Friday, March 27, 2015

7 reasons why I love the Roman Catholic Church

In the Latin-rite, I love...
1. the music, both traditional
and a little more modern
2. I love St. Pope John Paul II especially- for selfish reasons. I touched his hand at a general audience and also heard him preach in Prague. He also lifted limits on the Eastern rite married priesthood years ago and he is why my husband will be a Catholic priest for over a decade.
3. I also love the witness of all the Roman-rite consecrated men and women. The variety of charisms that can be found are inspiring.
4. I love the lives of Pope Emeritus Benedict and Pope Francis- beautiful! I wrote a blog post about Benedict, my 'forgotten' Pope when Pope Francis was elected. There is just something extraordinary about the office of the Pope. I could feel the Holy Spirit when I touched Pope John Paul's hand. Listening to Pope Benedict's abdication, one could feel the energy in the room from thousands of miles away. Watch the video below and I challenge you not to get emotional. I certainly don't feel this way about any bishop but the bishop of Rome!
5. Since we try to be bookish people, I love the great literary works that have come from the Roman-rite. I'm attempting to read more! I love that Saint Therese is a doctor of the Church because of her 'little way', and I will always recommend St Francis de Sales' Introduction to a Devout Life to anyone who wants to try and start a better walk with Christ.
6. And because it is nearly Holy Week, I love this week in the Roman-rite. So many beautiful services! My family (dad, mom and us 5 kids) became Catholic at the Easter vigil, and I miss it terribly.
7. I love all the activities that are possible in the typically-sized Roman Catholic church. Vacation Bible Study, daily Masses, school possibilities, Knights of Columbus, catechism for children and adults, coffee and donuts served by all the different lay ministries, etc, etc.....
--- Blogging about a niche of a niche isn't easy. When you are a minority, just existing is a bit accusatory because everyone notices when you are around- you look different, you are different. I've written about this before (sorry 'pink girl' to re-use this post...but it is applicable and I don't think you are blogging anymore) I've been accused in emails and phone calls that I am anti-Roman rite, and I am sick to hear that some people think that way of me.  
Like I have responded before, it seems like everyone wants me (if they even truly care about the content of a free-to-read blog post) to write just the fun stuff because if I write about the hard stuff, I am being uncharitable and people will be turned off from our faith. People are probably already turned off because I am overweight and have too many/not enough children. People are probably already turned off because I had a vocal injury and I am leading the singing (nearly all of the priest's parts and people's responses are sung in the Byzantine rite) with one vocal chord. I can't sing a soprano range at all. Or people are not really 'turned off,' they just aren't interested. And once again, that's okay, but I don't believe it makes me 'anti-Roman-rite' to be disappointed sometimes. is what it is.....
more quick takes at This Ain't the Lyceum

Thursday, March 26, 2015

a pretty happy funny real portable icon screen

pretty- well, the cell phone photo is not pretty at all, and the icons aren't perfectly proportioned, but I still think they are beautiful.
happy- I was so happy to come home from teaching my college class to see these! They have been in the works for a long time. I am also happy that we won't need to transport our 'real' wooden six foot icons when we celebrate away from our normal venue. These roll up and fit into two 3 foot long cases. It will be so much easier to celebrate a Divine Liturgy 'out and about.'
funny- hmmm....the kids have commented that baby Jesus looks a bit older than usual here with his comb-over, but I've seen babies like that...
real- The 'real' part of these icons is a bit depressing. Out here in the wild west, there really is little need or want for Byzantine traditions. I see my husband breaking his back, working so hard at the hospital so that we can be here to minister to these missions. I am a bit tired of people saying "Your husband is such a holy priest!" (then why don't you worship with us occasionally?) or "I was raised Byzantine Catholic and we love the Liturgy, but now the Roman-rite is more convenient" (um- we are here now)...ah well- I think that the Great Fast is getting me down! I probably need to pray more and take some iron tablets!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

pretty happy funny real homeschooled birthday boy

We are working on the very beginnings of piano. I can't bring myself to get in a car and pay $40 for a half an hour to learn where middle C is and such, so I am teaching him for now. 
He has decided to compose some songs by himself. This is his first piece; it begins with middle C with G being the highest note. I've re-written it onto proper music paper, but I think it is a sweet memory of our creative boy.
I sang and played violin and piano as a young person. Never once did it occur to me that I could write a song. But here he is, a few lessons into learning piano and he is trying to write songs. I suspect the titles are the most important part. I think that "The Flight of the Bee" is the name of this composition. 
Maybe he has the confidence to write music, however simple, because he does not know that he is not ready for such feats. He had some friends over for his 8th birthday, and he played some of his songs for them. All of the songs are just comprised of notes C to G with perhaps a left hand major chord thrown in. The children listened and clapped, even though some of them have much better music skills. 
Homeschooling isn't perfect, and it doesn't guarantee geniuses or angels, but I do believe that my children experience a higher level of tolerance and friendship than I did as a conventionally schooled child.

Monday, March 9, 2015

urban homesteading...on the smallest scale possible

The pots are planted, inside and outside, with parsley, cilantro, squash, tomatoes, and more. The plum and persimmon trees need to be pruned, but this is a rental. I do not know if we are permitted to take a clipper to permanent plantings. You can see the plum in the background; those are the only leaves that it has/ It needs to be pruned way. way back!
It is silly to call this 'homesteading.' It isn't. It is just trying to be a little bit more self-sufficient. If the plants are successful, we would like to take it to the next level and dabble in aquaponics.....