Seven Quick Takes Sunday

The other Jennie does it on Friday. So I’m a little late. What else is new? πŸ™‚

1. Broken McSickyPants
This is my new name. My medical issues have only gotten worse. I still have the continual chest pain (which has now become more pronounced) and dyspnea on exertion. Lately, we have added to the mix dizziness, incredible fatigue, nausea and that awful feeling like you are about to pass out. My doctors still don’t have a good idea of what is wrong with me, since I have been passing all of my medical tests (I guess I’ve always tested pretty well). At least the infected poison ivy spots are finally clearing up a little and healing! πŸ™‚ I do not feel like myself, and I hate that I can’t really do anything. Praise God, He gave me a good sense of humor and a sunny disposition. I am actually pretty happy overall.

2. On Being a Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist
Today, we had the pleasure of having Fr. Stanley celebrate Mass with us. Since I go to daily Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel, where he currently is at, I have been able to see him upon occasion (although he doesn’t really do the 6:30 a.m. Mass that I typically attend). Having him here at St. Anastasia for Sunday Mass was a real treat. He was my first confessor and he has a very comforting way about him. He joked about the length of his homilies as he began his homily today. I was sitting next to the girl I sponsored into the Church this year, and at one point she commented that the wooden pew was hurting her butt for some reason this week. I laughed, “You probably aren’t used to sitting in one spot for so long!” Again, picking on poor Fr. Stanley’s homily. πŸ™‚ In my defense, he started it! πŸ™‚ God gave me a wonderful gift of joy today, particularly during the Mass. I was happy that Fr. Stanley was there, but this went beyond him. As I went up to the altar and received my paten of consecrated hosts, I remember cradling the paten in my hands. I must have had some big idiotic grin on my face, but I wasn’t really worried about that. I just gazed lovingly at Jesus in my hands and thought to Him, “I love You!” I know, it sounds pretty sappy, right? But that’s okay. I don’t mind being sappy. πŸ™‚ I love Him. πŸ™‚ Sometimes I wonder what people think when they get me in line for Communion. Here I am with a huge smile on my face, handing them our Lord, and nearly petting Him into place in their hands — to make sure He gets there safely. Hopefully, they share in my joy at the presence of our Lord, and aren’t standing there thinking that I’m a little odd or something.

3. The World is Now a Safer Place!
Why? Because I finally got new tires on my car! After 1 year, 7 months, 23 days and nearly 47,000 miles of driving, it was finally time to discard the old and buy some new. Of course, the “red” tire health report card, “Change your tires IMMEDIATELY” postcard, squeaking around off-ramps in dry conditions and, finally, hydroplaning in the rain while driving straight all contributed to this decision. Perhaps that fact that I had racing slicks on my car is the reason why I got that speeding ticket a while back, earning me the name Zoomie Vroom McLawBreaker. I really liked that name, by the way. But I have been good, and have been using my cruise control until I can re-train myself to enjoy lower velocities.

4. iPhone vs. BlackBerry Tour
Ah, just when I thought that I would finally change service providers in order to get the fancy-pants new iPhone (since bundling my home internet, land line, and TV service would save me about $60 a month), I have been given pause to reconsider. On Saturday, after getting my tires changed, I walked into the Sprint store, help up my current BlackBerry and challenged, “Why should I not want to trade this in for an iPhone? Convince me!” Now, mostly, I like the iPhone for all the apps and stuff that you can get with it, and for the larger screen. The touch screen keyboard would be a hindrance to typing as you drive (just for example, not that I do this necessarily . . . . ), but it is fun for scrolling. Being able to sync to my Podcasts and iTunes is also a definite plus. I know that iPhone is compatible with my work e-mail system, so that’s not an issue either. And it can go international, which was the main reason why I picked my BlackBerry 8830 in the first place.

Now, nice things about the BlackBerry Tour include the fact that I can increase the memory by adding a micro SD card, and that they give me a 1 GB out the door. That’s pretty sweet. Then, I found out that the new BlackBerry will also have a similar capacity for apps. As an upgrade to my current phone, this one has all the same capability, but adds on a camera and video feature, which I had been missing. The screen resolution is also pretty sweet. They say it supports AAC encoding, so I shouldn’t have to convert my iTunes library, and that it might soon or already does have an app to help with syncing.

Soo…. What can the iPhone do that the Tour cannot also do? And I can still save my $60 a month, by getting rid of my second cell phone. Please discuss benefits of one over the other in the comment box.

5. This Crazy Bipolar Weather
Today it has been alternating between being sunny with puffy white clouds and torrential downpours. Seriously. We left Mass, went to CostCo, came back and it started raining like crazy, just made it in the church before we got completely soaked. Then, we had our 1.5 hour Faith CafΓ© meeting, and by the time we got out, everything had dried up! I even managed to mow the lawn when I got home! It wasn’t wet anymore! Then, just now, the rains came again. I raced out, snapped a couple pics, then . . . it was over. Sun’s peeking out again. πŸ™‚ Gotta love Michigan!
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6. Reading Material
I am SO excited, because I have finally finished reading the entire Bible! Okay, okay, so I did this a couple weeks back, but I am still excited! I have bought myself a new Ignatius Bible, RSV translation, the leather one. Yay! Isn’t it gorgeous?! (Humor me)
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My next project is to read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church! πŸ™‚

7. Blogging and Facebook
Have you guys noticed this phenomenon in your personal life? I have noticed that the more I am on Facebook, the less I blog. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. I tend to get more feedback from Facebook (I think my “feeds” are more read there), yet I can’t usually go into depth on any topic. I just found out how to link my blog posts to my Notes on Facebook. Let’s see if this helps any, or just confuses the matter. πŸ™‚

Snails

This morning I went with Lindsay to St. A’s for the rosary and 9:30 am Mass, which was to be a healing Mass. I was looking forward to getting anointed, since I have had all these medical things going on and figured that God can heal me better than the doctors, who have yet to figure out what’s going on. πŸ™‚

Since it’s Friday, we prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries. These are my favorite mysteries, I think because they are the only ones I have memorized. πŸ™‚ I offered my rosary for the intention of a few people, one in particular, and as I was praying it, I pictured them in Jesus’ place: in the garden, being scourged, being crowned with thorns, carrying the cross, being crucified. I saw myself kind of in the picture too. My heart was breaking, going out to them. It made me sad to see them suffer like that, so I was trying to take the burden from them, although I knew that it was something that they had to do and didn’t want to interfere with God’s plan. I know, kind of a weird thing to be thinking of during a rosary, right?

After the rosary, I wanted to sit next to Lynn for Mass, so we moved. As we were waiting for Mass to start, Lynn shared with me the hymn from today’s Magnificat morning prayer:

O Love of God incarnate,
our flesh, our blood, our bone,
where sin has torn and marred us,
You make our wounds your own.
You take our guilt upon you,
our burdened spirits bear;
in death you go before us,
and you await us there.
You rise, our wounds upon You,
the nail prints clearly seen,
Your ravaged side still open –
but love has washed them clean.
the pow’r that conquers evil
in You now stands revealed.
We touch You, unbelieving,
and find that we are healed.

For some reason, this really disturbed me. I didn’t want to hurt Him any more. I didn’t want Him to have to suffer for my wounds. I was horrified. I wanted to protect Him. I handed the Magnificat back to Lynn. She asked what I thought. I said something like it was scary, because I couldn’t quite articulate what I thought about it.

I sat there praying, my heart saddened at the thought of causing the Lord more pain. Mass began. It wasn’t that long into Mass that a thought or image or something popped into my head, and but the whole thing into perspective for me. Then, I was so full of joy that I was actually giggling. In the middle of Mass. It was great. I mean, I don’t want to be disruptive and stuff to people around me, but I love when God interacts with me like that. See, because it wasn’t just a random thought popping into my head, it was Him trying to teach me something. Here, I’ll share it with you:

The image which came to mind was me, as a tiny snail. I was suffering because I had a toothpick stuck in me and had this marble squishing down on me. Jesus came over to me, and asked me if I would give him my toothpick and marble. He was the size of a normal-big human person, and I was this little 1 cm or so snail. My little snail-self took a big sigh and said, no, that I didn’t want Him to hurt and that I would keep my toothpick and marble. He laughed, lovingly, at me and made a beckoning motion with his right hand, saying, “Come now, give Me them. I can take it. I am strong. They are not going to hurt Me.”

I thought of my dad, and how he would want us to work through our own issues, and would be disappointed in us if we had to come to him for help. My snail-self wavered.

I saw things from Jesus’ perspective. Here was this tiny, little snail, with a little toothpick and a little marble. Insignificant little things, really, but they were hurting the little snail. He was looking on with love, and wanted to take them away from the little snail, but he wasn’t going to take them — he wanted the snail to ask for them to be taken away. He said again, “They are not going to hurt Me. I am God. Don’t you think that I can take it? That is not what hurts me, these things. What hurts is when people turn away from Me. Please give them to Me.”

Then, I understood.

Then, my little snail-self was joyful and saying, “TAKE IT! TAKE IT! TAKE IT! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!” and offering to him gleefully my toothpick and marble. And I was washed in joy and His love. I wasn’t hurting Him, I was letting Him in — and that’s what He wants.

As an aside, at the end of Mass, Fr. Mark said that they weren’t going to be doing the Anointing at that Mass, but next Friday — which I wouldn’t be able to attend. I was disappointed, since I hadn’t been anointed for these medical things and really wanted to be. Lynn suggested that I ask him after Mass if he would anoint me, but I was hesitant — I don’t like to infringe on people’s time like that, asking for favors. Then, Lindsay said that she was going to ask him if he would hear her confession. So, she actually asked for me, by asking him if he had time to do 2 more sacraments. And so, the little snail got to give away her toothpick and her marble. πŸ™‚ Thanks be to God for Lynn and Lindsay. And praise God for the unimaginable love that He gives to us all, for no reason whatsoever.