Tag Archives: saints

Remainders on Faith

I will start off 2008 by recapping all the faith-oriented articles I meant to write about over the past few weeks. In the spirit of blogging superstar Jason Kottke, these are my remaindered links.

I read a heartbreaking and disturbing AP article about the upsurge in paid surrogacy in India. This completely perverts the concept of parenthood and birth. Children don’t deserve to be outsourced, and these women definitely shouldn’t be renting their bodies. The ability to bear children is precious. The fertility and abortion industries are already examples of the way this has played out in our world. Don’t add surrogacy to the dismal picture.

Busted Halo is always a good place for me to read about faith and Catholic issues from a wider perspective than, say, the National Catholic Register (which I also love). A few weeks ago, they featured an article by a Mormon woman decrying stereotypes about Mormons and offering her opinions on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. I can relate to so much of what she writes because I feel the same way about the state of Catholicism in America. “Changing the popular perception of a cultural or religious group is a social study of enormous proportions,” she says. Maura’s always insisting that the Catholic Church needs a good marketing campaign. I think Archbishop Wuerl’s “The Light Is On for You” program (which he repeated during Advent and will be continuing this Lent) and For Your Marriage are excellent steps in that direction.

I’ve also been catching up on ZENIT news since I was at FOCUS Conference and doing my last-minute GRE studying. To my great delight, the Holy Father has restarted his Wednesday audience reflections on the saints with St. Augustine. I love St. Augustine! I was even born on August 30, a mere two days after his feast day.

I was also greatly encouraged by the news that, since the Tridentine Rite motu proprio, some anti-Novus Ordo schismatic groups are petitioning for reconciliation with Rome. Jesus prayed that the Church would be one; this is a tremendous step in the right direction. B16 is a very different pope than JPII was, but he’s still doing amazing things for the Church.

Making Up for the Past

My Catholic past is rather checkered. I was baptized Catholic as a baby in the church where my parents were married. My dad’s family is not Christian; my mom’s has been Catholic for generations. I went to a (non-Catholic) Bible preschool, then on to public elementary school. I attended Sunday School until my mom got tired of dragging me out of bed to catch the bus every week. I went to all the CCD classes I needed before my First Communion without ever setting foot in the church until First Penance and the rehearsal.

When we moved to Germany and it was time for my sister’s First Communion, my mom discovered that I had to attend 7th grade CCD before I could join the 8th grade Confirmation class. Luckily, I was in the 7th grade at the time. We started to attend Mass again (always the Saturday Vigil, because we’ve never been morning people). On my Confirmation retreat, I went to confession for the second time–ever–and fell in love with God again.

When we moved back to the U.S., we stopped attending Mass. I missed going to church, but not enough to do much about it. In the year before Ryan’s First Communion, I started college. I did a lot of stupid things during that time, including wholly unworthily receiving the Eucharist at the Mass where Ryan (whose name means “little king”) played a king during the Gospel pageant. That same year, my dad joined RCIA.

Being in church again reminded me of the peace I’d felt there before. Jesus started calling me out of my relationship with my boyfriend and back to him. It took months, but on Ash Wednesday during my freshman year of college, I recommitted myself to chastity, received an absolution that was four years overdue, and returned to Holy Mother Church.

When I hear about people who’ve been to Mass every Sunday of their lives except the one where they had chicken pox, dads who left seminary to marry moms, and families who celebrate name days with special dinners, my heart aches. I wish so much that I could have had that kind of spiritual upbringing. I don’t blame my parents, per se. It really was an ordeal to wake me up on Sunday mornings before I started sacrificing that for the Lord. So now, I have to make up for lost time. I have to learn prayers for the first time that my peers have known since grade school. I have to wonder whether my family even bothers going to church when I’m not home to make them feel obligated (which, of course, they are).

There are signs, though, that my catch-up efforts aren’t in vain. I don’t know much about the saints at all, for example. I love St. Cecilia, my Confirmation saint and the first whose story I really got to know. St. Frances of Rome, my first annual patron saint, is buried in the Church of St. Cecilia in Rome. My middle name is Nicole; I used to live in Germany, where St. Nicholas is widely venerated. My birthday is August 30, the old-calendar feast day of St. Rose of Lima, my second annual patron saint. And finally, next year’s annual patron, St. Wolfgang, is another beloved German saint who was a noted teacher. Even after all this time, God’s sense of humor still amazes me.

Cellular Saints

I came across a Reuters article about a service that sends images of saints to cell phones. An Italian bishop thinks it’s crass and irreverent. I think it’s pretty cool. Instead of ordering pornography via cell phone, you can get a holy reminder. I have Our Lady of the Streets on my phone, and the stained glass window of the Holy Spirit from St. Peter’s Basilica is my wallpaper. If holy cards are fine, why not holy text messages?

© 2002–2020. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.