Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sweet Unrest

I can't sleep. I'm being kept awake by the myriad birds outside my window that are singing their little hearts out. Birdsong is one of those things that's so easy to ignore, or shove into the background. But if you stop and listen, it's pretty magical.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Heart of the Year

It's Holy Thursday today, and the Paschal Triduum has begun. SO pumped, peeps. So pumped. Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the Triduum is the most intense, epic, beautiful, emotional three days of the year. Holy Week has always been one of my favorite week of the year. I always feel like things happen during Holy Week. This year, I've been so busy with school work, I didn't really have time to focus on the fact that it was Holy Week until today. In the hour before Mass started this evening I had some time to sit and reflect on the gift that this week is.
My book of daily prayers calls the Triduum the "heart of the year," and as soon as I read these words I thought: "YES." That's what these days are-they're the heart of the year. These three days are the days that the rest of the year pivots around. The most important events in the history of the world are remembered and retold. The days of the Triduum are always different and yet always the same. Each year everything is deliciously new and exciting, and yet ancient and familiar. And each day in the Triduum is unique-they each have their own role in the story. Holy Thursday is quiet and seemingly simple, but there's so much depth to it. It's what gets the story started. Holy Thursday is when things begin to happen.
Good Friday is the saga of Salvation packed into one short day-there's always dramatic, sweeping music, which sends chills down your spine. The incredible drama of the liturgy, and the music touch on the incredible, horrible, heart-wrenching, beautiful story of the day. There's something larger than life, something too grand for this earth to contain about Good Friday. Catherine of Siena said, "Nails were not enough to hold God-and-man nailed and fastened on the Cross, had not love held Him there." The love that Good Friday celebrates is something as stern as death and relentless as the netherworld, as the psalmist would say. Good Friday begins as a bright day, and ends in darkness. If it's sunny out on Good Friday-as it often is-I always think the sun's being just a wee bit inconsiderate, shining so brightly like it does. It's too incongruous with the mood of the day. And it adds to the sadness somehow.
Holy Saturday is entirely full of anticipation for the Vigil that evening. From the moment you wake up, everything is pulsing with anticipation and excitement. Finally, the sun goes down, and darkness sets in again. And then into the darkness comes a single light, and that light grows and swells until the night is alit with its brilliance. And then all the sadness and the pain that's left over from Good Friday gets eaten up by the insane JOY that bursts out of everything. The darkness has been overcome and everything is light. Pure light and smiles and happiness and joy and we're all up way past our bedtimes and dude, Jesus is alive again now and we can eat chocolate again and isn't life just plain AWESOME. And that's how I feel after the Easter Vigil. Peeps, Easter's the best. I mean, seriously, it takes 50 days for us to celebrate this holiday properly and in style. This is the heart of your year. Make it count.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Same Page!

We call this picture: "Oh hi we're Catholic, and we took these photos on Ash Wednesday."

Hey kids!

Wanna hear the coolest show in recent memory to hit the internet radio waves?
YEAH you do.

Tune in tonight at 6:30 (Eastern TIme) to hear our special guest host!

Head to and click on "Listen Live Here" to hear our mellifluous voices floating through the airwaves into the comfort of your living room. (Or dining room. Or bedroom. You get my drift.)

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Drive fast; take chances.

The Same Page

^This picture is basically our show.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's a Love/Hate Thing...

From my dear friend Portia's blog, [insert clever title here]. She's a literary genius and a wiz at writing. And this was absolutely too good (and too true) not to share.

An Open Letter to Foodie Blogs, Particularly Those with Photographs Staged in an Artsy Manner

Dear Foodie Blog,

I hate you.

"Porquoi?" you inquire, so sweetly and innocently, "What could I have possibly done to earn your hatred? I am only advancing the cause of well-prepared, beautiful, and delicious food. Not a sign of fast food or boxed mixes for miles. How could such a noble and elegant creature such as moi create anything but the warmest of fuzzies in the cockles of your soul?"

Allow me to explain, Foodie Blog -- it's not you, it's me.

Go here to read the rest!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Tonight, at the end of our rehearsal, our choir director shared with something his mother told him. She told him she was afraid that we don't pray often enough for the dead. That we too easily forget to remember those that have gone before us.

And I realized it's true. Often it takes conscious effort to include them in prayer. But the truth is, they're still with us. They're still a part of the church, and they're still very much alive-just not in the way we are.

We get so caught up in the day-to-day concerns of our lives that we often forget our brothers and sisters. Today I had some free time. I popped into the basilica, and sat down on the floor of the Lady chapel. And even though my body stopped moving, my mind kept madly racing ahead like a rabid bunny. And I thought: "Whoa, there! Ease up a bit." So I stopped. And breathed. And found this St. Francis DeSales quote: "If, during prayer, you do nothing but bring your heart from distraction again and again into God's presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your time would be very well spent."
And then I reminded myself to slow down. To stop. Not think. Just be. Just be there in the presence of God. And remember. Remember Him. Remember all those souls that are with Him. Remember to just "Be still and know that I am God."

I love being busy. I love running around from one thing to t'other, seeing people, doing all the exciting things there are to DO in life. I have to remind myself to stop and have some quiet, alone, chill time with God. The point of the hustle and bustle of life is to bring God with you in everything that you do. But sometimes God needs you all to Himself for an hour or so. Heck, I need God all to myself for a moment or two. C.S. Lewis says that our world is starved for a want of solitude, quiet, and therefore starved for mediation and true friendship. Ugh. I s'pose that means I should get off the computer now...

Monday, April 4, 2011

obligatorily in love

Hypothetical situation: Some rich eccentric relative/stranger offered you a million dollars a year for the rest of your life-all you would have to do is meet with him for an hour once a week, to get a brief bite to eat and a quick chat. 
Would you agree? Duh. Naturally. Obviously.
Giving up a teeny-weensy amount of time of your week to earn a million dollars? 
Sign. Me. Up. 
That's what we call minimal effort for maximal reward.

So, you show up and you spend time with this person. 
Depending on how well you know this human being, you most likely have some casual interest getting to know them, or you may just be in this to get the million dollars.
Whatever. Either way, you're showing up, eating a quick scone, or downing some tea, and exchanging a few words.
As you meet with him and talk with him every week, however, you will gradually get to know the person better and better.
The events in both your weeks will become stories to share with one another. 
You will hear about his life, and you will slowly learn about his.
Perhaps, as you get to know one another, you will begin to look forward to your weekly meetings.
Perhaps, maybe, after many, many meetings you will start to have what we call a friendship.

And obviously, since he is asking such a small favor, this person be upset and hurt if you blew off the weekly meeting. He really is just asking such a small favor.
But, if you said you were sorry and tried to do better, he'd forgive you and you'd move on in your relationship. 
And time spent with a friend, even if a cramp on our schedule, is a chance to relax, it is a respite, it is an opportunity to be refreshed by spending time with him. Instead of the weekly obligation being a drag, you'd start to welcome it. He'd become a permanent fixture in your life, and you could begin to spend time with him outside of the allotted time each week. 
Eventually, what started as a casual acquaintance would turn to deep and abiding affection.

This is a fixture in all of our lives.
Each week, we are asked to show up to a family meal.
We are asked to commune briefly with the strange and eccentric benefactor who has blessed us.
But instead of giving a million dollars a year, He gives us a year
He gives us life, and life in abundance. His promise to us is endless years and eternal life
. He has offered a proposal, and if we accept, He believes our relationship with Him will grow and blossom. 
All He really asks is that we come visit Him once a week and feed ourselves with Him and in Him.
What a leap of faith He is taking. 
This insane lover has wagered that if He can have us all to Himself for just one hour a week, He can woo us and win our hearts to Himself.