Monday, August 25, 2008

A Tree Runs through It

I was able to plant a bunch of pine trees and three oak trees today before the major rain fall that they are promising. What a difference from the last two years as I witnessed about fifty trees that I planted die in the drought. I am not an environmentalist to the extreme but I love all of life and see such glory in it. I think of the tremendous amount of energy that goes into the survival of tree, bird or animal. And though we all must die there is a comfort in that also b/c we will live again and much better! And God will not forget his creation - they groan also and wait upon the glorious Redemption. So as the rain begins to pitter patter on my tin roof I am glad I got those trees in the ground!

My granddaughter turns three today and what a gift Ava is to our whole family. It is beyond comprehension that God lets us participate in the creation of His child, an immortal soul that He loves and cherishes. Not one child born escapes His notice or care. In Psalm 139 it says we are fearfully and wonderfully made - what poverty words are to express the delight of a child! And when they are connected to you - well it makes me glad to be alive! Happy Birthday AVA!!!

You are so loved and cherished by your parents and all of your family. What a delightful future we will all have with you!

How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place O Lord of Hosts, my heart longs and faints for your courts and my heart and flesh sing for joy to the Living God. For a day in your presence is far better to me than gold - or to take my fate upon my hands. I would rather be a door keeper in your courts than to spend my whole life somewhere else!

You are my sun and my shield - my Lover from the start - and the highway to your city runs through my heart!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Reigning is All About

I don't intend on making this blog a podium. I guess I have enough "bombs" in my life to prevent that. But I can't help but share thoughts as I live my daily life. As in the 10 commandments, the "thou shalt nots" become the focus. So I think that to the naked eye the top heavy maleness of the Catholic Church (and other major Christian denominations) is misunderstod. Most women, Catholic and others alike, think that major reformation is needed to make the genders equal. However it is a secular and erroneous viewpoint when it comes to the Body of Christ.

Indeed God offers and has always offered something much more precious to women than the priesthood. Jesus himself, in a time when women were property, elevated the woman to all dignity and worth - but He didn't equate equality with "sameness". God intentionally created them male and female. He chose a woman to bear His Only Begotten Son. He chose a woman to nurture and raise Him. Jesus' mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, must be our example as women in the Catholic Church today. If you think that means men make all the decisions and women just go about mopping up then you are missing out of the whole Spiritual dimention of who Mary is. I like to think that Jesus thirty years sojourn with His Mother was a remarkable training ground for Mary's influence in the origin of His Church. She is His first disciple, a remarkable creation - full of grace! Think about that - to be full of grace. Mary alone yielded to that Grace more importantly than anyone before or since. Sit down sometime and contemplate Mary carrying Jesus in her womb, holding him as a child. Learning from him as a man. This was given to a woman before men.

I guess there is no denying that Jesus came as a male. He appointed 12 male apostles to lead His Church. In God's realm, according to His Holiness John Paul II's Theology of the Body, the male's role is the initiator. He is really the servant. The woman's role is the receiver of the gift. She takes it and nutures it whether it be child or doctrine or revelation. And it is together that we see how God operates. Indeed, it is His sign to us of the Trinity. If we busy ourselves with equality and sameness we run very shy of why God created us and we miss out on what He has for us personally. I'm sorry I am not into inclusive language - I am not that insecure.

So when it comes to Mass, the priest must be male b/c not only Jesus and the apostles were and their successors, but they stand in Christ's stead as the sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated. If as the Catholic Church teaches, that in all Sacraments the priest is representing Jesus it seems a little ridiculous to put a woman there - if you get what I mean.

In our society today and even historically, the definition of maleness is dominance. In God's realm it is service. In secular society gender must be equal and same. In God's realm it is complimentary and equal. Both are needed to present God's message to all people (there! inclusive).

God has given us His Son to win for us adoption into His family. We who believe in His gift of grace will one day reign with Him - when we understand what reigning is all about.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Body Parts or Mortification?

Okay, I want you to ask yourself a very serious question. I mean you have to really consider this carefully. What is more important to you, pride or body parts?

This morning I had to ask myself this question. I chose to conserve my body parts and endured, well, mortification. At least I can just be busy and not think about it.....but heck...why not share it with the world? At any rate you might get a laugh out of it. We can all use a laugh.

While picking up manure this morning in the dewy hip high grass, I noticed my dogs sniffing warily around something. I approached it thinking it was a carcass of some sort - but no - it looked just like a small bomb. It was rusty and it was close to the fence, someone could have easily lobbed it over from the road. Now, I know what you are thinking, but I live in a place where the common entertainment is to shoot up or knock over or destroy mail boxes regularly.

So what do you do? Do you take a chance and pick it up? Do you?

Well I called the police department and I feel great that I perked that guy's day right up. He met me out there in the field...fortunately he never had to get out of his car. It turned out to be a piece of my mowers muffler (I always thought that piece looked like a bomb). You can't be too careful these days. And hallelujah - the Cr---I mean Snapper has found a new home! So I guess there is something to enduring mortification, a new, used mower!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Getting My Crow

We have undergone a new rigorous training here at Marygate. Innocently enough, it began in early March when we bought 15 little day old chicks. Fourteen of them were hens as advertised. But God saw fit to make one of them male. And is he gorgeous! Sultan, as he is known, is a very strict time keeper. Starting anywhere from four o'clock to five he begans heralding the dawn. As we stumble out of bed in the dark there is no reason to check the Eastern horizon. A few faint streaks of gray are cracking the eyelid of the sun.
There is no snooze button on the rooster alarm. Every ten seconds (I counted) Sultan crows. And he doesn't stop until someone comes out and lets him out of his coop. As I grumbled to myself the other day I wondered for the umpteenth time "why am I, with five grown children, living on a farm with roughly 30?" Why are not my husband and I traveling, taking it easy, eating out every once and a while? Why don't I have just a big yard with a dog that can easily go to a boarding house instead of scrambling for a caretaker when I must leave? Answer: I don't leave. At least not very often.

God has everything to do with it. We are privileged to have placed on us an apostolic call to serve Him and we think that this is the begining of what He wants.

Sultan had to learn his crow. At first as his feathers grew so did his confidence and his voice. He sounded like a little girl with her finger caught in the door or someone who just had ice thrown down their back.....but one day he speared me with his eye and let a "cock a doodle doo" erupt proudly.

I feel like Sultan. I am not sure what kind of feathers I am growing but I must learn my crow in fits and starts. I have to practice and fumble along trusting in what God wants us to do here. I hope and pray it will be as in Emily Dickinson's poem "to lift one fainting robin, unto his nest again - I shall not die in vain." Okay, Sultan's the one on the left b4 he got all his feathers.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Women Priests?

I am so tired of this mantra! And I am so tired of the idea that the RC Church is "anti-woman" just b/c she isn't a priest. Jesus said, "That is not how it was in the beginning." Meaning that today's idea of men and women in the secular world is really screwed up. For years I kept my mind opened, not b/c I ever thought women priests were a right possibility but I wanted to be open. Well...there is a difference between being open and being informed. Thanks to His Holiness John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" I can echo Jesus' words....there is a reason for two genders and each must fulfill what they are fashioned for in order to understand the nature of God. Man and woman and their gender roles point to the very heart of God. The perfect example was the fact that Jesus is truly man as well as God and His apostles are all men. Woman finds her fulfillment and apex in the Blessed Virgin Mary.....I wouldn't want to be like anyone else! She is the ultimate first disciple and the model for all women - the ultimate receiver of God's life. This is what God offers us as women - to receive can't get any better than that. Just to lighten things up I put a picture of Taddy to remind us how funny and cute life can be.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Dignity of Man

I just watched a special on John Paul II. I got it for $3 at Big Lots and was it good! I am preparing sessions for Catholic Initiation which begins this week for our parish and I think I want to talk about the dignity of man and how the RC Church defends it. Truly this is at the seat of all wars - disrespecting and disregarding each person's freedom. How difficult it is to order my life around respecting and putting other's needs before my own! Yet that is what the Son of God did even when he was mourning and when he was exhausted. His Holiness John Paul II did that as well and it was good to be reminded of it. I want all who come to the class to know that they are unique, loved and watched over by the greatest Lover of all. And that He respects their free will and honors their honest seeking.

Monday I had the felicity of spending the day with three of my best girls (of which I am very fortunate to have six!). Lauren, Ava and Mia spent the day with ole granny and we had a great time. Ava (granddaughter #1) named my other two roosters and delighted in their crowing right up close and personal. All the hens are named Pru b/c they all look exactly alike and we figured they wouldn't mind. Speed, Rhode Island Red Rooster number 1 is "Speed" and the little RIR runt is "Skart" (not sure where that came from). Of course the beloved "biscuit time" the dogs usually get in the evening got celebrated numerous times througout the day. Ava is one of their favorites! Mia was very happy to move her happy feet all over the place if I held her hands. She is a budding rapper though b/c she can lay on her tummy and spin like a top laughing all the way.

I think of them, loved, cherished, bright and wonderful - by their parents and family and God. I hope that all children may experience that - at least some day. You go Dani!