A touch of research…

… has determined that, as I expected from the Rosary recordings, Mark Wahlberg was Catholic from childhood (perhaps from age 13). Why I believed this to be the case initially was due to how he says the prayers. Firstly, there is a comfort and ease about them that comes only from much time and practice spent with the prayers. Secondly, he has the cadence of them as they are actually said in Church, which is again something that comes with much time and exposure. And thirdly, he says a few words different from how they occur in the official version of the prayer. These are words that, I believe, would be easy mistakes when learning the prayers aurally, by listening, which is mostly how we learn them as children. For example, in the Our Father, instead of, “Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,” he says, “Give us this day our daily bread, but forgive us our trespasses…” Also, at the end of the O, My Jesus prayer, the line is, “…especially those in most need of thy mercy.” Mark Wahlberg says, “…especially those in most need of thine mercy.” If he had been reading the words, he would have noticed and corrected his errors, I believe. And the only reason he wouldn’t be reading them is because he is already so familiar with them, he can say them by heart.

Anyway, that’s where we are now with it all. He was Catholic already as a kid after all, it seems. However, the film is a great story filled with lots of opportunities to cry one’s eyes out. It ends with a happy feeling inside (just for those who need to know that before watching movies with sad stuff in them).

Here’s the trailer and a small message from Mr. Mark Wahlberg himself about how he wanted to share this story with the world: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DHREzAdyCPs&feature=emb_title

Post-a-day 2022

Is it true??

Did Marky Mark really convert to Catholicism after portraying Father Stu in the film by the same name?? I must look into this. My man already said we need to watch that film as soon as possible (and that he would watch it tonight, if I weren’t going to be ready to watch it very soon). This could be a very intriguing turn of events here…

Dun-dun-dunnnnnnnnn!!!!!!

Post-a-day 2022

Contribution

In a class tonight for those wishing to become Catholic, a class that was only in its second of about 30 sessions, my honey man made a contribution.

There’s this main book about Catholicism – it has just about everything about Catholicism and the reasons behind the everything – called The Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is very, very big and heavy, with dense text all throughout. It’s extremely informative and interesting to read at all points of it. But it is also a lot and heavy on the brain, especially when it’s all new information and topics to the one reading it.

This is the book recommended for new people to Catholicism to read as their first steps to becoming Catholic.

Intense, right?

Anyway, so, they’re talking about this at the meeting tonight. People are asking questions about all sorts of things at the request of the leaders. The leaders also asked for any general comments or thoughts to be shared, too. My man shares that a less overwhelming but still extremely helpful resource is the YouCat, which is the youth Catechism. It may sounds silly, he said, but it is organized in a very helpful way, where it builds upon itself, and it is easy to read – much easier than the regular Catechism. He shared how it had already been helping him to understand all sorts of things about the Catholic Church and Faith. Several people seemed interested, and the leaders agreed with him. The old guy next to him apparently leaned over and let him know, ‘Imma do that,’ in response to the recommendation.

Great contribution, right? Right!

When he told me about it tonight, I was ecstatic for him. ‘Good job, Honey! Go, you!’ I told him enthusiastically and excited that he felt so strongly about the YouCat that he would speak up and share about it. And then I had the realization of how that could look…

(Mind you, I’m fully unconcerned with how it actually looked to all the people in the class. I just found this particular possible perspective to be a funny one.)

‘Way-to-make a contribution to class while also saying ‘I’m better than all of you,’’ I said to him. We both cracked up at how silly an idea it was, likely with both of us recalling some student or other in our own classes back in school days who were the overly-helpful know-it-alls, even on day one. And he got to be that overly-helpful know-it-all!! 😛

So, that was cute, and I’m grateful for it.

Thank you, God, for these classes, for this man, and for our love for you. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

Plenary

I think we are finally starting to get involved in some of the really cool learning stuff for Roman Catholicism. We read each night from the YouCat, the youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. That’s been a good start. But it has been a lot of low-brain topics so far. This week, however, we have found ourselves truly talking about whatever is presented from the YouCat topic, actually looking up further information on lots of it. And it is awesome.

Tonight, in an almost-bizarre twist, we ended up on the topic of plenary indulgences (Just look it up – it’d take me too long to explain them here now!). We even called my mom for her input and read from multiple online articles and dictionaries! What a fascinating topic! And, in doing that research, we got into the topic of how to address clergy properly. So, I found a fun Wikipedia article on how to do all of that for the different clergy (Yes, that, too, is a bit complicated, by the way.)! It was a very good time tonight.

Thank you, God, for this oddly fun surprise. Keep it up, please, and keep us with you. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

Let it go

Today, we started off with the Saturday morning workout. It was a partner workout. People didn’t follow the instructions given. It caused problems for those following the instructions. Obviously, we were the ones following the instructions. We finished on time, but we had a lot of frustration. It was so much so that we had to sit together for almost ten minutes to talk through everything after the workout and follow-up stretching had ended. It was a very positive outcome, but a very stress-filled class for he both of us. But we were intentional with the whole thing, and so we are growing well from it, I do believe.

Afterward – and after our max effort pull-up’s post-workout – we headed to confession and reconciliation. There is nothing quite so freeing as reconciliation, and fulfilling…

Then we did several things we’d been wanting to do, but hadn’t had time or space or memory to do so on previous weekends, simply because we passed by them on our way home from Church… farmers’ market and test driving a Jeep Gladiator and a truck. And the test drives were awesome. We had a blast, the both of us. And yes, he and I each got inside the closed truck bed of the Jeep, just to see how spacious it was. You could fit multiple people back there lying down, if needed… just in case that is ever a relevant fact in your life…

We didn’t accomplish a lot of what we’d intended for today, but we got some done, for sure, and we accomplished other things we had wanted for a while. So, I think this was a really great Saturday for us both, even if it felt a bit odd for not accomplishing the original list of tasks and goals for today.

The bonus is that tomorrow only has Church on the list, so we can finish today’s stuff then! Woohoo!

Thank you, God, for such a bizarre yet love-filled day. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

Works (of art and of grace)

I went to a different Mass than expected this weekend, but it was the one toward which I had had a sort of tug earlier this week. I had planned to attend a different Mass, and had this one as a back-up plan, and the back-up almost didn’t even happen – ate crappy food, and felt horrible all afternoon today, like I was about to pass out from exhaustion or hurl from the food at any given moment. But, despite feeling crappy in my belly, I knew I wanted to go to Mass this weekend – something about it just felt right, despite my body’s feeling so wrong today.

So, I sucked it up, and made the Mass happen. And, you know what, I not only saw someone who made me smile, but, after seeing that person, this absolutely gorgeous guy I’d met a couple years ago came walking in, and he sat the row behind me. (Eek!)

I felt like a high school girl, I swear. Lots of letting go of eekiness alongside all the emotions I experience throughout a beautiful Mass… silly, but also fun. I didn’t get to talk to him or anything, but we acknowledge each other’s presence both when he arrived and during the peace offerings. I told my mom that it was both exciting and slightly upsetting, because, yes, he was there, but he was there only at a distance, in a way. She said it was like a museum: Enjoy and admire the beautiful art, but you can’t touch it and you can’t take it home with you. Very true, Mom. Very true.

What I will say about his presence at Mass, though, is that it felt like encouragement, like a small reward, for my being there, that it was, indeed, the right place for me to be. Like God said, ‘See? Good things show up when you go where you are called.’

And that part felt very good and loving and encouraging. For it all, I am grateful. And, of course, I am very open to seeing him more regularly, God and Universe. 😉

For now, though, I thank you both. You hold my life and my heart with such grace and tenderness, and I am grateful. Please, help me to continue to step forward into what is next for me in this life, that I might be the love and creativity that I am here to be, to my full ability. Thank you, God and Universe.

Amen

Post-a-day 2021

Advent

Today marked the beginning of my Advent and Advent calendar for this year, complete with presents and my mom falling face forward up the stairs to my room. Trust me, despite the fright in the moment of that final piece happening, it was all extremely delightful and quite festively fun (even the fall, while my mom was lying there, laughing on top of the pile of presents she had been carrying).

You see, firstly, I didn’t know my mom was coming over, and my phone signal was still off. So, when I heard a knock behind me, I genuinely thought it was a raccoon or possum doing some construction work in the attic (or the likes). But then, my bedroom door was opening – by the way, the door to my room is down a flight of halfback stairs, because my room is a converted attic – and I started to freak. out…..

“Hello?” I asked in both annoyance and trepidation. It was my mom. And yes, I had locked the door, as I always do – my fear was that I hadn’t locked it, and I was now about to be attacked. I heard her voice, relaxed, reminded her that I was tutoring, and I went back up the stairs. Just as I was finishing telling the student to log off and back on again to see about resetting her computer’s connection and sound, I looked back down the stairs to see my mother falling forward as she turned the corner to head up the second half of the stairs. She has similar stairs in her house, but there is no step on the turn at the midpoint. Hers are just half and half. Mine are four, then one on the half turn, then another ten in the last part. The light in my stairwell is minimal in the first place, and the baskets of presents she was carrying certainly didn’t give her much help in seeing that single turn step. But they did help her land more safely, fortunately. I rushed down carefully and, basically, lifted her up off the ground on my own, as she had almost no leverage to get herself back up, her arms still wrapped around the presents now beneath her chest.

Even as I lifted her up, we were both laughing. She had determined already that all was well and whole within her body still, and so we could not hold back. It was ridiculous and hilarious to the both of us.

Anyway, the whole unexpected arrival of my mother was due to a request I made of her weeks ago. Would she print out my Advent calendar for me to use this year? I had made one for my cousin years ago, and loved it. I wanted to use it again this year, but I didn’t want to risk seeing the days ahead of time by printing it all out for myself. I had wanted them to be a surprise as much as possible, but I wanted to be able to write down my responses, instead of just look at it on my phone, as I did last year. (Each day has a question/prompt of sorts to which I am requested to respond, you see.) So, here we are on the first day of December, which lines up with how I had created the calendar initially, as a 25-day Advent calendar. My mom has gone above and beyond, as is regularly her style when it comes to fun, creativity-related things – the exact reason I had asked her to do this for me in the first place – and come up with presents for each day, wrapped in Charlie Brown Christmas wrapping paper – the Advent calendar I made is based on A Charlie Brown Christmas – to go with each day’s paper prompt.

Today, I got a box of tea, from which I can have a cup every morning when I open the day’s card and present – again, the original calendars we made are referenced, as they were tea Advent calendars, with a different tea for each day – as well as a Christmas lights necklace and green and red jingle bell bracelets to give me extra festivity this month. Then, my mom proceeded to open up the box of tea and make us each some tea. She actually hung out with me in my room while we snuggled up to our cups in the cold morning air, and just hung out together. Oddly enough, those were two of the things on my list for the first day’s prompt, checked off unexpectedly just about as quickly as I had gotten them written down.

Then she went off to work, and I snuggled in my bed another few hours before going to work myself.

All-in-all, it was a beautiful start to my Advent and my Advent calendar for this year. I am extremely grateful, and feel a strong sense of love and care for me today (for which I also feel extremely grateful). Yesterday was an odd sort of reminder for Advent’s ideas for me, just perfectly timed. And I have a feeling that there is much value to be found for me in and through Advent this year. I look forward to it all with cautious and grateful optimism.

Grazie, World and God. Here we are. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Eat up, dearest

“Ah, well, have your way if you must.  But he that fasts must attempt but little and stop early.  When shall you be back?”

A God-loving man once said that to Jeanne d’Arc (in French, of course), when she denied breakfast, because she was in such an excited and exhilarated hurry to get to the day’s task (of reclaiming the rest of the the river).

Sonething about it just struck me very strongly, and gave me an experience of delight.  I suppose it was the fact that it was someone who was Catholic giving such an idea, making it an odd sort of contradiction to modern practice in the religion.

Post-a-day 2018

Church, bras, and tangled hair

I was discussing with a co-worker this evening a church that my family attended when I was a baby, and it brought to mind the last time I attended Mass there.  We had moved elsewhere for church when I was still quite little, but occasionally still went to Mass there for a while.  Eventually, though, we had stopped altogether going there, and always went to one of two other nearby churches.  Therefore, it is easy for me to remember the last time I attended Mass at this particular church, because it was a singular event, with no other occurrences within years of its happening.

My youngest brother and I were tasked with going to church together on our own.  He was probably 16 or so, making me 12 at the time.  I remember how we were hanging out at home, and how he was playing games on the still-new PS2.  And I eventually finished getting dressed at the last minute, and we rushed off to Mass.

We ended up having the Mass time incorrect, so we weren’t just a little bit late to Mass.  But we stayed, anyway, and attended what little was left of it once we arrived.  When we arrived back home, a very unique experience happened, and one which I feel shows how loving we are, my brothers and I.  I had worn this top that went on like a tube top – yes, there were sleeves of some sort, or else a sweater that I wore over it, but it went on like a tube top.  However, it wasn’t the usual stretchy material of tube tops, but rather a somewhat set-size material with elastic around the top piece to help it stay in place.  (I’m almost certain that it had wide-ish straps, but nothing like actual sleeves to it.  I remember specifically that I had to wear a strapless bra with it, because of the strap situation, but that is all of which I am certain about the straps – strapless bra required.)

When I went to remove my top, changing out of the nicer clothes and into comfy, regular clothes, I got myself stuck.  You know the feeling… pulling it upward first, and, at the pivotal point, feeling the fabric stop sliding and suddenly hold tightly to the width of your currently-expanded shoulder blades… and being incapable of pulling the top back down, because your arms are now stuck up in the air, because the fabric really just doesn’t give almost at all.

So, what could I do but get help?  I remember having the slight concern of going to my brother for help, because he would see my bra! my thoughts shouted in whispered tones.  It took almost no time to accept the social standard as just that, and then to let it go.  I was beginning to panic at being stuck, when I was walking back out into the living room for help from my brother.  He easily stopped immediately what he was doing, and came to the rescue.  I think it might have actually taken us a good bit of effort to free me, but we eventually succeeded, and I was grateful for his help.

And, what is amazing about this, really, is that neither of us was uncomfortable with the situation.  Sure, it was an odd situation – I was already at the point of having been able to dress myself alone successfully for years.  But it was still easy for us both, because of our love and care for one another.

 

As another brief anecdote, I remember a time my oldest brother was babysitting me, and I went to use my mom’s rounded brush, typically used for curling hair while blowdrying, to brush my hair.  I did it in a sort of hurry, and somehow twisted the brush while it still had my hair running through it (I had long hair at the time), and began brushing a new spot on my head… ultimately knotting a big chunk of my hair into the brush.

My brother was able to reach my mom on the phone, and she said to check with the neighbors, because the mother there might be able to help unknot my hair.  A good, long while later, the neighbor was convinced that my hair had to be cut, in order to remove the brush.  I remember my mom’s voice on the phone declaring, “Do not cut her hair,” to my brother.  I think it took over an hour, possibly longer, and I don’t remember who finally did it (though my brother, the neighbor, and I all worked on it at times, and my mom might even have had to finish it up when she got home later), but my hair eventually was freed.  And I was concerned about ever using that kind of brush in my hair again.

Obviously.

You know, I think those were the worst that ever really happened when my brothers were in charge of babysitting… not bad, I think.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

Mass: exercise for the brain(?)

I critique the priests’ sermons at Mass.  I don’t mean to do it.  It just happens automatically for me.  Just like how I automatically correct anything I read, people with whom I talk, and even the conversations I overhear, I critique the sermons at church.

Grammar is one thing, of course, and it is always being tracked in my mind.  I regularly use a certain phrasing or structure that I know to be incorrect, but that I know is, essentially, necessary for understanding for the listener or reader.  (I also know that errors show up on here all the time, but that’s mostly due to either the previously mentioned reason or the simple fact that I am writing on my phone, as I lie in bed, ready to go to sleep… Not the best time or means for correct writing, I know, but I’m lazy, so it’s often the situation I have.)  For the sermons, however, my brain decided years ago to treat them like essays.  I analyze their quality in terms of how they connect with the readings, how they connect with the audience (congregation), and how they create an inspiring message and clear means for doing good in the world.

It takes a true writer to come up with a sermon that would earn an A from me.  Most of the time, unfortunately, sermons earn somewhere around a low C.  Occasionally, there are bonus points awarded for specific tidbits within the sermon, but the sermons as a whole are not so great right now.  (This was actually one of my main reasons a decade ago for why women ought to be allowed to give sermons at Mass, even if they couldn’t be priests – not everyone is good at writing and giving speeches.)

This isn’t to say that I actually award points as I am sitting in Mass.  Certainly, I do not do that.  My brain is just in a sort of passive automatic critique mode, coming up with ideas for betterment in the sermon each time it hits a rough bit.  I do take care to focus on the actual sermon, especially since I know myself to do this critiquing so automatically.  It’s kind of like background noice, really, and so I only end up fully focusing on it when the sermon is really terrible.  (Fortunately, that isn’t too often.)

Post-a-day 2017