Sunday, November 27, 2011

Let's All Say Consubstantial

I'm on the change train.
I was excited to go to Mass today and use the new translation or corrected translation or revised translation. I went to my parish workshop, I read about the change in our bulletin and other publications, I saw a video on the change, and I discussed the change in Bible study.

Our priest spoke before Mass began about the new pamphlets in the pews that we need to use along with the reasoning behind the change. Mass began, and we stuttered through it including the priest. At least 3/4 of the people said, "And also with you" instead of "With your spirit." Wait, did I miss the Gloria? What happened to the Gloria? Again, Father G. reminded us to use our pamphlets. Before the Profession of Faith Father discussed the "I" instead of "We" and consubstantial.

My poor father who is legally blind was unable to even read the LARGE PRINT pamphlet. He went to the workshop too in preparation. He ordered important publications for both us, so we could be prepared. He was eager for the change, yet he was saying all the wrong things. He really is into theology. I'll have to make time to review the changes with him again.

At the end of Mass, Father said it was like saying his first Mass all over again because he stumbled over unfamiliar words and phrases too. But he has faith that we will all get the hang of it. And we will. Week by week we will  speak more and more in unison. But in the meantime, I like the newness of the Mass. I like being mindful. I like the fact that this is an opportunity to delve deeper into the mysteries of our faith. I like the fact we are exploring our relationship with the Trinity. I like the fact that we are improving communication with the presider and God. I like that we are another mile or two ahead on our spiritual journey. 

There are those who are complaining about the new translation as if it's too difficult. Sure it may be difficult, but that does not mean we are incapable. Sure, it may be hard to understand, but we have our entire lives to try to understand. Aren't we always growing in understanding? Isn't that the point? We are poised for growth, and God is giving us plenty of room for that growth to occur.

Consubstantial may be an unfamiliar and wieldly word, but it is an AWESOME word.

Lord, thank you for making me capable of spiritual growth. Thank you for giving me this life to explore and revel in my relationship with you. Thank you for waking us up at Mass, so we are mindful and not robots. Lord, may all the complainers learn to appreciate the beauty of the Mass and please overlook our humanness as we struggle to get it right. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Do Not Enter- You are NOT Welcome

My aunt called me this morning to tell me not to visit her, not even come and stay in a hotel. She said she doesn't want any company. Ever since her husband died three years ago, she said she's done with holidays and company. Now she just wants to make herself happy. I said I feel hurt. She said in order for me to feel better, and not hurt, she would feel bad. She said she's tired of trying to do what other people want and not upset people or hurt them. I wonder if I have been an imposition all these years. Anyway, I told her that I'm leaving it up to her to repair the relationship between us.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wish Tree Gifts

Today I went shopping for the needy person I picked off the Wish Tree at church. I only know her first name and her age (53). This time I purposely chose an adult because sometimes grown-ups need or want things. The Wish listed items she wanted, sizes and colors, and I got some of them. It does not tell her story or even if she lives in the city or suburbs or in a rural area.

Her list was rather long and I only bought a few of the items. Here is one thing I bought. After making the purchases and walking out of the stores with the bags, I felt happy.

Priest Girls and their Tambourines

What would look even stranger to me is to see a women priest. If I were at a Mass where there was one, I don't think I would really be at a Mass.

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Who remembers Tracy Partridge?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kicked Out

I called up my aunt on Friday to say I would like to come and visit her and my cousins who live in her area. For the first time ever, she told me to stay in a motel. She said her new home is too small even though she lives alone and has two bedrooms: one bedroom is her room and the other has a daybed. What?????????? When I visited her before she and my uncle had a three bedroom home. My uncle has since died, so my aunt downsized. She smokes, and I have asthma. Previously, she wouldn't smoke in the same room that I was in. She would smoke on her sun porch or in just one half of the house.

When I went to stay with her for my uncle's funeral, my aunt "lost it" and smoked in my face and all over the house. It was horrible, but I didn't say anything.

However on Friday she did not say anything about her smoking. I feel unwanted and unwelcomed. I am also thinking that she just wants to smoke as much as she pleases wherever she pleases. And it is certainly her right to smoke and pollute her own home. But if that's the case, I feel hurt that she would chose her nicotine over me just like any other drug addict chooses drugs over his or her partner. Or maybe she just doesn't want me around. So until I am able to come to terms with this hotel thing and my unhappy feelings, I am not making any plans to visit. And by not visiting, I won't be seeing my goddaughter.

Today was a different sort of being kicked out. The director of liturgy caught me on my way into Mass. She said she didn't put me on the Eucharistic minister schedule for the next quarter because some of my Beware of Perverts Preying On Children class paperwork is missing. I'm suppose to call the business manager at the parish to discuss my missing paperwork. The director of liturgy said she knows I attended the Beware of Perverts (not the official name of the class) session a few years ago because she saw me in attendance. Since I was scheduled to serve today, she let me. Who knows when I'll be allowed to serve again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Everyday Life without an Anchor

1) Now that I am not praying that 30-Day Prayer, I feel insecure. I don't feel anchored like I did when I was praying it. My worries blow through my mind. Perhaps this is a sign that I need to pray every single day. My soul is wandering like a lonely cloud. (I must look up that particular poem.)

2) I rec'd a small but substantial check from my cousin, so my rent and some other essentials are covered for the next few months. And I can book an airline ticket to a sunnier state and visit my aunt. So why aren't I happy?

3) I'm bummed because yesterday I rec'd a rejection letter for that job I interviewed for.

4) I took a little nap on my couch and woke up too late to attend Bible study this evening. Slightly irritated with myself.

5) Just in case you think that because I am single I am living a glamourous life filled with friends and exciting nights on the town, I will tell you I am not. Actually I am lonely a lot. My friends are very busy. Also I do volunteer work several times a week. I think the place where I do volunteer work is doing me a favor by letting me hang out there and do little tasks.

6) Sunday afternoon was fun because I was at church helping decorate paper ornaments with markers, crayons, stamps and stickers for the Wishing Tree. Plus pizza and pop were served too. I talked to some nice ladies who were all older than I am. They were impressed by my primitive drawings. Afterwards, another lady and I took a nice walk since it was a warm and sunny afternoon.We got to know each other a little bit better.

7) When Advent starts I am going to make a concentrated effort to say Christmas instead of holidays.

8) One particular friend I exchange gifts with has been too busy to get together due to her husband and children. I just don't feel close to her anymore and don't feel like giving her a gift.

9) Though I am in my 40s, I still haven't given up the dream of getting married. I know other women who have gotten married for the first time when they were my age. Sometimes I look at pictures of wedding dresses. Nothing strapless because I wouldn't feel comfortable in that style.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 30 of Novena

I suppose if it's a 30-Day prayer, it can't be called a novena.

The first day was remarkable. Read about it here. So the result is this:

I still don't have a job, but I have not received a rejection letter for the full-time job I interviewed at.

I still haven't received my windfall, but lawyer letters and my cousin says I will receive one. On Friday my cousin and I spoke on the phone. He was getting ready to go to the bank to do a wire transfer of the large chunk of the money. On the way to the bank, he said he was mailing me a check for a smaller amount. So all day long, I kept going online to see my account and if the deposit was made. Late in the afternoon, it dawned on me that it was probably a bank holiday due to Veteran's Day. Obviously my cousin didn't think of that either.

So my anxiety decreased during these 30-days. I do have job search fatigue, but who wouldn't?

This is how relaxed I feel after 30 days of prayer.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Puss in Boots, Paul, Prison, Penance, Penn State, Peace

It's Saturday Night

Today's post is brought to you buy the letter P.

This afternoon my friend and I went to see Puss in Boots. There's one scene in which Puss in Boots and Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk were in prison. I thought about how St. Paul was in prison and wrote letters. We are reading The Acts of the Apostles in Bible study, and it must be sinking in. We both enjoyed the action packed movie, which was funny.

When the movie was over, I picked up my dad so we could go to confession and 5:00 pm Mass. When we arrived there was only one guy in line, but we still had to wait a bit while Father G. wrapped up a nuptial mass. You know, I have never gone to confession behind a screen or in a little dark box. I have always gone face-to-face. Outside the reconciliation room, there is a pocket with sheets of Guide to Confession for those who of us who . . . um . . . don't frequent this sacrament as much as we should. It's good if you're nervous too, or you grew up post-Vatican II and never had to memorize The Act of Contrition. Shameful, I know.

So I confessed my sin, which was weighing heavily on me. The priest said, "Well, sometimes things happen, but you can't keep beating yourself up about it." I almost cried. Anyway, he gave me absolution and assigned my penance. When I walked out of the reconciliation room, my dad said, "You're done so quick." Well, my sin seemed SO BIG and HEAVY to me that I couldn't think of any others.

So my dad took his turn in the recon room then we went into the sanctuary to pray and wait for Mass to begin, And I had to do my penance. (And I thought I got off really light with my penance.) Well, when we got into the sanctuary, I got very angry and thought I was going to have to turn right around and go back into confession.

You see, the bridal party and all their hanger-ons were taking pictures and talking very loudly. Children were running amok. The photographer had such a big set up with umbrellas and thick electrical cords and lights in front of the altar. The bride was yelling at people across the church telling them they had to be in this picture and that picture.

I wanted some peace and quiet, so I could PRAY. Usually, after confession I am in a very joyful peaceful, prayerful state. I usually feel closer to God. Instead I was upset with this yelling, running around, chattering, lights, camera, and action. The Tabernacle was obstructed. I was trying to guide my dad (suffering from low-vision), so he wouldn't trip over any cords. Then my thoughts ran to how unoriginal the bridal gown was and the ugly colors of the bridesmaid dresses.

I almost yelled, "QUIET! There are people trying to pray here." More people were coming in for 5:00 Mass, and one lady had her rosary out. Apparently some people like to have some quiet prayer time before Mass starts.

I wondered if I was wrong to expect a quiet church, so I could say my Our Father's and Hail Mary's. I mean if there had to be talking, couldn't they speak quietly in their indoor voices? The sacrament of Holy Matrimony looked like an overblown pageant in a casino at this point. So I was feeling very unkind.

Finally, a parish lady shooed out the bride and her merry revelers and eventually Mass started. I thought it was ironic that the first reading was the Proverbs 31 wife.

During the homily Father G. spoke out about the evil that was allowed to happen at Penn State. He told us as Christians we must speak out against evil even if we are afraid, become unpopular, or at risk. I am glad Father G. spoke out about Penn State because I have been mad about it all week. Of course, Father G. spoke about Penn State for about 4 minutes and spent 20 minutes on other Gospel-y topics.

As Mass went on, I finally felt Peace and Grace settle over me like a warm cloak - all warm and cozy with God.

Imagine the peace of being out in the countryside on a starry, starry night.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting and The Difference Between Male and Female Doctors

Did I really hear my cousin correctly when he told me the amount of inheritance?
Now I must wait for him to distribute the assets. And wait, and wait, and wait. I must restrain myself from spending the money I don't have yet.
I did make a list of charities to give to including my local church.
I must be a good steward.

God, give me the wisdom to be prudent with how I spend or invest the money. Please, God, give me wisdom, and lead me to wise and ethical advisors.

I don't want to be like the prodigal son who spent all his money on wine, women, and song. But I am going to give myself a special treat if I don't get that job I interviewed for.

I must remember that shiny objects don't bring happiness. 

I do have a pile of medical bills to pay off: a lot because these days every little single part of your body requires its own medical specialist. Plus I had surgery earlier this year.

Here's the difference between my female doctors and male doctors. The female doctors' offices send me a statement every now and then. They never hassle me for money, and gracefully accept any small amount I am able to pay. They continue to treat me. They give me a break on the charges. They discount services.

The male doctors' offices and the Catholic hospital (male administrators) send bill collectors after me. They do not acknowledge the monetary stress of unemployment or the reality that unemployment means I am not earning an income. They send me letters threatening to fire me as a patient. They charge me extra if my insurance doesn't cover a procedure.
Guess which doctors I will be paying off first? Yep, the female doctors for their understanding, their patience, their belief in me that someday I WILL be able to pay my entire bill.  And I will send these doctors a little note of appreciation with my payment because I really, truly appreciate them.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fast Acting Novena Part IV - Windfall

Today is Day 24 of my 30-Day Novena

I just learned how much my inheritance is. It is enough money to pay my rent for the next year!!!!! And enough to pay off my medical bills. And to buy a new car, but I'll hold off on that. My car is very old, but it is still running.

I can give money to charities. I can take my dad out for a steak dinner. I can give more money to my church. I can get a flu shot. I can give money to the needy instead of being the needy.

I will save, save, save because I have learned to do without a lot of stuff during this time of unemployment.  I don't know how long I will be unemployed. Hopefully not that much longer.

Thank you for praying for me. I got a break. 

Thank You, God! Thank you, Mary, for your intercession.
Consider the lilies in the field . . .  Matthew 6:28

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Altar Boys and Girls, Holding Hands

Is it me, or does having girl altar servers look weird? I mean they are normal looking girls, but it seems strange to have girls being altar boys.

I really don't like holding hands during the Our Father at Mass. It seems fakey even though they all seem like fine people.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Slippery Hope, Waiting on Novena, Misfit Among Marrieds on Seraphic Singles

Today is Day 22 of my 30 Day Novena.

Hope remains slippery and difficult to hold on to. I am still waiting to hear about the full-time job I interviewed for. Now I am afraid of going to my mailbox and receiving a rejection letter.

Once again I rec'd another letter from my aunt's attorney about my inheritance, and it has me worried. She has made mistakes, so I am unclear if I'll receive any money. I so WANT TO BELIEVE that I've been gifted with money and God is good and prayer works especially since I am unemployed. Perhaps this is a test from the devil?

Dear God, Please, provide for my needs like rent and food. Dear God, I continue to pray for a way out of my financial despair. Dear God, I am asking to work my way out of it. Dear God, please keep me in the palm of your hand. Dear God, help me hang onto hope. Dear God, please lead to a bright and shiny future.

If you are reading, would you please say a prayer? It's so hard when I can't see what's over the hill and around the bend.

A few days ago, I made a comment on Seraphic Singles and in response she wrote an entire post. Click here to read her post.  I felt "heard." Thank you, Seraphic.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Making Babies: My Comments on Little Catholic Bubble Blog

Discussion on Little Catholic Bubble Blog

Over on Little Catholic Bubble Blog there has been an ongoing conversation about abortion, child bearing, biology, sex, and a few other things. Here is a comment I made.

A woman can help ensure that she is not solely responsible for her children by getting MARRIED to a responsible man with family values before partaking in the baby-making-act. 

You see, since raising a child is such a HUGE undertaking requiring A LOT of time and resources, there is this system called MARRIAGE. God knew that a child needs a father and mother, so that's why there were nuclear families throughout the land. 

Single Ladies: before hopping in bed with a guy ask yourself if want to co-parent with this person. Ask yourself how committed he will be towards this child if he has not committed himself to you. EVERY method of birth control has a FAILURE rate even if it's one percent. How do you know you won't be that one percent? Somebody has to be that one, two, three or twenty percent. You could be a mother sooner than you think! That's reality.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day, My Mother's Death, Nice Jesus

I went to noon Mass today, and it was beautiful and holy with the sun shining in through the windows. The priest reminded us how we are all called to be saints (and do our best towards that goal) due to our seals from Baptism and Confirmation.

Seven years ago today, I buried my mother. I wish she didn't have to die, but we all have to die sooner or later. Mistakes were made at the hospital, and I've had to forgive them. Tip: if you are post-surgical, and the doctor and nurses said you have gas pains, make sure you really do have gas pains. I can't believe I'm writing about gas pains on a post about All Saints Day.

Anyway, when my father received the hospital bill for mom's surgery, he sent a note back saying he's not going to pay it because she died at the hospital. Guess what? The hospital never billed him again. Nor was the account sent to a collection agency. They probably didn't want to be sued. And believe me, we thought about suing. But suing would have met a long, painful, expensive, upsetting process. How could we go one with our lives if we were mad at the past? I just don't like being mad.

What helped bring me peace is that our relative who is a doctor reviewed the autopsy report. Our relative said their are risks are inherit in every surgery, and she fell into that very low percentage of death from the surgical complications. Also, my dad met with Mom's doctor for conversation. According to my dad, the doctor was very upset over the death and CRIED. I had no desire in ruining this doctor's life or practice. He is guilty of being human, not malicious.

There's more blame to go around, and hopefully the hospital people learned from their errors. Sure I wish my dad and I were floating in money, but how much is a life worth? Maybe we are wimpy.  Again, I'm out of sync with today's American society who sues over every little thing.

What do people do with all the money from winning a wrongful death suit? Unless there are minor dependents who need to be supported, why money? Do people buy mansions and fancy cars? Are they vacationing in Monaco?

Maybe we should have sued, and we would not be living with financial stress. Well, I'm less stressed since I started this 30-day Novena. I just had to turn the stress over to Jesus and concentrate on doing what I can do in finding work. I just could not carry the worry anymore. The worry was too big for me.

This picture of Jesus makes him look nice. I need Him to be nice and take care of me.