Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
What an inexplicably incredible thing that He died for me. Every time I receive the Eucharist, I repeat to myself the lyrics of a favorite song, "You Are My King (Amazing Love)" by the Newsboys:
"I'm forgive, because You were forsaken
I'm accepted; You were condemned
I'm alive and well, Your Spirit is within me,
Because You died and rose again.
Amazing love, how can it be that You my King should die for me?
Amazing love, I know it's true, and it's my joy to honor You
In all I do, I honor You.
You are my King. Jesus, You are my King."
That about sums it up right there. How freaking amazing. And there is no greater sacrifice or more perfect example of love.
As November comes to a close and the Advent season begins, Christmas carols and hymns seem to fill the air everywhere I go. Today I've been pondering the lyrics of the very famous "Mary Did You Know?" It was written by Mark Lowry, who is actually Protestant. It was bothering me because of the line "This child that you've delivered/Will soon deliver you."
Hang on...Mary doesn't need to be saved, right? As a Catholic, I believe that in the Immaculate Conception - that she was born without original sin. As it turns out, after a quick Google search I found that this is actually a commonly-addressed issue within the Catholic community.
I found that the issue was brought up on several websites, including this blog.
I found this particular comment to be enlightening:
"While the song is written from a Protestant standpoint and the future tense gives us pause as Catholics, it is important to remember that God is not bound by time and that it was the (Incarnation,) Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ which gave Mary the grace to be conceived without original sin, not the other way around. Yes, this is a paradox, but it is important to remember.
As to whether Mary knew that Christ was the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, it doesn't seem that the Lucan text demonstrates this. The same goes for Christ as Sacrificial Lamb or High Priest.. Luke's Gospel dwells on messianic language, which did not necessarily carry the high Christological attachments that Christians found to be implicitly contained within them after the resurrection of Christ. In fact, a Jew of the time would not have expected the Messiah (Christ) to be "Heaven's perfect Lamb" or "The Great I AM." Inflated titles like "Son of God" were regularly employed in the coronation rites of Jewish kings and part of the Davidic and messianic traditions, but they were not understood as ascribing divinity to the king.
Could Mary have been given this knowledge, given her unique role and relationship? I don't see why not. But the Lucan text itself doesn't seem to indicate that she must have known this."
Wowsa. Well, that makes sense! God is not bound by time. And of course she knew at the time that she was to be the mother of the Son of God, but she had no idea what that role would entail. She was so incredibly humble.
Anyway, I really hope I don't sound too preachy. It was just something on my mind, and I feel a lot better after reading this - I can listen to the beautiful "Mary Did You Know?" in peace. Hopefully it helps someone out there resolve the same questions I had.
Goodnight, everyone, and good luck with finals!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
In case you aren't obsessed with Disney and therefore aren't aware of Important Disney Dates, TODAY IS MICKEY MOUSE'S 81ST BIRTHDAY!
See, technically he was first featured in the cartoon short "Plane Crazy" in March of 1928, but for some reason the Walt Disney Company has declared "Steamboat Willie" to be his first official cartoon. "Steamboat Willie" premiered on November 18th of that year, so that's when we celebrate his birthday!
So spread some pixie dust in honor of the Big Cheese. :]
But something happened today that made my week much, much better.
No, my dad didn't surprise me with a new car.
(Although I totally caught him looking at little models of Mini Coopers on Amazon.com. Did I tell you that? He's gonna give me one of those just to be smart alek!)
I did not win the lottery, or get a story published on MLIA, or meet someone from England. However, something equally awesome happened.
I got a C on my bio exam.
What? I'm comparing a stupid C on an exam with the lottery? Um, yes. When it comes to math and science, I may as well be brain-dead. Yet we English majors must for some inexplicable reason take 2 maths and 3 sciences. Yeah. Never made sense to me either.
So for me to make a C in bio...well, that's equivalent to an A in English.
That's what I'm thankful for today!
Monday, November 16, 2009
My car is a navy blue 1996 Grand Marquis. He is affectionately called The Barge by family and friends, because he is big and blue and holds so much junk! That's why I love him. He might not be the cutest car in sight, but he accommodates my messy lifestyle.
However, since he is 13 years old, he is breaking down. Slowly, but surely. He has lots of miles from several trips to WDW and from my daily commute to school. Lately we've been replacing a couple parts per month. (My dad happens to be a mechanic, so thankfully it hasn't been as expensive as cars are for most people.) The Barge also frequently makes the Chitty-chitty-bang-bang sound. This part is actally kind of cool.
Today, I drove from school to work - and found I couldn't turn the car off. The darn ignition is broken! I could only sit there and laugh. I laughed for about five minutes, because it's just so typical. I feel bad for The Barge, because he does his best - he's just old and tired! Poor thing.
But he has been a very faithful car. I know soon it'll be time for a new one, and a big part of me will be sad to see him go to the big Junkyard in the Sky. I've found comfort in his soft plushy seats and obnoxiously enormous trunk since the tender age of 6. Our relationship is one that can never be broken!
I'm thankful to have him, despite his breaking body parts. After all, he still has 4 tires and is running! (Literally, he is running in the parking lot outside...)
Everyone have a great, safe, breakdown-free, accident-free week.
Monday, November 9, 2009
I blogged about fathers yesterday; today, mothers are in the spotlight. I am probably closer to my mom than anyone else in this world. She and I have kind of an odd relationship, I guess. We fight a lot. And we're just alike - we scream. You do not want to witness an argument between my mother and me; my parakeet cowers in his cage during those rows. Then, we retreat to our separate corners of the house for a couple hours to seethe and simmer down.
Of course, a couple hours later, it's like the fight never happened and everything's back to normal.
My dad usually stays out of our hair when we fight, probably because he knows it's best to just leave the catty girls to their own devices to sort it out.
There's a quote by Omer B. Washington that comes to mind:
"I've learned that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do."
My mom and I disagree on lots of things. And our tempers usually get the best of us. But we would go through fire for each other. Not that my dad and I aren't close, but my mom has always been the person who soothed me when I got teased at school; she's the one who knows without a word when I'm unhappy. She's been through most of this before and she understands better than most of my friends. Someday, when the adolescent years are over, she's going to be my best friend.
Even when we fight, I know how blessed I am to have a mother with her wisdom and understanding.
She named me after her mom, who died of cancer 37 years ago. From what I've heard, my grandmother Susie was an incredibly strong lady. My aunts tell me stories about her and I am filled with a vision of the Blessed Mother, because despite everything she endured in her short life, she was slow to anger and always full of love. I know she'd be proud of the lady my mom is, and I'd like to think she'd be proud of me.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
It's now November, which in our country is a month dedicated to giving thanks. I've decided that each post I write this month will feature something for which I'm particularly thankful.
First up, fathers. They come in many different forms. Dads, priests, our Heavenly Father. And they all do their best to love and guide us.
Where would any of us be without God? And thankfully we have His shepherds on earth to help us when we become the lost sheep.
God is always there for us, and there is usually a priest with whom we are particularly close. But our own fathers can be a bit more complicated. Many of my friends' fathers are, for whatever reason, not actively present in their lives. I find this to be a great tragedy, because I see the pain in their eyes during occasions such as Father's Day and Christmas that should be solely happy times. I was blessed with a dad who has always been there for me and continues to support me today.
He's a funny man. Rather short and balding, but good-natured. Shy at first, but mischievous when around the people he knows best. He builds furniture for fun and he's obsessed with Mickey Premium ice cream bars from Walt Disney World. He particularly identifies with Goofy and he calls me his Belle.
I'm especially grateful for him because last year I almost lost him. After having chest pains he was rushed into an emergency triple-bypass surgery due to three extremely severe blockages in his artery. We were informed that he had basically been a ticking bomb ready to explode; if he'd overexerted himself and had a heart attack, it would certainly have been fatal.
By a miracle, the surgery was performed in time, and though his recovery was long and painful, he did indeed recover. Life is so fragile, and most of the time we forget that. I can never really forget what happened, because I watch him take his many medications every morning and watch my mother fret about his diet. But maybe it's a good thing...maybe I shouldn't forget.
I know it's by my Father's grace that my dad was saved. And I'm incredibly thankful to feel both of their love in my life.
What are you thankful for these days?