I will live the present moment to the fullest. I will discern between God and God’s works. I will hold firmly to one secret: prayer. I will see in the Holy Eucharist my only power. I will have only one wisdom: the science of the Cross. I will remain faithful to my mission in the Church and for the Church as a witness of Jesus Christ. I will seek the peace the world cannot give. I will carry out a revolution by renewal in the Holy Spirit. I will speak one language and wear one uniform: Charity. I will have one very special love: The Blessed Virgin Mary.
-Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan
The other day I sat down and watched a documentary about Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, who was born in Vietnam in 1928. When Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese Army he was imprisoned for 13 years, nine of which he spent in a tiny room by himself with a just one light bulb that often flickered off for days. He would smuggle out messages and reflections to his people.
He was eventually exiled to Rome and was often asked to speak about his experience. I was trying to write it up myself but I think his own words are far more beautiful and humbling. Read a little or read a lot:
"It is true. All prisoners, myself included, constantly wait to be let
go. I decided then and there that my captivity would not be merely a
time of resignation but a turning point in my life. I decided I would
not wait. I would live the present moment and fill it with love. For if I
wait, the things I wait for will never happen. The only thing that I
can be sure of is that I am going to die.
No, I will not spend time waiting. I will live the present moment and fill it with love.
A straight line consists of millions of little points. Likewise, a
lifetime consists of millions of seconds and minutes joined together. If
every single point along the line is rightly set, the line will be
straight. If every minute of a life is good, that life will be holy.
Alone in my prison cell, I continued to be tormented by the fact that
I was forty-eight years old, in the prime of my life, that I had worked
for eight years as a bishop and gained so much pastoral experience and
there I was isolated, inactive and far from my people.
One night, from the depths of my heart I could hear a voice advising
me: "Why torment yourself? You must discern between God and the works of
God - everything you have done and desire to continue to do, pastoral
visits, training seminarians, sisters and members of religious orders,
building schools, evangelising non-Christians. All of that is excellent
work, the work of God but it is not God! If God wants you to give it all
up and put the work into his hands, do it and trust him. God will do
the work infinitely better than you; he will entrust the work to others
who are more able than you. You have only to choose God and not the
works of God!"
This light totally changed my way of thinking. When the Communists put me in the hold of the boat, the Hai-Phong,
along with 1500 other prisoners and moved us to the North, I said to
myself, "Here is my cathedral, here are the people God has given me to
care for, here is my mission: to ensure the presence of God among these,
my despairing, miserable brothers. It is God's will that I am here. I
accept his will". And from that minute onwards, a new peace filled my
heart and stayed with me for thirteen years.
"Were you able to say Mass in prison?" is a question I have been
asked many, many times. And when I say "Yes", I can foretell the next
question, "How did you get the bread and wine?"
I was taken to prison empty-handed. Later on, I was allowed to
request the strict necessities like clothing, toothpaste, etc. I wrote
home saying "Send me some wine as medication for stomach pains". On the
outside, the faithful understood what I meant.
They sent me a little bottle of Mass wine, with a label reading
"medication for stomach pains", as well as some hosts broken into small
The police asked me: "Do you have pains in your stomach?" "Yes." "Here is some medicine for you!"
I will never be able to express the joy that was mine: each day, with
three drops of wine, a drop of water in the palm of my hand, I
celebrated my Mass.
The six Catholics in my group of 50 prisoners tried to stay together.
We lined up the boards we were given as beds; they were about 20 inches
wide. We slept close together in order to be able to pray during the
At 9.30 every evening when lights out rang everyone had to be lying
down. I bent over my wooden board and celebrated Mass, by heart of
course, and distributed Communion to my neighbours under their mosquito
nets. We made tiny bags from cigarette paper to protect the Blessed
At night, the prisoners took turns and spent time in adoration. The
Blessed Sacrament helped tremendously. Even Buddhists and other
non-Christians were converted. The strength of the love of Jesus is
irresistible. The darkness of the prison turned into light, the seed
germinated silently in the storm.
One day I told a Communist cadre who was criticising the Church: "We
have two different meanings for the same words. If you sincerely wish to
understand the Church, to dialogue with Catholics, I propose to write
an index of religious vocabulary in Latin, French, English, Italian,
Spanish and Chinese with Vietnamese definitions. If you accept my offer,
please give me some paper and a pen. He agreed and I began.
When the cadre returned, I explained a few words of the index to him,
the meanings, the history and development of the Church, for instance,
what is an abbot or what does monastical life involve, e.g., silence,
poverty, obedience, chastity, fasting, manual work, pastoral and
intellectual work, etc. His curiosity was aroused. Very slowly, I
continued to explain the index, a kind of intensive catechism for
Communist cadres! It was a way to dialogue in truth and love instead of
debate and criticism.
I did the same with my guards who asked me to teach them foreign
languages. They brought me French books. While teaching them French
history, civilization, literature and culture, I was able to explain the
impact of the gospel on France and on European history and its culture.
When I began to discern between God and God's works, when I chose God
and His will and left everything else in His hands, and when I learned
to love others, especially my enemies as Jesus loved me, I felt great
peace in my heart. Deprived of freedom, of absolutely everything and
living in extreme poverty in my dark cell, I was at peace because I
could say, "My God and my all". The peace that the world cannot give
brought me great joy.
Prisoners held captive for very long periods, without trial and in
oppressive conditions, retain bitter memories and sentiments of hate and
vengeance. That's a normal reaction. I was in prison for 13 years, nine
of which were in solitary confinement. Two guards watched me but never
spoke to me; just yes and no. But I knew that after all, they were my
brothers and I had to be kind to them. I had no gift to offer as a
prisoner I had nothing at all, nothing to please them. What to do?
One night, a thought came. "You are still very rich. You have the
love of Christ in your heart. Love them as Jesus loves you". The next
day I set to work, first, by showing gladness and by smiling. I began to
tell stories about my journeys in countries where people live in
freedom and enjoy their culture and great technical progress. That
stimulated their curiosity and they asked many, many questions. Slowly,
very slowly, we became friends.
They wanted to learn foreign languages. My guards became my disciples! The atmosphere of the prison changed considerably.
At that time, in another part of the area, a group of twenty people
were learning Latin to be able to read Church documents. Their teacher
was a former catechist. One of my guards was in the Latin class and one
day he asked me if I could teach him songs in Latin.
"There are so many ", I replied, "and they are all so beautiful". "You sing and I'll choose," he retorted.
And so I sang Salve Regina,Salve Mater,Lauda Sion,Veni Creator,Ave Maris Stella. You'll never guess the song he chose. The Veni Creator!
I can't begin to tell you how moving it is to be in a Communist prison
and hear your guard, coming down the stairs at seven every morning on
his way to the gymnastics yard for physical exercises, singing the Veni Creator.
While at prison in Vinh-Quang in the mountains of North Vietnam, I
was sawing wood one afternoon. I asked my ever-present guard, who had
become my friend, if I could ask him for a favour. "What is it? I'll
"I want to saw off a small piece of wood in the form of a cross."
"Don't you know that's strictly forbidden to have any sign of religion
whatsoever?" "I promise to keep it hidden." "But it would be extremely
dangerous for the both of us." "Close your eyes, I'll do it right now
and I'll be very careful."
He turned his back and left me alone. I sawed a small cross which I
later hid in a piece of melted down soap. I have kept it always and had
it mounted in a piece of metal and it has become my pectoral cross.
In another prison in Hanoi, I became friends with my guard and was
able to request a piece of metal wire. He was terrified. "I studied in
the University of Police that when someone wants electric wire he want
is to kill himself!," he cried.
I explained that Christians, and most of all priests, do not commit suicide.
"And so what are you going to do with electric wire?", he asked.
"I need a chain to wear my cross." "But how can you make a chain from
wire?" "If you bring me two little pincers, I'll show you." "Much too
dangerous!" "But we're friends!"
He hesitated and finally said, "It's too hard to refuse. Tonight at
7pm we'll do it. But we have to finish before 11. I'll have my companion
take the evening off. If he knew, he'd denounce the both of us". That
evening, with the tools he brought, we cut and shaped and worked
together to make my chain and we finished it before 11pm!
This cross and chain are not only my souvenir of captivity, as
precious as that may seem. They are a constant reminder that only
Christian charity can bring about a change of heart. Not arms, not
threats, not the media. It was very hard for my guards to understand
when I spoke about loving our enemies, reconciliation and forgiveness.
"Do you really love us?" "Yes, I really love you." "Even when we
cause you pain? When you suffer because you're in prison without trial?"
"Look at all the years we've spent together. Of course, I love you!"
"And when you get out, will you tell your people to find us and beat us
and hurt our families?" "I'll continue to love you even if you wish to
kill me." "But why?" "Because Jesus taught us to love always; if we
don't, we are no longer worthy to be called Christians."
There is not enough time to tell you all the other moving stories which are proof of the liberating power of the love of Jesus.
The harsh years in prison pass very slowly. While suffering
humiliation and abandonment, my only support and hope was the love of
Mary, Our Blessed Mother. The wonderful servants of Mary - St Louis de
Montfort, Don Bosco, Maximilian Kolbe - were my companions on the road
of hope. They inspired me and gave me unwavering trust in the love of
Mary, the Queen of the Apostles and Martyrs.
I said this prayer to Mary: "Mary, my Mother, if you know that I
cannot be of any more use to the Church, grant me the grace to die here
in prison and consummate my sacrifice. If you know that I can still be
of use to the Church, grant me the grace of freedom on one of your feast
In fact, on 21 November 1988, I was cooking my meal when I heard my
guard being called to the phone. I had an idea it might be because of
me. A few minutes after, the guard called to me. "Mr Thuan, have you
finished eating?" "No, not yet." "Right after your meal, go and see the
chief - and good luck!" I was taken to meet the Minister of Police and
after a brief conversation, he asked, "Do you wish to express any
request?" "Yes, Mr Minister, I wish to be let free!" "When?" "Today!"
The Minister feigned surprise, but I knew the day had come. It was
the Feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple and she was
answering my prayer.
To counter the Minister's surprise I replied, "You see, Mr Minister, I
have been in prison for three pontificates: Paul VI, John Paul I, John
Paul II. I have been here during the offices of four Secretary Generals
of the Communist Party, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko and Gorbachev."
His eyes opened wide. "Yes", that's right. All right. Your request is granted. You are free.""
Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan was eventually appointed as President to the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, and under his guidance a compendium of the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church was compiled. He died of cancer on September 16, 2002.
At St. Patrick's Cathedral, October 2, 1979, the visiting Pope John Paul II embraced Archbishop Fulton Sheen and said: "You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus. You are a loyal son of the Church."
In Beginner 1 I can be put at the front of the class to show other students and in Beginner 2 I’m cowering in the corner, face burning red as my teacher tells me to copy his swooping jump (he’s a new teacher and forgets that you can’t just do what his professional butt can)... Read the rest at Ignitum Today!
You cannot change your past by thinking about it over and over again, reliving details in your head, thinking about how it could have been different. Your past cannot be changed, but your soul can be cleansed and healed. In time God can take the past and make something good out of it, but the past does not change because it doesn't need to. If God needed to change the past to heal you he would, but he doesn't so it remains. When Christ came, died and rose he promised the forgiveness of sins and the redemption of the world and you are part of that world. But he did not come to change your past, he came to redeem it. The Beauty comes in seeing how his mercy takes the darkness and turns it into light. He loves you with abandon. He cares about the sins that plague you at night and the ghosts of people who turn your stomach over. He cares, but he will not change your past because he honors the free choices you made, but if you are willing he will take you out of your bad choices and bring you to a better, brighter Now.
Now. Today. This Moment. Him and You. You and the world.
You are called to the Joy and Mercy of Today.
"Though time is too precious to waste, it must never be thought that what was lost is irretrievable. Once the Divine is introduced, there comes the opportunity to make up for losses. God is the God of the second chance." - Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Hi! Thanks for dropping by this Friday! I'm working from home right now and these are the perks so far:
1) I can take my longest break of the day when it's the nicest out. When the sun is hitting the trees just right and all the coffee shops are still open!
2) Background entertainment!
3) I can go hug Toulie (my cat) and chase him or throw him up in the air. Sometimes he joins me for dance parties.
4) Attire: Unless I'm doing some kind of Skype meeting I can wear anything! But I do feel better when I shower and wear nice clothes. The world doesn't know what I'm wearing, but I know.
And these are the downers:
1) OMG, where are all the humans???
2) It be ever so nice if someone else was paying for my insurance.
3) Nobody gets me out of bed but me.
4) Background entertainment! I've very quickly depleted all my prime options to a near nil. I'm going to have to face the quiet. It might be a good idea.
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Gravity Falls! Please take advantage of your Disney Channel subscription and watch this
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Tinkerbell and the Secret of the Wings comes out THIS TUESDAY.
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I can't decide for the life of me what to be for Halloween this year. Nani from Lilo and Stitch? Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service? Or one of those Orca people in Ocean Girl, a reference nobody will get unless I meet an Australian who grew up in the 90s. Or maybe St. Lucy with her eyes on a plate; that will horrify people.
(Also getting an Australian accent right is ridiculously hard. Thanks youtube. No thanks.)
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Here's Scott Hahn getting gushy about the Catechism. Gushhhhh.
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Anybody have any tips on how to make yourself wake up early and like it? And least sort of like it?
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I thought about making some cat comics but then I found this girl and decided it wasn't necessary. Cat versus Human
I waited and waited at the airport in Pittsburgh for Maria to arrive so we could go to Franciscan University (Steubie) to visit her sister. You might know Steubie because you've attended the conferences they hold for teens every year or because Scott Hahn teaches there or because it's sooooo coooool.
Anyways... there I was waiting and experimenting with my markers and generally making a mess of it –I mean what is going on in those thumbnails?– so I drew some fan art of Ocean Girl, an Aussie tv show you might have watched in the 90s. I distinctly remember having my dad record episodes of it when we'd go away on vacation and I just rewatched all four seasons. What has happened to tween tv shows these days? This was great! There wasn't loud, sarcastic whining and barely any romantic entanglements at all. It's also nice because it isn't presumptuous and embraces its own cheesy sci-fi culture in way that you end up embracing it too. Don't watch Glee, watch Ocean Girl. On Netflix for all of you. Just give it a few episodes. You'll be hooked on the sincerity and (how beautiful Neri is!)
And then after a lovely ride with one of the many people I met over the next few days, I arrived. Look at the pretty church! There were many other smaller chapels so you could take your pick! Need to avoid someone? No problem!
Below is one of the pictures I took when I needed a break from the intense socializing. I didn't know I'd be visiting during parents weekend so I met returning alumni, parents, undergrads, grads; basically anyone who missed and wanted to visit. And I was starving so I ran, found food and took nice photos.
When I did have to go to meetings because Maria and her sister, Natalia needed to I awkwardly drew people, but hey I was polite enough to stop when we prayed and stuff so no harm done.
I promised myself I'd get some work done on my kids book on JPII so I figured why not go to the JPII library? Inspiration had to happen! Alas, it did not kick in until the flight back but I did flip through lots of books.
I also sat in on classes!!
Christology with Dr. Micheal Sirilla (he had much kinder eyes, I'm sorry sir for making you evil)
Biblical Studies with Scott Hahn.
I refrained so much from the fan girl inside me that when he asked me why me and Maria wanted to sit in I just said, "Oh, we just like learning." Really? really, Fabi? That's just silly. You just cried all the way through Home Sweet Rome when you were 20 and then read most of his books. But you can't just come out and say those things.
I also sat in on a bit of a psychology class. Yes, men and women are different and sometimes can't stand the way they handle things. Yeah, yeah... no news there.
Maria also introduced me to Keith Major who I knew because I'd read his witness story sometime in the blogosphere. He is intensely charismatic and intensely into fasting. Also, he's planning to have a Catholic track at IHOP (international house of praise) for the first time this year. And many, other things. The lovely man can talk. It is very strange meeting people I know from the internet who don't know you.
I'm so grateful to Natalia for having me and her roommates who were a blast, for that insane late night watching The Exorcism of Emily Rose (I suppressed most of it already), for the prayer time at the Portiuncula, the festival, the talent show and for the half of the bed I slept in!
As some of you know St. Therese’s Feast day is today. St. Therese, known as the Little Flower was known for a simple life lived with great love and her promise to “spend heaven doing good on earth” and “let fall a shower of roses”. I’ve always had an interesting relationship with her and her spirituality. And I know why, because her spirituality involves being overlooked and humble and misunderstood and taking it for the love of God. My pride has yet to get to a place where I want to be like that. And I know I have to be the saint I’m called to be, not St. Therese but there was something that made me want to take her up again, at this time as a prayer partner and intercessor and I didn’t even know exactly why, but she did and here is the story so far...
How fantastic was last week's second reading? The emphasis is mine, but go ahead and do yourself a favor and read it and then read it again and then take it line by line and just sit. James 3:16- 4:3 Beloved: Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.
Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask.You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
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This is another beautiful passage that I found a when I was in Florida. Baruch 5:1-4 Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on for ever the beauty of the glory of God. Put on the robe of righteousness that comes from God; put on the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting; for God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven. For God will give you evermore the name, 'Righteous Peace, Godly Glory'.
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I got invited to go to a Chesterton Society thingy by my friend M. So far she said it's just been her with some guys exchanging good quotes rather loudly at a pub. I'm in. I'll even drink the the beer.
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A girl with a thick neck we shall call Anne!
Me as a hero-girl-waterbender complete with hero body!
A black and white study I did for the 'Twelve Months' project.
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I think I peed my pants when I watched these two thing in a row. How can these things be happening all at once? IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE.
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I'm learning this dance for a Flash Mob in Providence and it is sooo cool it involves SPIRIT FINGERS and I'm so excited like 12 year old.
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Please pray for me over the weekend and especially on Monday. A lot of things go down on Monday. There might be crying or laughing or slumping of shoulders.
Catching Fire is filming in Atlanta!! Double reason to visit my parents!
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I listened to Fulton Sheen's autobiography a second time so I thought I'd post some of his most famous quotes because I love him.
“It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty life is unfinished.”
― Fulton J. Sheen, Seven Words of Jesus and Mary: Lessons from Cana and Calvary
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“We become like that which we love. If we love what is base, we become base; but if we love what is noble, we become noble.”
― Fulton J. Sheen, Life is Worth Living
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“To tell a woman who is forty, "You look like sixteen," is boloney. The blarney way of saying it is
'Tell me how old you are, I should like to know at what age women are the most beautiful.'”
― Fulton J. Sheen
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“A woman gets angry when a man denies his faults, because she knew them all along. His lying mocks her affection; it is the deceit that angers her more than the faults.”
― Fulton J. Sheen, Life is Worth Living
Recently, I had one of those days known by all humans at some point I hope — it consoles me to think so — where I just had an overwhelming disgust and disappointment in myself. Maybe that doesn't happen to you? Well, you must have transcended that temptation by the firmness in your foundation built on the knowledge that God loves The-Person-You-Are, even if you have not yet become The-Person-You-Ought-To-Be.
All these very nice truths were somewhere else while my view became smaller and smaller, darker and scarier. The-Person-God-Wants-Me-To-Be didn't seem all that great and rewarding. A friend called me "thoughtful." I thought, how horrible I'm "thoughtful." I want to be witty and dazzling and preeeeeetty. Nobody will love me and want me for being thoughtful. Nobody cares about being thoughtful. Apparently, it mattered to my friend, but I was too far gone in my muddled headspace. I've written about this battle within the mind to understand where true worth comes from before, so I'll spare you the coming back to sanity details. The only reason I'm mentioning this is that I've been reading a little bit about the philosophical writings JPII formulated on Humanism. During Vatican II he was trying to answer the world's major questions about the nature of the human person. He thought there was a intense need to fight against the widespread ideology that a person's worth was measured by how useful they are to me — utilitarianism— by demonstrating that a human being's value is intrinsic and God-given. And as I've said before, once one is free from trying to gain one's worth by being "useful" one is free to pursue truth and receive grace in order to become The-Person-I-Ought-To-Be and become a self-donating gift to God, Others and Yourself (which is pretty "useful" in the truest sense). Sometimes my vision is narrow, and I do not understand how I am supposed to make a gift of myself without loosing myself. I don't understand how that doesn't lead to misery. The idea of giving myself up entirely to God is terrifying, and he is perfect and awesome. But I know that this "giving" is not the kind of service often equated with Doormat Syndrome. It is much more radical than that. It is service that calls you to act in the most loving way in each circumstance of your life and that love can be manifested in many ways. It might call you to say No or Yes, to stay or to leave. The Image of Self-Gift is Our Lord: "It is in God the Holy Trinity, a "community" of self-giving "persons" who lose nothing of their uniqueness in their radical self-giving, that we see confirmed the Law of Gift and the truth about freedom as freedom-for-self donation." (Witness to Hope, WEIGEL, pg. 176). And it is in prayer that I hope He will teach me to know His Truth better and hopefully, help me become a Good Gift that bears His Love to others. Yay Hurray! To End:
The Love of God is the The Love that sets us free from fear in order to Love, to become true gifts to creation. In freedom we have the ability to seek and meet truth and become truly ourselves; deeply human and amazed by the Grace that animates us.
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Hi! If you skipped that paragraph you have to work on your attention-span skills or I have to work on my ability to reach readers with my quasi-confusing reasoning :D Either way I'm happy you are still here! My cat, Toulouse is huge and sometimes I use him when I do squats.... it is very effective.
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Anytime I take a trip somewhere I flirt with the city and tell it I will move there soon. But after I'm gone my flaky heart comes to the surface and my promise of forever becomes a maybe.
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I was fresh out of ideas of what the heck to to write, when I remembered this anecdote Jason Evert tosses around in his talks and books:
"In high school, I (Jason) knew I had met my soulmate. We went to a few dances together and I could envision myself with her forever. Today, she's married to a friend of mine. In college, I met a girl and never felt so strongly about a woman before. We dated... until she broke up with me and later married a friend of mine. Then, I met the girl I knew I was going to marry. We knew we were soulmates. We dated for years, talked about marriage, and even tried on wedding rings. But I broke up with her, and she —you guessed it— married a friend of mine. Then, I met another girl and absolutely knew in my heart that she was the one. We dated for years, and talked to her parents about marriage. But we didn't end up marrying. In case you are wondering, she also married a friend of mine... The reason I gave this litany of relationships is to prove that you can't judge the future of a relationship by the intensity of your emotions... Therefore, it is wise to reserve for marriage the forms of affection that belong to it."
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This is a freebee since there have been TWO long updates.
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This freelance thing is pretty great. If I want to go out and run right now I can!!!
Florida is pink; coral, salmon, flamingo. I thought the proliferation of those colors, coupled with baby blue and rubber ducky yellow, were left in the memories of those who decorated their homes in the 80s. Now I know where those colors retired.... Florida. Apparently, pinks don't get their pigment sucked out by the the sun, so everyone paints large buildings pinky shades down there.
But St. Joseph's Church in St. Petersburg is cream and honey inside, and it was there that I spent a few days painting something nice up for a couple arches. They're very simple, but I had a lovely time getting over my fear of tall ladders.
The ladder was so heavy I didn't even help move it. When I tried to help it almost crushed me... for real.
Handy Projector projecting my designs.
St. Gabriel was over both arches, because he visited Mary in the Gospel of Luke and Joseph in the Gospel of Matthew.
See the ladder way on the right? My best friend for the weekend.
I enjoy traveling; by air or train mind you... I am only tricked into long car expeditions by great music and friends. But the planes or trains are like fun retreats where I get to draw or read the books I want. Delayed two hours? Sweet more time to read Witness to Hope or Enchanted... but which shall I pick? The agony!
I'm traveling to mushy Florida tomorrow, my hair will be a fuzz ball and my face will be shiny like the tip of an ancient grandma's nose but all I have to do is be fed and paint pretty murals while I listen to audiobooks.
Books. I have a silly big bed for tiny me and sometimes my bedmates are books because I just leave them on the right side of me and fall asleep. I have a horrible habit of book jumping. Never giving each book it's proper start and end. I'm a flaky reader.
I was just surfing through all my geeky, fun blogs. Because books now compete with blog entries too. Today I read Mark Shea's entry Why Bother With Such a Corrupt Church? and I liked it enough to link it. You go Mark, thank you for your lack of romanticism and BS and also for the book series Mary Mother of the Son I read years ago when I was going through all my Mary questions and I trusted you because of your lack of BS and also for being an adult convert and since I am not an adult convert it gets me thinking of all the things I've taken for granted as a baby Catholic.
I finally had my first grown-up freelance job and I had no idea what an invoice was and guess what? I guessed wrong. But my uber helpful friend helped me google "Freelancer Invoice" (who knew the internet could be so helpful?). He almost punched in the letters for me but I said no! I can type my own words thank you! And lo, here is my final design for it and I've gained Competency +1!
Which reminds me of a blog called Adulting, which has some crass language but very helpful advice if you are trying to be a responsible adult. ME! I want to be responsible!
I had a small.... small (mind you almost insignificant) meltdown over the children's book I am trying to write and illustrate. What am I doing? This is going to take forever... I don't want to show anyone what I'm doing because I'll just cry. They'll find out I don't know what I'm doing and they won't know how to help because I don't know what I'm doing.
You know making things that are worth while should take effort... just a thought.
Crisis averted for now. And when my pride swells up (everyday) I pray The Litany of Humility and sigh because really I care too much about what others think about who I am and do.
May the Good God keep you safe!
Wacko Girl that should have gone on her run but didn't.
I had the privilege of seeing George Weigel, Pope John Paul II’s personal biographer not long after the Polish Pope was beatified. I’ve spent the last couple weeks reading Weigl’s Witness to Hope which documents the Pontiff’s life and it’s been crazy. Crazy in a good way. It’s packed with history, theology, philosophy, letters and memories. I thought I’d share some of the most stricking passages so far. I’m hoping this will make you read it too .... Please read the rest at Ignitum Today
I just resumed my study of the life of Pope John Paul II for a little book I’m writing and illustrating. God has given me a really sweet reason to immerse myself in Him through someone who loved Him dearly. In only a few hours of spending my time reading his biography and discourses I feel infected by that love and close to Jesus. Few things are more moving to me that the love of God winning over tragedy.
I have a book called “A Year with John Paul II” and there are meditations for each day taken from the Pope’s writings and Prayers. Today, on a whim I opened it up to August 10 and this section cut me straight through!
“The consumer society in which we live and the fear of an uncertain future drive one to seek immediate gratification for oneself. One becomes, introverted, falling back on one’s small personal happiness, on one’s emotions, in a circle where aroused feeling is incessantly on the look out for new sensations, which quickly fade away, where there is no reference but to self and to one’s pleasures. This is no way to live. This is not the world you want: it would be a world without hope, one that empties man’s life of meaning.”
- Discourse to the Youth of Fribourg, Switzerland, June 13, 1983
I tried to find the rest of the discourse online, but couldn’t so I’m no the hunt for the rest.
There is a danger, at least for me at the moment, when I am focused on job hunting and working on my personal art to become oh so self-centered! To become more excited about “the next new thing” than God and the people he calls me to serve. Compliments, fame, fads, movies, etc come quick, strike high and then they are gone. But God’s love and the deep connection with neighbor is so much deeper and lasting I pray that even when I am working on my own I am drawn out of myself to something greater. That my heart might expand. And that is what I hope for you too! Whatever your creature comforts may be that they will not become crutches in your life but sweet nectar to add to your daily romance with our Lord and his people!