Tag Archives: mysundaybest

Sunday Style: Why Five Husbands?

I have no special guests this time, but I do have a special purple outfit. We seem to be back on our usual weather schedule, so summer it is.

Sunday Style for March 19

Dress and shirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: National Shrine gift shop
Earrings: I forgot, and you can’t see them anyway

I had a tiny bit more time than usual to consider this week’s outfit, so I went for an old standby. I like to wear this one even when it is not a purple season.

I was back at my regular parish this week, so I decided to try my idea from last week. A friend gave me a Christian Inspirations Journal a few birthdays ago, but I could never find the right use for it. After some recent difficult episodes in attempting to remember the homily, not fall asleep during it, or both, I thought it might be time to treat that like any other presentation I attend, and take notes. I have always found notetaking really useful for focusing my attention, but I’ve never thought to try it during Mass. I take notes at other churchy presentations and when I’m physically in the church for a non-Mass event, but homily notetaking always seemed weird.

Well, it still seems weird. Many things feel weird the first time, and this was no exception. I persevered, and I plan to do it again next week, so we’ll see how it goes.

Msgr. Old Pastor preached the homily. He focused mostly on the Gospel, which felt a little odd because the Sundays of Lent do such a great job of getting all the readings to align. I’ve never given a homily, but it seems like that would make the homilist’s job a little easier. The theme is built right in.

He pointed out that the Jews hated the Samaritans so much that they would usually travel around Samaria instead of through it, taking an extra day or two just to prove their point. He didn’t explain why, though; I learned that from the Bible Timeline. The Samaritans were the descendants of Israelites (from the northern kingdom), who had intermarried with non-Israelites after the Babylonian exile. The southern Judeans had never intermarried, so they considered themselves purer and better than the Samaritans. That’s why the woman at the well has had five husbands. It’s not just a random large number; five other nations had mixed with the Israelites. I’m grateful to my Bible study for opening up Mass like that!

He did, however, note that the woman speaks to Jesus in a way that demonstrates her rapidly increasing faith. At first, she treats him like any strange man. Then she calls him her teacher, and then a prophet. Finally, she runs off to tell the people that he is the Messiah. As probably every priest who preached this weekend said, this is evangelization in a nutshell.

Msgr. Old Pastor’s parting words were to let God fill up the hole inside our hearts that longs for something more. We might try to fill it with other things, but only God belongs there. Curiously, the monsignor himself had some opportunities for that right during Mass. His lapel mic went out, so he had to preach his homily from the ambo. Since our church is built for amplified sound, he chanted the entire Eucharistic Prayer, in order to be as loud as naturally possible. He has an excellent voice, so it felt special and solemn. And we sang “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” during Communion, which is one of my very favorites.

Mass is always good when Jesus comes, but those little touches made this one extra nice for me.


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: My Favorite Recurring Character

Hello, friends! One of those not-quite-yet-bloggable things took me to visit Mr. Man again last weekend, in his city. He’s my special guest star.

Sunday Style for March 12: My Outfit

Sunday Style for March 12: me with Mr. Man

Sweater and skirt: Old Navy
Top and tights: Target
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: ancient gift
Pendant: brand-new gift from Mr. Man’s mom

So, winter came back. Mr. Man kindly sent me weather forecast updates as the days to my trip counted down. Of course I double-checked with my favorite weather app, Accuweather, as I was packing the night before I left. Life in Austin has taught me to check the hourly forecasts rather than the high for the day, so I scrolled through and was puzzled by a tiny icon of a snowflake on Saturday around 2 p.m.

Then I realized that meant it might snow. I have not seen snow fall from the sky in over six years. Thankfully, I didn’t see it last weekend, either, but it was so very cold. I’m perfectly happy to leave March snow as a long-ago memory (once in Germany when I was in middle school, I think), and I’m now officially ready for spring.

We went to Mass at Mr. Man’s parish. He lectored, and he did a very good job. Fr. J (I think) started by pointing out that Abraham’s story is very encouraging to those of us who might think we’re too old to go on an adventure or do something great. Abraham was 70 years old when God called him out of Ur, so we are never too old to do what God is calling us to do.

Then he turned to another Old Testament passage entirely. In 2 Kings 6, enemies from Syria approach the prophet Elisha. His servant panics, thinking that the approaching army will destroy the Israelites, and asks Elisha to pray for God’s help. Elisha instead tells him to pray that the Lord will open his eyes to see the heavenly army surrounding them, against which their enemies are no match. God didn’t need to do anything more. He was already doing something; the servant just needed to see what God was already doing.

Afterwards, I thought about this in terms of the Gospel. Peter could see that Jesus was speaking with Moses and Elijah, but he didn’t know what God was doing at that moment. He was worse off than Elisha, and even worse off than the servant! Abraham did what God told him to, despite not seeing or understanding. Peter didn’t know what to do, even though he could see. Sometimes, I can’t see and I don’t know. Do I have the faith to keep moving towards God anyway?

Thanks are due to Mr. Man for helping with my full-length photo this week, and to his mother for the beautiful natural amethyst pendant. It was just the right thing to complete my outfit!

I would also like to give my memory kudos for stepping up this week. It held onto “2 Kings 6” long enough to write that down after Mass. I had to figure out whether Fr. J was saying “Elijah” or “Elisha.” They are correctly pronounced so similarly (same long “I” in the middle) that I knew I’d need to look it up after Mass to clarify. But I could only do that because I remembered, so thanks, brain!

And thanks to you for reading!


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: So Lit(urgical)

Surprise! A mid-week Sunday Style! I had to start this outfit from the feet due to my poorly-timed laundry schedule, but it worked out in the end.

Sunday Style for March 5

Dress: Kohl’s
Blouse: Target
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: holy medals

It’s liturgical dressing season again, friends! This year is tricky because one of my staple purple items is a sweater, and it’s always a toss-up whether the weather will be cold enough (a) that day and (b) during the correct hours. I didn’t discover hour-by-hour wardrobe planning until I moved to Austin.

I’ve worn this combo before, but with the buttons done, so it looked more like a skirt. I can’t decide which version I like more, but I appreciate the opportunity to keep this dress around.

Well before Mass, when I was reading my Evangelio del dia reflection, Isaac the Syrian suggested that the concept of fasting comes from Genesis: don’t eat the fruit of this one tree. That sounds a little more like abstinence to me, but I’ve never thought about where fasting comes from, so that was an interesting point to ponder.

At Mass, I discovered that I was unfocused because I was unusually exhausted. I don’t get enough sleep in general, so when I am particularly deprived, it hits me even worse. Fr. Visitor gave a very long, very good, very comprehensive homily, but I was so tired that I knew I wasn’t going to remember it all. I have an as-yet-unused paper journal that would be very useful for this purpose: taking notes during the homily instead of right after Mass. Perhaps that was my sign from the Holy Spirit that I should go with that idea now.

From what I remembered, Fr. Visitor started with an overview of Lent, saying that we should strive to grow closer to God and love him more in this time in particular. That is a message that can easily be lost among the Lent dieter, bullying, and too-extreme aspirational goals.

Then, he went through each of the three temptations of Christ and what they represented. The first is a call to overcome our desire for intemperance. Adam and Eve failed to trust that God would provide them with food. Jesus trusted.

The second and third temptations were likewise linked to our lives and to the Fall. Sadly and embarrassingly, I don’t remember the details. I did note that, having studied salvation history all year long (my Bible study ended this week!), I now have a new appreciation for the Book of Deuteronomy. Did you know that all three of the Scripture quotations Jesus makes in response to Satan’s temptations are from Deuteronomy? Jesus knew and loved the Old Testament. We shouldn’t just cast it aside; he didn’t.


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: With Another Cameo By Mr. Man

Whew! I had a whirlwind couple of weeks and weekends. My saving grace is that, thanks to GTD, I’ve gotten into a rhythm of reviewing and looking forward through my life so that (ideally) nothing slips through the cracks. Thus, I remembered to take my outfit photos even though I’ve been missing the link-up like that was my plan all along.

So here’s a little catch-up.

February 19

Sunday Style for February 19

Top and skirt: Target
Shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: Target
Earrings: Charming Charlie

I did a little outfit experimenting this week. I wear the top half of this outfit to work all the time. The skirt is too fancy for work, though, so I don’t think I’ve ever thought to put these pieces together for church before. It worked fine.

Fr. Pastor started his homily by identifying the theme of the day’s readings as avoiding revenge, because taking an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is not allowed anymore, and it shouldn’t have been allowed at all. I struggle with that particular angle because that makes it sound as though the OT laws allowing eye-for-eye, tooth-for-tooth justice were wrong. But those laws came from God. Is God’s law wrong?

The better explanation I’ve heard is that “an eye for an eye” was supposed to be a limiting factor. Without that law, if someone put out your eye, you could kill them in retribution. “An eye for an eye” leveled the playing field from the brutality that would ensue otherwise.

Under the new covenant, which Jesus is describing, the limiting factor of just “an eye for an eye” is now raised to better fit the law of love. Now, if someone puts your eye out, you can’t take out their eye anymore. You can’t take anything. Now, you have to give even more than what was taken from you.

Now, the old law allowing someone to strike you on just one cheek is passing away. Now, you have to rise above by turning the other cheek and letting them hit that one, too—which is against the old law. Jesus is raising the stakes for the new and eternal covenant, and he insists that we rise to the challenge.

Back to Fr. Pastor. He also told an odd story about a plane that was crashing due to the passengers’ squabbling along political lines. (I know; I don’t get it either). Finally finding a uniting factor (not wanting to die), they ask the priest on board to pray for them. He tells them to take up the collection first. I think the collection part was probably supposed to be the punchline, but no one even chuckled. And it was an especially awkward story because we real people were just about to gather the collection.

Overall, I found myself very reflective over the “holy” and “perfect” commands in the readings. Those are bold charges, but we also heard in the psalm that God is kind and merciful as we struggle to be ever more holy and perfect. That is comforting.

February 26

Sunday Style for February 26

Me and Mr. Man outside of St. Patrick Cathedral in Ft. Worth.

Dress and leggings: Target
Sweater and shoes: Old Navy
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Necklace: holy medals
Mass buddy: Mr. Man

On Friday, it was so hot that I genuinely considered turning on the A/C in my house. I think it reached 90! The Texas wildflowers have sprouted! So I was quite miffed that the weekend got cool and windy. I was headed out of town, so I couldn’t just dress based on the current weather fifteen minutes before I walked out the door.

I’ve learned not to rely on the weather to be the same from morning to afternoon, let alone over the weekend, so I had to choose outfit items that I could modify in case of sudden warmth or chill. My leggings are cotton, so they breathe well enough to keep me from overheating if it’s technically too warm for them (whereas tights don’t work like that). My sweater sleeves can be rolled up in a pinch. As it was, I ended up needing to not only wear a coat but also zip it up.

But I was happy in general, because I got to see Mr. Man again, this time in Ft. Worth. We went to St. Patrick Cathedral downtown, which is a beautiful church with one of the best cantors I’ve heard in a long time (and my parish in Austin has really good cantors).

The priest’s message was to not fear anxiety or let it keep us from trusting in God. Now that I think about it, anxiety is a kind of fear, so that’s definitely counterproductive. There is enough actual fear to deal with without manufacturing it ourselves.

It reminded me of my approach to my work. I am a paper-pusher. My job requires me to be just one cog in a big machine. I stick to spinning my own belts, so to speak, as quickly and efficiently as I can without rushing or making a ton of mistakes. I don’t worry about whether the other cogs are spinning their belts fast enough or what might be coming up on my belt. I have plenty of belt to spin as I go along.

If only I could apply that attitude to the rest of my life!

He also highlighted that the first reading has one of the few female images of God, as a mother comforting her child, whom she could never forget. Through all three readings, we are called to trust that God is watching out for us despite what happens, even when it seems like he might have forgotten about us, and that causes us to worry. This does not, however, mean that our lives will be worry-free. No guarantees there.

Musically, we sang “I heard the Voice of Jesus Say,” which is one of my favorites, for the procession, and then we had something with same tune for the recession. It was unusual. I can’t decide whether I liked that bookending.

I definitely enjoyed the use of Eucharistic Prayer IV. Ever since I started studying covenant theology, that prayer has been blown wide open. Eucharistic Prayer I is sometimes required, but when it’s not, priests usually use II or III because they are much shorter. So IV is never required, and thus it is always a gift to hear it. It’s my favorite. And so is my Mass buddy.


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: Let’s Wear Lace!

This was an interesting church week. I walked out of church unclear about this Gospel and got two much clearer answers from a total of three sources.

Here’s what I wore:

Sunday Style for February 5

"Mary, mother of Jesus, be a mother to me now."

Top: Target
Skirt: Marshall’s
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: My Daily Grace at Etsy

We no longer have even extended seasons here; they now change day by day. Forty-degree swings within a single day are becoming common this year. I decided to go for almost-bare legs and wear this skirt. Can you see the lace panels? That’s my favorite feature, although it makes the skirt hard to wash. I generally don’t wear lace because I find it itchy, but the lining solves that problem here.

I went to church hoping to hear mostly about the Gospel. I have never understood the “salt of the Earth” part—ever. “He’s a real good guy; salt of the Earth kind of folks.” What? After all my years of churchgoing, I get the point, and I get the “light of the world” part, but I’ve never been able to wrap my head around that particular metaphor.

Mass started with the lector reading a letter from our bishop regarding the president’s executive order on immigration. Was it a good letter? Yes. Was it surprising at all? No. Was it way too long to be read before Mass, especially considering that “read this at Mass” instructions are often ignored? Oh, yes. And then we got the regular too-long group of announcements before Mass could finally begin, ten minutes late.

Fr. Pastor started his homily with the story of St. Blaise. It was not his feast day. He continued on to talk about enjoying the Super Bowl regardless of who wins, not letting your team’s loss get you down, applauding everyone’s effort, etc. That is a good lesson. Then, he described the plans for our parish’s milestone anniversary. That’s nice, but it didn’t have anything to do with the readings. I started struggling at that point.

Finally, he got around to talking about Jesus, but it was so buried that, when I was taking notes after Mass, I couldn’t actually remember what he said! He concluded with a message about Catholic Schools Week (we got one last week, too), followed by a blessing of extraordinary ministers.

Oof. With the delayed start, we had been at Mass for exactly an hour (I checked my watch because I was tired) when we got to the Sign of Peace. We still had to do Communion! If I was restless, anyone who brought little kids was probably ready to run out the door!

Mass ended without a recession. Instead, the priest and deacon started blessing throats individually as we were singing. It was awkward. I opted out, tired from all the extra cruft we’d already had.

But Jesus came, and after weeks of deciding to abstain because I have a lingering cough that I’m pretty sure is just allergies, I received the Blood of Christ again. Mr. Man, Bishop Robert Barron, and Fr. Mike Schmitz helped me understand the salt thing. So all is well.


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: I Only Wear It Like This

Michael has a point. I am at church every Wednesday for Bible study, and it’s an excellent way to stay in a churchy mood between Sundays. Our Protestant and evangelical brethren figured that out a long time ago. So, even though I probably could squeeze in this post on Sundays, I will stick to publishing them mid- and late-week.

Sunday Style for January 29

Dress and blouse: Old Navy
Shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: holy medals
Earrings: Charming Charlie

We haven’t had quite the same intense weather swings as last week, but I still have to wear a coat on my drive to work and roll down the window on my way home. We’re keeping Austin weird.

This outfit is also an anomaly. I love the way this sheath dress fits, but it’s ponte knit, so it’s too heavy to wear when it’s warm. (I tried once.) I keep this blouse specifically to wear like this with this dress. The sleeves are too short, so I have to roll them up, and the fit is too tight with all the buttons done, but look at it! It’s an exception to my otherwise remixable wardrobe.

We had Msgr. Old Pastor for Mass again. He started by saying there are over 90 beatitudes in the Bible, including the Ten Commandments, but I have no idea what that means because he neglected to define “beatitude.” I only remember those details because it was so strange!

He did, however, make one awesome comment. To be “poor in spirit,” he said, is to “recognize your utter dependence on God.” He said he was quoting someone but didn’t say who. That definitely helps my understanding of what poverty of spirit means. It makes sense. We can only really connect with God when we realize how hopelessly lost we are without him. It’s when we think we can save ourselves that we lose the way.

He ended his homily with the story of Dr. Tom Dooley‘s humanitarian work in Asia. It was a nice story, but I couldn’t connect it to anything else he said.

Bringing this post full circle, my Bible study is covering salvation history, and after 17 weeks in the Old Testament, we finally started the New Testament this week. So I saw the Beatitudes again. Thanks, Holy Spirit.


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: Hints of Winter

I don’t have a whole month to recap this time! I’m making baby steps towards getting back to regular posting. My offline life is taking a variety of twists and turns, but I’m still pursuing love and joy, so I’m still here.

What I Wore Sunday, January 15

Sunday Style for January 15

Dress and shirt: Old Navy
Sweater and leggings: Target
Shoes: Old Navy
Earrings: gift, and too small to really see in those photos, anyway
Necklace: holy medals

It’s Ordinary Time! I love to dress liturgically, but no one owns enough green for 33 or 34 weeks. I have a little bit of green, though, so I broke it out. The shirt also makes this dress appropriate (a) for me to wear, and (b) to wear to church. I went to Academy after lunch still wearing this outfit, and the lovely cashier complimented my modesty. She used that word and everything; I was impressed. Evangelization comes in many forms.

Deacon G gave the homily, with Msgr. Old Pastor celebrating. He went through short descriptions of each reading except the psalm, which I appreciate—even though I consider the psalm a reading and never like when people ignore it. The Great Adventure opened my eyes forever to the power of the responsorial psalm at Mass. The overall message of the day, according to Deacon G, was loving Christ so much that the news of his love must be spread to all nations.

He also mentioned that this Gospel reading falls in the section of John’s Gospel called “the declarations” (I think), in which Jesus is identified as the Messiah multiple times. So, in this case, the Baptist has just been asked if he is the Messiah and said he isn’t. Now, he points out that the real Messiah has finally shown up, the one whose baptism he has been preparing the people for. It’s like a holy version of saying, “No, I’m not the guy you’re looking for, but here he is now!”

What I Wore Sunday, January 22

Sunday Style for January 22

Dress and tights: Target
Tank top: online store that is now out of business, and I probably should have worn a white one anyway
Sweater: Old Navy
Boots: Lauren Conrad
Leg warmers: Target
Necklace: holy medals
Earrings: basically invisible

It was almost cold this past Sunday! I celebrated by wearing this dress in its winter formulation. (I also wear it during the summer.) If you’re wondering why I’m celebrating the cold, I will note that we had a record high yesterday afternoon (81 degrees) followed by a dramatic low this morning (41 degrees). Thus, I will continue to break out my boots and sweaters every chance I get. The chances slip by so quickly!

Deacon G again gave a comprehensive homily. He even said explicitly that he would be making three points, one per reading! I like his style.

The first reading highlights that Jesus has come bursting onto the scene and into our lives, like a bright light. Naming the land of Zebulun and Naphtali (the northernmost part of Israel, which was invaded all the time) points Jesus’ light toward a land frequently consumed by darkness and conquering strife. Not only does Jesus come, he comes where he is most needed.

The second reading emphasizes our need to unite in community around Christ. We all have the same savior, despite our personal preferences, how we came to know God, or our politics. This is an especially relevant message after a tough election season and immediately after a tense inauguration.

The Gospel shows that fishermen have the qualities we need to be evangelizing disciples. That threw me for a second; I’ve heard about shepherds being models for listening to and following God, but fishermen is a new one. It takes more than one try to catch a fish, Deacon G said, just like people need to hear the Gospel more than once. Fishing takes time and patience, just like leading people to Christ does. You need the right skills to be a fisherman, just like evangelists do, and they were taught to you, just like fisherman and evangelists learn their craft. It was weird yet memorable.

What have you been learning in church? “My toddler can tear pages out of a hymnal very, very quietly” totally counts.


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

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