Friday, March 11, 2011

the courage to wander into the wilderness

I recently stumbled upon a blog called Catholic Phoenix that I really enjoy. It has lots of eloquent, thought-provoking contributors who write on everything from liturgy to poetry to teenagers to philosophy. And they're funny! You can't beat that. Anyway, I recommend this post on the Lenten longing for Easter. The author tells us how, after converting to Catholicism, he followed the older tradition of fasting the duration of Lent, which left him....hungry. Literally. And this hunger underscored everything he did for 40 long days. He writes
Penance during Lent seems to be the way that we submit to that [cleansing] purgative fire. Or rather, it is the way that we embrace it. We simply don’t get to the glorious promise of Easter until we have suffered, because the triumph of Easter was obtained only through Christ’s suffering. Indeed, His voluntary suffering. Fasting is difficult not only because constant hunger taxes our bodies. Fasting is difficult because it requires us to voluntarily suffer; we must choose to be hungry. In Practice in Christianity, Søren Kierkegaard (writing under the pseudonym Anti-Climacus) argues that Christian suffering is Christian precisely because it’s avoidable. All who suffer because of Christ could quit their suffering by quitting Christ. But those who subject themselves to suffering subject themselves to Christ, who is our ultimate example of voluntarily suffering. With imitation in mind, Christians strangely fight the impulse to flee the burning house. Christians instead walk headlong into the blaze, hoping that their loved ones are somewhere nearby, consumed by flames.
The sentiment reminds me of an absolutely breathtaking meditation on Jesus' seven last words from the cross called Death on a Friday Afternoon. I think I reread it every Lent, and each time I'm struck by the beauty and humility and sacrifice and love of our Lord, magnified and intensified under the lens of Father Neuhaus' incomparable way with words. Neuhaus urges readers to enjoy his book slowly, consciously digesting the implications of what happened on that Friday afternoon, rather than rushing headlong into Easter. It's so easy to just survive Lent, quietly checking off the boxes labeled "fasting" and "abstinence" and "prayer" without spending time savoring the taste of sacrifice while we hunger for our reward.
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Mt. 4:1) “If you are the son of God,” said the tempter, “command these stones to become loaves of bread.” (Mt. 4:3) Though “he was hungry,” Christ refused. Do you refuse? Or do you turn your stones into bread? Do you even have the courage to wander into the wilderness in the first place?
 Please say a prayer for me that I'll have the courage, and I'll say one for you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

i heart giveaways

Check out this Gussy Sews giveaway! Or don't. Because I really want to win. ;-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Growing, growing, gone.

This has been laying dormant in my "edit posts" queue since the end of August, but I thought the sentiments from Light and Momentary (the block quote below) deserved posting...

So...Baby D can stand. With my help, of course, but he can stand. And now he knows that standing exists, it's like there's no other option. "What, me, sit down? Or worse, lay down?? And look at those silly farm animals hanging on my playmat? Pshaw. You must be joking. Recline in my bouncy seat? Surely you jest, Mom. I can stand, for Pete's sake!" Where oh where is the time going?

I know, logically, that this is the goal-- to teach them to get around in the world without my help. But it's a hard goal, a bittersweet goal. See, I've never had a job before where my goal was to obsolesce. Always before, I wanted to offer something unique, something they'd find tough to replace. I wanted to be a little bit indispensable. Motherhood's not like that. To be a mother is to make an openhanded offering of the best of yourself, to say, Here is most of what I know about making a way through the world. Wouldn't you like to learn it? How to wipe your nose. How to change a light bulb. How to chop an onion. How to say, "I was wrong; I'm sorry." How to pray for your enemies. How to seek God in all things.

I'm better at chopping onions. Oh, God, make me the mother they need me to be.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

oh hello, new teeth

You know those days when you're so tired you wish you could pour the coffee directly into your eyes?


Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Full of Grace Creations Giveaway

Cam over at A Woman's Place is giving away another beautiful Full of Grace creation. Go check it out and leave your info. to be entered in the running! But don't leave too many entries because I would love to win this. ;-)

friday night food

I always have the hardest time finding good, meatless things to eat for dinner on Fridays. Here's a recipe that I've made a few times and the Mr. and I really like. It's good with a simple soup or some pita bread.


1 c. bulgur wheat
1 1/2 c. boiling water
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
dash of garlic powder
2 tomatoes, diced
3 cups chopped fresh parsley
4 green onions, chopped with tops

Pour boiling water over bulgur wheat and salt. Cover for 30 minutes and let sit. Stir next three ingredients into bulgur and chill for 2-3 hours. Add tomatoes, parsley, and green onions and gently toss.

You can add all sorts of other things to this, like mushrooms, mint, or bean sprouts. Due to an obsession with cheese, I like to add feta. The recipe says it serves 6, but if you're using this for a meal, and you're a glutton like I am, you'll probably get about 3-4 generous helpings.