Posts Tagged With: Health

Pope Benedict’s Announcement

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This morning, when I woke up, I had a text message waiting from my sister asking why Pope Benedict XVI was resigning.  It was the first I had heard of it, and I was upset, but not horribly surprised. The last few years, Midnight Mass at the Vatican has been held a few hours early due to his poor health. Apparently, the last few months, his health has become considerably worse, and after much prayer, he feels he is no longer able to lead us as he should.

Scott and I converted to Catholicism April 7, 2007, about 2 years after Benedict became Pope. He’s truly the only Pope we’ve ever had as Catholics, and he’s led us through the most remarkable journey. A few months ago, Pope Benedict rang in the Year of Faith, a time for us to renew our Baptismal promises, to return to the sacraments, to reignite our faith. Though our leader may be changing, let’s stay on the path he started for us, and continue to immerse ourselves in our faith.

It’s no coincidence that this announcement was made for Lourdes day, which is also the World Day of the Sick. Let us pray for Pope Benedict and all those who are suffering in sickness.

The full text of Pope Benedict’s announcement:

Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.
Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

–February 10, 2013 BENEDICTUS PP XVI

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It’s Enough to Make You Sick

There was a gaping hole in the wall at Mass on Sunday for the second week in a row. Not a figurative one, though we’ve had one of those for a few months now. It’s a real, honest to goodness, gaping, ugly, dark hole in the wall. Our holy water fonts have been removed due to the flu season, and I couldn’t be more displeased. My sister-in-law agrees with the decision, citing the horribleness of the flu.

I continue to disagree. It’s holy water, for crying out loud! It’s been sanctified!5557860487_5d3ee179b3

At Mass last week, we were also told not to shake hands during the sign of peace for fear of spreading the flu. However, I joined a band of rag-tag renegades. We shook hands. For Pete’s sake, the sign of peace was originally the kiss of peace.

Unfortunately, I have further evidence to cite. When one of our deacons was giving us the tour of the church in RCIA, he said that one day he saw a woman slather her children’s hands with hand sanitizer after the sign of peace and he thought that was just wonderful.

Well I’m having a hard time with it.

Let me start off by saying that I’m incredibly sensitive to staph. Not just the really bad staph that is bad for everyone, but lots of staph. I am constantly getting staph infections and sitting on a public toilet is a game of Russian roulette. So, let me tell you, I know full well the power of germs. Therefore, I am actually hesitant to overuse antibacterial products because, well, it’s overkill and more and more research is showing it does more harm than good.  

I just don’t like the attitude. It’s an attitude of fear, when we should exercise an attitude of faith and family. How can we say, “We are the body of Christ…but I’m afraid to touch you.” How can we say, “I have faith in God, and I believe this water has been blessed…but I’m worried I’ll get the flu from it.” It strikes a bad chord with me. I’m not saying we should be careless by any means. If you have the flu, stay home! That’s why we have Eucharist ministers to bring the sacrament to the sick. And as for those prone to infection, well, as someone who is very prone to infection, I know what to do to take care of myself. Dousing myself in hand sanitizer every 5 minutes is not the answer. Avoiding shaking hands with my parish family isn’t either.

I’m torn here. I know I should submit to the authority of our deacons (our Priest would be that figurative gaping hole I alluded to earlier) but being told we shouldn’t touch…I’m not a touchy-feely person. I don’t like to be touched. But at the Mass, I want to embrace everyone around me! St. Francis embraced lepers for crying out loud. Many more great saints lived in filth with the sick as well. How is it acceptable for us to refuse to embrace each other?

I want my holy water back. As bad as it is to tell brothers and sisters in Christ that we can’t touch each other, to give credence to the idea that water that has been blessed will cause illness is an outright lack of faith. It’s enough to make me sick.

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7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 16

1: Meatless Fridays

We’ve decided to go meatless on Fridays year round. How’s that going for us?

Actual exchange late last night (or about 3am) in the Fletcher house:

Me: We’re almost out of fish filets? *runs frantically to deep freeze* Well, actually, there 2960134096_135f9b0703are six here. Two fishes are a serving, so there’s at least 3 servings.

Scott: Two? I usually have 5 at a time…

Me: What?!?!?! Two fishes is more than plenty!

Scott: Not for me, it isn’t!

Me: Two fishes is more than enough. I mean, Jesus could feed, gosh, probably 5,000 people with two fishes.

Scott: IT’S NOT LENT YET!!!!!

It’s going well. Really well.

2: New Years Fitness Resolutions

Not doing so well. I’ve been working out like a champ, I mean really. My shin splints have flared up horribly, but I’m working around it. I dialed back the intensity of my circuit training (I went a little EXTREME!!! way too soon) and started mixing in some biking and Zumba. However, I’m washing away all of my hard work by over-snacking all night. Ever since I quit smoking, I’ve had snacking issues, which is weird because I never used to be a snacker. The real low point for me was when I ate a half a bag of Sun Chips in one sitting. I’m bored, and I’m at home by myself all evening, but I’ve got to stop this nonsense! I’ve just got to throw myself into prayer like I did when I was quitting smoking. NO MORE SNACKING!!!

3: If my fear was irrational, I wouldn’t be afraid of it. Duh.

Sometimes I wonder, whilst flailing about the living room, “dancing” to my Zumba XBox game, if perhaps my Kinect sensor is recording my performance and sending it off to Microsoft headquarters so they can laugh at it.  

Do you doubt it? I mean really? This is why we don’t have flying cars. The geniuses are all watching fat ladies show of their spasmodic dance skills in their living rooms. Brave new world.

4: We All Need Humbling

Last week, I mentioned I would be painting the Devon tower at a Wine and Palette painting class. So, here’s the tower:

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And this is my painting (keep in mind, the picture above is at an angle, mine is head on):

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Well, we can cross pride off the list.

5: Marriage Challenge–Just in Time for Valentine’s!

Hallie Lord, my personal marriage guru, is hosting a 41 day marriage challenge! Yesterday’s task was to slip a love note into his wallet. Done! He didn’t find it, though. So, I put it in the little envelope he keeps his debit card it, and hopefully when he takes his card out to pay for something he’ll find it?4343621338_1bddfe2369

Today’s task is to send him a sweet text message. I did! I told him I loved him..and gave him an update on the garage door situation. Does that count?

I suck at this.

6: I  Still Want My Monies!

Last week, I ranted about not having my W-2 and wanting our refund money. Well, I got my W-2, and had exactly 5 second of happiness about our refund before I realized our refund would be going entirely toward our medical debts and it wouldn’t even be enough to cover all of them. Unfair! Last year, we bought a new refrigerator and I was able to squirrel enough away to buy a Hawaiian vacation package for Scottie. This year, all of it is going to bills!?!?!?

All but a small portion that will be set aside for my Real Estate school. In another 6-12 months (or however long it takes for me to finish the darn thing) I’ll be starting a brand new career!

7: Pope John Paul II 

In Evangelium Vitae, Bl. Pope John Paul II included a special message for women who have had an abortion. In commemoration of the grim anniversary this week, I think it’s important to share what he had to say:

Pope John Paul II in ArmchairI would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.  

– Pope Blessed John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae, 99 (1995)

Be sure to keep Jen in your prayers as she continues her recovery and be sure to stop by Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

Yes,  yes, if you click on the little Amazon link on this page and buy something, I’ll make a teeny, tiny profit! 

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7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 15: “Don’t try to assign a theme to it” Edition

1: Words Fail Me

I’ve gotten a bit backed up on blogging and actually have several half-finished posts, most of which I’m sure will be deleted. With everything that I’m hearing as far as guns and gun violence goes, I felt the need to pitch in my two cents. After many attempts at beating around the bush, I decided to just be blunt and say what I feel. Sometimes, blunt is best.

2: The Tooth Fairy Cometh4749403760_e6fce91d73_n

My darling Scott has finally come to terms with the importance of proper dental maintenance. Last week, the poor dear had an abscessed tooth and we got him in to see a dentist on Monday. Unfortunately, (long story) it was a very expensive dental office. Marble counter tops. A Keurig machine in the waiting room. Giant bowls of complimentary chapstick, key chains and gum. The place looks like a flipping palace. So, when he received a quote for a root canal and crown, I scoffed. Being the evil wife that I am, I refused to schedule an appointment to have the work done and told Scott we’d be shopping around. He was so unhappy with me! I forgot to grab a few handfuls of the free chapstick and gum on the way out the door, but I did my share of the Keurig coffee. We got him an appointment at Dental Depot yesterday, and he was able to get the root canal, crown, and deep clean for only slightly more than just the root canal and crown would have been at the spendy place. Poor thing. He had the root canal and half the deep clean done yesterday (same day as his initial exam at Dental Depot!) and he’ll get the rest of the deep clean and the temporary crown on Wednesday. Between now and then, he’s on a soft food diet and in a decent amount of pain. I made him some homemade potato soup, and that seemed to help.

Next time, he’ll go to the dentist when I tell him to. I’m sure of it.

3: It’s Official!

The holidays are over. In addition to Sunday being the liturgical end of the Christmas season, we celebrated 2 family birthdays on Saturday and my in-laws flew back to Saudi Arabia on Monday morning. No more big family meals. No more get-togethers over cake. It’s time to get back on a regular schedule!

4: Rebecca Monet!

I’m going to be working on a new masterpiece tonight at Wine and Palette. My sister, Betsy, and I went last month and did our renderings of the “Peace Angel.”

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Tonight, we shall be doing a rendering of the Oklahoma City skyline with the Devon tower. I am particularly fond of the Devon tower since my husband, the iron worker, built it.

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It was the first job he was sent on as an iron worker two years ago, and he’s still out there working on the finishing touches. Isn’t it just beautiful?

5: Smoking Hot!

166215927_48b7336d26Today, a coworker was on her way out for a smoke break and had to go back out to the front to help a customer. On her way, she put her cigarette down on the counter in the break room. I picked it up and sniffed at it. It was strange. 5 months ago, I couldn’t imagine not being a smoker. It was part of who I was. I set the pace of my days by my smoke breaks. Now, holding the cigarette in my hand, it seemed strange and unnatural.

Another coworker came in the break room and started to flip out. “Don’t do it!” he cried out. “You already quit!”

“You know what’s silly?” I said, thinking of the absolute torture of quitting and the divine intervention required to quit. “After all that, the main reason I don’t want to start up again is that I don’t want to stink.”

“That’s not silly at all,” he said.

I don’t know if I’ve addressed this already, but I honestly did not realize how bad I smelled when I smoked. Now, when I smell a smoker, I feel mortified that I walked around smelling like that. I really don’t want to stink again!

6: I Want My Monies!

It’s that time of year! For Rebecca to complain and moan because I SHOULD have my W-2 by now. This is a modern, advanced civilization, is it not? Everything is electronic, any information can be obtained with a mere touch of a button–except my W-2!

I’m particularly anxious to get mine because….I cheated! I borrowed against my return! When we had our glorious trip to Hawaii, we hadn’t saved up very much money, so I changed my tax filing status to single with 9 dependents, so no federal taxes were taken out for 4 or 4 checks. When I changed it back, I had an extra 100$/check taken out to make up for it, but I’m still a little worried. And yes, I did use the estimator at HR Block to see how much it should be based on our recent pay stubs, but until I get the final result, I’m going to worry!

7: At Last!

When I was 13 or 14, I read Les Miserables, then when I was done with it, I realized it was a8269937687_f7163b369a condensed version. Dangit. I’ve read the first half of the full version 2 or 3 times since then. After reading the condensed version, I bought the soundtrack to the musical and listened to it over and over again, wishing I could see it.

Last Friday, I got to. I’m not going to do a big commentary. It was Les Mis. It was done right. It was beautiful and glorious. I bawled at the end. It was worth every second of the wait.

I can hear the people sing!

Be sure to keep Jen in your prayers as she continues her recovery and be sure to stop by Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

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7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 14:

I apologize in advance for the scattered, hair-brained content of this post.

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1: Christmas Hangover

Every day, every stinking day, I realize something I forgot to do for the holidays, now that we’re working to get everything put up. Oh, look, here’s a wreath that never got put out, here’s a pumpkin pie bar mix that never got made, and Snoopy socks I never wore, and HOW DID I FAIL TO PUT OUT THE CHRISTMAS HAND TOWELS?!?!?!?! I just feel like the only way to fix this is to get in the time machine, go back in time and start all over.

But you know what? I kept up with the Jesse tree. The whole season.

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2: 2 is for 2 Years Later

We’ve been living in our current house for 2 years now. This is a joyous occasion. Our marriage has been so full of moving and shuffling around, that the longest we were ever in one place was in our cramped, tiny little apartment. Until now. Now we’ve lived in this lovely little mid-century ranch style house for longer than we’ve been anywhere else.

And after two years, Scott finally fixed the garage door. The chain was off when we first moved in and there was no remote, so the garage has been more of a junk catch-all than anything else. Scott fixed the chain, I found a new remote, ordered it and paired it, and now, at long last, I no longer have to walk in the rain to get into the house! And it’s so easy when I need to haul groceries into the house. I can just drive them inside instead! I turned 31 last month and this is the first time in my life I have lived in a house with a working garage door, where I could park. It’s so exciting! It’s going to take a while for the shiny to wear off of this one.

3: Simone Weil

I saw this trailer on Ascending Mount Carmel and thought I’d share it.

I’d really like to see the documentary, but when I searched for it on Netflix, it told me it was unavailable and recommended Sons of Anarchy and Phineas and Ferb. I wish I had made that last bit up, but I didn’t.

4: Halp!

This is probably not worthy of sharing but I keep seeing this picture and it’s just the stuff of nightmares.

I suppose I’ve probably always been claustrophobic. My experience in the closed MRI has definitely brought this fear, nay TERROR to light. For example, I fail to see the humor in this picture, which keeps popping up:

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No, I look at that picture and suddenly can’t breathe. And want to cry. Moving on.

5: Feeling the Burn

I’ve been doing….fair…on my health and fitness resolutions this year. I’ve had some night snacking issues, which was never a problem until I quit smoking. I’ve been working out pretty consistently–which for me always makes the weight come off more slowly. But, I know I’m building muscle instead of losing it, which is certainly more likely when I’m dropping massive amounts of weight each weak. My stamina is increasing, too. I plan to start running by Valentine’s Day, and do some kind of 5K in the spring. If I’m going to do a run, I want to do it for a good cause, you know? One I believe in! Last summer, I was going to do the Color Run in OKC, but things didn’t line up for me. I was a little ill at ease with it because they didn’t have the “cause” lined up yet. I was a little worried about signing up, paying my fees, and training…only to find out I was running to benefit the Fraternal Brotherhood of Aryan Supremesists or something horrifying like that.

Anybody else working on a fitness routine?

6: All by Myself

Now that everything is back to normal, Scott is once again working every evening and I’m at home by myself all night. However, I’m not going to let that stop me from observing dinner more formally every night.

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Now, if they’ll just wear the little outfits I made them.

7: Hail Mary!

I’m pledging to do the rosary every night. So far this year, I’ve only missed twice. Another spiritual goal for the New Year is to read at least 1 Catholic non-fiction book each month. Finishing 1 each month shouldn’t be a problem.

I’ve already started 5.

Keep the Fulwilers in your prayers and I’ll let you know where the rest of the Quick Takes are just as soon as I find out!

 Update: Found ’em!

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