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

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: 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