Category Archives: Catholic Carnival

Catholic Carnival 212

Despite the distressing announcement that Jay is putting the Catholic Carnival on hold until he can find new hosts, I’m still determined to catch up on all the carnivals I missed. (I wish I could volunteer even for one week, but my life is filled to overflowing already.)

RAnn’s post “Bless Me Father, for I Have Sinned” from Carnival 212 stuck out to me. I went to confession on Saturday to prepare for Easter this weekend (yay!), and I spent some time reflecting afterward in my church’s columbarium. It was an unusual visit to the confessional, even for me. I hadn’t been in a while (though “a while” for most Catholics is a lot longer than it is for me), and I stayed behind the screen for the first time in years. I even took a list. I wanted to symbolically burn it when I got home, but after Earth Hour, we couldn’t find any matches. I settled for ripping it to shreds. The main point I drew from the original post was that, from our perspectives, confession is different every time. Thankfully, from the perspective of heaven, the grace conferred is always the same.

Catholic Carnival 211

I’ve given up (again, I think) on ever being up-to-date with the Catholic Carnival. Kate Wicker’s post, “Dating My Husband,” from Carnival 211, was a delight to read. I remember when my parents started (resumed?) dating. They waited until I was old enough to babysit my siblings, and then they would go out on weekends to movies, comedy shows, and things like that.

My mom always claimed she spaced us to enable cheap (basically free) babysitting. She also claims I taught myself to read. I choose to believe the latter.

It was oddly endearing, considering my age (twelve or so), to see my parents enjoying each other’s company. It reassured me that they would always be there for me, together. These days, I’m not so sure—but that’s a story for another day. I fully appreciate what Kate and her husband are doing. It supports marriage in a world that so desperately needs to be reminded of the face of true love and commitment.

Catholic Carnival Catch-up

From Carnival 206 at 50 Days After (which has a beautifully simple carnival theme) comes “6 Reasons for Giving More in 2009” at Christian Personal Finance. I have a contentious relationship with tithing and donating to charity. I work for charity right now, by and large. I was just discussing with my housemates a few weeks ago that, even though we don’t earn much, our community life isn’t wanting for much, either. I joined a particularly wealthy parish one neighborhood over. Though I think publishing the collection amount is tacky, it’s sobering to see around $20,000 come in every weekend. It’s made me reconsider how I give and what I give to. I don’t have much, but I am reminded so often that I must share what I have.

From the same carnival is “9th Day of Christmas: The church is our home… wherever we are” at Catholic New Media Roundup. Sean’s reflection on the catholicity of the Church is very familiar to me, though I’d never thought of the Church as a social network. The blogosphere has definitely united Catholics and aided in the new evangelization like nothing else ever could. I’m glad to be a part of it, even in a very small way.

Carnival 207 at Homeschool Goodies has a great Mardi Gras theme. I visited my grandfather and his wife over Thanksgiving and slept in a room decorated completely with Mardi Gras memorabilia. I loved the purple.

From that carnival comes Sarah’s musing on her blog’s URL and title. In the end, she realizes that naming it “just another day of Catholic pondering” is appropriate because she is Catholic all the time, so not only is her pondering Catholic, but her eating is Catholic, and her writing is Catholic, and everything is Catholic. It’s a good reminder that I need to readopt that spirit in my own life.

Lionel mentions taking on the goal of reading the Bible and Catechism this year. I took on the Bible-reading half of that same challenge…oh, it must be three years ago now. I only made it about halfway through in two years. The rest of my life kept getting in the way. That’s a terrible excuse, I know, but I will eventually finish the whole book. It made me feel so much more knowledgeable about everything related to the faith. I was up to 1 or 2 Chronicles in the OT, and it was fascinating to see how salvation history fell into place so carefully for so many thousands of years.

MaryH at Broken Alabaster (lovely title) offers 10 Tips for Attending Mass Well. I have worn flip-flops when the occasion called for it, but otherwise I think she has some excellent ideas. I always go to church by myself, and while I do miss my community, being alone gives me the time to prepare and pray in thanksgiving that I need. Back home, it felt more normal because all of my friends got to Mass early and stayed late, too. I would feel bad holding up anyone else or pressuring them to pray; I even skip thanksgiving when I go to Mass with my family. It’s important to me, though, to set aside that time before and after Mass to focus on what happens there, separated from the intensity of the world outside.

Finally, from Carnival 209 comes “I shall call you by a new name” at In the Whole Wide Room. When I was younger, already sick of the curse of the W, I was determined to marry a man whose last name started with A-D. Now, I know the name isn’t the most important part. I definitely plan to take my future husband’s name, though. Hyphenates are so long, and they often get shortened for record-keeping anyway. I feel like taking his name will be part of giving him the headship of my household.

More Catholic Carnival highlights are forthcoming.

Catholic Carnival 205: Christmas Rosary

Sarah hosted this week’s Catholic Carnival. She always adds a clever spin to the list of posts; I wish I had her creativity! She’s a full-time mom and blogger and she still stays herself. If only I could have that kind of balance in my life.

The rosary theme this week groups the submissions underneath the glorious mysteries, with first-person reflections from Mary’s point of view by James M. Hahn. I always associated the joyful mysteries with Christmas; back when I used to pray the rosary daily, I prayed them for the entire octave. The Marian focus is clear this time of year, though. I much preferred them to the “updated” nativity story I read on Boundless last night.

James’s own submission is a great read. I was thinking at Mass recently that, if I ever do have children, Mass will never be the same for me. I’ll either be busy taking care of them and worshipping at the same time, or I’ll be thinking about where they are at those moments, united with me through the Eucharist across time. Like James, though, the Catholic habits I’ve built will undoubtedly remain.

Owen of Luminous Miseries relates his daughter’s experience of “feeling empty” after going to a Protestant service before Mass one Sunday. I’ve never been to a Protestant service, but I would go if I had a buddy. Based on hearsay (which I know is a tenuous foundation), I think I would miss Mass to much to switch permanently.

Adoro te Devote (love that hymn!) offers a whole slew of conversion/reversion posts. My spiritual journey is similarly long and complicated, so I can relate. If you love any kind of -version story like I do, give hers a read.

Related to, though not in the Carnival is Larry’s post at Acts of the Apostasy on CatholicGoogle. I use Pro-Life Internet in place of Google for my Firefox search bar, so I’m not in the market (so to speak) for a new search engine, but the concept is interesting. It’s distressing to see that some are still surprised that faithful Catholics do exist, though. I would assume that someone using CatholicGoogle would want to find Church documents, no?

Finally, related to Larry’s post is this AP article on iBreviary. Just when I thought high-tech Catholicism was limited to the Holy Spirit I have as my cell phone background, the LOTH bursts onto the iPhone app scene. Now that’s what I call claiming the modern world for Christ.

Catholic Carnival 204: Christmas!

I love that Christmas break means I got to catch up on my life. Not just Advent, not just Google Reader, but even the Catholic Carnival. This week is number 204, up at A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars. Of note is “Only by God’s Grace,” a lovely pro-life story in eight parts, and the “true meaning of Christmas” poem found at the carnival’s home for the week.

Catholic Carnival 173

I’m playing catch-up again, as usual. Carnival 173, hosted by the fabulous Sarah R., is also helping me stay busy while I wait for my laundry to finish, but no time spent reading is time ill spent.

Heidi offers us “In the Company of God…and Mary…and Mom,” the replay of her defensive conversation with her mother about Catholic versus non-Catholic Christianity. Thankfully, I’ve never had that conversation with my mom, but I can sense that it’s coming. My whole family has been Catholic since my dad converted three years ago, the same year my brother received First Communion and I came back to the Church. I’m still the most involved. ACE is my first big step into the land of pervasive everyday Catholicism, though. It’s helping my parents realize that my reversion isn’t just a fad. I don’t want to make them feel bad, and I don’t think I’m better than everyone–there are plenty of faithful non-Catholic Christians out there who make me look like a Satanist! I just know that God has challenged me to really live up to his call, so I’m doing it.

Matt’s story of a rather noisy period of adoration at Absolutely No Spin makes me appreciate silence. Before Sunday Mass and during the Communion hymn, I always have some trouble focusing, but God helps me find the quiet space in my heart that I need to communicate with him. I relate most closely to Matt’s humble frustration when I go to Mass with my family. I pray for a few minutes in thanksgiving after Mass. They don’t. Sometimes I find them standing in the aisle, waiting for me to finish, which makes me feel rushed. I don’t fault them; I only started making thanksgiving relatively recently. I just wish things could be different between us.

Denise, the Catholic Matriarch, comments on holy matrimony versus civil marriage. Now that California is messing around with the definition of marriage again, some Catholic theological scholars are proposing that the Church should stop enacting civil marriages at the same time it does sacramental ones. The state (of California, at least) and the Church consider marriage to be two very different things. In a fascinating turn, Denise notes that in states that affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman, sex is seen as both unitive and procreative, as in the Church. Without the intrinsic procreative dimension, marriage can be defined far more loosely.

Alessandro of Miserere writes about “The Right (and Duty) to Kneel.” I agree that the Eucharist doesn’t receive the reverence and love owed by the faithful. I disagree that kneeling is the only way to show this. I think communion/altar rails are great, and though I’ve never been to a Tridentine Mass, I’d like to attend one someday. I’m somewhat biased, since kneeling and genuflecting are so difficult for me with my weak knee, but I think a deep bow can be just as satisfactory. It works even better for me, on some level, because I don’t bow to anyone or anything else, and I’m not grimacing in pain while being united with the Real Presence. I’d rather push for greater reception of the Eucharist on the tongue than for reception while kneeling. After the train wreck that is the “Spirit of Vatican II,” we might be best taking things very, very slowly.

Finally, Alessandro also collates opinions on “good enough” marriages. As I wrote about yesterday, the new feminism has a new view on marriage and children. There’s some wisdom in marrying Mr. Good Enough as opposed to waiting too long for Mr. Perfect. Another FOCUS Conference talk I listened to, Libby McCartney’s “Can a Catholic Woman Have It All?” suggested similar ideas. Women can certainly have marriage, a family, and a career, but not necessarily all at the same time. Sometimes God asks us to have faith that the ones he sends us are the best, whether we recognize that or not.

Catholic Carnival 165

Catholic Carnival 165 is has been up at A Catholic Canadian. Sean, the “Duct Tape Guy,” has outfitted the Carnival as both a blog post and a podcast this week. I’ve never been a huge fan of podcasts. I can only listen to Sunday Sunday Sunday because it averages about eight minutes. Podcasts are meant for people with iPods, so since I’ve never had an iPod, I think I prefer to stick with the Carnival blog post.

Kate Wicker posts about breastfeeding in public. This has been an issue for a long time, but I especially enjoyed her discussion. I’ve come around about a lot of Catholic-related issues over time, but I have to admit that breastfeeding still makes me uncomfortable. I could never quite figure out why, though. At our last Bible study before Spring Break, Lynelle’s maid of honor, Martha, visited with her six-day-old daughter, Gianna. She had covered baby Gianna before I arrived in the lobby, so I couldn’t tell what she was doing at first. Once I realized she was nursing, I started to feel uncomfortable. I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with a woman while she was nursing her baby, let alone one about faith and the Bible.

Kate was inspired by a Christopher West article in which he muses on why people from first-world countries are so appalled by public breastfeeding. His conclusion is that our culture is so “pornified” that we can’t see breasts as non-sexual anymore. We feel uncomfortable because we’re used to breasts signaling pornography. Either we think seeing that should be private (which is a lie), or we just dislike pornography (which we should). But even the Bible uses images of motherhood that include nursing (Luke 11:27). We’re so conditioned. Motherhood is beautiful. Breastfeeding has always been part of that. If we really want to support women and their natural ability to bear and raise children, we have to support breastfeeding. I need to work on that.

Teresa gives her Two Cents on taking her young son to the Great Easter Vigil. I went to the Vigil at the CSC. It was a blast; I’m going to miss that place terribly. I had invited a (non-Catholic) friend to join me this year, warning him that it would be a very long Mass, but he didn’t come. I commend Teresa for the effort it took to keep her son interested. I’m also ashamed that regular parishioners couldn’t even wait one additional minute for the priest to recess after Mass. We are Christians. Easter is kind of a big deal. If you’re not willing to put in some extra time, perhaps you should consider attending a different Mass…or ask God to change your heart.

Ebeth at A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars remarks that it’s vitally important for Catholic parents to study the Faith. It’s good for them, but it’s essential in bearing good witness to children and being able to answer their questions. Her point about the easy accessibility of Church teaching is important. When I wanted to read Spe Salvi for the MOE dinner, all I had to do was Google for a few minutes to find a handy English PDF. I can only imagine having to wait to buy a book—or even to get a translation!

Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii (there are so many Catholic mom blogs!) gives a good overview of sacramentals for use in the home. The only one I can’t go for is the scapular. I’m allergic to wool; I scratch until my skin is bright red. I could wear a scapular medal, but I’ve got five holy medals already. Piety can only go so far.

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