Friday, October 28, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Blessings, Batman, and Bacon

I have some more interesting and challenging posts coming up like my last one. Hopefully I can get them done and widdle down the mountain of "drafts" in my blogger. Anyone else have a bajillion partially written posts?

Now for a few follow up takes on that last post. Firstly, my mom says she is pretty sure I didn't go up for a blessing during Communion time. Though the practice emerged during my grade school years, it wasn't something she agreed with and we remained in the pews. Way to go mom!

Maggie of From The Heart asked a wonderful question about lay people giving blessings. Priests, by virtue of their ordination can do many things lay people cannot. One of those things intended for consecrated hands, is doing blessings of sacramentals, places, and people. When a priest gives a blessing, it is not actually the priest giving the blessing but Christ through Him. This is why it is customary (though few do) to kneel when a priest gives a blessing. In the Mass, the priest is the ordinary minister and is acting in persona Christe and a lay person cannot fulfill this role. This includes giving the blessing which is part of the rite at the end of Mass, not during Communion.

Now her question actually pertained to this beautiful practice. Before bed she gives her son, Joe a blessing. Actually the Church says that in the domestic church (the family) that the father who is the head but also the mother can give a blessing to their children. Something like "May Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless you, my child(ren), for time and eternity, and may this blessing remain forever with you. Amen" To my knowledge, this is the only instance a lay person can do a blessing.

We are so excited All Hallows Eve this year! It is Dominic's first trick-or-treating experience and I can't wait. I am excited for dressing up and all that stuff, but mostly because Geoffrey and I will be doing most of the candy eating. WIN. To feel like we deserve it, and not like we are taking candy from a toddler, we are dressing up as well.

Dominic is going to be Batman, our favorite earthly thing second only to bacon. Though he has no idea who Batman is, it is our job as parents to impose the things we like onto him. I don't ask much, but he must like Batman, and bacon. Actually it wouldn't be terrible if he didn't like bacon, more for me. Just saying.

I am giving a talk at Mass this weekend about our youth apostolate. Please if you have a second, throw a prayer up for me as I am really struggling with what to say.

Thanks and have a great weekend! Oh and check out Jen for more quick takes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On Blessings During Communion

I just read this post by Bonnie and thought it a great opportunity to share something I've been thinking about over the past few years, and that is the whole idea of crossing our arms in the communion line to receive a blessing if unable to receive the Blessed Sacrament. First of all, I'd like to say this is in no way an attack on this blogger who is an amazing mom and Catholic (and whose blog I love to read) nor on anyone who does this practice. Her blog post was merely the catalyst for the follwing post by yours truly. And just because we do something and consider it a standard practice, doesn't mean we shouldn't question it. Afterall nowhere in the liturgical guides does it say this should be done and it is NOT part of the rite.

Let me start with this grave abuse: extraordinary ministers cannot and should not be giving blessings. Ever. They are not priests. It happens all the time and is terribly wrong. If it happens in your Parish, it needs to be addressed and corrected. Now that I got that off my chest, I can continue.

I know I learned to cross my arms to get a blessing before I could receive the Eucharist in Catholic school. Priests even teach it, and now my generation is teaching our children that it is proper practice. But I've been praying a lot about this now that I have my own little one and am having serious doubts it is a good thing. I could be wrong, but let me entertain the thought for a second. A blessing from a priest is never a bad thing of course, but the priest gives the final blessing at the end of Mass, therefore it is unneccessary and maybe even liturgically inappropriate to receive one in the Communion line. Furthermore, receiving a blessing is not equal to receiving the Eucharist, we all know this, but to a child or adult who is just learning, I think it might be confusing. I think this practice is something that started because we didn't want our children and non catholics (at weddings and funerals) to feel left out; but does that really foster a belief in the true presence? By just getting the blessing are we ignoring that Jesus is in fact TRULY and FULLY present in the Eucharist? Certainly that is no one's intention but the question we need to ask ourselves is not what is most inclusive, but what is most reverent to the God of the universe, our Lord and Savior. Please don't think I am questioning the reverence of numerous children and adults who receive a blessing each week or day in the Communion line. Like I said, so many priests and teachers have taught us that it is okay. But is it best? Remember Mass is not about us, but about proper and due worship of God.

So what do I propose? Well I think with our little Dominic, we are going to teach him to kneel next to Geoffrey or me and while we receive, and to make a gesture of love and adoration (prostrate, bow his head, blow a kiss, etc.) This way it keeps the focus on the true presence of Jesus and not what we get out of it. Certainly we do get something out of receiving the Eucharist in good faith, but that should not be why we receive Him.

As parents we know how important it is to foster a deep desire for the Eucharist in the hearts of our children. May St Gemma, St Dominic Savio, and St Therese pray for us!

Well I suppose that is all I have to say about this for now. Thank you for reading my thoughts. Before you might get upset, please pray about this for a moment. If you think I am still dumb, forget all about it; but if you feel I might be onto something, ask your priest what he honestly thinks about this practice, and as always through prayerful discernment decide what is best for you and your family. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes: (!!!)

When Dominic woke up from his nap this afternoon, I heard the sweet sound of the marching band! I promptly grabbed Doc, threw a coat on (because let's face it, the days of no coat wearing just might be over for the year), put a leash on Payton, and ran outside. I put Doc in his stroller and hurried 2 blocks over to the high school new middle school. Just when I got there, I saw them all walking in. Doh!!

If you are wondering why I was so excited about the marching band, you must stay tuned for an upcoming post (upcoming sometime meaning in the next year) about how my wonderful husband and I met. Let just say *spoilers* that we met at marching band camp; but don't worry the post is about so much more!

What a cutie! Even though it is getting colder, he still wants to be outside all day. It is a good thing I invested in some tights a couple weeks ago, I have a feeling I will be needing them this fall/winter.

Have you ever noticed (those of you who frequent my little blog) that I am a bit obsessed with parentheses? I use them all.the.time. I just looked up the rules about my favorite little puctuation marks!! Except maybe exclamation points. I way over use them too (like all the time!) What can I say, I am often excited and want you to know it! I also have a lot to clarify. I know I don't aways use them the correct way, but I won't tell my husband (who has an English degree) if you don't. And if you, dear husband are reading this, well, sorry honey!!

Speaking of that wonderful husband of mine, look at this cute picture in which Geoff and "mini-Geoff" are making the same face. lol
I think when I took this picture I told Geoff "don't worry I won't put it on Facebook or anything". Is my blog anything? Woops. Sorry again honey! It was too sweet not to share.
A few more pics from our week:

Today I decided to take a trek back to my childhood (because let's face it, why wouldn't we want to relive the awesome fashion trends of the early '90's) and brought back the side piggytale. What do you think? Cute or weird? Honest opinions now, I don't want to look like a goofy child (says the girl who wore pig tales until college  last week.) Now I can't tell if I am using parentheses just to prove that I over use them or if I am using them as I would naturally. Blarg!

This week was a bit crazy. I was under a weird form of spiritual attack in which I couldn't fall asleep. I was so tired and would lay awake hour, after hour, after hour. After about 3 nights in a row it caught up with me and I was EXHAUSTED. Last night after bedtime prayers, my man sprinkled holy water all over our bedroom. I had a great night of sleep so this might need to be a regular part of our bedtime routine. Perhaps I should start bringing in gallons to be blessed. Here's hoping to a good night tonight! (Which I best get on with!) Night!

For more quick takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our honeymoon

It. Was. Perfect.

We spent our wedding night in our new house (rental), our first together. We were married on a Friday so the next day we had a cookout and close friends and family came over to watch us open presents. Then on Sunday, after Mass, we hit the road for a drive from north central Illinois to northern LP Michigan. We went to Mackinaw Island. Well actually we stayed in Mackinaw city because, well, we are cheap. I don't remember why we decided to go there even, but it was a great decision. We stayed in a nice suite right on the beach. It was beautiful! We had very rigid plans on our honeymoon and it went something like this. Sleep. Be intimate. Eat. Relax! Repeat. We basically just took it easy which was so nice because we worked hard the week of our wedding. I couldn't have asked for anything more. Did I mention our room had a giant jacuzzi?! It was 5 days of fun and relaxation with my new husband and best friend. We went swimming, ate out, went for walks, hiked, enjoyed nature, prayed, napped, and explored Mackinaw Island during Lilac Fest. I loved the old Catholic mission Church on the Island. And of course, because we are such big fans of the American Revolution, Fort Mackinac was awesome; we spent most of our day on the Island there.

The whole Island was like stepping back to a simpler time, and the scenery was breathtaking. One of my favorite parts of the trip though, was actually the time we spent in the car. We drove through Indiana and up Michigan on the way there, and just for fun, we drove a different route home. We took the ferry to the Upper Peninsula and drove down Wisconsin. It was beautiful and we had a great time (8 hours?) chatting, discussing our wedding day, and being silly.

I actually can't find like any pictures from our trip, but we did take lots of video. I have this awesome video I want to share. This was the first day of our honeymoon (other than the day driving before). I love it because it is just us enjoying each other and our surroundings. But mostly I like it because of what happens at 3:49. It's kind of long and maybe boring to those of you who aren't Geoff and Dacia, so if you don't want to watch the whole thing, just start at like 3:45, and listen.

Did you here something? That was my new husband's sacramental wedding ring falling into Lake Michigan! This was our fourth day of marriage, and the second time it was almost lost. The first time was on our wedding night in our bathroom sink. It was a little too big. Woops! Thankfully it didn't get washed away and we found it and promptly broke out into laughter over the hilariosity of it all.

Looking back, I was reflecting on what our Honeymoon meant to our marriage. The Honeymoon now-a-days (yep I'm 28 and just said now-a-days) is often just an expensive vacation. For us, it was so much more. We both lived with our parent's until our wedding night, and though we had our own jobs and were pretty self-sufficient in ways, we largely relied on our parents. This was our first trip on our own, our first hotel room, just the two of us. We made all the decisions together-where to eat, what roads to take, how late to sleep, how far to hike- as husband and wife. It allowed us, though we had been dating for 10 years, to get away from our usual town and surroundings, and to get to know each other in a brand new way. We were the same Geoff and Dacia, but somehow, we were very different. Joined as a covenant by and with our Heavenly Father, two become one flesh. It was a simple and humble honeymoon, a perfect start to our marriage.

Finally, I would be remiss not to say that this trip was funded completely by our friends and family via the dollar dance at our wedding. Not kidding, they were SO generous it paid for the whole thing. Thanks everyone!

I shared this as part of a linky-link. For other great honeymoon stories, check out one of my favorite blogs- Betty Beguiles.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Guardian Angel

Yesterday was the feast of the Guardian Angel.
Words cannot describe how loving God is to gives us our Heavenly Guardians.
They keep a constant vigil at our side, from conception until death.
Then if we go to Heaven, we get to meet our sweet Angel
and praise God with them for all eternity.
My Angel has done so much to protect and guide me.
I could never say thank you enough.
Stories for another day.
In the mean time, hear is an old Catholic prayer/hymn
that I put a new melody to.
Guardian Angel From Heaven So Bright
Watching beside me to lead me aright
Fold thy wings round me O guard me with love
Softly sing songs to me Of heav'n above


Beautiful angel My guardian so mild
Tenderly guide me For I am thy Child

Oh may I never forget thou art near
Keeping me ever in love and in fear
Waking and sleeping In labor and rest
In thy sweet keeping my life shall be blest

So long thy power hath blest me
Sure it still will lead me on
'Or more and fen, 'or craig and torrent till the night is gone
And in the morning those angels smile
which I have loved long since and lost awhile