Archive | February, 2011

7 Quick Takes – It’s Friday Already??

25 Feb

1) I hate that I’ve blogged nothing but quick takes lately. But my choices are blog avidly or, you know, pass classes. I’m going to have to err on the side of passing my classes.

2) Speaking of classes, it’s that time of year! Course Registration. I’m about to make a confession. And most of us are liturgical Christians, which means you have to be nice about confessions. At least, you can’t run around gossiping about it.

Ready?

I love registering for courses. No, not registering for courses as in the dark night of my soul commonly referred to as Validation/semester registration/medieval torture. The actual printing out degree evaluations and meeting with my advisor and carefully crafting my degree plan. . .ahhhhh. Hear that? That’s the sound of a nerd’s heart exploding with ecstasy. After mapping my plan of attack, I count down the seconds to midnight, when I’m able to log on to my beloved-but-archaic SunSystems account (Vision, as ORU renamed it) and snag my classes. I always develop this sense of profound urgency, even though the population of this campus is roughly the same size as my (very small) hometown, and there are less than 40 other students in my major. Read: the classes aren’t going anywhere. But I digress. I’m a happy student.

3) My friend Rachel, sadly, won’t be able to experience this at ORU ever again. Surely it’s not the same in grad school, right? She’s fantastic, and talented, and she wrote an excellent post on her blog called the Burden of Caring. You should read it, and congratulate her on making her 50% Missions deadline AND finishing senior paper.

4) I’ve been reading “Ella Enchanted” to the two kids that I nanny. Well – I started reading it, got tired of reading out loud two chapters in, then finished the whole book while they were taking naps. It was one of my favorite light reads when it first came out, and I hadn’t read it since then. Such a cute, cute retelling of Cinderella.

5) Which reminds me – I got the large print, hardcover, read-aloud collector’s edition of said book for $5 at the Borders closest to the ORU campus. It was one of the victims of the Borders bankruptcy. One the one hand, it’s sad because that was one of my favorite off-campus homework spots. One the other, it’s a very, very good thing for my budget – the sales at the place are insane right now.

6) One of my buys was a copy of the official Dr. Who magazine for only $4, complete with three posters. This is a big deal because it’s printed in the UK and usually at least $12 in the US.

7) That’s about it in this crazy semester of mine. Have a great weekend!

Visit ConversionDiary.com for more!

7 Quick Takes Vol. Whatever

18 Feb

1) Your prayers are very much coveted for a mother named Shannon in our parish that passed away this last weekend. She is a dear friend of my godmother Kimberlie’s, and has three young children and a husband. While you’re at, if you would pray for Kimberlie that would be fantastic.

2) I had an unexpected holiday from work this week, and I’m not complaining at all. But between the two snow weeks and my nanny family’s vacation, I’m going to have a hard time adjusting to life as usual again!

3) Eli’s birthday was Thursday. He worked all day, so we didn’t really get to celebrate, but I made him this cake that we’ll get to eat tomorrow. The kitchen in my dorm is set on a 15 minute timer, so all the appliances turn off after 15 minutes and then have to be completely reset. This is supposedly to keep students from burning the kitchen down. I feel that they’re just trying to drive us insane. But when I finished watching my godmother’s children tonight I went over to another friend’s place and baked there. Except, their oven’s temperature is off. So, who knows what this cake will actually taste like. But every other time I’ve had it, it has been utterly sinful. And I hate chocolate.

4) While at Kimberlie’s tonight, I was helping her four kids get ready for bed. Her youngest boy was standing to the side while the other three kids were brushing their teeth. “[Dumpling #4], you need to brush your teeth!”
“Kassie, I can’t. I want to be last so I can be first in heaven.”
I grinned. Go team.

5) There has been some fantastic conversation going on in my com-box. The past few weeks have been spent surviving snow storms and catching up on massive papers, so I haven’t had much time to respond, but let me tell you, they have led to some fascinating conversations in the few spare moments Eli and I have to actually catch up in person. I appreciate each and every one of you that has taken the time to share your thoughts and experiences, particularly Jackie at Blueberries For Me, The Ogre (yes, the barefoot and pregnant Calah’s Ogre), Tienne McKenzie, and Khouria Jen.

6) My 15-year-old brother,

This one.

Had his first taste of heartbreak this week. Ever the comedian he wrote about it on his fledgling blog, Existential Bacon. Yes, you read that correctly. Go support a young writer! He’s funny.

7) I’m desperate for vegetarian and vegan recipes. I’m trying to discern what I’m supposed to be doing for Lent, and I have a sneaking suspicion that going vegetarian is going to play a part in that. So if you have any recipe love that you could send my way, I’m all for it.

Visit ConversionDiary.com for more!

Justice for all?

7 Feb

Sometimes I think I am the last person in the world who should ever be a social worker. I’m rather unsympathetic to many plights that I know I should find empathy for – if my professors knew exactly how many times I roll my eyes behind my notebook when I hear them wax poetic about certain injustices that occurs here in the States, they would probably kick me out of the program. It’s not that I’m a complete jerk. It’s just, I’ve stared at beautiful, precious babies with almost-translucent skin literally dying in their crowded cribs. It’s really hard for me to feel sorry for people who got themselves into the situation they’re in because of their own choices when there are babies with no choices at all left to die around the world – through both abortion and abandonment.

And you know what that attitude is?

Sin.

I do not at all pretend to be better than the populations I am or will be working with. In fact, I’m in the same demographics as most of them, financially and situationally. But why should I expect Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin, and all the Saints to plead my cause if I can’t find the same measure of love and compassion for the alcoholic who drowned his family’s finances away as I do the babies left at the mouth of a coal miner’s cave, like my precious sister Aeren? I’m not trying to strip culpability from situations where there is plenty to go around. And I’m not even going to attempt to argue that even the direst case of poverty in America is remotely the same as the dying rooms in Chinese orphanages. But at the end of the day they are people created in God’s image, whether they seek Him or not, and they are people that are hurting. It isn’t my place to play judge and pick and choose whom I shine Christ’s light too. It’s not mine to give in the first place.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.

God, let that be me.

Clarity and the like.

6 Feb

Apparently, dear readers, I should stick to 7 Quick Takes and random musings on Disney and dating. I get myself into too much trouble otherwise. After I published the post before last, I have gotten three different searches for “Secret Vatican Douchebag” that directed people to my blog. Nice! After much debate behind closed doors, I feel I should clarify a few things. After this, we can put this brief moment where I attempted to be intelligent behind us and get on with our merry lives! Tongue in cheek there, guys.

When I wrote “Where has all the charity gone?” I was not, in any way, trying to speak ill of my fellow ORU converts – and I was not, in any way, denouncing the particular anonymous group in question. That’s precisely why I kept all names unmentioned – even the name of the one who was very unjustly spoken ill of, and did not mention the medium the discussion occurred in. Only that it happened online. If this had been the first instance of an attitude like this I might not have even said a single thing. But this is by far not the first experience of this nature I have witnessed from my student convert friends (and only the student converts) – both from ORU and not, online and in the nonvirtual world. I was using the instance in question to speak out against radical instances of uncharity to our brothers and sisters in the Church. This exchange was the most recent – and I still say appalling – example I had before me.

Kevin Clay, of MonkRock/Transitus Oblates of the Last Martyrdom wrote an excellent and thoughtful response to the post – you can read it in the combox of “Where has all the charity gone”. He is one of the most charitable – and Traditionalist – Catholics I have ever met. I agree very much with his statements, and they did much to ease my troubled soul. I do, however, still stand by premise that our attitudes amongst each other can greatly help or hinder the case for Conversion we present to our separated brothers and sisters. This was the point I was trying to make with my statement that those outside of the Church often have nothing to go on but their interactions with us. I would be hard-pressed to educate myself about a faith whose participants continually attacked each other. I know of several deeply personal instances where this has unfortunately been all too true. I do agree, however, that once a person has been exposed to the Truth found in the Church there is nothing that can hinder them from coming into her arms except for their own “hang-ups” so to speak, and at that point any fingers pointing in the direction of infighting are mere excuses. (I realize that my dear Orthodox friends will have more than a thing or two to say about this! :D) The problem is when that infighting prevents someone from having a reason to even begin considering setting their prejudices aside. This has, unfortunately, been more than true with many friends on campus whose only experience with Catholicism has come from less-than-charitable exchanges with zealous, well-meaning converts on and off campus.

I was not denouncing debate, nor was I trying to promote an All You Need Is Love approach to conversation. There is certainly room for lively, intelligent, and indignant debates and conversations regarding the liturgy. I actually love these conversations. Charity and debate are not mutually exclusive. Anyone who knows me knows that I am snarky, I have a dry sense of humor, and it is really, really difficult for me to separate the two from any conversation I’m having – and it gets me into plenty of trouble. But there is a difference between friendly, tongue-in-cheek jabs, good-natured debate, and ill-tempered name calling. The latter is what I was denouncing.

I was also not attempting to denounce Traditionalism. If I had to choose between Traditionalism and Modernism, I would choose Traditionalism in less than half a heartbeat. I love the t/Traditions of the Church, and my personal, private spirituality is far more Traditionalist in nature than most people realize – I do, however, worship corporately in a Novus Ordo parish that I love deeply, and I do not see this changing at any point in the near future.

In summary:

1) I do not hate my fellow ORU converts.
2) I do not hate Traditionalists. No, not even the SSPX. Which apparently makes me a Modernist? Another post for another day.
3) I should control my social workers need for justice while writing response posts.
4) Being snowed in for a week makes me a very impassioned writer.

Now, who wants a peanut butter brownie recipe? Sigh.

7 Quick Takes: Snowpocalypse Edition

4 Feb

My dear, sweet, wonderful boyfriend Eli went out last week and bought a monitor he’s been needing for quite some time – then let me take the whole thing to my dorm room so I could actually, you know, get homework done? He’s awesome. Thanks, dear!

My last post was a bit emotional for me to write, so I decided not to skip 7 Quick Takes this week. I could use writing something that does not make me want to cry/boil my own eyeballs in anger. So, many, many thanks to the lovely Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting the weekly 7 Quick Takes!

1) Being snowed in isn’t as much fun when you aren’t Laura Ingalls.
I was a very early reader – and I outgrew picture books almost as soon as I could read a complete sentence – so some of my earliest memories are of waking up early, sneaking sausage rolls into my bed, and reading The Little House On The Prairie books until my mother made me get out of bed. I thought I was being sneaky – I’ve since discovered that never will I ever pull anything over on her, she was just letting me have fun. But, I remember reading about the great snow in Little House in the Big Woods and thinking about how DELIGHTFUL it would be to be snowed in while living in a log cabin with delightful foods stored up and family to be with. . .well, I got part of my childhood wish this week. Only, I’ve been snowed into a dorm room. With no family. And not much yummy food to speak of.

2) Tulsa gets snow. Newsflash.
What really surprises me is that, for all three years I have lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we have had at least ONE major snow/ice storm. But every single year, people continue to act like frozen precipitation falling from the sky is simply UNHEARD OF in these parts. Thus, few people are fully prepared when, hey – a full-blown blizzard hits! And shuts the town down! For an entire week! #facepalm

3) My paycheck is frozen.
Well, not really – it’s just being held as an icy hostage at my employer’s home. Not that it really matters, because the roads are too icy for my car to drive anywhere to spend the paycheck, but it’s the principle of the thing. I’m really, really looking forward to the first sign of a thaw so I can retrieve said pay check and eat more than tortillas and ramen.

4) But I’ve lost weight!
Yay for tortillas and ramen!

5) I’m behind on mail.
I’ve finished all the rosaries I was working on, but am completely unable to get to the post office to mail them. I apologize!

6) Cary Grant is the man.
I’ve been watching old movies on Netflix, and can I just say that Cary Grant has always and will always be my favorite actor ever?

7) I’M GOING CRAZY.
Rawr rawr rawr SCREAM

Where has all the charity gone?

4 Feb

Readers who have been with me for a few months know my feelings regarding fundacatholics. And far be it from me to beat a dead horse with my lacy black mantilla. But I’ve observed a few online discussions between fellow ORU Catholic converts over the last few days that frankly, grieve my heart.

One friend posted this, in response to the Vatican II bashing that is very common among my convert friends:

—–

“Not sure if this group helps or hurts the cause. So far I have seen accusations that the gates of hell prevailed against the liturgy and a general lack of charity. The Second Vatican Council is a council for the edification of the Church and its controversies are due to cultural applications in the fallout of the sexual revolution and the general liberalization of ecclesiastical culture. The Catholic Church at large would have seen schism if not for Vatican II, that’s my professional opinion. So, let’s just move on and get on with what we can do for the future of our glorious Mother Church.”

—–

There were some replies that were less than charitable in tone, but nothing compared to this little gem of Christ-like love:

‎(1)[Original poster] you really need to shut up. You need to realize that you know absolutely nothing about Roman Catholicism. You have not even been fully initiated into the Church and you have the most absurd opinions about Holy Mother Church. As [another poster] said, when you begin practicing and actually STUDY then give your opinion.

(2)I have practiced for 13 yrs straight then non practicing for 4 and have reverted back to the Church, however attending the Novus Ordo, I knew there was an issue with it to I began to study the Liturgy

(3)Attending the Novus Ordo or the TLM has nothing to do with an issue of preference, the issue at hand is how this new “rite” came about, so get the doggone chip off your shoulder and take the time to study the Liturgy…study how this “mass” came about and you will realize the issues that [another poster], I and others realize about this Ordinary Mass.

(4)Grow a pair

(5)Stop being so emotional, stop thinking that all of us “catholics” are being douche bags, looking for a fight to pick within the Church, we are outspoken, for we STUDIED and now know the issues within the Roman Rite…Do you not find it odd that the Roman Rite is the only Rite of the Universal Church that has two rites? This was unheard-of prior to 1969!!! people wonder why the East laugh at us.

(6)Vatican II was a PASTORAL COUNCIL, and yes their documents were extremely vauge…no, I am not going to run off with the SPPX [sic], nor am I will to throw away 2000 yrs of Church History, and Catholic Tradition!

(7)Lastly, stop throwing around “big words” the purpose of this group is not to impress anyone, the purpose is to share Catholicism and our spiritual development with one another…to express concerns etc.

(8)Really, especially as a prospective convert, you need to just be quiet and study and stop taking to other converts as yourself who do not know anything. I am not insulting you by any means just advice you need to heed based off of this absurd post. Pax domini sit semper vobis cum.

Almost all of the participants in this discussion are personal friends of mine. All of them are ORU alum. All of them have made deep personal sacrifices to enter/re-enter the church. I care deeply for each of them, and pray for them often, as my fellow alma mater converts. But the fact that statements like this are made in a semi-public setting, with others reading who have yet to make a decision to enter the Church, is a disgrace, and a disservice to Our Lady. I cried writing this – not because I’m a sweet southern belle with a thin skin, because I was raised in a quick-tongued, sarcastic and witty family – and a very, very large family, immediate and extended, at that. I’m all about friendly banter, teasing, heated discussions, the yelling to be heard over one another. . .all of that I am well accustomed to.

But how, in the name of all that is holy, do we expect people to find the peace and refuge in the Holy Eucharist, safe in the arms of Mother Church when our discussions amongst ourselves continue to boil down to this? How do we expect to be a light on a campus that is so close to the truth yet so far, when our interactions with our fellow ORU converts are quite frankly repugnant? Am I allowed to use that word, or is it too long? We can wax eloquence about the superiority of the Latin Mass until the Second Coming, we can defend Vatican II with all of our being, we can condemn the SSPX to the outermost circle of Purgatory, and we can pay lip-service to the fact that Eucharist trumps all – but the bottom line is, our separated brethren DON’T KNOW THE POWER OF THE EUCHARIST. They don’t understand the deep, soul-wrenching power of sitting before the Body and Blood of Our Lord. All they hear is talk of a One Holy Catholic And Apostolic church on one side of our mouth, and diatribe like this out of the other. Shame on us – ALL of us – for letting this be so.

It’s exchanges like this that have left my father with a filthy taste in his mouth regarding Catholicism. And it’s no wonder he is so loath to see me plunge into the Tiber – he and my mother spent countless hours of their life pouring into their children and making sure that we knew how to treat other Christians, regardless of our differences. Who would want to see their daughter baptized by fire into this darkness?

I’m every bit as guilty of this as anyone else. I understand the pain that leaving the faith of our earthly fathers causes. I know how easy it is to be bitter against churches and a campus that we feel so often betrayed us spiritually. But we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We will never get anywhere in this debate if our words are not utterly soaked in charity, in well-meaning, in respect for ourselves and for our fellow brothers and sisters. regardless of which side of the liturgical aisle we’re genuflecting on.