Wednesday, March 31, 2010
It's September 29th and it's the first cold and rainy day of Autumn. I love living in Robson with so many of my friends, but the year has started off rough. I'm still feeling some of the pain from my surgery this summer, and I'm praying for God to provide the money to make it through my school year. Mum is home from the hospital and Dad is overwhelmed with taking care of everyone while dreading his own November surgery. I have had to give him an ultimatum: if he doesn't go through with the operation, I won't come home for Christmas.
I'm having a hard time seeing my parents so helpless, and find myself making plans to take care of my little sister and brothers. Worst case scenarios are where my brain goes when I am not heavily distracted and my Doctor said it's affecting my health. A lot of days, I can barely breathe.
I think God is trying to show my just how DESPERATE I really am. I long for commitment, yet I fear it; I yearn for romance with a future, yet I feel God showing me that now is not the time. It scares me, but I know God's hand is ever present on my shoulder and path. I have made a list of ways I want to grow this year and it hangs by my bed. More than anything, what I need is a desire to grow and right now I feel more apathetic. I'm asking--or plan on asking, if I'm really honest--God to change my heart into a heart of FLESH again; something has hardened it, and I haven't objected too strongly.
I hope that when I pick this letter up again, I will be thinner, but more than that I hope I will be happier, breathing, praying, and LOVING LIKE MY LORD DOES.
if I'm not...take heart. this year is not your whole life.
The Lord is With Me Like A Dread Warrior.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Reflections of a Humbled Roman Catholic
I remember cutting an article out of the Mars’ Hill (my university's student newspaper) a year or two ago, which discussed the spiritual diversity of our campus. In it, one of my wise evangelical friends quite innocently mentioned what he seemed to think were two opposites: Protestant “Charismaniac” and “Staunchly Liturgical” Catholic.
At the time, I was still very much on my guard and pridefully fearful concerning my Catholic faith and the way I practised it. It was almost as if I expected to be offended by sloppy language or by ignorant hole-dwellers at every turn. The accusation that I was a polar opposite of charismatic, and ‘staunchly’ anything, really ticked me off.
‘Don’t you know, Mars’ Hill writer, that I am quite charismatic myself when given the opportunity?’ I shouted in my brain. ‘Don’t you know that you don’t know me?’ Well apparently, I didn’t know myself very well either.
While a perfect storm has been brewing in my head since reading that article and posting it on my bulletin board all those months ago, I have been trying to come up with a noble way to ‘defend myself against the haters’ who accused me of this heinous crime. Quite recently, a curious professor challenged me in class to look at what shapes my lifestyle, and I was forced to think on the spot about the culture surrounding my spirituality. I realized, to my embarrassment and excitement, that I am staunchly liturgical!
My life, spiritually and generally, is shaped around the liturgy. It is through the liturgy, through the ancient prayers of David, Mary, and the Church Fathers, repeated and relived through the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours (the two official prayers of the Roman Catholic Church) that I have come to know and grow
It would be unthinkable for me to miss Mass on Sunday and painful for me to go too long without the sacrament of Confession. While you may catch me praying in tongues under my breath or raising my hands to our Lord in Praise Chapel, I can also be found in that posture during a recessional hymn after Mass. I am most at home on my knees before a tabernacle with a missal or rosary in my hands, praying in the ancient liturgical (but often fresh and charismatic) tradition that I am so proud to be a part of.