Theological Foundations I: Midterm Exam Review: #1

Okay, don’t freak, but there is no way I am going to have the title of these be that long after this post! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you get a “TFI #2,” you’ll be lucky…. ๐Ÿ™‚

For the purposes of anyone who may wish to visit my blog, I will post the question for review, then attempt to answer it. Please, please, chime in and start a discussion, by which we can all grow in our understanding. ๐Ÿ™‚

Disclaimer: The questions are from a study sheet provided by our professor, and is NOT a take-home test, so do not worry about any possible moral/ethical questions of collusion. ย It is perfectly legit to help a seminary student study. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

1. ย What are the proofs for the existence of God we spoke of in class?

There are two proofs for the existence of God: ย creation and the human person. ย By examining these two in the light of human reason, we can come to know with certainty that God exists.

Seven Quick Takes Sunday

The other Jennie does it on Friday. So I’m a little late. What else is new? ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ In my defense, he started it! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love Him. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 Cafรฉ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Independence Day!

There are so many people to thank for this day! First, the men who fought those 233 years ago and won our independence. Then, the men and women who have kept our freedom to the present day.

Here’s a picture of some of the girls in the wardroom of the USS Mount Whitney, CORTRAMID 1997, Norfolk, Virginia (I’m at the far right):
Girls in USS Mount Whitney's Wardroom
For all my fellow military members, police forces, and government agents — thank you for fighting for and upholding our freedom and our laws.

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For God, who gives us true freedom and independence.
And for all the clergy and holy men and women who teach us of our amazing inheritance, freedom, love and gifts given to each of us, personally, by the Lord. They teach us not only of the many ways in which God saves us from our slavery, but also of the ways in which we enslave ourselves. With His help, we can be truly free and live with a rightly ordered independence in His love and mercy.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

My New Name: Zoomie McLawBreaker

Why is this my new name? Because yesterday, I got my very first speeding ticket.
As a co-worker notes, “Aww! And you’ve been practicing for so long! Congratulations!”

I need to go on record first as saying . . . I totally deserve this. Not only was I speeding, really speeding, but I have a habit of speeding, which has been getting worse in the past few months.

Not just in the car, but it’s kind of like a theme in my life: a hundred miles an hour . . . right up until I smash into the brick wall and collapse or something. I’m usually a girl of extremes. I live passionately and fully and with great enthusiasm. I am stubborn and joyful and am a good problem-solver. I struggle with things like patience, although I don’t hold a grudge and tend to be okay with forgiveness. I love to give and I love to love — and these I do as much as I can, usually without thought to what it might cost me. (Which, of course, is not good if you are my accountant, but I really don’t care about having any money in the bank. I just hope to be able to pay my bills. After that, if I have a zero balance, but the people I care about are happy, then I’m all good with that.)

Some of these are good things, some are not. A little more balance in my life would probably, objectively, be a good thing, but I am not good with that.

I am not upset at all about my speeding ticket. I think God allowed me to get that speeding ticket. I think I probably needed to get that ticket. I tend to have little regard for my own well-being. I tend to be careless with myself, or rather, unconcerned. This frequently gets me into trouble.

Over the past month or so, I’ve had problems with chest pain and shortness of breath which have had me in and out of the ER, and even admitted to the hospital. I can’t run anymore and it takes me a lot longer to get anything done.

I think God’s trying to tell me to slow down, in a couple different ways.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Thanks to Ironic Catholic and The Curt Jester for today’s Humor of the Day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Teilhard de Chardin:
The chicken was pursuing a teleological upsurge toward final consumation in the Omega Point of Divine Love.

Flannery O’Connor:
The chicken was struck by a truck while crossing the road, but experienced a flash of grace in the instant of its death. I prefer peacocks anyway.

Thomas Aquinas:
Whether the chicken crossed the road?
Objection: It seems that the chicken did not cross the road, for chickens are accustomed to the farmyards that are the source of their food, and the henhouse that is the source of their rest.
On the contrary, “And God said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, and take with you . . . seven pairs of birds of the air. . . .” — which could not have been accomplished had the chickens not crossed the road to the ark.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
We don’t care why the chicken crossed the road, as long as it had the right of way and crossed in an approved crosswalk.

St. Lawrence of Rome:
Run, chicken, run! Run from the rotisserie!

St. Paul:
Let’s just hope that the chicken had a life-changing encounter with the risen Christ along the way.

Moses:
And the angel of the Lord went before the chicken, and there was a strong wind, and the traffic parted before the chicken, so that it was able to go into the midst of the road, with the traffic forming a wall on the left and a wall on the right, so that the chicken crossed the road safely. The farmer pursued the chicken into the midst of the road, and the angel of the Lord looked down on the chicken, and the traffic closed in on the farmer, so that the chicken did prevail with the help of the Lord.

Father Daniel Berrigan:
Clearly, the chicken crossed the road as a nonviolent protest of the road’s implication in the military-industrial complex.

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:
We’re not sure, but if it was trying to reach across the road to hold hands with another chicken during the Lord’s Prayer, we may have to butcher it.

Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares that this joke is not in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church because 1) it lacks Trinitarian organization; 2) it fails to teach about the judgment of all chickens and the real possibility of hell for all chickens; 3) it fails to mention the fallen nature of the chicken; 4) it fails to use the male personal pronoun to refer to God . . . in fact, it doesn’t mention God at all. Why we are reviewing this? What was the question again?

Job:
…and while we’re getting into it, why did the chicken cross the road, anyway?
God:
Who is this who dares darken counsel by asking why the chicken crossed the road? Gird your loins like a man; I will question you, and you will answer me: Where were you when I made the chicken, with its ineffectual yet tasty wings? Did you give the chicken its cluck? Is it by your wisdom that the chicken runs, flapping its wings toward the distant horizon? Did you set the foundations of the earth upon which the road runneth? Answer, for surely you are great in years!
Job:
Of what account am I? See, I will lay my hand on my mouth, and ask no more why the chicken crossed the road.

Karl Rahner:
If the chicken has made a fundamental option to cross the road then he will indeed cross the road

G.K. Chesterton:
A chicken decided to go to a foreign country and to invent his own heresies. What the chicken found instead is that in fact he had never left his country and had crossed the road and discovered that his heresies were orthodoxy.

Therese de Lisieux:
If the chicken decides to make himself small, God will lift him up and place him on the other side of the road.

Sister Joan D. Chittister:
The chicken crossed the road as a sign of prophetic road crossing to get away from the male dominated hierarchy

Saint Benedict:
The chicken crossed the road to get away from me even though I assured him I was not the Benedict associated with eggs.

Saint Jerome:
The chicken crossed the road since some fool left the vulgate open and he escaped.

Saint Ignatius:
The chicken crossed the road out of obedience to the Holy Father. The chicken should always be disposed to believe that crossing the road is good, if the hierarchy of the Church so decides.

Blessed Mother Teresa:
The chicken crossed the road to help the poorest of the poor chickens.

Saint John of the Cross:
The chicken crossed the road because he realized he was attached to this side of the road. The chicken that is attached to one side of the road however much good there may be in it, will not arrive at the liberty of divine union.

Saint Anthony the Great:
Obviously the chicken crossed the road to get to the desert to purge himself because he suffered from boredom, laziness, and the phantoms of hens.

Saint Domenic:
I suspect that the chicken had Albigensian sympathies since he crossed the road when he saw me coming to preach.

Saint Anthony of Padua:
I have no idea why the chicken crossed the road, but fish I have experience preaching to.

Saint Joseph:
The chicken received a dream over the night warning him to cross the road.

Just Another Walk Around the Block

During dinner, I felt like talking a walk. It’s getting late, about 9:30 pm or so, but it would be nice to stop by the playground and swing on the swings for a bit before going to bed. So, I grabbed my iPod and left the house. As always, even as I am dancing and running and walking my way to the park, my mind wanders.

I have someone whom God has asked me to intercede for, to care for, and to love as He loves, so as to learn love as He loves. No small task, but one I cherish. God doesn’t burden you with vocations, He blesses you with them. As my mind is wandering, it wanders over to this topic — which is really not that surprising to me.

Would I protect this person?
Yes, of course, from everything I can which is harmful.

Would I give my life for this person?
Absolutely.

Why?
Because it is my job. To care for this person. And my caring does not stop at my prayers.
I am willing to do whatever God asks of me.
And God is good.
If God truly asks that I lay down my life, it is His.
Without question.
Without hesitation.

God loves me.
Whatever death, pain, suffering might come my way, God can handle.
I just need to get out of the way of His healing.
God loves me.

Nothing else matters.
He has me.
He loves me.
I trust Him.

This is a fight.
Truly, we are the church militant, right? There is danger. There are threats. We need to be strong. We need to protect each other.
He is asking if I will fight for this person that He gave me.
Absolutely.

The best part.
I am not alone.
He’s not asking that I do this alone.
Angels.
Seriously. Angels are in this fight right alongside us.

My Lord, my love, I am here.
Take whatever You want.
Use me however You want.
Help me to do Your will.

I am not afraid.
God loves me.

Not bad for a walk, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚