Monthly Archives: November 2011

A Good Shepherd Will Lay Down His Life for His Sheep

Prayer.

That very intimate and special gift of yourself that you can offer for the good of someone else.

When I really need someone to pray for me, I will ask my priests. Not to say that I won’t be asking *everyone*, but I will specifically ask my priests to pray for me.

Why is this? I ask myself.

Perhaps it’s because I expect that they will “get it” more than the average person. That they will truly understand the gift of prayer and the import of this communication with our Lord. That they will not pray in a careless manner, but pour themselves into it sincerely.

Perhaps because of their ordination. That extra mark on their soul. That special conformity to Christ. The way a miracle happens in their hands (at least) once a day. Perhaps I have some expectation that because of this their prayers are heard (or at least heeded) louder than someone who is not a priest.

But, perhaps most of all, it is because of an image lodged in my mind. Of what they look like when they pray for me:

And of course, they do this for hours at a time. Wearing a man-shaped depression into the floor.

So, if you ever wonder why Father is busy, where his time goes, or why his back hurts … question answered. He’s been praying for me! (And probably you, too!)

Because a good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. Or at least lays down. πŸ˜‰

The First Day of Advent!

Happy Advent!

It feels as if this season just snuck up on me! To be honest, I am not fully prepared for Advent yet. I haven’t found my Advent wreath from last year, although I didn’t have dinner yet and I did light a purple candle tonight. I hope that “counts.” πŸ™‚

I did put up parts of my Nativity to get ready:

Mary and Joseph are starting their long trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
dscn4778

Meanwhile, in Bethlehem, the manger and the sheep are waiting for their arrival:
dscn4782

A new tradition that I am starting is what I call the “Advent Tree of Prayers.” I didn’t know that there already was something called an Advent Tree, otherwise known as a Jesse Tree, before I named it. On my tree, I intend to place prayer intentions each day of Advent, and pray for those people and intentions throughout the season. To make my “tree,” I cut down a branch from a pine tree in my yard.

And here is my first intention of the season!
dscn4769

More time in prayer, reading Scripture and participating in the sacraments are also on my agenda for this season.

What are your plans for Advent? Also, if you have any intentions for which you would like me to pray, please let me know! πŸ™‚

Why the Wedding Ring is Worn on the Fourth Finger

Why Wedding Ring on Fourth Finger?

The thumb represents your parents.
The index finger represents your siblings.
The middle finger represents yourself.
The ring finger represents your spouse.
The little finger/pinky represents your children.

Hold your hands together like the picture. Join your middle fingers back-to-back, and the remaining fingers tip-to-tip. Now, try to separate your thumbs. They will separate because your parents are not destined to live with you forever. Rejoin your thumbs and separate your index fingers. They will separate because your siblings will have their own families and lead their own lives. Rejoin your index fingers and separate your little fingers/pinkies. They will separate because your children will grow up, get married, and settle down. Rejoin your little fingers/pinkies and try to separate your ring finger. They will not be able to separate because your spouse is meant to be with you throughout your entire life, through thick and thin.

(Re-posted from a friend’s Facebook page).

Question of the Day

What would it have been like when the apostles first celebrated the Eucharist?

It seems that Peter would be the one to lead. Can you imagine, though, going to your friends, “Hey guys, He said, ‘Do this,’ so why don’t we give it a go?” And then trying to figure out precisely what it is that you were to be doing, with everyone watching? Even if you remembered everything with perfect clarity, to ask yourself if this is what He meant? Would James and John be asking to be the celebrant for the next day?

I don’t think they would have celebrated Mass while the Risen Lord was with them, but what about the 10 days until Pentecost? Or did they have to wait until the coming of the Holy Spirit? I’d think it would have to be after Pentecost. Because 1) it’s the calling down of the Holy Spirit which transforms the gifts and 2) if they partook of the Eucharist, presumably they wouldn’t have been hiding scared in the Upper Room at Pentecost, but would have been able to draw upon His strength.

So, if they waited until Pentecost, what did they do on that Sunday in between?

How the Navy Taught Me to be a Better Catholic

Navy

One of the first things you learn when you are in training to be a Reactor Operator is Basic Electricity and Electronics, or B-double-E. A solid foundation for the rest that you will learn in order to be successful in your job. In our training program, we have to go over a vast amount of material in a relatively short time. It is much faster-paced and dense than most college curricula. Because of this, there is not enough time to explain the origin of all of the theories and formulas which we employ. To try and diffuse our persistent, “But why?” questions, Chief instituted this simple practice:

The “I Believe” Button

So, there would be concepts that he would introduce, saying, “This is the way it is. You’re going to have to trust me and hit your ‘I Believe’ button, so we can continue.”

In a way, the Church is full of opportunities for us to hit our “I Believe” buttons. The very nature of the Church herself is a mystery. God is a mystery. Sacraments are a mystery. Faith is a mystery. We can understand these things to a degree, but never in totality, due to the infinite nature of God.

Because I have been conditioned by my military training to take some things on faith, I am better disposed to submitting my intellect and my will to the teaching of the Magisterium on matters of faith and morals.

I know that it’s possible to not know exactly how everything works, but trust that I will have enough knowledge to get the job done (or in the case of the Church, be provided with all the knowledge necessary for my salvation and my mission to evangelize others).

It is also a reminder to me to be humble, for there are things which I don’t know, and there are things I will never completely understand and that’s okay. My worth and dignity aren’t based on the knowledge filling my brain, or the sharpness of my intellect, but rather the way I live my life according to the faith.

I am glad that I have had this idea presented to me, so that when confronted with a difficulty, instead of allowing it to present a question in my faith because I don’t have an answer, I can hit my “I Believe” button and be strengthened in my faith. Because I trust in the Holy Spirit which guides the Church according to His Truth.