A Quote To Remember

So I am finishing the move. it is amazing to see how much stuff a girl can accumulate in less than two years. Amidst all the packing, there is much that is just finally findings its way to the dumpster.

I also found many things, among them some old college papers. I used to print out great quotes and hang them all over my apartment. (Now, I tend to write them on post-its and paste them all over my desk.) Within those papers, I found this quote from JP2:

It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.

― Pope John Paul II

This one lights up my heart today. I hope it brings some joy to you!

A fun reminder: since I am leaving my apartment, where I have an internet connection, and moving into my grandmother’s house for a few weeks, my updates may slow drastically. Still, I will try to put up something when I can.

Reminder #2: It is now only 29 days till Entrance Day!!! How awesome! Time is flying by!

Reminder the Third: In order for me to get to enter, I do still need your help. By my calculations, I still need about $3,000 in order to pay off all of my debt. Please help me! I truly appreciate every little bit.

Peace!

Notes From (Last) Sunday’s Homily…

As a nice break from moving and sewing more of my aprons, I thought it would be nice to share a bit from the homily from last Sunday’s Mass. I’ve been meaning to post this for a week now but I’ve been running around. It is always nice when you get a really great homily and what was nice is that Father seemed to pick up on the same two lines that had caught my ears as well.

I mean, the first line of the First Reading has to jump out at you:

Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the LORD.

Father went back 400 years to Israel clamoring for a king (who was supposed to be a good shepherd), wanting to be like all the nations around them. Samuel tells them this isn’t a good idea since kings aren’t all that great but Israel is fairly stubborn and God gives them what they ask for, after which all of Samuel’s predictions come true. The kings are, for the most part, greedy and self-absorbed and forgetful of their true role as a shepherd for the people of Israel. One other point to add was that Israel wanted a king, so as to be like everyone else but Israel was never supposed to be like everyone else. Israel was supposed to be holy, a nation set apart, led by the law and will of God. So by asking for a king, and wanting a man’s laws to rule them, there is a serious theological problem here!

Later, in the Gospel of Mark, we heard that

When [Jesus] disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

It stood out to me if for no other reason than I had just said Morning Prayer and that same line was found there today. Jesus knew they needed to be taught the will of God, that they might go back to the real plan for the people of God: to be a nation set apart, led and ruled by the law of God.

And so, explained Father, are we called to be a people set apart, led not by the whims of the people or of a king/president/parliament, etc. but by the law of God. As a Church, we are not supposed to blend in. We are called to be a sign in the world – a contradiction of the culture, standing up for the law of God and making His presence in the world known.

There was more but it has been a week. Suffice to say it was a reminder that we as Catholics and Christians are called to stand out and when the Church’s teaching are not the same as the culture’s ideals, that is probably a good thing.

And now, I need to go. I have a lot of moving and final cleaning to do in the morning, as I leave my apartment and continue getting things done for entering the convent.

God bless!

One Of My Favorite Musicians!

I was spending some time with my friend this evening (since I have only 30 days left before I enter… YAY!!!!) and we ended up listening to a few songs by a group called Marian Grace. They have such beautiful music and have taken several old, beautiful hymns and prayers and put them to music. It is all fantastic and I wanted to share one with you. I hope you like this one – it is the Anima Christi put to music.

Peace!

Moving Day!

A couple years ago, I decided it was time to get an apartment, to go out and try the idea of living on my own and all that that entails. I found a nice one bedroom next to the zoo (I sometimes like to joke that I live next door to a bunch of wild animals… because really, the zoo is right across the street!) and bought furniture and kitchen stuff and make it a nice little home.

Today, that adventure ends as I am embarking on my journey to the convent. YAY! I mean… I loved living here (minus the whole “no apartment is perfect and you will have problems with some of it” thing) and it has been great but the convent?? SO MUCH MORE AWESOME!!

Anyway, all of this means a good bit of work, from trying to sell all my stuff to hauling all of it over to my grandmother’s house (she is being super wonderful and letting me take over her basement with my stuff and sleep at her house till I go for my family visits). Lucky for me, I have some awesome cousins who own a truck and have muscles. They have agreed to trade use of said truck and upper-body strength for left over pulled pork sandwiches! YAY!

All of this means that though I would love to sit here and write more, I really need to be putting things in boxes. Right. OH! And since my internet is going to disappear with the move, my updates may be a little scant for a while. But I hope you guys will continue to donate because I still really need your help.

Time to go do work!

Peace!

Astounded By Generosity…

Today, I have just been awestruck by generosity – the generosity of my co-workers mostly, though others have been so wonderful this week as well. But my co-workers… Wow!

I decided to do a small fundraiser. As you all know, I am still trying to raise money to pay off the rest of my debt so I can enter in 33 days (though who’s counting, right?). I thought a small fundraiser at work would be nice and got the green light to go ahead with a pulled pork fundraiser. Basically, I let everyone know I was making pulled pork, they let me know if they wanted some (so I could get enough) and they would offer some donation of their own choosing. Some very awesome ladies at the office offered help, some to help buy the pork and some to bring in more food! Because you always need more food!

And they pulled out all the stops! We had brownies and cookies and cheesecake, veggie pizza and coleslaw and baked beans, corn bread and pasta salad and fruit salad… Drinks, too! (If anyone went home hungry today, it was totally their own fault.) The food was great and everyone was wonderful!

And so many people offered donations. One of the VPs paid for his entire department to eat (25 people!) and one man just walked into the kitchen at one point and handed me a check without getting food. All together, even when you remove the cost of everything I bought for the fundraiser, I received over $500 from the generosity of my wonderful co-workers. All of which brings me that much closer to being able to enter.

I was truly awestruck and am just so grateful to have been blessed with these co-workers. I have been working at McG for about three and a half years now and they have always been very kind. Today is just one example of what this group will do when they want to help someone out. If any of them read this, I want them to know that I will be praying for them for the rest of my life. I am truly grateful! Truly, truly grateful.

Tomorrow – packing and preparing to move out of my apartment! AHH!!

Peace!

Questions?

So I realized that, here I am, asking you to help me financially so that I can go to a convent and I don’t know what you all know about convents in general or the Dominican Sisters of Mary in particular. I have one co-worker who has been asking me lots of questions, including “What do sisters wear when they sleep? Do they wear regular pajamas or do they wear some other type of special outfit?” I love questions like this because 1) it gives me a chance to talk about the convent and how excited I am to be entering and 2) she doesn’t know and seems to be genuinely curious and desirous of learning more!

Anyway, I wanted to give all of you the chance to ask questions so I am going to copy one of my future sisters (I’ve been told it is the highest form of complementing a person’s idea so I hope Sophia will forgive me), and make this an open question time. I invite you to fill my comment box with your questions, to which I will do my best to provide answers. Keep in mind that, since I am still on this side of the convent, my answer may be “I don’t know yet” but I will do my best to answer.

In the meanwhile, here’s a link to my PayPal account. Please know that I truly appreciate all your help!!

Peace!

The Importance of Preaching…

Over that last few months, I have had that chance to have some really great conversations with people about the faith, most of which continually remind me of how great a need this world has of witnesses to the Truth. So many people don’t know the Truth or just think it is one of many truths. The “dictatorship of relativism” (I do love our Papa Bene and how he puts things) runs rampant and a hedonistic morality reigns supreme in our culture.

Aside from that, so many people just don’t know that they are missing something. They’ve never been taught! They are convinced by the lies of the world and don’t look further, or even that there is something further to look for! They see Jesus as just a nice guy – a good preacher who had an interesting sermon or two. They forget that Jesus makes a lot of demands on us! He calls us, not to be nice, but to be good and Holy. We are called to be Saints – to devote ourselves to the will of God, in all stages and places of life. Jesus demands that we avoid sin, give up everything and follow Him.

But in our day, people shrug that off, saying that “I’m not hurting anyone so what does it matter” or “I don’t feel bad so it can’t be a sin.”

Or we decide that there is no such thing as sin. (Matthew Kelly’s response to this: “Watch the evening news for five minutes. If you still believe there is no such thing as sin, seek professional help.)

Perhaps, that is why I am so attracted to the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (aside from the fact that I believe God is calling me to serve Him there). The Dominicans are the Order of Preachers, an Order founded to preach the Word of God to all the world – to help dispel the darkness of ignorance and to teach people about how awesome God is! Their motto is “to contemplate and to give to others the fruit of our contemplation.” How perfect!

This is an Order that boldly seeks to proclaim God’s Truth and Majesty to the world, a world that so desperately needs His Truth. We ALL need to go out into the world, letting people know that there is a God who loves us, Who wants the best for us: an eternity with Him. But in order to reach that eternity, we need to surrender to Him.

One image that I had and wanted to share with you before I go: sometimes, you can put a Latin pun on the word “Dominicans,” turning it into “domini canes,” roughly translated as “Hounds of the Lord.” (I joked with my friend saying I was going to be one of “God’s Dawgs.” I don’t think she was expecting that line to come from me.) As I was listening to Fr. R’s homily (which I really will post about soon) when he was speaking about the Good Shepherd, I got the image of myself as a Border Collie or some other sheep dog, doing my best to help Him in watching over the flock (though hopefully in a kinder way than most sheep dogs use) before trotting over to Him hoping to get a pat on the head and a smile. I know I am one of the sheep as well but I like the idea of being able to do something small to help the flock follow Christ.

God Bless!