Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hands and the Priesthood

Contemplation of the "Hands" reflection, simultaneous with joyful anticipation of this coming weekend's priestly ordination of a wonderful seminarian friend of ours, brought this to me...

A dish of water in my hands is...a dish of water.
A dish of water in the hands of a priest is a powerful weapon.
It depends on whose hands it's in.

A drop of oil in my hands is sufficient for cooking.
A drop of oil in the hands of a priest is a means of healing.
It depends on whose hands it's in.

A piece of bread in my hands is a small snack.
A piece of bread in the hands of a priest is the Body of my Lord.
It depends on whose hands it's in.

A cup of wine in my hands is enough for a toast.
A cup of wine in the hands of a priest is the Blood of my Savior.
It depends on whose hands it's in.

Father, bless our priests who bring Your Life to us!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

As We Look Toward Pentecost...

"The titles given to the Holy Spirit must surely stir the soul of anyone who hears them, and make him realise that they speak of nothing less than the supreme Being. Is He not called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, the steadfast Spirit, the guiding Spirit? But His principal and most personal title is the Holy Spirit... The Spirit is the source of holiness, a spiritual light, and He offers His own light to every mind to help it in its search for truth... The Spirit raises our hearts to heaven, guides the steps of the weak, and brings to perfection those who are making progress. He enlightens those who have been cleansed from every stain of sin and makes them spiritual by communion with Himself."

From Saint Basil's treatise On the Holy Spirit (Office of Readings)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"He Maketh All Things Beautiful in His Time"

There will (hopefully) be some expansions and alterations around here for the next several days (weeks?). I hope to -- without taking too much time... we'll see! -- try and make this blog more artistic and more unique. If you are experiencing any problems with the new template, kindly let me know!

How Beautiful... is the Body of Christ

Oh, my heart is so full. How often I realize that these times when my blog is most neglected are the times I truly have the most to write about! Such is the continual struggle for balance, it seems.

It is so very bittersweet to have The Play (as we always affectionately refer to it) now behind us. I cannot begin to express how blessed I have been through my years as a member of The Little Flowers Club. It has been such a real part of my formation into who I am, who I am becoming.

The uniqueness of the opportunities I've received through the club have become more of a realization to me over the years. When questioned by curious or doubtful souls about the "well-roundedness" of my homeschool education, Little Flowers Club was always one of the first examples I would mention as a wonderful social and spiritual outlet. And as I've met many young ladies through my movement who find themselves feeling very alone in their convictions, I realize anew the great blessing of growing up with so many dear girls as friends, the gift of such a supportive group of maidens sharing my own values.

Despite my own weakness and often, a sense of great inadequacy, each day our Lord expands my mind and heart to new horizons. A sense of wonderment at His goodness fills me. I feel as though I am reaching with the arms of my soul toward new depths of understanding and wisdom -- and at the same time of trust and simplicity.

It was, shall I say, "incidental" that on Saturday afternoon (Day 2 of The Play), Sarah, Veronica and I played and sang for a wedding: including the song How Beautiful. I cannot think of any words more perfect to express the wellspring within me in recent days.

...How beautiful when humble hearts give
the fruit of pure lives
so that others may live...

How beautiful the feet that bring
the sound of good news
and the love of the King...

How beautiful is the body of Christ.

(Complete lyrics here)

The past several years, one of the most special aspects of our plays for me has been not only the working together of girls and director, but of the group of young men (brothers and cousins of club members) who gallantly "take the background", if you will, as our stage, lighting, and sound crew. "The Papa Martin Crew" might not be the ones getting the applause and spotlight, but in many ways they are really the backbone of the operation. Sure, they're human. Sure, they slipped up a few times (like all of us!). But their selfless giving is beautiful to see. Our working together to put on these plays has struck me a very real example of how much good can be accomplished by masculine and feminine gifts working side by side for the glory of God.

And I am convinced more than ever of the world's need for not only truly masculine and truly feminine gifts, but of what I call "the 3 main types" within the Body of Christ: laborers, scientists, and artists. Just as masculinity and femininity complement and round each other out in God's plan, so do the other three. One group alone cannot fill the need of the world. Some are chiefly called to be laborers (think Martha of Bethany or St. Gerard Majella), to be students of the needs of each day. Some - Dad, for example! - are chiefly called to be scientists, to be students of the workings of the universe and the world around us. And some (such as St. Thomas Aquinas and Pope John Paul the Great) - are chiefly called to be artists, students of the workings of the human person and our need for beauty and truth.

No one is greater or lesser than the rest. The key is our unity, our Catholicism. Our understanding that we must work together. As I commented on my dear friend Malori's blog yesterday... Though each of us are given a unique calling within the Body of Christ, though each is placed in a slightly different "channel", we all must be working toward the same cause, the same goal: a Culture of Life, of Love, of Faith, of Truth. Our individual tasks as warriors in this battle may be on any number of important fronts, but they really all come together at the core. And above all, we must be strong and unified in prayer and trust, keeping our eyes focused with great hope on our universal goal.

I will leave you with another beautiful quote from the Letter to Artists...

"None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when—like the artists of every age—captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you."

Let us live this mystery!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Where Have I Been Lately?

Rehearsing, practicing, costuming, and program-making for The Little Flowers Catholic Dance and Theatre Troupe Play coming up this weekend! We've taken so many wonderful rehearsal snapshots, shared so much laughter, and made so many wonderful memories that I wish I could do a series of posts on them all; but since the hour is late, I will just share a few of my favorite practice photos from the past several weeks...

A group of girls dancing "Listen" outside!

An arial view (from our upstairs window!) of dance practice

A funny moment

My favorite capture of a "Listen" formation

Two male leads interact in their scene

Sarah dances as an angel at practice

Me with one of our littlest actors, in our yard following a beautiful blue-skied afternoon of rehearsing!

Practicing "Remember Me": the last dance of the play

So if I continue to be rather silent here the next several days, I have a good reason! We are practically living at the auditorium this week, with setup today and all-day dress rehearsals tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday. But it's all totally worth it.

If you haven't read it already, I encourage you to take the time to read John Paul the Great's wonderful Letter to Artists: the inspiration for this whole endeavor. He writes it "To all who are passionately dedicated to the search for new 'epiphanies' of beauty so that through their creative work as artists they may offer these as gifts to the world." How I love that!

Have a grace-filled day, and remember:

"Intense love does not measure, it just gives."
-Mother Teresa
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Saturday, May 05, 2007

"Be Satisfied with Me"

What timeless, wonderful wisdom from St. Anthonhy of Padua! So true, so important. So key to who we are...let this sink in today!

Be Satisfied with Me
by St. Anthony of Padua

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.

But to a Christian, God says, "No, not until you are satisfied,
Fulfilled and content with being loved by me alone,
With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me.
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone.

Discovering that only in me is your satisfaction to be found,
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship,
That I have planned for you.
You will never be united to another
Until you are united with me.
Exclusive of anyone or anything else.
Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow me to give you
The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you.

You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.
Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you.
Just wait, that's all. Don't be anxious, don't worry
Don't look around at things others have gotten
Or that I have given them
Don't look around at the things you think you want,
Just keep looking off and away up to me,
Or you'll miss what I want to show you.
And then, when you're ready, I'll surprise you with a love
Far more wonderful than you could dream of.

You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready,
I am working even at this moment
To have both of you ready at the same time.
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with me.

~ ~ ~

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


A great reflection we received in an email!

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A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.
A basketball in Michael Jordan's hands is worth about $33 million.
It depends whose hands it's in.

A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.
A baseball in Roger Clemens' hands is worth $475 million.
It depends on whose hands it's in.

A tennis racket is useless in my hands.
A tennis racket in Andre Agassi's hands is worth millions.
It depends whose hands it's in.

A rod in my hands will keep away an angry dog.
A rod in Moses' hands will part the mighty sea.
It depends whose hands it's in.

A slingshot in my hands is a kid's toy.
A slingshot in David's hand is a mighty weapon.
It depends whose hands it's in.

2 fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches.
2 fish and 5 loaves of bread in Jesus' hands will feed thousands.
It depends whose hands it's in.

Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse.
Nails in Jesus Christ's hands will produce salvation for the entire world.
It depends whose hands it's in.

As you see now, it depends whose hands it's in.
So put your concerns, your worries, your fears,
your hopes, your dreams, your families
and your relationships in God's hands because...

It depends whose hands it's in.

One of my illustrations from the Rosa Mystica Modesty Movement's new coloring book

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