the Church beforehand, like I didn’t. (That is not a typo.) I haven’t been praying my daily rosary for any intention except Lent, but I plan to keep up the habit after Easter. I’m thinking of starting a 54-day rosary novena for my family. I’m afraid I’ll sound rude or like I’m “preaching” if I just come out and tell her we should all be going to Mass, so I might just have to leave it to God.