Monday, August 22, 2011


Eight is my absolute favorite number. 

Eight is the number of years My Husband and I have been married.

Happy Eight-iversary, Love!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Favorite Words: Cenacle

A word was spoken at the Latin Mass I attended the other day:  cenacle.

I immediately wrote it in my notes with a reminder to look up its meaning.

According to dictionary dot com:

— n

1. a supper room, esp one on an upper floor

2. ( capital ) the room in which the Last Supper took place
I love learning new words!
~Whoosh (a.k.a. Word Nerd)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Farewell Wishes

In May, 2009, a culmination my three years of teaching a group of fine young men and women was fruitfully celebrated at the Sacrament of Confirmation.  I'm realizing that they're graduating high school and heading off to college, the military, to LIFE!

My heart kind of sinks.

My heart very much sings!

I wish all of you the best. Please know that I'll be praying for you, I'm here if you need me.

My prayer for you:

Holy Father,

Please protect MY KIDS -- those amazing kids who taught me more than I taught them!  I am ever grateful that their paths and my path crossed each other & we were able to share precious time together.  I pray that I served you well as a vessel, speaking your word, doing your will, resulting in a a life-long impression on their heart. 

May they feel your comforting hand in times of trial, feel the licks of your flames during periods of growth, and through it all, name the joy and the pain "God's love", and offer gratitude for it.

Please call them to prayer...constant prayer...constant relationship with you.  Pray, pray, pray, even when it seems like it's uncomfortable.  Jesus, I know you will tap them on their shoulder, smile and offer love. MY KIDS:  keep in mind that Christ is your friend! The words he most often spoke:  Do not be afraid. 

Furthermore, Father, protect them.  Empower them mightily to be soldiers of faith. Grant them confidence in themselves through you to avoid peer pressure, careless judgment, impulsive decisions, anger-fueled actions, inaction as a result of despondency.

In the times they stray from The Path, let the stir of you remain in the cobwebs and depths, for that's The Voice - YOUR Voice, and they WILL know it! Then they will return to you.  When they are off the path, it will be an opportunity for fire, to mold and purify. When MY KIDS are old and gray, may the look back on this time, in good graces with you, and smile, feel joy knowing that His/Her Path was intended and chosen by you all along.

Call them to Reconciliation. Grant them families and relationship to nurture their spirit and offer it selfless as Christ does.

Keep their minds  and hearts always radically open, questioning, questioning, questioning in order that they are reassured, re-grounded, re-affirmed in their faith walk with you.

Father, I'm blessed to have taught them. I'm blessed to have been their student. I couldn't be more proud of each and every one of them, no matter where they are led.  Thought my heart breaks and aches, it's full of joy, swollen with love. Thank you.

Always and Forever in humility,

Church World Tour ~ Mater Dei Catholic Church ~ Irving, Texas

"Angelus domini nuntiavit Mariae; et concepit de Spiritu Sancto, et verbim caro factum est."


The Mass was celebrated in Latin, save the homily.  A red-covered paperback book is provided so you can follow along and participate.  Also, English translation is in a side column.  (Thank you!).
It was High Mass, so we were sprinkled with holy water at the beginning, we inhaled incense and heard chant.
The priest kept his back to the parish as he recited Latin while consecrating the Host.

To receive Communion, you have to kneel at the kneelers at the front of the church. The Altar Server held a brass plate under your chin as you received the host.

The altar and ceiling were adorned in golden Fleurs de Lis, and a scrolled letter M.

Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto

The Last Supper carved in the base of the Altar.

Mantillas for modesty.

Shrines of Mary and Joseph flanked the Altar.
The church was simple, elegant; the mood extremely reverent. It felt formal, and I felt a bit of a misfit.  For one reason, I don't know Latin (yet), and another, I felt ill-prepared and ill-equpped. Rationally, I shouldn't have felt embarrassed by the fact that My Girls and I were not wearing mantillas, yet, I couldn't escape that feeling.  Also, they all wore long skirts - very puritan-esque.  I, of course, was in pants.  My Eldest wore a skirt and My Little One wore a dress.  The members of the church weren't shooting us judgmental looks and no one told us we were inappropriate, yet, I still felt so out-of-place!

Though I didn't get a photo of if, a balcony is at the back of the church. The choir sung from the balcony.

After Mass was over, The Girls had plenty to say about the experience. 

Other random observations:
  • The priest pronounced both letters t in such words like "written" (instead of 'swallowing' them lazily like most people do).  This made me very happy. :)
  • The phrase "Holy Ghost" instead of "Holy Spirit" was spoken.
  • Having just completed a psychology class, I was particularly tickled to hear the phrase "Tabula Rasa" spoken in the homily.  It was in the context of the Sacrament of Baptism as well as the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  • During the.whole.entire.Mass, one particular Altar Server - who couldn't have been more than 14 years old - stood with prayerfully folded hands.
  • Randomly, My Little One announced that she wants to be cremated upon her death. 
The homily was centered around temptation.  The celebrant discussed how the acts of liberating our soul from Original Sin with Baptism was foretold in the Old Testament by Moses splitting the Red Sea (freeing slaves, liberating Israelites).  Then he begged these question:  What do we need?  His answers:  Baptism, Manna.  What can we expect?  Answers:  trials & tribulations, temptation, consequences. What can we avoid?  False peace.  The priest stated 'even if one is fully devoted, he will still have temptation and trials because he is living in the militant church.  Collectively, we are soldiers for the Glory of God.  We we overcome, we uphold that Glory, vanquish sin, grow closer to the Kingdom.  Trials are good for us.'  He also reminded the flock (highlighting the words of St. Augustine) to keep God first and everything else subordinate to God.  Tranquility will be ours and we will remain in a state of grace by keeping God first.  Peace cannot be lost if God is at the top of the order.  (Easier said than done, huh?! Oy!)

Although there's truth and value to using it at times, I'm not a fan of the militant usage of words, images for witnessing and evangelizing. My aversion to using such verbiage and means of living/growing my faith is attributable to my non-confrontational, peace-loving spirit (it must be a false peace, huh?).  I don't do well with disharmony or 'fighting'.  I'm equally avoidant of using The Devil in similar ways ("the devil is working on you", "the devil made me do it", "satan is at work", etc.). That being said, I didn't like most of the homily. This has to be one of the few times ever I left a homily not feeing uplifted. However, I had a very academic experience by hearing how Old Testament and New Testament "stories" tie together (i.e. parting of the Red Sea by Moses = liberation of Original Sin, worshipping of false idols = us thinking our turmoil will settle, Mary = the Arc of the Covenant).

Overall, this was an extremely solemn experience.  I'd go back, but I don't think I could be a regular there without being more familiar with Latin.  I felt pretty removed from the body of Christ, which is counter to what the Church teaches about attending Mass.  It wasn't even rote since I'm not familiar with the language.  However, I have immense respect for what transpired!  The one consolation I had that helped me stay tied to my faith is knowing that world-wide, that day, no matter the language, we were all united by the same readings and love. 


"Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived of the Holy Spirit, and the word was made flesh"

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Church World Tour ~ Southern Methodist University ~ Dallas, Texas

We were blessed with an amazing priest at our home parish.  He was fairly young, former military, a convert to Catholicism (in his 30s! -- like me!) and entered the priesthood fairly late compared to his counterparts.  He's an accomplished pipe organist, speaks several languages, has a great sense of humor and is always smiling.  One of my favorite things about his homily, aside from his message, is that he ends it as if it were a prayer by saying "Amen". 

Relatively speaking, he did a quick swim-through our parish. I was sad to hear he was re-assigned, but his assignment left me very happy for him and for the community in which he will be serving.  He was appointed to Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas proper.  I believe it's fairly widely known that among SMU's faithful, the Catholics are the largest community attending college there (yes, even more than the Methodists!). I found this to be a perfect fit for Fr. Anthony.

We decided to pay him a visit this summer.  Off to SMU we went! 

The chapel at SMU is modest, and it converts easily to a Catholic Mass. It's intimate, white - a bit sterile, really - but highly functional. I would imagine any denomination (or non-denomination) could easily set up in that space. Make no mistake, thought, it is clearly a worship space.

Mass was quite lovely. I am reminded what a powerful messenger of God Fr. Anthony is. I will be going back, even if it's not Fr. Anthony celebrating. Hope to see you there.