Monthly Archives: January, 2008

Catholic Carnival 155

I am not letting things get away from me anymore. I am starting this last semester as an undergraduate on the right foot. I started my Latino literature reading this morning, and that won’t even be due until at least Thursday. I’ve made it up through the First Book of Kings on my Bible reading schedule (calling it the “Bible-in-a-year plan” is silly since I started last year). I even read all of Girls Gone Mild well before the meeting next month.

So now I’m continuing to catch up on Catholic Carnivals, especially since I’ve been submitting lately. Catholic Carnival 155 was hosted at Deo Omnis Gloria, a blog I very much enjoy when I pass through.

Mommy Monsters ringleader Heather writes about the importance of telling children their personal stories. I’m not adopted, but as a pro-lifer, I am a big fan of it. I can only imagine the sensitivity it takes to help an adopted child truly feel loved.

Fr. V of Adam’s Ale points out that not everyone in church is exactly enthusiastic about being there; some people would like a place to hide. As a revert myself, I can appreciate that. I tend to sit in front: not because I think I’m holier than anyone else (ha!), but because I like to see and hear as well as possible. I also prefer leaving the seats in the back to latecomers (so, about half of the attendees) and newcomers, in the hope that they’ll be packing the front right alongside me someday.

Sieglinde at Eastward, Catholic Soldiers gives us a fabulous post about the meaning of grace. I struggled with that same question myself a year ago last fall, and wound up with meditations that came straight from the Spirit. If you’ve ever wondered about what “grace” actually means (ever!), read her post.

Laura H. of … And If Not… offers a reflection on little white caskets and the value of life. The Holy Innocents hold a special place in my heart.

Finally, the always enjoyable Red Neck Woman of Postscripts from the Catholic Spitfire Grill offers an intro to the Liturgy of the Hours. I am approaching my one-year anniversary of using my one-volume Christian Prayer, so I can appreciate her post. If you’ve ever thought about praying this second-highest liturgy of the Church, take a look. Once you get started, you’ll find that the Spirit makes it hard to stop.

The Hideous Style of Lectoring

I’m the lector coordinator at the CSC, so when this week’s CatholiCity Message started bemoaning bad lectors, my interest was piqued. An excerpt:

In a perfect world, lectors would practice the reading out loud several times before Mass or even the night before. Practice leads to confidence, lack of error, increased understanding of context and that elusive “smooth” quality virtually all good speakers exhibit. In fact, the best readers have practiced the passage so well that they can raise their gaze from the text and make eye-contact with the congregation at appropriate moments. The goal is to ensnare the listener with the meaning of the particular passage, and paradoxically, when it is done well, the listener barely notices the reader.

I’ve been coordinating for two years now. My one requirement is that lectors meet with me at least once, in person, for training. I am willing to forgive their general inability to use a calendar after I send out the entire semester’s scheduled, but talent is not a prerequisite. I try to stress, though, that lectoring (not “lecturing”) takes practice. It is not like reading anything else aloud. Some people never encounter the Bible outside of Mass—ever. As lectors, we bring the Word of God to his people. That is a priceless privilege. So, dear CatholiCity editors, I am actually doing my part to eliminate the Horrible Style in my parish.

March for Life 2008

It has been thirty-five years since Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, were handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Every year since then, a committed group holds a peaceful protest march along Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., in memory of that tragic day.

Last year’s March for Life was the first time I’d taken a public stand against abortion. This year was my second. Let us hope that I never have the opportunity to go out a third time because these horrible laws are repealed.
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Catholic Carnival 153

This is the one I accidentally skipped. Sarah’s back to hosting after having her baby. I love it when she hosts; she’s so good at it. Finding a theme among all the self-submitted posts must be a bit like Bible study. You know there’s a greater significance, but sometimes it takes a while to find.

This one’s gem is by Melissa at A Third Way. When she was relegated to the toddler room for Christmas Eve Mass, she took it as the perfect opportunity for some Christmas humility. I have to fight feelings like that in my own heart on Ash Wednesday and the Triduum here on campus. “Where are you every other Wednesday? We have free food–what more could you ask for?” I think. That is usually followed by, “Lord, make me humble like you.”

FOCUS Conference

I always intended to write about Christmas Day, a year-end post, a new year post, or any of those. As usual, I didn’t get around to it. However, I had the best start to 2008 that I could have imagined: the FOCUS 2008 National Student Leadership Conference.

I’ve been delighted with the FOCUS missionaries on campus this past year and a half. Liz was wonderful. She led us a through a Bible study on salvation history that was being composed as we studied it. Lynelle is also lovely. She brings a really great relational element to our study of Christlike leadership for women. I was full of praise for Msgr. Swetland when he came to do a FOCUS large group event for us last spring. In short, I love FOCUS. When I first heard about Conference, I was put off by the distance, the time frame (I need the money from winter break work), and the cost. Once I knew we’d be taking buses and I had secured financial support from my parents and a FOCUS scholarship, I was all set for one of the best experiences of my life.

I was not disappointed.
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Prepping for Tomorrow

I intended to polish and publish my post about FOCUS Conference today. After a long day, I can tell that that isn’t going to happen. I have an interview tomorrow for the Integrated Master’s Certification Program here at Maryland. My primary goal is still to join ACE; it seems like the perfect chance to try out Catholic schools and go to grad school for free. I don’t know where I’m going to find the money for grad school if I don’t get into ACE, but Maryland is an option. I might have to leave this one up to God.

I have also realized that I need a good, everyday pair of black shoes. None of mine really go with everything.

Life would be so much easier if you didn’t need money to get stuff.

Reason #392 for Good Copyediting

Reuters Typo

Tell us, editor Mr. Todd Eastham, how exactly does one “scarify” someone? Why would the ancient Maya make their boys so scary instead of the girls?

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