Monthly Archives: January, 2007

Celibacy, Faith, and Life

I’ve started using Google Reader to get a handle on all the blogs I used to read. I also decided to add a news feed from Zenit, an agency that keeps track of all kinds of Vatican news, especially B16’s homilies and other speeches. One that caught my eye was his traditional Christmas address to the Roman Curia (bishops, cardinals—all the people that dress in fun colors). Zenit headlined it his “evaluation of 2006.” Two parts resonated the most with me.

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Naming God

Sometime this week (last week?), the article “Naming God” was featured in one of my Christianity Today e-newsletters. (Anyone know a good weekly Catholic newsletter I could subscribe to?)

I’ve thought about the subject myself. What are we supposed to call God? He’s got so many names! I would love a names of Jesus poster, but I could never imagine praying to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. I’m most comfortable with “Lord,” sometimes “Lord Jesus.” FOCUS Liz always leads our Bible study prayers to “sweet Lord Jesus.” “Father” seems unnatural because I call my earthly father “Dad.” “Yahweh” would be awkward because I don’t speak Hebrew. I’m so glad Liz didn’t ask us to read the table of nations (Genesis 10) aloud.

I think I’m still good with (the) Lord. If it takes a servant mentality for me to become an instrument of His peace, I am all for it.

Link Drop

I am going to catch up with this blog, darnit! I have three drafts of posts already, but working full-time means I’m exhausted by 10:30pm, which is shortly before I fall into bed. As such, I haven’t gotten to finishing those posts or writing the standard “here’s what I’ve been doing lately” post. To bide the time, here’s some links.

I found The Dawn Patrol back when Planned Parenthood Golden Gate tried to hide that horrible video where they drowned a cartoon abstinence speaker. Later, Dawn Eden was received into the Catholic Church and published a book on chastity, The Thrill of the Chaste. Crosswalk (formerly Christian Singles Today) has <”>an excerpt. It looks like a good book, though I think If You Really Loved Me is still my favorite.

I also wandered around Fish Eaters a bit today. I’m always wary of the radical traditionalist overtones of that site, but it has a lot of good information regardless. Particularly interesting are their temperament test (I’m melancholic; no surprise there) and “The Story of the Two Monks.” The monk story reminds me of a similar story I heard in a homily once. The priest who told it used too many jokes and anecdotes for me, but this one stuck with me.

An older monk and a younger monk are walking down the street. A beautiful woman walks by on the opposite side. The younger monk immediately shields his eyes and looks at the ground as she passes, but the older one gazes intently at her and smiles. Once the woman is out of sight, the younger monk says, “Brother, when I saw that woman, I immediately looked away to avoid the lust in my heart. Why did you stare at her?” The older monk replies, “I was not looking at her with lust, but in awe at the infinite ability of God to create such a beautiful creature.”

Gotta love those religious.

God’s Grammar

My friend Lyzii wrote reflections on the lectionary readings for Mary, Mother of God, and my response to her post wound up much longer than the average LJ comment. She, too, found the language of Aaron’s blessing a little odd, and wondered why Christmas is an octave.

I’ve had similar thoughts about biblical language and modern English grammar. The blessing from Numbers does sound a little awkward. When the celebrant says, “the Lord be with you,” at Mass, it has the same odd ring to it. I once read a good explanation of why there is no “may,” but of course I have no idea where.

There are other instances of odd biblical grammar that make more sense, though. When God says in Genesis, “Let us make man in our image,” it reveals the eternal nature of the Holy Trinity. When Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (end of John 8) it reminds us of His eternal existence as well.

The third thing I’m reminded of is the language of prayer. Jesus taught us to pray, “give us this day our daily bread.” There’s no “please.” It seems just a tad rude and presumptuous at first, but as Jimmy Akin mentioned once in his blog, in the original languages, you don’t say please. You just state or ask. It’s like writing a sophisticated persuasive statement: you don’t say “I think X,” you just say, “X is;” we know it’s what you think.

I’ve also heard we have octaves for the greatest feasts of the Church because one week won’t do; you need a whole extra day. The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God was traditionally the Solemnity of the Circumcision, and remains so in the Eastern Rite. Jewish circumcisions are supposed to happen eight days after birth. Easter’s an octave, too, though, so maybe octaves exist for both reasons.

Family Time

Maura sent me a link to the homily “Holy Familiarity.” She found it when she was searching for an online version of “The Glorification of the Virgin,” a painting Fr. Ferguson mentions in his homily. I love the images of the child Jesus he describes, though. It’s fun and weird at once to think about the child Jesus.

One of my favorite moments from The Passion of the Christ happens when Jesus is carrying the cross through the streets of Jerusalem. He falls for the first time, and Mary sees him from an alley. We then get a flashback to see the child Jesus falling, and Mary rushing over to comfort him. Back in the present, Mary again rushes up to comfort her son. (It’s been over a year and I still remember the movie this vividly.) She behaves like any mother would toward her son, wanting to comfort him and to love him.

I can never quite grasp daily life for the Holy Family, though. Continue Reading

Year in Review: 2006

I would go through and review month by month, but I plan to summarize the semester already, and that would take time I’d rather spend in other ways, so a meme it is.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Did anyone close to you die?

What was your favorite book in 2006?
Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. All Christians should read that book. Anyone interested in Christianity should read that book. Measure for Measure, by Shakespeare of course, was also great.

What was your favorite movie in 2006?
Cars. Disney/Pixar will always hold a special place in my heart.

What was your favorite song in 2006?
Ooh. I have too many favorite songs to limit myself! I’ll say “So Long Self,” by MercyMe (which I just got on CD) and “Faust, Midas, and Myself,” from Switchfoot’s new CD Oh! Gravity., which I love dearly after less than two weeks.

What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory?
Let’s not talk about my memory. Saturday during Fall Retreat was pretty awesome. What day was that? (checks assignment book) November 11.
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