Prayers for Hope

Hope is one of my girlfriends from that website that shall henceforth remain nameless (until I forget I resolved never to mention it again LOL) –

Got an email from her a few minutes ago – she is scheduled for an angiogram tomorrow morning, Friday, 2/22. Some weird physical feelings had her uneasy, so she went to the doctor, just to play it safe –

The first round of tests were concerning, so this angiogram It could be as simple as false readings on the first tests, all the way to major trouble requiring surgery.

Hope’s a young woman, in her 30s I’m sure. Please hold her in your prayers. Update will be posted as soon as I have one.

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Belmont Abbey in the News

I don’t understand why some people simply Do Not Get It.
http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=26877
http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=26873&cb300=vocations

God bless our dear friends at Belmont Abbey for taking this stand. Pray for the College President and for Abbot Placid as they face a whole lot of heat from an anti-Christian world.

And check the archives for my visit to Belmont!

Hank

Hank entered into Eternity late in the afternoon, Wednesday, February 13. His wife of 56 years was with him, and she told me it was a gentle, peaceful passing.

I’ve watched Dorris over several months, and it has seemed to me she has been growing in radiance and peace. Hank’s health had not been good for a long time, and he’d suffered quite a bit. Anxiety had taken a toll on her. But recently, the lines in her face have smoothed out and her smile has been sweeter and her countenance, also. It has seemed as if she’d taken on a literal glow.

This is an amazing gift of Grace, to be carried in such a way.

I ache for Dorris, parting with a life companion like this. I learned at the funeral Mass yesterday, they’d been together since she was 17. Their lives were so wholly connected with one another –

I have to confess, though, that I envy her even this pain. Dorris has had a privilege I covet – of being able to serve, in such full self-donation, a man she loves, of literally handing him to the Father in those final instants of his earthly life. As much as she misses him, as hard as the days ahead will be, there is still something precious that she has given of herself that any woman would want to be able to give the one she loves.

IN SCHOOL!!

Doin’ the Happy Dance – well, my heart is; my knees simply will not cooperate. I’m afraid I’m looking at surgery – will have to see an orthopedist when my financial aid disbursements roll in.

But I’m not blogging about my yucky knees. I’m blogging about –
SCHOOL!!!!

My first three courses arrived on Wednesday, and I’ve listened to the first two lectures in all three and begun reading the assignments in Plato’s Republic and in Henri de Lubac’s (the very name has me in awe) The Splendor of the Church.

This same course that requires de Lubac also has a supplemental package containing… POETRY – T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets), Tennyson, John Henry Newman (“Dream of Gerontius”) –

Poetry in a theology class!

Which got me thinking – and of course poetry belongs in a theology class. Theology is poetry, the only possible medium for speaking of the Eternal, the Ideal, the Beautiful, the Ineffible. Prose is the language of pragmatic things, the delineations of rules, regulations, and measures. Only Poetry can move beyond the practical to the glories of the Mysteries of vast, eternal things.

I’ve now got a new medium for reading the Catechism (required in two of my courses- Theology of the Church and Sacraments) – although that great work is arranged in Paragraphs, it is no more Prose than Aquinas’ Corpus Christi hymns; it is Poetry, through and through. And suddenly it is ever so much friendlier to my heart.

Name Meme – Thanks, Angela!

Rules:
1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.

2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don’t have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother’s maiden name).

3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name.

L-Loyal (fiercely)
E-Educated (and becoming more so – thank you, Franciscan U!)
I-Intelligent
G-Giddy (over annulment and starting school!)
H-Happy – yes, I really am!

Do I really have to tag FIVE PEOPLE????
If you don’t have a blog, answer #2 in the Comments box –
Laura Rios, Courtney, Sinead, Adoro, Randy (if you still read)

How many memes do I owe Angela? LOL –

All the same – here’s a sharing making the internet rounds –

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? not that I know of

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I don’t remember – too long ago, evidently

3. Do you like your handwriting? most of the time, yes

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAL? ham sandwich with tomato soup

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? YES– 2

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? You betcha!

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM ALOT? publicly or privately? – not much in public.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? no

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? NO – HELL, NO!

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? rice chex

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Sometimes

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? not physically, but emotionally I thin I’m too strong.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? What! There’s more than one flavor??? (Chocolate! )

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their eyes

15. RED OR PINK? Both

16. BEACH OR MOUNTAINS? Yes

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My daughters

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? YES

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? khaki slacks, white athletic shoes

20 WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Roast beef, potatoes and pintos (this was Thursday night, by the way, when I first answered these!)

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The radio – WCPE – a production of Verdi’s McBeth

22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? grey

23. FAVORITE SMELLS? ripe pine straw, rain on upturned earth,

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Steven

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes – and have for a long time!

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Whatever my friends are watching… except “wrestling” and NASCAR

27. HAIR COLOR? greying dark ashe blonde

28. EYE COLOR? mostly green/hazel

29. Do you wear contacts? No

30. FAVORITE FOOD? yes

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? HAPPY ENDINGS

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING ? navy blue

34. SUMMER OR WINTER? summer

35. HUGS OR KISSES? from whom? Frankly, I suspect I’ve forgotten how to kiss….. sigh.

36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate anything

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? not sure I’m going to forward it

38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?

39. Which book are you reading now? Plato’s Republic. Yes, it’s for school.

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? no mouse pad – I’m using a laptop

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? I can’t watch tv right now – broken remote so can’t get the one channel I receive here.

42. FAVORITE SOUND? rain on a tin roof

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? BEATLES

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Monterey, CA.

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I don’t know what it is – all my talents are shared with so many people….

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Pinehurst, NC

47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? All of them

48. WHAT TIME IS IT NOW? 8:37 pm

Ash Wednesday noodlings

Like one of my email friends said, Ash Wednesday has “snook up” on me, too. I still have Christmas music rolling around in my mind, it seems, and here, today, we begin the hymns of penance and sorrow for our sins.

Lent is a season for prayer, penance, and works of service. My prayer life is getting a hard start. It seems as if this week a multitude of prayer needs have come to me, via email or personal conversation. Hank’s heart surgery was Monday – Steph’s pneumonia hasn’t responded to treatment – another friend knows someone with MRSA – a friend’s romantic relationship isn’t what it ought to be – another suffers terrible food allergies – – –

Just what I don’t want to do: pray for other people! I’d much rather wallow in the self-indulgence of my own disappointment than take my eyes off myself and look at the sorrows of others! I want their prayers, not to exert myself for them!

It’s cute and clever to joke about giving up chocolate for Lent, but the real issue is the one I’ve been confronting this whole past week: self-denial, not in petty indulgences like chocolate, but in real issues of egotism and selfishness.

Thankfully, I’ve begun spiritual direction from a retired priest settled in this area. Fr. John has recommended I begin with reading St. Augustine, and so I’ve dug out the Confessions for my Lenten devotional reading. I loved Augustine when I was in college, twenty years ago. I’ll ask him, when I see him next week, about St. Francis de Sales, whose Introduction to the Devout Life had caused me to seek him out in the first place.

I know, too, that during this Lenten season I shall have to take a deep breath and pay a visit to a couple of the more difficult and unpleasant people in my life. I’ve been procrastinating for so long, they may throw me out of the house before I can do more than say hello. I shall try not to take personally, or hold a grudge against, any ugliness that might arise in the course of our time together.

It is, after all, about killing that self-centered bit of the ego – or is it the Id at this point? Let it be crucified with Christ –