Catholic Women’s Daybook No. 65

Outside my window::

Sunny with wispy little clouds and bright blue sky. It’s lovely!

Wearing::

Jeans and a grey t-shirt. I’m cleaning a bit and running errands so nothing too fancy.

In the CD player::

Music Man, because, yeah. Music Man all the time. 🙂

Reading::

Geraldine Brooks’ Caleb’s CrossingMrs. Hemingway; The Hummingbird’s Daughter

Around the house::

General cleaning–vacuuming, dusting, etc.–before the week gets insane with rehearsals. Parents are coming over for the Fourth of July so the house needs to be parent ready. 😛

From the kitchen::

Right now I’m making lunch of roasted tomatoes with Panko-crusted salmon. Dinner is pasta with homemade marinara (we have rehearsal, need the carbs to be happy. :-P). Rest of the week:

Tuesday: 2 bean chili for lunch, sweet potato enchiladas for dinner

Wednesday: chickpea salad for lunch, “steak” fajitas for dinner (it’s really portobello mushrooms)

Thursday: walnut, avocado and pear salad for lunch and turkey burgers for dinner

Friday: Fourth of July, so this and this. (I always make these for Fourth of July)

Saturday: No idea yet. 🙂

Rehearsal::

We’ve moved in to Heritage’s theater (it’s the oldest school building still existing in our district, and it was built–I think–around the time the show is set, so it’s historically accurate!), so we’ve started bringing in props, lights, set pieces, and marking where these things go during rehearsal. Yesterday we got through about half of Act I (maybe a little more than half), with some blocking/choreography adjustments, but I think it’s going well. Tonight we pick up with “Marian the Librarian”. I’ve also started getting my make-up kit together for dress rehearsals next week, so I’m not scrambling to do it later. We open next Friday!

 

 

 

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Seven Quick Takes No. 53

7_quick_takes_sm1

 

I.

First, some links for y’all: Frozen and Catholicism; Healthy and Not; Summer in the Little Oratory Chapter 2. These are provided for your reading pleasure! 🙂

II.

Today begins the long slog to opening night of Music Man. Yes, it’s time for run throughs! Tonight we’re running Act I, and then we’re alternating acts at each rehearsal until next Saturday when….dum da-dum dum….TECH WEEK begins. We move into our theater on Sunday, which I’m really looking forward to (we’ll get to see sets!).

I realized last night that I have never run Act II of our show. I don’t even know what we’re supposed to do in Act II. So I’m gonna find out on Saturday!

III.

So, World Cup Fever, yes? I think yesterday was the first time (and maybe the only time) that every person in a stadium was happy after a game. Germany won–and advances! We lose–and advance! Everyone hurrah!

IV.

Pulm Rehab part Deux starts next week so yay that. I’m looking forward to starting again and thankfully I’ve managed to get my body to accept waking up at 8:00 so we can leave the house by 9:15. Ideally I’d like to get up at 7:30, but we’re working on it. The body has been demanding more sleep the past few months, so I giveth–and now I taketh away. We’ll see how it does. Excited to begin rehab again. I may actually…..(I can’t believe I’m even typing this)……try running.

Yes. Absorb that for a moment, guys.

I’m not saying this will happen. I’m saying….it could happen.

V.

As far as regular routine–there’s yoga a few times a week, and swimming. I’m also trying my best to follow my nutritionist’s “suggestions” (nice, strong suggestions) about what to eat and what not to eat. When we get to performance nights, I can have pasta again! 🙂 🙂

VI.

I am sorting through my books, and I am being hard core on them. I feel like Anton Ego: “If I don’t love it, I don’t swallow.” If I don’t love it, it no stay!

Anton Ego

VII.

Speaking of books….I am about 75% finished with the first draft of mine. Yes. Almost there, and then it gets sent off to my lovely first readers!  (I love you people, by the way)

Dominicans and Frozen!

Dominicans and Frozen!

Frozen

“Do you want to build a snowman?”

If we think of Elsa’s magical power (which primarily makes ice, but can also somehow conjure gossamer dresses, apply eye-shadow, and animate snow creatures) as a natural talent (something like our temperamental inclinations), then the question of integration becomes one of how best to “train” this power. And, the controlling or training of a power is a matter of acquiring the corresponding virtue.

Now, someone is good or bad primarily because of the virtues and vices they have and not necessarily because of genetic, temperamental, or environmental predispositions. These impulses of themselves are morally neutral. So initially, Elsa’s power isn’t particularly good or bad, it’s just powerful. Where the moral character enters is with the stable virtue or vice that shapes the power. And this is precisely why the “Lock her up” approach is so crazy . . . the only thing that it habituates is the very fear which the Grand Pabbie (the aforementioned troll king) identified as her enemy.

So with Elsa, the question becomes one of how to acquire the virtues to apply her power well (making snowmen, hosting winter festivals in season and out of season, playing snow mountain hopscotch, etc.) and thereby channeling the power to a good end and eliminating the occasion for potential abuse or harm.

Summer In the Little Oratory–Chapter Two

The Little Oratory

(All of the “Summer in the Little Oratory” posts can be found here.)

So this week’s Summer in the Little Oratory post is talking about chapter two, “The Family and the Home”.

This chapter has a lot of thoughts about the home as home–as a building–and what its purpose is for the person or people who live there. As such, I found this very interesting and definite food for thought. So let’s walk through some of the rooms, shall we?

(There’s a LOT here that deserves attention, so hang in with me!)

First, the authors stress the importance of family: that it is “the plan” that God has for us. Jesus was sent to earth to live in a family. Adam and Eve were commanded to create a family.  A loving home is “a fundamental need embedded in our human nature…the community is human; it has bodily needs and those of the soul. This embodiment means, among othe things, that the family must have a place where it dwells, and that place is home (14).

The home is a sheltering place. It’s a place where everyone is “accepted for who he is rather than for what he does or what he contributes…at the same time, the family is uniquely situated to the development of the human person” (14) How do we develop? By love. Nourishing love. You see this in studies that show language delays and other developmental delays when babies aren’t talked to, or smiled at, or…just loved. “Families humbly living the mission of love…have the characteristics of creating a home.”

We don’t say “house sweet house” or “house is where the heart is.” It’s home is where the heart is; home sweet home. The building itself can be just about anything, but it’s the people that make a house a home. No matter how cliche we think it is–it’s true.

“In a home” he authors continue, “the family–simply as a function of what the family is, as instituted by God at the beginning of creation–has two utterly important roles: to be a school of virtue and a domestic church.” (16) A child can “really learn virtue only in a setting where he can be nurtured and corrected by those who are simultaneously struggling themselves to grow and virtue and can treat him with the warm affection only family bonds can supply.” (16)

Parents, whether you home school or not, you are your children’s first, and most important teacher. As a CCD teacher, I can tell my kids how important it is to go to Mass, to pray, to be reverent in church, to follow the 10 commandments. But if you don’t teach them that–then I’m a clanging gong, as St. Paul might say. You are their first teachers and examples!

So, we see how important that home is–how important the family is. Even if your family is one person, or your “home” is one person (my parents live nearby, so it’s not like I’m entirely alone. We just don’t live together.) For other singles, like me, the authors say that “the physical space…must be more than a utilitarian environment in which you go about the business of daily life, taking care of basic needs. You can make it beautiful and warm, practicing hospitality. A single person is encourage to have a little oratory! A single parent is encouraged to have a little oratory!” (19) A single person should “take care to make his home a warm, inviting place where community can form….[and] should also consider the vocation of being of service to a family.” (19)

(So see, families, I’m not out of the loop, either!)

In short: the family is the home, it is the first school of virtue for children, and it is the domestic church. Our homes should be beautiful, inviting places for ourselves and our guests. By “beautiful” I (and the authors!) don’t mean it has to look like a House Beautiful spread. We’re not trying to be Marie Barone and cover the couches with plastic!

“Beauty” is seen in nature, in classic works of art (like below) , (most) music (especially chant, which the authors note, and folk music), good literature, etcetera. It’s all around us, and if you have children, you want to make sure they know what beauty is!

 

Degas, "Blue Dancers"

Degas, “Blue Dancers”

Renoir

Renoir

 

Whew! That’s a lot to think about!

(Take a break if you need one. Then come back!)

So now what? We want beautiful homes that also are the domestic church and teach virtue to those who dwell there and provide hospitality and also aren’t   a falling apart wreck that we’re ashamed to show people!

So how do we get there?!

Fear not! The authors have ideas!

  •  Each room in the house needs to reflect its functionality and the taste of the inhabitants. So, since we’re Christians, that would mean “reflecting our belief and devotion in every room”, but tastefully. That doesn’t mean having a bunch of things hung slip-shod.
  • Shelves enhance almost any room and area in a home
  • Master Bedroom: Should never be made a repository for laundry, boxes and other detritus. “It should reflect the importance of the marital bond with its neatness and well tended, serene atmosphere.” (24) I know, this is a work in progress for some folks. Right now there’s a pile of clothes on the trunk in front of my bed, for example….. 🙂 The room might have “a crucifix over the bed…[a]n image of Our Lady, a bottle of Holy Water, and a prie-dieu.” (Catholic Churches always have a place you can get holy water, usually in the vestibule. My parents used to keep it in a Rubbermade bottle in their bedroom for our home holy water fonts. You don’t need some fancy glass cruet.)
  • Living area: The authors strongly discourage orienting the room toward the TV. I agree with this–sadly, my house set up sort of does this, but my TV is small and it’s on top of a bookshelf, so, you know. (Also, this is me here, but do we REALLY need TVs in every single room of the house?!  Research tells us that TVs in the bedroom are a bad idea and also, should kids really be allowed to watch TV unsupervised? I didn’t have a TV in my room until I was home from college, and even then it was because there was no place else to put it without worrying about someone bashing a hockey puck or a roller skate into it. Peeps–limit the TVs in your house. You don’t need one in every room, or even on every floor. Trust me on this.) Your living room should be oriented to conversation, and yes, possibly the TV, if you like to watch sports together, or movies, or whatever. There should be good lighting, comfortable seating, photos, pictures and family items grouped together for interest, and of course, some religious objects! 🙂 In my family/living area, I have a crucifix my friends brought my from Germany, several saint plaques, DaVinci’s Last Supper, and my prayer table.
  • German crucifix

    German crucifix

     

    Saints: (l-r) St. Martha, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and St. Mary Magdalene

    Saints: (l-r) St. Martha, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and St. Mary Magdalene

  • Kitchen: Plate racks and hutches are recommended for storage. A mantle or sideboard can be “a place to display a religious object or a votive candle.” On my side board I have the Divine Mercy image.
Divine Mercy on the sideboard (with tea :) )

Divine Mercy on the sideboard (with tea 🙂 )

  • Other places: Each place “has its own function and orderliness appropriate thereto.” (27)

We have all these ideas. (That doesn’t mean you’re making a weekend trip to Home Depot or IKEA, though!) What about the Little Oratory? “Where does it fit into the setting up of the home?” (27)

The CCC says, “For personal prayer, this can be a ‘prayer corner’ with the Sacred Scriptures and icons, in order to be there, in secret, before our Father. In a Christian family, this kind of little oratory fosters prayer in common.” (2691)

Find a spot in the natural flow of the home that isn’t easily overlooked, but won’t be trampled, either. Think about the flow of your home. The authors suggest the mantle as one possible place, and note that it might take some time in experimentation until the “best” location is found.

But, “Once you’ve chosen a fitting place for your home altar, you can think about what goes on and above (and even under) it, and this is what we will discuss in the next chapter.” (29)

Corpus Christi

Charlotte was Both

"amy welborn"

St. Paul’s Cathedral, Birmingham. 

Full-out Mass with choir at 8:30, followed by Benediction and a procession around the block. Amazing music. I do wish the Music Director would put his music notes that he writes for the worship aide online.  I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere else. We got Ego sum panis vivus by Palestrina and O sacrum convivium by Bartolucci as well as all the propers, an excellent homily….

Speaking of homilies, as is my wont, here are some excerpts from a couple of past B16 homilies:

In fact, concentrating the whole relationship with the Eucharistic Jesus only at the moment of Holy Mass risks removing his presence from the rest of time and the existential space. And thus, perceived less is the sense of the constant presence of Jesus in our midst and with us, a concrete, close presence among our homes, as “beating Heart” of the…

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Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi

 

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen I said to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

–John 6:51-58

Summer Reading Notes

A few summer reading notes:

(And a note: the vast majority of these are older books that I either received as gifts or bought awhile back and have been in the “to read” pile! The OUPs I got at The Strand in NYC for like, three dollars each! And yes, I generally prefer OUP–Oxford University Press–for ‘classics’.)

** The great Jane re-read continues, although I’m still on S&S. I need to get in gear and finish it, so that’s on the list for next week, and move into P&P.

**I just finished The Nesting Place: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, and highly recommend it, especially if you are a renter (like moi), who despairs of decorating well.

**I need to read Middlemarch this summer. I’ve been trying to read this now for almost ten years, and the time has come (the Walrus Said), so it’s going to happen.

**Also on tap: The Goldfinch, Trains and Lovers,  The Lacuna, and All The Light We Cannot See. Oh, and The Three Musketeers.  (missed this one as a child!)

** I am ALMOST DONE with The Wings of the Dove. Almost done, I tell you!