Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Trees

On Christmas, despite ice and slush and grey and cold, we strive to commemorate the "octave" of the feast, even when--on December 26--we see lots of Christmas trees already at the curb.


But with Easter... yeah candy goes to half-price and bunnies and egg decorations leave the stores, but the trees... you just can't stop them from cooperating with the celebration.  :)
 

"The trees of the field will clap their hands!" Isaiah 55:12

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Summa Chocolatia: Top Ten

Here's my thought for today: how good is God that we have... chocolate.  

The consumption of chocolate, I find, adds an entirely new, caffeine-induced level of understanding of apologetics. Consider, for instance:

1. God loves us and wants us to be happy.
Chocolate makes me feel loved and happy.
Therefore God wants us to eat chocolate.

2. Or, to be more specific:


  • We see that natural bodies work toward some goal, and do not do so by chance.
  • Most natural things lack knowledge.  
  • But as an arrow reaches its target because it is directed by an archer, what lacks intelligence achieves goals by being directed by something intelligence.
  • Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

  • From this proof of God's existence, we can also conclude--while under the influence of enough Twix--that since chocolate's natural end is within us, therefore chocolate is God's gift to us.  

    3. We can know by our natural reason that there is a God, for natural reason tells us that that a world wherein there is chocolate could have been made only by a all-good Being, all-wise and almighty.
    4. Our senses prove that some things are in motion, and that other things should be in motion. Like chocolate.  Chocolate should always be in actual motion, as the potential motion of chocolate does not unite chocolate with its ultimate end: your digestive system. 

    5. The beauty of chocolate is directly referenced in Scripture in the Songs of Solomon 1:5: "I am black but beautiful." 

    6. Chocolate, a product of vegetation, was created on the third day.  Wednesdays should be celebrated accordingly.

    7. Scripture says that God has put into our hearts the desire .....for chocolate.  Therefore, the consumption of chocolate is meritorious.

    And then, there's the following Psalms, read through Snicker smudges:

    8. "Praise the Lord... fruit trees and all cedars!" Psalm 148:9 (Doubtless, here "fruit trees" primarily denotes the cocoa tree...)

    9. "The chocolate of the Lord is Good, delighting the heart." Psalm 19:8, The Whitman Bible.

    10.  From one of the lesser known Belgian Translations: "Thy Word is a lamp for my feet, and chocolate along the path." Psalm 119:105


    Earnestly seeking chocolate from among the lesser candies
    From all this can be seen that I have, perhaps, had far too much of a good thing... hmm.


    "Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on him while he is near." Isaiah 55:6



    Monday, April 21, 2014

    Recollection

    No, not "attention to the presence of God in the soul."  This time, recollection simply as "the action of remembering something."

    For instance, remembering: "Just because the house is drowning in candy does not mean I should constantly eat it."

    That's hard to remember. Especially when you're thinking "Feast Day! End of Lent! Yippee!" And especially when all the candy is now on sale. 

    Gulp.

    Enough talk about candy! I also recall a gorgeous sunset, visible through the doors of the church over the Easter fire. That would definitely be a high point of this holiday: the Easter Vigil!  A lower point would be telling my family we couldn't come over because a couple of my kiddos had fevers too recently; seriously, what is it about my family and sickness on holidays?

    That and visiting the cemetery where someone apparently stole my angel statue from Pepper; what is wrong with some people?!?! And the bittersweet experience of scrolling through Facebook at happy family pics and babies dressed in pink. Pepper would have been almost eight months old this Easter. That is not always easy to recollect.

    Back to the candy....

    One way to solve the problem of me overdoing the chocolate is to feed the kids more candy, so that I personally don't eat as much.



    Of course, then you get something like this:


    Convincing her that it was a wee bit chilly for water guns, despite her older sisters' opinions, I brought her inside. She crawled onto daddy's lap, singing a babbly, slurred version, of "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile." The loud song ended suddenly; she just cashed out, fast asleep. And before she brushed her teeth!

    I looked at my sleeping "baby." And I was fully dressed, once again. :)


    "Remember, Lord, your tender mercies and your gracious love; indeed, they are eternal." Psalm 25:6

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    Questions on Easter

    "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"


    We women are fantastic at anticipating problems. You know when you think something is going to be a problem, like a REAL problem, and then... it isn't?

    "But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, 
    had already been rolled aside."

    And you know how shocking it is when you aren't expecting a problem, and then whoa, there's something we really, really hadn't planned on. 

    "As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe 
    sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed."

    Yet there are times when the "problem" turns out to be a really good thing, an absolutely wonderful thing, better than our wildest dreams would allow us to imagine.  

    "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. 
    He has risen! He is not here. 
    See the place where they laid him." Mk. 16:3-6

    May your days be filled with Easter joy.










    Friday, April 18, 2014

    Perpetua

    Reflecting today on my personal "Good Friday" experience and the wonderful little girl I get to meet someday.

    "Persevere in prayer, with an alert mind and a thankful heart." Colossians 4:2

    Good Friday Sunset 2014, Australia, Photo by Carly Marie

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    O Happy Fault

    We Catholic Christians are in Holy Week right now, and just entered the Easter Triduum.  I haven't focused on this week terribly much blog-wise as of yet, partly because last year was so... intense.


    But with today's theme, I couldn't think of a better topic to reflect on then the tremendous paradox sung in the Exsultet on the biggest feast of the year: the Easter Vigil (yes that's this Saturday night, so I'm a little ahead of myself.)  

    "O happy fault, that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer."

    That just always made me say, "Wow."  Something so good and something so bad, with God bringing great good out of great evil. Like it says in Scripture: "Where sin abounded, grace did more abound." Romans 5:20 For the full theological treatise on the phrase, see Aquinas. :)

    How many times has God brought good out of evil in our lives? And I wonder how He will continue to do so... I definitely experienced that last year.  I'm not sure I'm at the point where I could say "O happy loss," but I rejoice that my daughter is experiencing "so great and so glorious" a life right now.  Sorrow and joy entwined, to become pure joy in the future. 

    Speaking of "O's," here's the song that will be sung in churches around the world tonight, Holy Thursday, as we celebrate the Institution of the Eucharist. I particularly enjoy being Catholic during this time of year...


    "O Job, stand and consider the wondrous works of God." Job 37:14

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Nana

    I'm gonna stoop to a new low and "reblog" a post here, the one I wrote last year about my Nana when she turned 97 (if you're a math type, yes, that means she just turned 98!)  She has a fascinating life story, and the post has a recording of my grandfather and hersinging when they were young and silly. :)


    I would appreciate your prayers for my Nana, and my Dad. Finally, after nearly a century, her mind is slowly succumbing to dementia. Peace for her as she prepares to go Home.

    "Now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word." Luke 2:29