Seven Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —

Better late than never. I meant to blog this morning, but Brett got called to substitute teach so we had to rush to get ready so I could drop him off in time for school.

— 2 —

Today was my office’s annual Advent retreat. It was wonderful. The pastor of a local parish shared reflections of the Sunday Advent and Christmas Midnight and Day time Mass readings. We discussed the theme of Christ as our light.

— 3 —

A sacramental is an object that reminds us of God and our Faith. My favorite reflection that father shared with us at the retreat today was how a Christmas tree is a sacramental because it reminds us of how heaven came down to earth – it has a star or an angel on top which remind us of heaven, and gifts, a crèche, or a train below, which remind us of earth. And, it is covered with lights which bring to mind Jesus, our light.

— 4 —

I have my Christmas shopping over half done. I think it’s much easier when you don’t have children, although I would give up the convenience for that joy in a minute.

— 5 —

We were invited to three different Christmas parties that will all take place on the evening of December 15. I was a little stressed out trying to choose which one to attend, but we made our choice. Actually, when we were trying to decide, I didn’t even know about the third invitation, I only found out about it yesterday, after we had already responded that we would be attending one.

— 6 —

It has been slow going reading Witness to Hope. I guess I won’t post any more book reviews this year. I could review A Fish Out of Water, my 18-month-old nephew Grayson’s favorite book. I have read it several times.

— 7 —

Please pray for me on Sunday. Brett and I, along with our friend Camille, will be making Temporary Promises in the Dominican Lay Fraternity. We will promise to live the life of the Gospel in the charism and guidance of the Dominican order for the next three years. It will be a continuing time of discernment whether a Life Promise in the order is God’s call for us. In addition, our friends Gina and Doug will be making Life Promises. Please pray for all of us. I will be praying for you all and I will write a special intention for my readers in the intention book that our Lay Fraternity Chapter has at each meeting for our Holy Hour.

Have a lovely weekend.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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He Leadeth Me

My most recent book is He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Ciszek, SJ. Fr. Ciszek was a Polish-American Jesuit missionary who ended up spending many years in Soviet prisons, both in solitary confinement and in the bustle of a crowded work camp. Each chapter explores a time of his life in such confinement and an aspect of the spiritual life. Through the examples of his own life, Fr. Ciszek teaches important lessons for all Christians in the spiritual life.

I enjoyed this book immensely and I feel that I have learned and internalized a great deal that will serve me in my quest to improve my relationship with God. However, it took me a very long time to read because it is so profound and I would sometimes feel that I needed to meditate on a single chapter for days at a time. It is not difficult to read, but gives so much to chew on.

As I read, I felt like I could hear Fr. Ciszek’s voice saying the words, and I understood why he is called a Servant of God, the first step toward canonization. A Saint is someone who lived a life of heroic virtue. I believe that Fr. Ciszek’s life demonstrated such virtue, and his words are profound and inspiring.

Seven Quick Takes

In my office, we only get to roll over 40 hours of vacation time, so I decided to take today off. I thought we might go Christmas shopping, then I found out that Brett was going to be substitute teaching. Since we only have one car, that means I’m at home. So, here are seven things I’m going to do at home on my day off.

— 1 —

Trim my bangs. When you like your bangs long but not too long, you have to cut them a lot! I just cut them a few weeks ago, but they needed trimming. I have already accomplished this. Go me!

— 2 —

Clean the bathrooms with my steam cleaner. I know, glamorous, right? My life is not glamorous, or else I would have used my vacation time going on extravagant vacations. I really like my steam cleaner because it cleans without chemicals. I should use it more often, but I feel like it’s a hassle to get it out. Today, I’m going to go through that hassle.

— 3 —

Other housework. This is the day-to-day stuff – dishes, laundry, dusting, sweeping.

— 4 —

Eat something for lunch that I couldn’t have at work. I haven’t decided if it’s going to be something cooked, something made in the blender, or sardines.

— 5 —

Plan meals and make a grocery list. I use Food on the Table on my phone to see the weekly ads from my usual grocery store, then I fill in with things that I can get at other stores. I like having the shopping list on my phone because it doesn’t waste any paper.

— 6 —

While I’m planning, I’m going to try to make a schedule for my blog. Only quick takes for three weeks in a row? Lazy and boring. I need to work on this. Not that I’m really trying to entertain, but I sometimes like to go back and read what I’ve written every once in a while, and I’d like some more interesting future reading 😉

— 7 —

Read. When we were engaged, four years ago Brett gave me Witness to Hope the biography of John Paul II, by George Weigel as a Christmas present. I haven’t finished reading it yet. As a matter of fact, I finally reached page 400… which means I only have about 480 pages to go. It is such a big book. It’s so interesting, but both the visible text and the content are very dense. In normal type, it would probably take 2000 pages to get it all in. I wonder how many pages in the large type edition. Anyway, I was wishing I could finish it by the end of the year. What do you think? Can I do it?

Whatever you do today, have a great day and a great weekend.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic

I finally finished reading One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic:  The Early Church was the Catholic Church by Kenneth D. Whitehead. It took me a long time because of the Olympics, the parish Festival, and several other distractions. It is also quite dense, both in the appearance of the text, and the richness of meaning.

Whitehead defends the faith against the idea that the early Church was just a bunch of people who met in a free-form way until the Roman government got involved. He explains how the Eucharist was celebrated and how the Church was led. He goes into great detail about the early primacy of Rome, including how a  reading of both the Church Fathers and the leading heretics will show that the bishop of Rome held a special place in the early Church.

I found the book very interesting, and I plan to read it again to really absorb it. I am becoming more interested in Church history and how things got to be the way they are. I would recommend this book if you’re interested in how the papacy became what it is today.