Sunday, April 27, 2014

Answer Me This!

Click over to Catholic All Year for some more Answer Me This!

1. Do you hate happy clappy church music?

Yes. In fact, my entire family does. When we lived in Virginia, we attended a FSSP parish where the chant was truly beautiful. It was quite a shock moving to North Country, NY and having no Latin mass availabilities at all. There is one Latin mass about four hours away. Leo really dislikes the clappy church music to the point he has cried. I feel like chant is more appropriate because it does not force an emotional reaction through the tempo, melody, or words. Holy Mass is a place where we should be able to come and worship as we are not how the musical director wants us to feel. I will say that I prefer the St. Michael's Hymnal over the Breaking Bread missalette/hymnal.  

2. What is your priority: eating or sleeping?
I'm going to let Grumpy Cat answer this one for me:

3. What type of milk do you drink in your house?
When we lived in TN, we bought raw milk from my friends' farms. Now we buy Horizon Organic Whole milk because the taste is way cleaner than the local variety, and Horizon makes half gallons. My husband is the only person who really loves just drinking milk. Everyone else uses it for cereal or for baking (even then I prefer coconut or almond due to texture).

4. What is a book that changed your perspective on something?
 This is a tough question; I think that I linger on thoughts from a book while I'm picking up another book, so I forget to credit which single book has impacted a perspective. In the realm of Catholic faith development, The Angels: The Catholic Teaching on the Angels was very influential in my understanding of personal responsibility for sin. Yes, the devil can tempt but he can not create; I allow myself to either sin or not sin. I can not blame Lucifer or even Adam and Eve. My actions, my consequences.

5. Who is your favorite saint?

Magdalene with the Smoking Flame,
by Georges de La Tour (c.1640)
My patroness is Mary Magdalene because I admire her ability to completely give herself to Christ and his mission. I also enjoy the evolution of how Scholars see her. In the Orthodox Church, she was never a penitent but a woman so pious and faithful that the devil mistook her for the Theotokos casting into her the seven demons. In the Roman Church, she has been a composite of several women in the Bible. Either way, she has guided me into a life of repentance and to the empty tomb!

Other saints that I greatly admire and that have influenced my faith development are: Jose Maria Escriva, Edith Stein, Fulton Sheen, and our Blessed Mother.

6. Introvert or extrovert?
Introvert. In the last year, I have really come to terms with just how much I am an introvert. As I get older, my introvert tendencies are more and more pervasive. After some debacles last year, I am working on really making the most out each social interaction. I now prioritize who I spend time with. If the encounter is not going to be meaningful or is not going to be a positive experience, I will not force myself to go which can be hard since I hate feeling left out. Recently, I have found a wonderful group of ladies that are very uplifting and faith filled.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter Reflections :: Weekends with Chesterton

Easter is always a wonderful time to reflect on where we are in our spiritual journeys, how we got here, and where we are going. I made the decision to come into full communion with the Catholic Church when I was 19; I spent many years being angry at God for the family, emotional, and economic situation that I lived. Even though I openly shunned Christ and denied the validity of any Christian faith, I was always receptive to Mary. I found myself coming again and again to the rosary amidst my struggles.

I was like the persecutors that Chesterton mentions; I exerted so much effort in attempting to silence those who believed and to keep the Truth from heart that I forgot to check the tomb. I failed to see if Christ was waiting limp and pale on the slab or if He was truly risen walking next to me.

Today, I might not doubt the Resurrection of my Lord and Savior, He is not always the first priority. Because I recognize his magnanimity and unconditional love for me, I allow the everyday struggles, failures, and excitements to overshadow the responsibility I have to cultivate my relationship with Christ through living out his words, in prayer, or in showing absolute joy amongst the small crosses I have been given.  

Check out Sarah's new layout at Amongst Lovely Things, and don't forget to click on other Chesterton quips.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Answer Me This! :: Getting back into the Swing of it all

Over the last two weeks, we have battled a stomach flu (horrible, y'all), caught up on housework and school work, and finally welcomed spring with some 60 degree temperatures. I have also been planning our next school year; Arabella really wants to start kindergarten next year which through me for a loop since I planned on one more year of just play. But more on that later! I am linking up with the lovely Kendra at Catholic All Year for Answer Me This!

1. What time do you prefer to go to Mass?

Currently, we have two Mass options here in our town, 4 pm on Saturday and 11:15 am on Sunday. We favor the Sunday at 11:15 even though it conflicts with Eva's naptime because the Saturday Mass is just too late in the day for the chickadees to control themselves. 4-7 (bedtime) is a hard chunk of time since only Eva naps. 

2. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

Hot. After living in sub-zero temps (this year we reached some great negative temps), I can attest that I would prefer to glisten in the heat than freeze.

3. How many brothers and/or sisters do you have?

I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters making me the oldest out of 7. I have a maternal half brother named Zac who is only two and half years my junior, and my father and his wife had quintuplets (that's right 5 at once) whom are 16 years my junior. My sibling relationships are different between Zac and the quintuplets. Zac and I grew up together and faced several hardships together. Whereas, the quintuplets and I never lived together nor did we spend years together. The age gap does make it hard as well since it seems to be more of a mentor situation vs. a sibling relationship. 

4. If you were faced with a boggart, what would it turn into?

My worst fear enacted would most likely be a dentist or an Ob/Gyn. I have other abstract fears but honestly, I really despise mainstream doctors. I have very low blood pressure but take it at a medical office I am sky high. Last year, we had to take legal action in order to avoid being forced to birth how the hospital wanted us to.

5. Barbie: thumbs up or thumbs down?
Way down. I dislike the Barbie franchise; the movies are about spoiled girls who refuse to take responsibility for their actions, life, or accept consequences. Arabella has a couple of the Disney "Barbie" dolls which are usually left alone. My husband hates Barbie, so that's a huge factor as well.

6. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say?

From Grandma Lovey, "There aren't going to be any naps in hell, so you better get them in now." Yes, ma'am!

From Eleanor, "Never enough perfume, my dear."

If I had to tell someone a random piece of advice, it would be to put quality over quantity. I have found in my life that the moments, books, or people that were most influential were not those people I spent the most time with but the moments, books, or people that were filled with solid character, morals, examples, and virtues.