Monthly Archives: April, 2011

Friday Five: Mawwage

The F5 has marriage questions today! And on the day of the royal wedding, because who doesn’t love timeliness? I will admit that after a very long day of diocesan training, I watched the first half of the royal wedding ceremony on YouTube. I LOVE KATE’S DRESS! Score a billion for modesty! Shoulders covered for church! Sleeves that look good! I don’t care if it didn’t look like a fairy-tale princess. Can you even really sit down in a princess dress? She looked beautiful, comfortable, and super classy. Good all around.

I am also so excited that the sermon (I think it’s still called that for Anglicans) started with the very St. Catherine of Siena quote I have as my email signature! I admire that they went for outright religiosity instead of trying to modernize/secularize things to death, but I guess that’s expected when your country is known for creating Protestantism as a state religion. Then again, I’m vaguely horrified that a British royal who marries a Catholic is automatically barred from the throne. Bad blood runs deep. Here’s some laughter to explain the title of this week’s F5 and lighten the mood again.

Now to the questions! (I think will subtitle this The Post of Many Exclamation Points.)

  1. What are your overall views on marriage? I believe marriage is an outward sign of the inward love between one man and one woman until the death of either spouse, and that it must be free, total, faithful, and fruitful. There’s more to that, of course, but that covers the basics.
  2. Are you married or is marriage something you want? I am not married. I do not know if I want to be married.
  3. Do you like the symbolism of wedding rings? Why or why not? I love it! The circle is an unbroken and neverending line, as marriage ought to be (except for death). The fourth finger of the left hand was thought to connect directly to the heart. It’s an instantly recognizable symbol of the promise someone has made whether the spouse is present or absent. What’s not to like?
  4. What do you think is the best age, ideally, to get married? (In general.) I think the best spouses are young enough to have children and enjoy their life as parents. If you’re too old, the risks associated with childbearing increase exponentially and you’re less open to adjusting your life to your spouse and children. I think the time the spouses have known each other and been in a marriage-directed relationship is far more important than the age of the spouses, though, and readiness for marriage trumps everything else. You can be 35 and not ready for marriage, especially in the United States today.
  5. Which is worse: shotgun wedding at 17, or meeting your partner when you’re in your sixties? Shotgun weddings are always a bad idea. Biological parents do not always make good spouses, and I say that with the full backing of the Church. It can work, but being forced into marriage does not set a good precedent. Conversely, if you’re not already married when you meet that spouse at 60, what’s the problem? It’s unlikely that you’ll have biological children, but you could licitly. Nothing is impossible for God.

I understand that Kate is only really Princess William of Wales because she wasn’t born a princess, but that didn’t stop anybody with Diana. Now a new generation has its princess. I wish William and Kate much happiness.

The Friday Five


It’s no secret that I am completely unathletic. This has undoubtedly exacerbated the “no exercise, all eating” life plan that has led to the unacceptable weight gain I mentioned yesterday. My bad knee makes running for fun difficult as well as unappealing, but I could stand to do more than nothing. It’s like I was never cut out to be athletic. Sometimes I even lose my balance on flat ground!

photo by slagheap

Since I was teaching high school, I tried to attend an occasional athletic event just to show support for my students. I resent all sports a little because I can’t play any, though I wish I could. It’s different to be able to and choose not to or to get too old to play with younger people, but I never really could play sports. I made it through high school P.E. and pretty much quit sports forever. I discovered that I enjoy watching small basketball games because I can easily identify all the players and, for the most part, the game keeps moving. Football just stops so much.

I know I can’t be good at everything, but would a little sports-related coordination be so much to ask for?

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Mmm, Bacon

I had to go to the doctor today (nothing to worry about). I definitely did not go in to have myself weighed, but it wasn’t until I was on the nifty electronic scale that I realized how much weight I’ve gained since leaving college. Curiously, living on an ACE stipend did wonders for my health. Having so many housemates around to bring variety into my diet was incredibly useful. Now that I’m living on my own, eating a lot of fast food because I work late so many nights, and spending basically the entire day sitting at my desk, I’m turning into a lump. It’s not necessarily that I’m gorging on bacon (though I do make Pasta Lindsay a lot, and that involves sausage), but I definitely don’t eat as well as I used to. It’s so paradoxical. As I settle into my life in Austin (I finally hung all my pictures today!), I really need to work exercise into my life. If I can make it happen, it’ll be the first time I have a regular exercise routine ever, but I don’t need to become Texas-sized to fit in to Texas, right?

photo of chicken-fried bacon by Cara Fealy Choate

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Friday Five: Musical Curiosities

Lookie! The one Friday I forgo the F5 for a (morose) holiday, I got picked again! Second time ever!

  1. Which song or musical artist always reminds you of a specific person you know? Well, my ex and I had our songs, so those remain triggers to this day. They’re still some of my favorites songs ever: “Iris,” by the Goo Goo Dolls, and “Only Hope,” covered by Mandy Moore.
  2. Which song or artist is your guilty pleasure? Okay, I’ll admit it: I don’t think the Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber are that awful. There! I said it! Judge me if you must.
  3. There was once a time when every TV show had a theme song. Which is your favorite? I have a soft spot for “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle” because it tells a story (you know how I love stories) and you can recite most of Emily Dickinson’s poetry to that tune. (Go on; you know you want to try it now.) I also know all the words to such themes as Saved By the Bell and Animaniacs. If I only I could profit from such a talent.
  4. Which song can you absolutely not stand? It’s a tie between anything by Macy Gray because I cannot stand her “singing” voice and “Get Low” because it reminds me of times in my life that I would rather not remember.
  5. What is your personal theme song? I discovered it via one of the other blogs by a girl named Lindsay I follow. (I know two!) It’s by a band called My First Earthquake, it’s called “Vow to Vowels,” and there’s a sweet video for it!

The Friday Five

Holy Saturday

I would much rather post the Friday Five today. I would rather have posted it yesterday! But in keeping with the spirit of this holy season of the Triduum, I offer instead my reflections on Holy Saturday.

Although many Protestant churches have begun to observe Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Holy Thursday (which they tend to call “Maundy Thursday” in reference to Christ’s mandatum , the command of service given to the apostles at the Last Supper), they haven’t picked up Holy Saturday. I can’t say I blame them. Most Catholics I know who attend the Triduum liturgies faithfully still just do nothing for Holy Saturday. Most parishes are busy decorating the church and doing some brief meetings with the people who will come into the Church in the evening, so it’s rare that Morning Prayer is even offered as suggested by the GIRM.

When I started to renew my religious life, Holy Saturday was an early addition to my Triduum observances. In college, I could keep the Good Friday fast through Saturday, eating a full meal only after the Easter Vigil. I can’t do that anymore; I’m getting too old! I do, however, still make time for the Liturgy of the Hours on Holy Saturday. It’s one of my favorite prayer times of the entire year.

a stone angel with a garland of flowers in front of a cross

Since I missed Morning Prayer today when my cable guy came early (a welcome shift in my plans for the day), I combined the Invitatory, Midday Prayer, and the Office of Readings. I’m not sure I did it right, but my heart was in the right place even if my prayer structure wasn’t. The important part was that I did the Office of Readings, with its second reading, titled simply “From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday.” Of all the things the Church has known, discovered, and proclaimed, the author of this incredible reflection remains a mystery. I invite you to read this passage, preferably aloud, and to ponder what it means for this holy day, the day between Christ’s terrible death and his glorious resurrection.

Something strange is happening. There is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the Cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ Christ answered him: ‘And with your spirit.’ He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in Hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I in you; together we form one person and cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise. Let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

It makes me cry every time. Be patient, my friends; he will rise very soon.

Friday Five: Randos

I want to be miffed that, immediately after I took my laptop to work to post that last entry (during my early evening downtime), my Internet at home perked right up. It’s like how my students used to start working extra hard when the end of the grading period approached. The technology knows.

I will compensate by doing last week’s Friday Five. It’s not my set yet, but it’s at least a creative sort of random.

April 15: [What is t]he name of…

  1. The 30th song in your playlist? I haven’t listened to music on my computer in a while. There are only two songs. The second is “Something Glorious,” by Revive, which I think I downloaded for free from K-LOVE and I know I’ve never actually listened to. Let’s rectify that while I finish this post! The 30th song in my iPhone playlist, which automatically randomizes itself, is “Where’s Your Faith,” by a group called Stickleback. I never listen to that song and meant to remind myself to delete it from my phone (and probably my computer; it’s that lame).
  2. A city that starts with C in your state/province/etc.? Texas is too big to make this difficult. I’ll go with Corpus Christi.
  3. Your boss’ (or favorite teacher’s) name? What is the name of my boss’s name? Seriously? I just call him “Father,” haha.
  4. The second book on your bookshelf? The top shelf is all my Christian books, so technically my spiritual journal is second. One-Minute Prayers for Women is after that.
  5. Your 7th LJ friend? That’d be donanobispacem3, also known as my friend Jim. He gave up on that journal ages ago, though.

The Friday Five


If it wasn’t already clear, I am not sticking strictly to the concept or order of the suggested topics at Post a Day. The topic I’m using now came up a few days ago, but it is particularly appropriate for the moment.

My Internet at home is on the fritz, and I am such a mess without it. Thanks to my iPhone, I do not find myself completely cut off from the (online) world when I’m at home. It feels suspiciously like having a broken ankle, though. You can still get around with the right help and plenty of determination, but life would be so much easier if you just had it back to normal.

Okay, I have never actually broken anything, so I don’t know for certain, but I’d imagine the experiences are similar.

My connectivity problem has been around for the last few weeks: according to the Time Warner Cable customer service guy, since April 7, when something happened on my line. Why that something didn’t prompt them to warn me (or, wonder of wonders, fix it!), I may never know. I only got fed up with power cycling my modem and wireless router on Friday, which is when I realized I could barely get enough signal to blog. In a cruel twist of fate, the Friday Five was actually posted and pushed through to RSS on time that day.

What this experience has taught me the most about is my dependence on the Internet since I’ve been living alone. It’s not just technology in general; I specifically need access to the cloud. When I made the appointment to have my Internet connected here in Texas, the rep offered me an installation deal for doing cable TV at the same time, but I couldn’t–I didn’t own a TV!

I still have my iPhone, my otherwise functioning computer, cable TV, and finally-unboxed books, but without the Internet…I can’t do anything!

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