Posts Tagged With: Holy Water

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 18: Preparing for Lent

1: The Scapular Challenge

3535583670_9f417c1b3cI wrote about the myths and truths of the Brown Scapular on Wednesday, and in my fervor, I extended a challenge: To wear a Brown Scapular and tell one person what it’s really all about (and it’s not about having a free ride to Heaven). I’m considering ordering 25 from the Free Brown Scapular website and leaving 24 of them in the chapel with a little brochure telling the story. I may need someone to type up a Spanish version. If you would be interested in being my Spanish translator, let me know, and I’ll work on a short pamphlet outlining what the Brown Scapular is for. Well, first I’ll look for one online. That would be nice if it was already done for me. I’ll probably still need a translator, though!

Why would I only leave 24 in the chapel? I’d carry the other with me to give to the one person I’m going to verbally tell about the true purpose of the Brown Scapular!

Available for purchase on Kindle and free through Amazon Prime Lender’s Library

2: Mercy Most Divine

Since I get to read a book for free every month on my Kindle with Amazon Prime, I decided to read a Catholic book and do a review on it. I selected Blessed Pope John Paul II, the Diary of St Faustina and the End Times for this month, but I took it a little further. Since Scott and I both have Kindles, I suggested that he read it as well, with me. We’ve never done such a thing before, and neither of us knew the fully history of Divine Mercy.

Let’s just say, it’s been absolutely wonderful and we will definitely be doing it again! Scott has been on the night shift for 7 months now, and we see so little of each other. Reading this book together has been a reminder that we’re both on the same journey. Which, really, it’s so easy to get caught up in my spiritual journey and my prayer life that I don’t always recognize that it’s our spiritual journey and our prayer life. We are bound together in all things, especially our road to Heaven.

Read this book! Or any spiritual book with your spouse!

3: Are You Ready for Lent?

I, for one, am incredibly excited about Lent. It’s like Advent, without all the pressure. In fact, lack of pressure is a rule. No, you may not spend all day baking cookies and cakes! No wild spending sprees for you! Don’t even think of gorging yourself at a family dinner!

As we prepare for this reflective and penitential season, it is good to have a game plan and make sure that you have the resources you need. Our parish offers the Little Black Book for sale in the office. Someone from Women’s Club was kind enough to buy a box of them to hand out to all of us at our February meeting. It’s also available on Kindle. Magnificat Lent Companion is available in print or on Kindle. That is in addition to the Magnificat Year of Faith Companion. And Lent is a wonderful time to start getting into the habit of doing the Liturgy of the Hours! Don’t forget your daily reading and meditations!

That’s one thing Lent has in common with Christmas and Thanksgiving: it’s easy
to put too much on your plate, bite off more than you can chew, and end up with a serious case of indigestion. I’ve decided to keep the Little Black Book in my purse to read at lunch, do the Magnificat daily readings, prayers and meditations for mornings and evenings as well as Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Ignatian Retreat. I purchased the book at our parish book fair on Sunday, as well as a prayer companion. That’s a lot to do, so I’ll be checking in on myself to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed and just give up.

Just remember: there will be Lent next year, and whatever devotional you don’t do this year, you can do then if you still feel drawn to it. If you die before Lent comes around next year, well, you’ll have a highly spiritual experience then!

4: Speaking of Fasting…

I’ve been pretty darn good about sticking to my workout routine. However, my snacking routine has intensified dramatically so I have made no progress towards any New Year’s weight loss goals. It can be awkward to fast when you want to lose weight because it feels like your motives aren’t pure. The candid and controversial Simcha Fisher wrote up a wonderful little post on the topic. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend, especially if your baggage is spiritual and physical.

5: Curvio! Ooh-la-la!

Have you ever sat in front of the TV, seething in envy over a particular dress or accessory an actress was wearing without the faintest clue of where you might find it? Enter Curvio! I just discovered this little gem that allows you to sort through TV shows, right down to the particular episode of Mad Men where you saw that amazing little sweater. The matches aren’t always exact, but they come pretty darn close! There aren’t a whole lot of shows up right now, but Mad Men is on the list, and that’s the one we really want the outfits from, right?

6: Run for Your Life!

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I am officially registered for the Color Me Rad 5K in Oklahoma City on May 11! Which means I need to start running. Soon. I found this lovely little 5K plan from The Color Run (which is essentially the same thing as Color Me Rad) but there are tons of 5K programs you can follow. The most important thing is to do it! Last year, I was able to do a full mile before I fell off the wagon. That may not seem like much to you, but for a fat smoker who never played sports growing up, it was a big deal! 

When I get out of work tonight, I’m going to go out shopping for running shoes and try to start a running routine on Saturday if I can. I’ve got some pretty bad shin splints so I may not be able to progress at such a rapid pace, but I’ve got 3 months, so I can go slowly, I just have to keep going!

Previously, I had some concern over registering because I didn’t know who the charity would be, but I have since learned that it will be The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!

7: One More Take!

I’ve been awfully long winded in these takes, so I’ll be short and sweet and Saintly!

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Had enough nonsense? Looking for something coherent? You can try again back at Conversion Diary!

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7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 17: Unchained Edition

1: Off the Chain

734428_159189494228432_129676950_nWhile out riding my bike today, I was pedaling with much more ferocity than my bike could handle and the chain slipped off. I managed to get it back on (Scott is really the bike mechanic in the house—and the car mechanic as well, although I’ve tried) but it came back off after another half a mile. So, I was forced to do the walk of shame back up to the house, pushing my bike along. Of course, I took the opportunity to feel immensely sorry for myself for having worked so hard, only to have my final success snatched from me before I could see it come to fruition—oh there I go. I’m starting up another pity party. Except that my pity parties are a bit hardcore. It’s more like a rave than a party….

2: Mechanic, Shmechanic

I learned to leave mechanics to Scott a few years ago after I did some work on my car. Something had gone wrong/stopped working–I can’t remember what–and I got into the fuse box and changed out the fuse and it worked again. That was the moment I decided I was qualified to work on cars. My back windows stopped working, and then my “CHECK AIRBAG” warning came on, so I got into the fuse box to fix it right quick.

As I recall, it was about $300 later that Scott forbid me from ever “working” on the car again.

3: Offering It Up

A few months ago, I talked about learning to “offer it up” when faced with suffering. As a convert from Protestantism, this is very strange to me, but it makes a lot of sense. Since I’m a converting from fatness, working out provides an endless opportunity to suffer. My legs ache, my arms ache, and with the mystery health problems I’ve been having, it’s tempting to just quit. When I feel like giving up, I’ve been focusing in on someone and offering up my suffering on their behalf. For example, I may think of someone in particular like our beloved priest, Father Ed. Or someone in general, like all those who are suffering and oppressed. Yes, this hurts, but if I offer it up and ask God to comfort them instead of me, it’s easier to press on.

4. My Sweetie and I!

5970026021_a1a2a1e53b_zIt’s only about 2 weeks until V-Day! What are you doing with your sweetie? We both have to work, and our schedules conflict to the point that we won’t even get to see each other that day! I’m thinking we’ll go out to IHOP just after midnight on V-Day, since it’s right between Ash Wednesday and the first Friday of Lent. So we can have bacon. That’s what love is, isn’t it? Sneaking out after midnight to eat bacon and pancakes together? Sounds like love to me!

5. Tradition!


The ever eloquent Dr. Taylor Marshall talked the other day about Catholics migrating to parishes that were more traditional. Maybe it’s just because I spend so much time on Catholic blogs, but I feel like there’s a slow, powerful movement back toward more tradition, less secularism. Does anyone else feel the pull? The beauty of embracing the sacred over the casual?

As a matter of picking up old traditions that have been tossed aside, I’m thinking of getting a holy water font for the house. Where would I get the holy water? I haven’t got a priest and the fonts have all been removed from the church. I could get a spray tan and sneak into the Lebanese Maronite church down on Alameda maybe?

Are there rules for having a holy water font in your home?

6. Lent is Nigh

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Because people told me last week’s fish picture was disgusting.

Lent is almost upon us! I’m thinking of doing a weekly post of Lenten meals. Scott and I are considering adding another meatless day or two, and I’ll be going meatless at lunch every day but Sunday.  Meatless doesn’t have to be fish. I’m not particularly fond of fish, but Jesus was absolutely mad for it. In fact, on one occasion when the disciples were out and didn’t catch any fish, they were ready to turn back, but Jesus was like, “Oh, no! Throw that net over on the other side! We are not going back until we catch some fish!” I’m paraphrasing of course….

Split pea soup is just wonderful. Or potato soup. Maybe one Lenten recipe a week? Two? I’ve got a few weeks to think it over. Maybe someone should host a link-up.

7. Shutting My Mouth

3111207407_ea37525588One thing I’m giving up that I’m not waiting for Lent for is gossiping. Of course, I went out with friends tonight and gossiped my little mouth off. It’s so easy to fall into, which is why I’ve got to wrestle my way out of it. Gossip is so wicked, and an affront to the dignity of the human person, but it seems so harmless that it’s easy to get sucked in.

Enough is enough!

So, I’ll shut up now. You go on over to Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

Categories: 7 Quick Takes Friday | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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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