Friday, November 9, 2012

7 quick takes, vol. 10

I'm actually on time this week! Whoo hoo!

I believe I've mentioned before that I was shocked and impressed to find a bible study that is truly efficacious and life-giving, even after my two theology degrees. Of course, part of what keeps it awesome is the people. One gentleman in particular often comes up with questions and insights that never would have occurred to me in a million years. Usually I can see clearly how they are connected to the reading, but this week's discussion was just exceptional. Look at this Sunday's Second Reading (Heb 9:24-28):
Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
with blood that is not his own;
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.
After a pause, the gentleman in question piped up. "I apologize in advance for the digression this will cause... but I really want to know! What is the Church's position on cryogenic freezing? Like, having your body frozen to be thawed out later?"

This spawned easily fifteen minutes of discussion (sometimes multiple discussions at once), and covered such dense theological topics as despair, presumption, and the papacy... mostly by way of talking about death, the parousia, and gruesome legends (such as the reputed origin of the phrase "dead ringer"). I love my friends.

Speaking of the great affection I have for my friends, one gentleman has been considering giving this talk for years, and strange as it seems to be proud of someone who's your peer, I have rarely been prouder of anyone. What he says in these two videos, "A Christian Response to Homosexuality," is well-researched, balanced, charitable, and rooted in his personal experiences as a chaste gay Catholic. I highly, highly recommend every word to anyone with the slightest interest in listening. (Both videos total 1h15.)

We all know that facebook has been a tense place lately... which is why I'm especially grateful that both Sarah and Susanna gave birth this week! :D

Seriously, both babies give me a much-needed dose of adorable, but also so much more. These ladies (among others) are living the dream. My dream, at least: stay-at-home mom of a large family. I take inspiration from observing and spending time with them and their families. Someday, God will make this dream of mine a reality (or else tell me that I've been mishearing him all these years and He's got something better planned). In the meantime, I'm grateful for families like theirs who let me live vicarious through interacting with and hearing stories about their children. :)

If I hadn't gone to Steubenville for a Catechetics degree, I totally would have studied Linguistics at Boston College. Even as it was, I think I used up all my electives by taking an unnecessary language course every semester of college!

So when I discovered that Atlanta has an Alliance Française and Goethe-Zentrum (which share office space—I guess the French and Germans get along well here), I eagerly signed up for both their mailing lists. Unfortunately, most of their events cost money, so I've done almost nothing with either group. However, a friend who lived in Germany for part of her childhood came with me to a lecture about Berlin earlier this week.

The lecture was all right, but by far the highlight of the evening was when we first arrived, and walked over to the guy at the "bar." "Guten abend..." he began, asking us in comfortable German whether we wanted beer, water or wine, and which kind of wine. Since it's been seven years since I've spoken German with anyone, I was prepared to ask him to switch to English, but was delighted to discover that I didn't need to. The two minutes it took us to order our drinks and thank him left me positively glowing (for at least the next ten). Some fundamental part of me loves communicating with someone in a language other than English. There's a rush to it, an excitement, a challenge.

Well, at least I've learned something about myself: I need to push myself waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone and start going to events that are focused on German or French conversation: game nights, football (soccer) games, Christmas parties... Gah! It's scary. But maybe, now that I've told y'all about it, I might actually do it. Perhaps. Feel free to keep me accountable. :)

So, officially today's liturgical feast is called the "Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica." This is all well and good, with a bonus gloria and extra pretty orations and whatnot. However, the church itself has a much cooler name, which you will probably not hear in your homily today:

The Papal Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran

Now that is an unnecessarily long title, and full of awesome! There's a certain charm to knowing that the pope's cathedral is dedicated primarily to Our Lord Himself, and after both Sts John only secondarily (with thanks to the Lateran family). It's the little things in life, ya' know?

Earlier this week, a new client needed some notarized documents to process my payroll, and in the file in which I keep passport, social security card, birth certificate, etc., I discovered a copy of my baptism certificate (well done, Mom and Dad). Not only is today a cool feast day that I already liked, but it's my baptism day! Whoo hoo!

Totally renewing my baptismal promises before Mass this evening. Baptism day indulgence, here I come! :D

Also, the priest who baptized me wrote a book called Marian Reflections: The Angelus Messages of Pope John Paul II, of which I have two signed copies on my bookshelf. Even though I have no memory of him, that's a pretty cool legacy. :)

Due to crazy Thanksgiving travel plans, I get to see my awesome sister in a mere eleven days! According to one of her friends:

"It's crazy, how Theresa and her sister look nothing alike, and then you spend like ten minutes with them, and it's like: same person!"
Love my family! Here is a rare family portrait (we always just forget).

Probably other people talked about their families, too, over at Conversion Diary where Jen's hosting all these! I'll be back soon...

1 comment:

  1. I have to tell you in regards to no. 5--M and I decided that if we ever have a son, we will have him dress as "St. John Lateran" for an All Saints Day party. What could be more awesome than a cardboard church costume?


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