Tuesday, May 29, 2012

dis iz rull nice

Holy Hugh Jackman, Batman! This looks/sounds absolutely beautiful. 
Here's hoping the finished product is just as gorgeous as this trailer.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

The wonderful thing about rainy Saturday mornings is that you have an excuse to drink coffee. Iced coffee just does not have the cozy feeling of hot coffee. It is one of the sad facts of summer that you cannot be warm and cozy in the mornings with a mug of hot coffee.

On summer mornings, you wake up sweaty and gross and entirely out of sorts. You stagger up to the kitchen and are ready to growl at any moving thing that crosses your path until you get a tall tumbler of ice water, or a bowl or blueberries, or go out for a walk and get some fresh air, and please God, a gentle wind (I don't ask for much, just a small zephyr. Anything to get rid of this infernal heat.) on your face.

But thunderstorms on a Saturday morning in May mean crepes, large mugs of coffee and children watching cartoons on the telly. There's nothing more deliciously lazy than a rainy Saturday morning.

Rainy days in general lend themselves to pensive moods. As Melville writes, "As every one knows, meditation and water are wedded forever." Water takes us out of ourselves, mesmerizes us, wraps us under its spell. "Were Niagara but a cataract of sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it?" he asks.
[A waterfall made of sand? Yeah, actually, that sounds pretty sweet. But point taken, Melville.]

So naturally, I behooved myself to my basement office/library/lair with my mug of coffee, and took it upon myself to organize/sort/re-arrange my old journals. Twenty-four of them. I got my first diary as a birthday present on my sixth birthday. And since then, I've been journaling ever since. It's a weird sensation, seeing a physical embodiment of all the thoughts and emotions since the age of six (although to be fair, nothing much of great import (or legibility) was really said until age 10-12ish) that at that time you felt were worth noting. It's a time capsule of sorts, I suppose. You get to hear from your 6th grade self or 10th grade self what she felt about all sorts of things; you hear what happened to her and what she did, and why she did it and what she thought about it.

Memory is one of those tricky things that can often get warped as we grow older, and evolved and shifts over time. Keeping all these old journals is a fact check for my memory. And they're just fun. They're profound when they least meant to be, and snapshots (often tending towards the melodramatic) mind of an adolescent girl.

 Prufrock measures his life in coffee spoons. I've measured my adolescence in brightly colored notebooks and cloth-bound commonplace books.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

my AC squeaks

Hey strawberries.
Hey sunlight.
And warm wind.

Hey Minnesota stars.
Hey driving with the windows down.
Hey there, classical music station.
I've missed you.
Gonna blast that classical music while I drive my eight-seat minivan.
Taste that?
That's called freedom. And probably also happiness.

Hey Midnight in Paris with bestfriendMara.
Hey bestfriendMara.
Hey sharing rhubarb strawberry pie.
Hey baking while reading.

Hey going to no meetings and no homework.


Hey Vision Reading.

“It is an amazing thing to watch people laugh, the way it sort of takes them over. Sometimes they really do struggle with it . . . so I wonder what it is and where it comes from, and I wonder what it expends out of your system, so that you have to do it till you're done, like crying in a way, I suppose, except that laughter is much more easily spent.” 

Hey Gilead.
This is beautiful.

Welcome to summer.

My little sister understands that summer is a concept. When you eat a strawberry in the sunlight, while walking in lush grass with wind tickling your face, it doesn't matter what else you do with your summer. Because right in that moment, you've experienced what everyone is talking about. That moment is called Summer with a Capital S. When you sit on a dock eating a hamburger fresh off the grill, and watch the sun set as you dip your toes in the lake, that's also Summer. 

Some concepts, like candy canes and eating fish, are much pleasanter in abstract than when actually experienced. But not Summer. Summer is little drops of heaven crystallized into single moments of intensely pure, overwhelmingly seductive pleasure. Summer is a season for hedonists.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

beauty uncharted

From To Write Love on Her Arms

Dear Body,

I’ve always let some imperfection or another stand in the way of me seeing what you truly are, that you are beautiful. You are a divine creation housing the most valuable thing known to the universe, my soul. I’m beginning to realize that a person’s soul has the capacity to radiate light that transcends all the characteristics that I have been conditioned to believe are flaws.

You naturally tell a story. Your blue-green veins are like a map to where your heart has been and where it is going. The curve of your waist and the shape of your cheekbones tell a tale of heritage and ethnicity. There are crayon markings on the wall somewhere that has measured your height throughout the years. Always returning to the same spot to see how you’ve changed.

Your eyes bare resemblance to nature. They are a deep forest green with golden yellow sunflower flecks. Your faded birthmark, once beet red, brought me shame because all I wanted was to conform. It now reminds me of how unique you are and all I want is to be different.

Your body begins as a story but continues with new chapters throughout your life. Some are chapters of sadness and pain, others of joy, and all of growth. Each chapter a blank canvas meant to be painted by our experiences. Photos are memories but so are our bodies in a way that’s more real, no posing and no fakeness.

I’m realizing these things now, but I’m so sorry that I didn’t realize them before. I’ve done everything I could to destroy the canvas and deface and burn the pages of different chapters.

I’ve waged war on you before; used razor blades to feel and drugs to numb. I’ve used caffeine to stay awake and alcohol to sleep. Abusing the side effects of my prescription drugs like loss of appetite, to deliberately starve myself into making you skinnier. I’ve spent far too much time on a scale that merely weighs your effect on gravity, not the depth of your beauty. I wanted you to look like one of those girls in the magazines.

But in the ruins there is still a canvas. There is still beauty in your brokenness. The faded scars show healing reminding me that even though I’ve been in dark places, I’ve survived and learned and become stronger.

Although the war is over, the world still takes its toll. You have calluses on your hands from me writing too much and concentrating too hard. Yet the words are beautiful and the studying is worth it. You have the ache when it rains from broken bones, and stretch marks from growing too fast. You have burns from jobs and scars from falls. But those experiences were worth it. 

Dear body, as I grow older I worry about how you will age. Together we gain wisdom and wrinkles, after being young and beautiful and naïve. The wisdom tells us that the beauty doesn’t subside, it only changes, and more of it comes from within. So I won’t worry when my hair doesn’t look just right, or when I do something stupidly funny and emerge with another scar because you are telling a story. And what would I be without my story and my past?

Friday, May 18, 2012

blood-shot water and floodtide in the heart

it was noble courtesy

There is no more beautiful way to spend your last Friday of school than with three of your dearest friends. The most beautiful of ways to spend your last Friday of the school year is to wear your high heels, pearls, and pretty dresses, create some mood lighting, and imbibe the words of Seamus Heaney, as you listen to him read his translation of Beowulf. (Nerd alert? Yes. Unashamed.)

the world's candle warmed them from the south

The words are so beautiful. I had never really cared about Beowulf. It was always just a poem I read in highschool. An Important Epic Poem that's Important to Know.

ran west with his lifeblood

And then you and a few bosom friends share something like Heaney's melodic voice and the powerful words of the epic, and it becomes something more. It becomes something more stern and sweet.

its depths have never been sounded by the sons of men
without further ado, he dived into the heaving depths

wrestled and wracked  him by raucous combat 

i have bartered my last breath

Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what's said and what's done.
Good-byes are so bittersweet. But Heaney is the perfect Godspeed to send friends on their separate ways.
a hurry of brightness chased away the shadow

Monday, May 14, 2012

if you call my name out loud

 Swayed and seduced, as pliable as seaweed
Such a simple act—saying a name. But like so many seemingly simple things, it is more profound than its everyday-ness belies. It is a sacred act. There’s a knowledge, an intimacy, a familiarity that is imparted by a name. A name means in some small way you know the person—you know an essential part of them. The essence of all love is knowledge. To know the ins and outs and ups and downs—the quirks, the truths, and the scars of the person--that's love. You can’t truly know someone and not love them. Saying a name strips away a tiny bit of armor. It undresses just a miniscule portion of their outward defenses. My name. When you say my name, it’s like a wave of warmth envelops my entire being, and everything turns rosy with little glowing lights everywhere. It’s like a cool salt sea breeze stirring the burning white sands of a sunset beach under the bright pin lights of the brilliant stars hanging in a dusky twilight sky. It’s like your arms wrap around my body and hold me tight to yourself. It’s like a thousand tender kisses being showered over my face.
Secret kisses and the scent of crepuscular woods
No one touches. No one moves. Our bodies are separate, except for a strange warm aura that shimmers between us, and creates the sweet tension in the air. We sit, actively not touching. And then, our feet meet, drawn together as though there are two magnets in them. That’s all. Just two feet. Touching. But the desire shooting through each foot is palpable and a holy hush surrounds the scene. Breaths bate. There is a sugary suspense that sweetens the air and softens the light. And then, two hands clasp. Tentatively. Hungrily. They fit together so smoothly, the hands. They are at home together. They intertwine, not daring to break themselves apart. They are molded together, melting into one. The snowy white blur that is my hand is tenderly caressed by your fingertips—cradled in your hand. You bring my hand to your lips. Shower it with kisses. Soft kisses.
Her head and heart are sending different signals.
I’m not quite sure at all what this is. I haven’t grown accustomed to this.  My body is taken hostage by a feeling not quite native to myself. The headiness of whispered French nonsense phrases, of flattery and murmured blandishments, of clever and subtly disguised innuendos turns my head and knocks my senses flat like a giant dose of perfume. What girl can resist witticisms, particularly when there are so many to be made at a suitor’s expense? Gentle, clever teasing. Jokes and gently bemused, rolling laughs. Giggles and hearty, full-bodied, rich warm laughter. Blushes. Tilted heads and raised eyebrows.
I dearly love a laugh.
Your warm wool coat on my cheek is a luxurious contrast to the icy December snow falling softly on our heads. The miniscule gelid hexagons frost our dark heads—bent together, talking low—with delicate lace. We are caught in a dance. You move in, and I counter by stepping away. Your hands and mine have found a warm sanctuary in my coat pockets. The mistletoe is tantalizingly, dangerously close. The titillating tension rises with the color in my cheeks. Your soft lips move so close to my ear, my hair rustles from the movement of your breath. You’re beautiful. You know that, right? You have the most beautiful skin. Who could leave a smile like that? Words. Words words words. Compliments are impossible to accept with grace.
A beautiful girl like yourself should be careful with guys’ hearts.
Guys who like me are terrifying. I’m petrified of spiders, heights and being kidnapped at Disney world. But boys who like you are scarier than all of those combined. Don’t get me wrong, I love boys. I love talking and flirting and laughing and teasing and joking and discussing life, the world and everything in it with boys. But herein lies the rub: boys who like you will inevitably hurt you. 
Human beings are wonderful creatures. They are majestic and ridiculous all at the same time. They are simultaneously noble and crass, rude and transcendent. They are wonder and mystery wrapped up in a cozy, cuddly package of humanity. How can you not fall head over heels in love with each precious paradox of a person?
Which is never an issue, until they love you back. And you’d rather sucker punch them in the breadbasket and run fast in the opposite direction. Because at the end of the day, someone’s gonna get sucker punched one way or another. And I would rather it not be me.
I’m just corporeal vanilla ice cream.

From 900 Ways to Kill a Canary

Sunday, May 13, 2012

a babbling brook or a Eucharistic meal

I had two dreams when applying to Notre Dame: one was to visit Mother Teresa's House in Calcutta. (Next summer? Already started my prayer bombardment now :) ) The other one was to take Fagerberg's C.S. Lewis class. Check.

And it couldn't have been anymore amazing or life-changing, inspiring, beautiful, incredible, transformative, and transfigurative than I could have dreamed. 
And in a way, the class is an archetype of the whole year. I look back on the beginning of the year, and I feel so different from the rootless young woman who set out on her sophomore year with nothing more than a wish (for a best friend) and a prayer (What should I do with my life?) and a show to direct (which she was terrified of). So she just leaped out into the darkness, putting her hand into the hand of God--which worked out much better than a light, and proved to be safer than the known way. 

And God reached out and took her by the hand. And led her places she never expected to go, took her on adventures she never asked to have, gave her friends she couldn't even begin to love enough, and brought her joy she never even imagined possible. 

I finally rewrote my sonnet. The one I was working on for the entire fall semester--I rewrote it so often, my professor asked: "Renée, why?"  And I couldn't make work until Easter. But then I found it. This year, I found my voice in my writing.

The whirling circle of the sacred year,
Returns me to the place where we began;
Our dim and faded laughs ring in my ear,
Road markers on a path I did not plan.
Sweet shades and shadows linger in each nook,
And corner crannies house once luminous laughs
That pierced through gloom, that forged with just one look
Indelible joy. A record of us:
Two day-journers, for but a moment met,
Whose lights entwined, and brightened dim twilight—
But split and faded with sunset’s onset,
Their separate paths snaked silver into night.
      Our lights within expunged, effaced—but then
     In darkness we have found our home again.

That's the beauty of the whirling circle of the sacred year: it constantly brings you back to the place where you began, but you are such a different person each time you arrive there. You have new memories to your name, you have new stories in your soul.  You own new beauties, happinesses and heartbreaks. The adventures, the laughs, the dancing, the crying, the shouting, running, splashing, and smiling. So much smiling. So much laughter. I don't remember ever dying of laughter as often in my life. Not only did I find my voice, I also found my laugh. Not a shabby accomplishment for sophomore year. What gets me is not only how beautiful this year was, it's the promise that next year will be even better, and the year after that, and the year after that. As God draws us further up and further in (called erotic theology, peeps. Learned that in C.S. Lewis class), He promises that each day we grow in Him, we grow in happiness. That each moment is the new "happiest we have ever been," that, as Lewis writes at the end of The Last Battle:

"now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: in which every chapter is better than the one  before."

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I taste jasmine on my tongue

Saturday Music.
Summer Music.

Perfect writing music. So beautiful. And listen to those lyrics. Just pure wonderfulness.

Friday, May 11, 2012

the term is over and the holidays have begun

"If one could run without getting tired, I don't think one would often want to do anything else 

--C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

Today, I finished C.S. Lewis class and sophomore year. Our last book? Appropriately enough: The Last BattleReading The Last Battle was a treat. An absolute delight. It was a respite in a sea of finals studying.
There was one quote in particular I read, and I ran to my best friend in utter excitement to read her the quote.
When the children reach the New Narnia, Lucy mourns the passing of Old Narnia, Professor Digory comforts her by saying: 

"But that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia, which has always been here and always will be here: just as our own world, England all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan's real world. You need not mourn over Narnia, Lucy. All of the old Narnia that mattered, all the dear creatures, have been drawn into the real Narnia through the Door."

That was not the real Narnia--it had a beginning and an end. The real things will never pass away. To be Real, to be utterly more Real and more There (more solid: see The Great Divorce), means to always be present, to not be bound by the confines of time. As Peter himself said at the beginning, in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe"Well, sir, if things are real, they're there all the time."
Real things are the eternal things.

We're at home in this world, but, at the same time we are homesick. We were made for a world where we aren't bound by the confines of time, where we have to move from moment to moment and leave behind each moment as soon as we come to it. We desire to experience all moments at once, and never leave them behind.

 If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
--C.S. Lewis

This desire is our desire for the eternal moment. The one moment in which we continually delve further up and further in.

Hope sees what is not yet but what will be
She loves what is not yet but will be

Thursday, May 10, 2012

the Wanderlust has got me, by the belly-aching fire

The Wanderlust has taught me, it has whispered to my heart
Things all you stay-at-homes will never know.

Warm Florentine Sun

For there's never a cure
When you list to the lure
Of the Wan-der-lust.

Sometimes, Roma is too perfect
But I'm freedom's happy bond-slave, and I will be till I die,
Assisi, you have stolen my heart

Wild heart, child heart, all of the world your home.
Glad heart, mad heart, what can you do but roam?

Il Dumo is golden in the sun

I would give anything to be back there.

The magic of piazzas at night

Haunting, taunting, that is the spell of it;
Mocking, baulking, that is the hell of it;
But I'll shoulder my pack in the morning, boys,
And I'm going because I must;
For it's so-long to all
When you answer the call
Of the Wan-der-lust.

Poem excerpts from The Wanderlust by Robert William Service

list to the lure of the wanderlust

Sonnets To Orpheus I, 12

by R. M. Rilke

translated by H. Landman

Hail to the spirit, with power that connects;
for we live in figures. And with tiny steps
the hours go by, keeping pace
alongside our actual days.
In the absence of knowing our true location,
we deal instead with interrelation.
The antennae feel the antennae,
and the empty distances carry ...
Pure tension. Oh music of forces at play!
From you, is not, through casual commerce,
every disturbance deflected away?
Even the farmer who works and lives
where seeds transform themselves to summers
never does enough. The Earth just gives.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How I Met Your Relationship Guru

Over Christmas Break, I watched all of How I Met Your Mother. I was a dedicated watcher. I plowed through six and a half episodes of a dating advice show.
And along the way, I gained several bits of practical dating wisdom:

"We will be 'what is up, New York'"--Barney

How To Be a Fun and Flirty Single
-SUIT UP! A suit shows difference, uniqueness
-Never leave the house in sweats. One must always be prepared to meet a dashing stranger or old enemy.
-Learn about the Cheerleader Effect. Use it to your advantage and don't let it take advantage of you.
-Don't be a "woo" girl ("Woo"-ing loudly to attract attention when anything the least bit exciting happens.)
-Flirting basics: light contact, hair-flipping
- Beware the hot-crazy scale. (How much does outer beauty compensate for inner neurosis?)
-Beware of Revertigo (i.e, the phenomenon in which, when you see people from your past, you start acting like you did when you were around them.) And beware of its affect on your behavior and others' perception of your behavior.
-Find your own special hangover remedy. Everyone has their own. [Ted=gravy. Lily=_greasy_tuna melt and milkshake]
-Avoid hanging out with married couples all the time.
-Men, stick to the Bro-Code.
-Don't be desperate. Don't settle. (See Mermaid Theory)

How to Go About Going On a Date.
-3 days rule: "The three days rule is stupid. I propose a new rule, the 'you like her, you call her' rule."--Ted
-nohing good happens after 2am
-To win a hard-to-get woman, take her on a Super Date
-never ask someone to an event farther than you've been dating
-"If I don't shave, i must behave"
-casual doesn't work. It just doesn't.
-Say no when you want to say no. You owe no one a date.

-Beware of cougars, jerknails (overly perfect fingernails), crazy eyes, 
-Watch out for that: oh moment/dealbreaker

-"Lemon Law"": Barney's lemon law for dating gives a person five minutes to decide if the date will go on for the rest of the night or not. They can call the date off for any reason in the first five minutes, avoiding bad dates. Robin contends that it takes two people longer to know each other than five minutes. Studies show
-Platinum Rule: never ever love-love thy neighbor (or doctor, colleague, client, or person you interact with regularly in everyday life.) Because, the Platinum Rule dictates the relationship will inevitably fall out in these steps:
5)the tipping point
-Try out the Front Porch test. As in, you can envision yourselves together happily on your mundane little front porch with friends thirty years down the road.

"Dude, lots of chicks think that architects are hot. Think about that, you create something out of nothing. You're like God. There is no one hotter than God."--Barney
"I love it when you quote scripture."--Ted

How to Have a Relationship.
-couple-y little things are important.
-Avoid annoying your friends! Don't embrace New Relationship Smugness.
-Guys who can cook are sexy. Men, embrace the kitchen.
-Communication is key.
-If problems arise, stage an intervention!
-Respect each other's privacy 
-"i love to be the person you bitch to"

"When I feel sad, I stop being sad and start being Awesome."--Barney
-don't break up over the phone
-or on a girl's birthday
-or on a girl's answering machine
-break-ups: There are always winners and losers.
-don't fall prey to graduation goggles.
-moping, while natural, won't solve a breakup
-the only thing that can really heal a broken heart is time.
-There are only four reasons to get lunch with an ex: 1. They want to get back together. 2. They want to kill you. 3. They want to give you back something. 4. They want to prove how much better off they are than you.

-hanging out with exes leads to trouble.

Hope for the Singles.
-everyone's pumpkin is out there

And most important bit of wisdom I came away with:

Don't seriously commit to relationship advice from a TV show. Dating advice from pieces of fiction should be kept in the fun-and-flirty friend zone.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Outside the sun is shining, heaven ain’t far away

”This is man! He is not transparent, not monumental, not simple. In fact he is poor.”
The Jeweler’s Shop, Karol Wojtyla

Remember way back when, when vulnerability was the word of the day?

Along those lines, I attended a talk last week discussing vulnerability in relation to eating disorders. One of the most prominent examples of vulnerability in our lives is food. Food is a physical symbol of vulnerability: we cannot self-generate it, and we cannot live without it. We depend on it to live, but we cannot depend on it always being there. Food is a daily reminder that we depend on others to live. How beautiful that Christ gave Himself to us as food--meeting us where we're most vulnerable.

That's a difficult truth to acknowledge, because a lot of the current treatment for eating disorders is all about taking control and being in control. But we aren't in control. The wonderful thing about life is that it's always beyond our control. And Faith means trusting that someone is in control, and will watch out for us. In a way, trying so hard to be in control is where we spiral out of control. And often that manifests itself in eating. There are those who are out of control in every other aspect of their lives, except their eating. And there are those who are in control of every other aspect of their lives, except their eating. 

The awful dieting catchphrase “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” is almost true, due to the addictive nature of an eating disorder. Feeling empty and hungry releases endorphins and becomes an addiction. Honestly, skinny feels good. 

Another issue that hinders recovery from an eating disorder is the private nature of the disease. It's something so secret and personal, but part of the healing process is being able to talk about it, and open up to those around you. But once you open up and confide in people, there's a pressure from others to heal. This pressure is definitely not helpful. Healing needs to take place in private, not under the pressure to “be better,” under pressure to meet others expectations of healing.

Vulnerability, said our speaker, is only beneficial when experienced in the care of God. In other words, being vulnerable without the support of a constant, unconditional Love is dangerous and potentially hurtful. In conquering an eating disorder, a person is constantly thinking about the issue, bombarded with the issue. Sometimes it can be hard to remember you have an identity beyond it. 
There are very few moments in life when we are allowed to feel small. There is a beautiful feeling of smallness that comes from being in held in an embrace, or looking at a landscape, or walking into St. Peter's. When you realize you're not in control, you can let go and allow yourself to be small.

""How does one become a butterfly?" she asked. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."
Trina Paulus

Monday, May 7, 2012

Life is in session

This video is fantastic. TED talks are the way to go. 155%. When my sister shared this video with me and my mom, my mother responded:

"I’ve been saying all of this for years.  Guess I should have worn a business suit and big necklace and used a slide projector.  Then maybe I would have been 'interesting' instead of 'annoying'"
-My Mother
(And yes, she has actually has been saying these things for years. And no, we did not give her words as much weight.)

(Edit: when my mother read this post, she sent me this. #zinger. #gotme Thanks, Mom. She's a clever one.)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sir Hopkins? Tony.

Utterly delightful speech by Sir Anthony Hopkins, given at Thomas Aquinas College. 

Credit to Mara for sharing it with moi.

He touches on all sorts of wonderful subjects: how to play Shakespeare, his favorite role (a little C.S. Lewis shout-out right there), David Mamet on theatre, ego, working with Laurence Olivier: "He was pretty good," and the other greats, "[Katherine] Hepburn was interesting," life as an actor, an actor's education, the numinous aura of California, quoting T.S. Eliot, etc.

It's a lengthy video, but every moment is golden. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

no change=no butterflies

Best Saturday Study Playlist in the world: 




So. Much. Happy.

Friday, May 4, 2012

can't be tamed

~Madeleine L'Engle

"'Course he's not safe, but he's good. He's not a tame lion."
~The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Thursday, May 3, 2012

oh hai, college

We aim to survive here, people, and if our dignity comes through the experience intact, that's just an unexpected plus.--BestFriendMara [on college]

There have never been truer words spoken. I love that girl and her snarky sense of humor.

College is most definitely survival of the fittest.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

let loose my suckers and relented

I wrote this way back when for Pray.nd.edu. I revisited it the other day, and found it so comforting. So good to remember God's constant, never-ending care for us.

“It seeks a sign.” All of us are constantly seeking signs. We are always searching for clues that tell us what path in life we should take; that tell us what God’s will is for us. We look for signs: signs that tell us which job is the one for us; if that house is the right one for us; which classes we’re supposed to be in; how our test will go; whether that certain someone likes us back; what road we should take. We embark on searches for meaning in the most mundane things.

Signs infest the world around us. In order to see them, however, we need the eyes of faith. When a happenstance that could be marked as coincidence occurs, most people would call it just that: random chance. But Faith opens our eyes to see each little marvel and miracle as the gifts that they truly are. Faith is full of overwhelming gratitude for the world, for God, and for the gifts He gives us. That gratitude accepts every single thing as a gift from God. Everything. As St. Paul writes: “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18) Job, too, praised God in the midst of distress and trial: “Shall we receive Good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? “(Job 2:10) In order to be able to see God at work in the world around us, in the good and the bad, we need Faith.

The greatest sign that God gave us was His son, Jesus Christ. And Christ is still with us, still with His church in the Eucharist. Christ commanded us to “Do this is memory of me,” to commemorate His sacrifice and to reenact His sacrifice on the cross, so that we might never forget the covenant of love He has made with us, so we might never want for a sign of His love for us. We get caught up too easily in the many little worries and stresses of each day, and we forget. We forget that something greater than Solomon is here in our midst. We are not living in the same world that the Ninevites or the queen of the south were living in; we are living in a world that Christ has entered into, redeemed, and taken up residence in. We are living in a world filled with signs of His love for us. And He Himself is the greatest sign; the lamb lifted up on the cross, pure Love that sacrificed Himself for you and me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

its inside is bigger than its outside

Final C.S. Lewis class.
It's happening--right now.
We're discussing eschatological time and The Last Battle. And we're discussing the two different types of time, kairos and chronos. Madeleine L'Engle often talks about chronos and kairos in her books. 
Although humans experience chronos uniformly, moment by moment, the kairos of a moment can be completely different from the chronos of the moment. The kairos of moments that have deep significance is thicker than the kairos of those moments of everyday life. 
In moments of true kairos, chronos hardly matters.