Sunday, October 21, 2007

More on Friendship

Last week I received a letter from my good friend who is a postulant for the Nashville Dominican sisters. It's amazing how God works because something that I had said in a previous letter was talked about at a conference by this other sister. It was about conversations and friendships. The jist of it is that we need to always ask what we can receive from a conversation, what we can get out of it, and not always think about what we can GIVE to another person through our oh so wise words. "Conversation goes both ways!" Sr. Josie exclaimed in the letter. I had a beautiful conversation with a friend tonight about vocations, and plenty of other stuff, and I really thought about that during the conversation. It more so hit me at the end because he was talking about going to Mass tomorrow morning (the reason for waking up so early) and he said he loves Mondays. And he was just so excited for Mass! Shouldn't we all be excited to go to Mass? I go to mass joyfully, although sometimes I'm exhausted, but I really want to bring that excitement into my prayer life as well. I mean... we get to receive Jesus at Mass! And how amazing is that! I already talked about the Eucharist (with references to Danielle Rose's explanation for a song) in a previous post.

What a privilege to be able to go to Mass EVERY day! Some people can't, and for some it's hard to get even a priest to say Mass on a Sunday. And while thinking of this, what a privilege to be able to study the books I do and expand my mind. We are so blessed. Oh and what a gift my friends are to me! I spent the weekend mostly alone. On Friday night I hung out with two girls who remained on campus, but Saturday I spent almost all of the day in solitary in my village (or the chapel). And it was really nice, and I do need time to myself, as much of an extrovert I am, I need time where I can just think. But it was wonderful to hang out with friends tonight. First it was at the caf, and then I went to Culver's, and then my vocations conversation. What a grateful heart I have, and it's all due to HIM.

Friday, October 12, 2007

"See you in the Eucharist"

Today two of my friends told me about this song by Danielle Rose. She is a Catholic singer/songwriter, who I believe is now in a convent (as a postulant this year). The song is called "See you in the Eucharist" and you can view it on YouTube, as well as an explanation for the song. The links will be posted at the bottom of this entry. Her explanation is so powerful and it kind of gave me a new perspective about receiving the Eucharist, and what it really means to tell someone that "I'll see you in the Eucharist."

At first she talks about the humility of God; Danielle says that "he hides himself in the host" because if the bread really changed into the flesh of Jesus, we would all run away and be terrified! So although it can be hard to grasp that a piece of bread changes into the body of Christ, there are reasons for Eucharist, as the body of Christ, to have the accidents of bread.

Next she talks about how not only do we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, but we also receive each other. That's why we can say "I'll see you in the Eucharist." She goes into talking about how she won't be able to talk to her friends once she enters the religious life, but she will be able to be with them in union in the Eucharist. This part is so touching because Danielle begins to cry... it's a tough thing, giving up everything for Jesus, but her love for Jesus is so amazing and so strong! And her conviction is there! She wants "every soul in the whole world to know that it's HIM in the Eucharist." Jesus didn't come 2,000 years ago and leave, but he continues to give himself to us. The Apostles never had the chance to receive Jesus, but we do, even every day! What a gift He gives us!

Jesus truly is our strength! And being able to receive him daily at Mass is such a privilege. Like Danielle, I wish more would realize this! How can one deny a gift that is given to them, especially given with complete and endless love. Unfortunately it happens, people do deny this gift and it is disheartening. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think people are afraid of the vulnerability that comes with first, believing that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist: body, blood, soul and divinity. Secondly, receiving Him makes us vulnerable as well! His love is so strong... but in our culture we're told to find love in other things, in music, school work, and people. As Danielle sings and what John Paul II always said, "Do not be afraid!" The only thing we should be fearful of is losing our soul. How can one be afraid of everlasting love?

Explanation of Song

See You in the Eucharist

I will meet you at the table, I will meet you in His heart.

I'll see you in the Eucharist!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Imitation of Mary

I opened up a new post for this blog, and my mind drew a blank. I began looking around my desk in my distraction and first looked at the perfume my dad got me for my birthday, and then my eyes landed on a picture I have of Mary. I got it in Rome when I was there this summer. The picture I have is half of a full picture; the original has the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, both surrounded by angels gazing upon their loveliness. I have a small holy card of this original by my bed, right above my pillow. So in this image of our Blessed Mother, she is clothed in robes of rich blue, red, and a soft green for her head veil. Mary is pointing to her Immaculate heart, which is illuminated, surrounded by flowers, and on fire. Her soft solemn face portrays compassion and love with eyes that look slightly sorrowful, yet filled with hope.

What an amazing woman! Women in our present day are images of our beautiful mother, and we are called to imitate her ways. Her heart poured out love for her son, as well as everyone else she met. There is a reason why she is the Queen of Heaven and earth! There is so much that can be said of Mary, and I definitely cannot fit it into one post, nor shall I even try! As a discerning woman myself, what I love about Mary is her model of purity and chastity.

This past weekend I was engaging in conversation with a friend of mine at a bonfire and I heard his vocation story. In part of it he was talking about a girl who he was first friends with, but then it was growing into something more. He was talking about how they would talk for hours on end, and always have more to talk about the next day, and they would pray together! How beautiful! God willing that I do marry someday and have a family, I hope that my relationship starts off like that. It's kind of awesome to know that, again, if I am called to marriage, God will provide the best man for me. Wow, that kind of makes me excited to think about that! But of course, it's also all about trust, which can be very difficult, as I'm sure all of us know. *Sigh* Discernment is so interesting! I know part of my calling is to youth ministry, but whether I'll be married or single... I have no clue! I have desire for marriage and am at peace with it. I was just talking to my spiritual director about that today. What can I say, our world needs more big Catholic families! And imitators of Mary!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Friends, Holiness, Love

So the other day one of my friend's blogs was really inspiring to me. He talked about how surrounding yourself with good friends is a very important aspect of life for several reasons. Through our friendships we can help each other grow in holiness and virtue. It really got me thinking... and I came to the conclusion that I am sick of saying stupid stuff and making some sarcastic comments. Even if everyone knows we are all joking around, it isn't okay to put friends down. In striving for holiness I really want to bring my friends closer to Christ; we're all on this spiritual journey to Heaven together.

I'm kind of in awe at how much I'm learning about myself this year. So I just established that I need to watch what I say more often. I also realized that sometimes I get angry instead of dealing with other emotions. One of my friends entered the Nashville Dominican sisters this past August. Last year we grew pretty close together as friends, and it was awesome being around her. I'm really starting to miss her though, and it's difficult because I have not received a letter from her yet, and my friends who have have not told me anything about how she's doing, so that also makes things difficult. It's hard to write her letters because I feel as if I'm just talking about myself; what else am I supposed to talk about when I have no idea what is happening in her life? So, this is all difficult and can be upsetting, but I know that I need to keep loving her and my other friends. God gave us a heart to love, so we should use that heart for it's purpose!