Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lenten Mini-Reflection

"We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" (Romans 6:2)

That is why Lent is about death. We have to DIE to our old selves, DIE to sin so that Christ can make us a new creation. Death is always painful. But resurrection is beyond the best we can imagine!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Priest Forever

Today, my mom and I went to the nearby hospital to visit a dear, elderly Franciscan who recently took a turn for the worse and now needs the constant presence of someone to help meet his basic needs. We sought to offer comfort in whatever small ways possible...food, water, and conversation being some chief ways. I sang and read from one of my sister's brilliant Scripture exegeses to help take his mind off the pain of his tired body. Despite his physical weakness, Father's famous wit was still strong, and spontaneous plays-on-words interspersed his dialogue in the charming way they always have.

It was difficult yet meaningful — and especially Lenten — to watch a dear one suffer and be able to do very little about it. I also couldn't think of a more grace-filled way to spend a Sunday afternoon than experiencing this spiritual work of mercy.

The thing that struck me most, however, was when this suffering priest of 80-something years imparted his farewell blessing to his visitors. Despite the fact that the littlest movement was torturous for him, he made every effort to raise the arm lying limp on the pillow in order to bless us not only with his words, but with his I.V.-laden hand. Such a picture of fidelity. Such a picture of a priest whose identity runs in every fiber of his being! Such a picture of Christ.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Announcing...Made4RealLove.org Photo Contest!

A goddaughter of mine is in the process of launching an exciting new website to promote chastity. This photo contest is not only a great opportunity for you to be a part of this project, but to possibly bring in a little extra cash as well! Please share the word with anyone who may be interested!

Note the deadline is March 30th. Act fast. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eye-Opening Entomology

...the complexities of “adult” and “adultery.” How can such similar words have such different meanings?

Remarkably, the answer is that the words don’t share a common ancestor. “Adult” comes from the Latin verb adolescere, “to grow up, mature.” Students of Latin will understand what we mean when we say that adultus is the pluperfect of adolescere. Adultery, on the other hand, derives from a French word, avoutre, which in turn evolved from a distinct Latin verb, adulterare, “to corrupt.” The verb adulterate, “to debase or make impure by adding inferior materials or elements,” stems from the same source.

The sense of “adult” that means pornographic emerged as a kind of reverse assumption that adult and adultery have more direct links than they do.

-from Dictionary.com

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Truth-Seekers vs. Open-Minded Cowards

Wow. Archbishop Sheen has such a way of nailing it on really relevant topics! I've often wondered why "openness of mind" seems such an oft-idolized, twisted concept. Here we have the distinction between a necessary open mind and a narcissistic one.

The open mind is commendable when it is like a road that leads to a city, but the open mind is condemnable when it is like an abyss.

Those who boast of their open-mindedness are invariably those who love to search for truth but not to find it; they love the chase but not the capture; they admire the footprints of truth, but not catching up with it. They go through life talking about “widening the horizons of truth” without ever seeing the sun. Truth brings with it grave responsibilities; that is why so many keep their hands open to welcome it but never close them to grasp it.

The real thinker who is willing to embrace a truth at all costs generally has a double price to pay—first, isolation from popular opinion. For example, anyone who arrives at the moral conclusion that divorce prepares the way for civilization’s breakdown must be prepared to be ostracized by the Herods and Salomes of this world.

Nonconformity with popular opinion can be expected to bring down opposition and ridicule upon the offender’s head.

Second, those who discover a truth must stand naked before the uplifted stroke of its duties or else take up the cross that it imposes. Those two effects of embracing truth make many people fearful. In their cowardice, they keep their minds “open” so they will never have to close on anything that would entail responsibility, duty, moral correction or altered behavior.

The “open mind” does not want truth for truth implies obligation, which predicates responsibility, and responsibility is the only thing the “open mind” is most eager to avoid. Avoiding responsibility only results in the abdication of one’s free will to another, whether it be to an ideology or to a director. The only real solution is for those with “open minds” to grasp truth, even though it does involve a change in behavior, for ultimately it is only truth that can make them free.
—Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Way to Inner Peace (New York: Alba House Publishers, 1994)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Upcoming Conference

I am delighted to announce that next month I travel to Dubuque, Iowa as a teen speaker for the Martha and Mary Women's Conference sponsored by "Springtime of Hope". Please pass along the word to anyone in the vicinity, visit their website for further details, and if you are from the area yourself I'd love to meet you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Life and Health

Your words to me are life and health
Pour strength into my soul
Enable, guide and teach my heart
To reach its perfect goal

Your words to me are light and truth
From day to day they show
Their wisdom, passing earthly lore
As in their truth I grow

Your words are perfected in one
Yourself, the Living Word
Within my heart Your image print
In clearest lines, O Lord

(Hymn from a Magnificat morning prayer this week)