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

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

Burning my a

Tonight, something burned away from me. Big time.

We had a whole day of events at church today, and it was really cool, right? Well, it all ended with Mass and then Adoration. For those who don’t know, Adoration is when a priest brings out the blessed sacrament and puts it on display for folks to adore. Put differently, it is an opportunity for people to sit in a physical presence of God, to look right at a physical form of Him. (The blessed sacrament is bread that has undergone transubstantiation, a change of form/state, into the exact form that was the bread Jesus, way back when in the Garden of Gethsemane, declared to be his body. The priests have a beautiful right – is it actually called a right?? Now, I’m doubting myself here… – in which they recreate Jesus’ words and actions, allowing for the bread and wine to become the body and blood of Christ, just as they were when Jesus declared them to be his body and blood.) It’s like having someone here in person, instead of over the phone – prayer, aka conversation, with one sitting right in front of us.

During Adoration tonight, there was some music, some prayer led aloud, and some silence. For part of the time, the blessed sacrament sat on the altar for all to see. And, eventually, the priests and deacons carried it slowly around the entire church – it’s a quite large church, you see – for everyone to be able to pray right up close to the blessed sacrament.

I tell you, every time I got to see it straight on, clearly, I suddenly lost the capacity to sing. All I experienced in those moments was intensity through my whole being, like a current being upped immensely in power. The words that suddenly filled my head were simply, “Love,” and, “My Love.” Every time.

And then, when it came around by us – I was even on the end of the pew, and they stopped almost exactly next to me – things went to a whole new level. As it turned the corner onto our aisle, my breathing became inexplicably heavy and fast. My tears turned into heavy, intense crying. I was in a sudden full-blown, desperation-type cry in mere moments. We were already kneeling, and I couldn’t even keep myself up – I fell to the ground… or, rather, I went from sitting tall on my knees to collapsing on my heels, holding onto the pew to keep myself from falling off the kneeler, my chin just above even with the pew back where I was holding myself still upright, but lower to the ground than before.

When they were within about a meter or two, I felt a sudden heat approaching me, coming from their direction. As they got next to me, I felt like the intensity of a sun was exploding outward from the small group of priests as deacons, the blessed sacrament at the center. My entire body was intensely hot, in a matter of moments and directly connected to the position of the blessed sacrament. As I roughly cried my heart out, my whole body shaking, I could feel something burning away from me, layers being penetrated and spots being dissolved in the crazy heat. It felt like a fever times two. I considered how I needed to take off my sweatshirt, also the jacket that had been covering the backs of my legs… yet I couldn’t make a move beyond crying and clinging to the pew, looking directly to the blessed sacrament, struggling to breathe calmly (and failing). I even felt one priest notice and look right at me as I fell downward, but I didn’t even look at him as I typically would do. I was pinned.

And then, this small eternity in the cosmos ended. The priests and deacons began to walk again, moving to the next spot. As they moved away, I could feel the temperature changing by small jolts with each step they took. Perhaps thirty seconds or so later, I found no need to remove my sweatshirt, as it was back to the winter cool it had been all day in the church.

And I collapsed even further, like all my energy had been spent, like after a long, long day of work and a nice cleansing shower, how I collapse into bed… it felt like that. I could barely even hold onto the pew back at this point, I just draped an arm on it to keep me from collapsing fully to the floor. My eyes could just see over the pew back, following the blessed sacrament still, but from a distance now. All my energy was gone. I had been well worn, it felt, well washed and scrubbed and cleaned. I tried singing a bit, and could only manage it when I couldn’t see the blessed sacrament directly. Every time I saw it, no sound was emitted from me, now matter how I may have intended.

I eventually got my energy restored and was even more energetic afterward than I had been all day today. My mom was asking the main priest about a quote afterward, and I joined them briefly as I returned from a bathroom trip. The priest recognized me from adoration – he remembered seeing me crying. I wasn’t embarrassed. Not in the least.

And I noticed that I felt so much more myself now, not so afraid or strained or stressed about anything anymore. Weight had been lifted, and from all of me, somehow. Now, I’m going to bed much later than I like or than usual. I am utterly exhausted. I do not know what is going to happen with my living situation or my financial situation. Nope. And, somehow, I’m not secretly incredibly stressed about that. We’ll just face that tomorrow and onward. May God’s way manifest clearly and beautifully, and may I embody it fully through myself in every way.

Post-a-day 2022

Mass

Mass is such an emotional experience for me these days. When I am truly present, I end up in massive and intense tears… I wonder if it always will be this way, now that I am not so afraid to be myself as I am when I’m Church, in love and in need…

Thank you, God, for such passion and love as I have an feel from you when I am in Mass these days… may it continue beautifully. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

(Had to think about it still, but I got it right twice now!)

Alas, Mass

Tonight, I attended Mass with one of my best friends. I forget how much we have in common when we are apart. But then we find ourselves talking after Mass, discovering that we both cried at this Mass we had both wanted and needed, and, oh, right, we both use celsius temperatures, and we both blah, blah, blah… it’s really cool. I am extremely grateful that we get to live together again, come February. I am also extremely grateful that we have Church together. It is becoming a thing for her to join me for Mass, and, judging by this evening’s service, I think it most certainly will continue and will pick up immensely in frequency. And I think we both are grateful for that.

Thank you, God and Universe. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

(Oops… almost got it wrong again)

Two things

One: I cannot seem to stop thinking about and feeling those feelings from my dream this morning, those of having met and been with my partner in life, my man. Even when I am not thinking about it, the feelings are there, in the background, ever-present. I am nervous now to sleep, for fear of no longer having the still-strong memories of being with him at last.

But then I also wonder what I need to do to go ahead and step forward in real life, so that I can make happen for real what manifested in my dream this morning…

……….

Two: I am back at the house in Houston now, about to go to sleep. Tomorrow, I am thinking I will go to Mass in the morning – though I usually prefer the evening Mass – while I am still all clean from having showered tonight. Then I can pack and lug boxes and such downstairs all fay after that, and not worry about getting dirty and sweaty while at all of that, as well as not have to keep track of the time, which tends to give me a certain level of added stress whenever I am waiting for something happening later in a day.

I am still nervous. That’s okay. I’ll go pick up the boxes from the store after Mass, and then come back and hop to it. I’m thinking I’ll start with my art stuff and my hanging clothes. Then I can just move down all the already-packed tubs and boxes of kimono, books, blankets, scarves, shirts, jackets, etc. I also will fold and pack up the laundry on my floor. That I will keep with me for the next six weeks. I think I had probably better pack my six-weeks bag first, actually. Set all of that somewhere particular, and then start to pack up all the rest. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Well, then, I have a plan that feels good for tomorrow’s goals. Mass, box-pickup, pack for the six weeks, take down to first floor all that is already boxed, start boxing art/desk stuff and hanging clothes, and breathe calmly and fully all day long. It’ll be easier to pack all the other stuff once the already-organized and -boxes stuff is out of the way. Then, Monday morning, I can go start sticking it all into the storage unit before packing all the other stuff, art and shoes and toiletries and rocks included.

God, grant me, please, the grace to handle this all effectively and beautifully and safely and lovingly tomorrow and this week. Help me to be your love in the world through this necessary shift. And, please, help this shift to be the source of my being your love more fully and more powerfully than ever, both presently and going forward throughout life.

P.S. Please give those green eyes some extra love and fulfillment tonight and this week. I hurt for their bearer and all that that one bears so heavily right now. Allow me to lift that weight and fill that individual with such love as frees – the love that You are.

In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

Empty pockets, empty soul?

Tonight, I attended Mass at one of the wealthiest parishes in town. It was natural that the priest was insistent that everyone take a paper bag for the food drive – it has a list of items on it for one to purchase and then return to the church in the paper bag.

I did not take a bag, though I did consider it. I am not financially stable in a way that I can safely sacrifice the money it would cost to get all the items. Because it would be that for me, a sacrifice. I have barely been able to afford my own groceries and life bills lately. I cannot safely provide them for others, not right now, no matter how I may want to do so.

And so, as I was leaving Mass, the priest asked if I had gotten a bag. I told him that I hadn’t. ‘Why not?’ ‘It is not something I can do right now,’ I reply with best coming to my eyes. ‘Why not?’ ‘Because it requires money, which I do not have at present.’ ‘Ask your parents!’ he declares jovially, but allows me to thank him for Mass and pass without a bag.

I was fully crying by the time I reached the curb.

I immediately evaluated what was happening, of course. I was equating my financial situation with my personal worth, as well as my success as a person and adult and one worthy of being loved. And it sucked. And that was okay.

I reminded myself that being in my present situation isn’t bad. It is just what’s so, and my discomfort is merely a clear sign that I want to change something about it all. And so, what do I want to change about it all? Well, I want to teach. And at this particular school. If I need to wait another six months or hear and a half before I get to do that for real, that’s okay. Until then, I will continue to make myself better for my work, as well as make a difference in the world in my daily life. And I will make true efforts to have more money coming to me and reliably so. I can do this. And, as I mentioned to someone else today, failing at something doesn’t mean I am bad. It just shows how I can improve and allows me an opportunity to do so. Alors, let’s do it, Banana. We can do this.

Post-a-day 2021

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

Mass

I did the second reading on Friday. My grandma’s cousin, the priest presiding over the Mass, had asked me to give a brief reason for and explanation of what I was going to do, just before I began. And so, with some trepidation, deep breathing, and many tears, I said, “My Opa’s first language was German. So, I will do the second reading in German, for him.” And then I did.

Der erste Brief an die Thessalonicher 
Das Schicksal der Verstorbenen
13 Brüder und Schwestern, wir wollen euch über die Entschlafenen nicht in Unkenntnis lassen, damit ihr nicht trauert wie die anderen, die keine Hoffnung haben. 
14 Denn wenn wir glauben, dass Jesus gestorben und auferstanden ist, so wird Gott die Entschlafenen durch Jesus in die Gemeinschaft mit ihm führen. 
15 Denn dies sagen wir euch nach einem Wort des Herrn: Wir, die Lebenden, die noch übrig sind bei der Ankunft des Herrn, werden den Entschlafenen nichts voraushaben. 
16 Denn der Herr selbst wird vom Himmel herabkommen, wenn der Befehl ergeht, der Erzengel ruft und die Posaune Gottes erschallt. Zuerst werden die in Christus Verstorbenen auferstehen; 
17 dann werden wir, die Lebenden, die noch übrig sind, zugleich mit ihnen auf den Wolken in die Luft entrückt zur Begegnung mit dem Herrn. Dann werden wir immer beim Herrn sein. 
18 Tröstet also einander mit diesen Worten!

Post-a-day 2021

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