Please pardon my absence on here the last few months. I’ve switched to self hosting and can now be found and followed at http://www.cinemacatechesis.com. So, I have spent my blogging time trying to repair links and cleanup from the move.
I was hoping to find a plug-in that would migrate followers for me, but that hasn’t happened so, please, if you have enjoyed cinema catechesis at all in the past couple of years, come find me at my new home!
There are LOTS more movies to review, plenty of topics to discuss and I don’t plan to stop any time soon!
Peace and love be with you!
Walter Burke: Nothing… is… what it seems.
Ever have those times in life when you feel like you can’t trust anybody? That everyone is out to get you? Try to imagine being a spy. Imagine watching your back at every turn, having to guard any information about yourself and having to be skeptical of anything you’re told. For most of us, those times of distrust are usually periodic, but for spies, that sort of thinking has to be constant or they make deadly mistakes.
The Recruit is one of those films that will make you distrust just about everything. James Clayton (Colin Farrell) is recruited for the CIA by Walter Burke (Al Pacino). He tells James that James’ deceased father was a CIA agent and that James was made for work at the CIA. So James jumps in and training begins. But, after a grueling series of tests it appears that James “washes out,” until Burke tells him, that in reality he passed and he is the CIA’s newest NOC agent. But the series of events that follow make him question everything he’s been told and those he cares about.
Be careful who you trust: One thing this movie portrays is trust no one. But, in that you can’t trust any body, we can use it to reinforce the one we should all trust…God. Since He’s about the only one that won’t let you down, even though he’s never mentioned in the movie. But when you can’t trust the girl you’ve got feelings for, your instructors, your co-workers, or even your own instincts, who’s left?? What is frustrating is the lack of respect for life and especially the focus on “get them before they get you” mentality. It also completely denies the “see Christ in everyone” ideal. But, I would say that seeing what all that distrust, fear and constant doubt shows in such an extreme way what life is like when you don’t look for the good in everyone and don’t trust in God. So how can we change our attitudes to see God in everyone? How can we help others try to live more positively? How can we encourage We’ve all seen it; a negative environment breeds distrust and more negativity. But positive environments encourage, support and are just plain happier places to be.
Everything is a test, nothing is real: Wow, how often do you feel like everything in your life is a test? Think about the wager in the book of Job… it was a test. And, Job passed. In James’s case, his tests are more concrete, but somehow the test truly infiltrates every part of his life. Our lives are a test. Do we jump in to bash someone we don’t like when an opportunity presents itself, or do we try to find the positive? Do we take the time to help those in need? Do we listen when we should and only dispense advice that is moral an ethical? We are always being tested. We have to work on making ourselves the best we can be to pass the ultimate test. Can you identify some ways to do that? I suggest prayer, reading scripture and spending some time with Church teachings. Remember that Job continually praised God, despite everything.
Love is used against you: Whether or not you agree that James & Layla were in love, the feelings they display for one another are used to exploit each other, and used against them. Also, Burke uses James’s love for his deceased father is used to manipulate him into CIA training. Abusing the gift of love is one of the most hurtful things we can do, and sadly, we see it every day. That guy who says “I love you” to get the girl to have sex with him, or that woman who says “if you love me you’ll take me out” or …”buy me that piece o jewelry.” We can’t use love against those we love and expect to get what we want. Not only does it hurt them, but drives a wedge between that leads to fear and distrust for that relationship and all future relationships. Real love does those things without the guilt trip, without expectation. Love is patient, love is kind… 1 Colossians 13:4-8. We know it because it’s read at just about every Christian wedding but do we really think about what it means. So, how can we stop using love to manipulate? How can we encourage love and encourage those we love without manipulating them?
You were born to do this: We all have gifts we are born with… It’s our responsibility to discover them and hone them as we make our way through life. James is told more than once that he was born to be a spy. So, what gifts do you think you were born with? Have you been working on them? Did others have to tell you they saw the gift in you for you to start considering it or did you discover it on your own? If you discovered it on your own, how? What have you done to try to work on it? How are you using it to help your fellow man? How are you at recruiting others? Many times we have to be able to spot talent in others for teamwork both in work and play, how do we recognize it? How do we draw it out? How can we help others realize their talents?
You can’t live in the past: James is living with uncertainty about his father’s death, and the possibility that he isn’t dead. Burke continuously uses this against him. Unsuccessful people blame their parents or lack thereof, society, bosses, anybody and everybody but themselves for their issues. Successful people, however do just the opposite. You can’t live in the past. We do have to keep looking forward, looking for that day when we meet God, and working toward that goal. That doesn’t mean we can’t still be connected to the past or abandon those from our past, we just can’t let it dictate the present! What are some things you may need to let go of? Is there someone around you that needs help breaking free of something from their past? How can we help them?
It’s a wrap! The Recruit is rated PG-13. There’s definitely language issues and sex scenes, in addition to the portrayal of using sex to exploit a potential mark. So this is definitely one I would reserve for a more adult crowd… however, since use and abuse of love is so prevalent amongst those in high school, it could be used with them, too, but as a group until themselves. It may seem extreme, but it does show, very well, the effects of exploitation of our talents and love for one another.
Most of you are probably aware that on the surface, The Chronicles of Narnia are a beautiful, fanciful story. And most of you know that CS Lewis did have a MUCH deeper meaning in it. So, I am always surprised at how many are completely shocked at the fact that Aslan represents Jesus. I love watching the light bulbs go on as the whole film moves from a fanciful story to a story of the Passion with that one small revelation. I even know one person who had heard the correlation, but refused to believe that Lewis had such a motive saying it was too good a story for that! But, we know Lewis took a lot of heat for writing such a “Christian” tale, so much so that J.R.R. Tolkien specifically tried to avoid it in his Hobbit and Lord of the Rings novels although he said something to the effect that each iteration became more and more Christian. But, for the Easter Season, this barely disguised Christian tale seems a perfect one to look at through the lens of movie ministry. The movie opens with scenes of war and the children are sent away to escape the bombings. In their new home, during an innocent game of “hide and seek” little Lucy hides in a wardrobe and as she moves to the back of it, she doesn’t find a back, but a whole new world, Narnia. The children end up in a battle of good versus evil. So, what questions and correlations can we make as we go deeper into Narnia? Two worlds at war: First, we see the physical war – the war of the world. The daily fight in the most extreme terms. The children feel pulled back to the world they came from…its comforts, and the safety they’ve found there. Then we see the war in Narnia, the spiritual war. The battle for eternal life. Narnia is even on a different time continuum than the world from which they came. Ten to fifteen years in Narnia is only a minute or two in the world the children call home. Narnia has been in the winter for many years, as evil seems to have taken over. The inhabitants all live in fear of the White Witch. Narnians are instructed that any “son or daughter of Eve” found wandering in the woods must be turned in to the White Witch under punishment of death. Wandering in the woods: How often do we find ourselves lost, trying to figure out where to go? We’re searching for God and what he wants for us. We are wandering in the woods. There are those along the path who take us in the right direction… and those who lead us the wrong way. Part of the journey is learning to see which ones are which. We also have an obligation to help any wanderers and keep them out of the clutches of the White Witch. Some things are beyond logic: I know, duh! But, that’s still the hard part, isn’t it? There are always some things that are easier to accept than others. Think about some aspects of our faith… the trinity – 3 parts of God in three different forms… Think about changing water to wine – or yet, the changing of the wine and host to the Eucharist. How about the assumption of Mary, the transfiguration of Jesus – or just wandering the desert for 40 years… So much of our faith requires faith. We have to leave logic behind and take it on faith. Reconciliation: When Edmund returns to his siblings, he must face Aslan. He and Aslan appear to be in a staring contest, or at least a deep conversation, but you can tell that Aslan is not angry, and Edmund is repentant. When they finally come down to the others, Aslan says “No need to speak to Edmund about what has passed.” Then when the White Witch demands the blood of the traitor, Aslan tells her that his offense was not against her, but leaves it at that! He never gives any detail, no shaming… just forgiveness. Why do the see Aslan as a Jesus figure: When we first meet Aslan, he emerges from the most beautiful tent of the campground. Everyone kneels before he comes out. Sort of like a tabernacle and the reverence we show for His presence in it. He tells us he was there when the Deep Magic was written. There’s also the forgiveness Aslan gives Edmund as well as his sacrifice – trading himself for the traitor. Demons crowd around him, but all are powerless against his mighty roar… yet he allows himself to be taken. Much like the jeers of the soldiers in Jesus’s passion. They shame him by cutting off his mane (equated with stripping Jesus of his clothes), after they tie him down and drag him up to the stone table (equated with carrying the cross). And he is killed. However, if you know the Easter story, you know what happens next. Aslan’s explanation of “sacrifice” sums up the rest, so pay close attention if you haven’t before. We all have gifts! Each of the children is given a gift to help them in the battle and instructed that they are “tools, not toys.” I found this to be an interesting parallel with the gifts of the Spirit. No one says we can’t have a little fun with them, but they are tools. Tools for growth – and not just our growth, but tools we should use to help others. And practice is required! We’re just scratching the surface. What details did you pick up on? The Chronicles of Narnia is rated PG. So there’s no language issues, nudity or anything like that. It’s unlikely that a little one would find it all that interesting. Also, the battle scenes and some of the witch’s henchmen could be a little intense for some children. But for older children, teens and adults, The Chronicles of Narnia can be a great movie, and a great way to talk about Christ’s Passion. One might also find someone it a good icebreaker in talking with someone who may not be open to religious discussions, provided they don’t think the story is too good to be “Christian.”
catechesis, Catholic, cinema, Conversion, death, death penalty, Drama, faith, God, Human Dignity, Kate Winslet, Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney, Martyr, movie ministry, pro-life, prolife, reconciliation, Sacrifice, The Life of David Gale
How many innocent men and women end up being put to death in our justice system? In a day and age of DNA testing and a multitude of forensic analysis methods… it seems just about impossible that it could happen.
In The Life of David Gale, reporter Bitsey Bloom (Kate Winslet) is called in to interview a man, David Gale (Kevin Spacey), who is about to be executed for rape and murder of his friend Constance Harraway (Laura Linney) in Texas. Gale spent his life working with an anti-death penalty group “Death Watch” until he was accused of raping a student and was asked to step back to prevent his sullied reputation from tainting that of the group.
As Gale tells Bitsey the story, she begins to question her own convictions about Gale’s guilt. In fact, she begins to dig deeper trying to find proof of his innocence to prevent his untimely death. Ultimately, The Life of David Gale shows us that there is a definite possibility that in the rush to find out who committed a crime, innocent people are being sent to prison, and especially to death row.
This film is nearly impossible to talk about without really spoiling things for the viewer. So, I won’t delve into the movie itself too much, just pose some questions to think about as you watch:
How do you really feel about the death penalty? It seems that most Catholics (and I might say even Christians) are pro-life when it comes to abortion, and for many even contraception. However, when it comes to the death penalty, many are on the fence, feeling that the convicts deserve death – especially with the thoughts that it is cheaper to kill them than to let them serve life in prison. So, take a minute and think about your true feelings about the death penalty.
Does the death penalty prevent prisoners the chance to find God and repent?
Does killing a killer really prevent more death?
What does the Bible say? There are many references to punishments of death for various crimes in the old testament, but Jesus’s teachings definitely take a softer approach to the old law.What does the Catechism say? CCC #2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”
The filmmaker tried to stay neutral although he has definite anti-death penalty views. Did this film seem neutral to you?
Did this film affect your views on the death penalty?
Does your state allow the death penalty? How often is it carried out? According to the filmmakers, California actually has more inmate on death row than Texas, but Texas kills more inmates per year. Does that surprise you?
“An almost martyr doesn’t count” In a debate with the Texas Governor, Gale is stumped when the Governor offers to abolish the death penalty if Gale can name one innocent person that was put to death. And, every person whose execution is staid due to new evidence shows that the system can work. So the quote arises, “An almost martyr doesn’t count.” When Bitsey really starts to put things together and see that Gale may not really be who he’s been portrayed, she tells him that he should have contact her sooner, that she needs more time. Gale replies, “You’re not here to save me. You’re here to save my son’s memory of his father.” Could you sacrifice yourself for your ideals? Do you see Gale as a martyr for the cause? What about Constance?
Ratings and wrap up: The Life of David Gale is rated “R” for good reason. Graphic nudity, sex and language get it there without any question. The partying, Gale’s drinking problem, the idea that more lovers is a good thing and the dirty limericks don’t help. It is not for the faint hearted. It is not one I’d be likely to show in a group setting, but in my opinion, even though it is hard to watch, it will make it more understandable that it is possible for an innocent person to die for a crime they did not commit.
be yourself, Brittany Murphy, catechesis, Catholic, cinema, Comedy, Conversion, Drama, faith, friend, God, Healing, Japanese, John the Baptist, Love, ministry, movie, movie ministry, Ramen, reconciliation, talking to God, The Ramen Girl
This is my very first post on Cinema Catechesis… I’m reposting it with some updates. It was a movie I’d never heard of, but was really cute… In fact, I think I’ve watched it a couple of times since. It is however, one that you can’t really watch while you’re doing other things due to the large number of subtitles. So make sure you can be fully attentive if you decide to give it a try.
Abby: I don’t know anything about love. Every time I feel it, it’s gone, it disappears and all I have left is pain and sadness.
Sometime last week, my husband and I decided to try out an old Brittany Murphy flick The Ramen Girl. On the surface, it’s about a girl, Abby, who follows her boyfriend to Japan – who then leaves her there.
Hurt and confused, Abby stumbles into the Ramen shop across the street. The owners, Maezumi and his wife, think she is homeless or crazy so they feed her in the hopes that she’ll go away. But, somehow, the Ramen fills more than her belly, as she finds consolation in it. She goes back the next day, and the Ramen makes even the saddest patrons laugh. So she decides that she wants to learn the art of Ramen so that she can bring that joy to others.
When I first sat down to write this post, I had no idea that I could pull much out of it. It seems like a pretty straight-forward “fish out of water” type story. However, as I started writing, I was amazed at how deep it really could be. Imagine that the Ramen Shop owner, Maezumi, is Jesus and Abby becomes a disciple, so to speak. So, in looking at this film through the lens of Catechesis, what can we learn?
Disciple on a Journey: We are called to “pick up our cross and follow Jesus.” No one ever said it would be easy, or that at points we wouldn’t feel alone. So, while what got Abby to Japan might have been less than honorable, she passes up the easy road and it’s the challenges she faces that make her stronger in the process. You might even take the leap that the boyfriend was like a shady John the Baptist – and leads Abby to Jesus, although indirectly. So, Abby follows her boyfriend, but becomes a disciple on a journey that takes her much farther than the relationship with the boyfriend would have ever been. And I think we can all agree that the boyfriend isn’t fit to untie Maezumi’s sandals!
Sometimes we have to go back to move forward: When she sets her mind to learn Ramen, Maezumi gives Abby a LONG list of chores. From washing dishes to scrubbing toilets, cleaning tables and washing windows, she learns the value of work, although she isn’t quiet about her distaste for it. For Maezumi, it’s the basics. It’s those things that don’t seem to be related to the end goal, but are actually foundational building blocks. You can have the best food in the whole world, but if the surrounds are dingy, its unlikely people will give it the time of day. So maybe it’s those prayers or scripture passages we don’t want to memorize, maybe it’s basic teachings we don’t think we agree with, but they are all part of the big picture. They all are ingredients in our Ramen.
Sometimes we feel like God must not speak our language: There is a huge language barrier between Abby and Maezumi. With the help of a dictionary and the occasional interpreter they muddle through, but it is hard, frustrating, and the series of exchanges, though heated, can be quite funny. There’s a lesson here though. You can take it at face value: a stranger in a strange land. However the thing that really pops to mind is that frustration and difficulty we sometimes feel talking to God. We find ourselves on one side spewing out what we think we need and what we expect from Him, all the while feeling that He doesn’t really understand us and often wondering if he’s even listening. Then on the other hand, how often is He trying to talk to us, but we’re too busy trying to get our point across to listen to Him? So check out those exchanges… how do they get resolved or do they?
Put a little of yourself into all you do! We also learn that all the choice ingredients mean nothing if there’s there’s not a piece of ourselves in it. Maezumi can’t put his finger on what is missing from Abby’s ramen, so he takes her to his mother. Now, this is a deviation from our analogy of Maezumi as Jesus, because we don’t ever see Jesus asking Mary for advice, but he does entrust us to her. “Son, behold your mother. Mother behold your son.“ Yet even that is stretching it for this one, so rather than try to rationalize any further, we’ll get to the point of the exchange: We can talk the talk, but if our hearts aren’t in it, what are we doing it for? We must believe it and put ourselves out there. Because ultimately, aren’t we all looking for the Grand Master’s blessing?!
Reach out and reconcile: Another point is you can make with this movie is the reconciliation Abby brings about for Maezumi. You see, Maezumi raised his son teaching the art of ramen. However, his son rejects it, despite his great gifts, to be an ITALIAN chef! Maezumi has such a difficult time with this decision. And, in a very un-Jesus-like fashion, Maezumi turns his back and holds in the hurt. In an effort not to ruin it, although it is a minor part of the movie, I’ll hold back the hows and whys here. But hopefully it inspires us to reach out a loving hand to someone we need to reconcile with.
Share your gifts! **Spoiler Alert!!!** The last point for me is that once Abby has mastered the art of Ramen, she doesn’t stay in Japan. She moves back home, but takes this gift and shares it with others back home in New York. It appears that her place is booming and business is good. Therefore, our lesson is that called to share our gifts with the world, spread the good news of Jesus. I sort of wish I got to see more of how she continues on, but, that is left to our imagination.
Be forewarned, this film does have some scenes depicting alcohol use and Abby does have a brief romance including a bedroom scene. But, if memory serves, it does deserve the PG-13 rating, but isn’t embarrassing enough to worry about showing in a group setting assuming they’re all at least 13.
For more information on the movie, check out http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0806165
The Green Mile is one of those movies that almost leaves its viewers with more questions than answers. It’s been on my list of movies to write about for a while, and is the first request I’m finally getting to fulfill.
The film starts off with the main character, Paul, played by Tom Hanks, as an old man in a nursing facility. He breaks down in tears watching an old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie and a friend from the home tries to console him. So, he tells her the story of the a year of his life as a prison guard on Death Row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. While death row is typically called “the last mile” they called theirs “the green mile” due to the floor color.
Two inmates already reside the mile. And we’re never really told what they’ve done. But things really get interesting with John Coffey (played by Michael Clarke Duncan) is brought in. He is huge – and has been convicted of a horrible crime, raping and murdering two little girls. They expect him to be hard to handle, but they find that he is quiet, gentle and quite opposite from what they imagined. They even learn he is afraid of the dark.
It isn’t long before another inmate, known as “Billy the Kid” is brought to the mile He is juvenile in his antics, but proves himself quite dangerous very early in his stay. He is a huge contrast to the sweet and quiet John Coffey. Add to all this, one guard, Percy, who is angry and bitter. He beats on prisoners, believing them to be sub-human and looking for ways to control them. When they actually need him to take action, he can’t.
Paul begins to doubt that John has committed the crime he’s been convicted of, but it isn’t until John heals Paul of a bladder infection, that Paul really starts doing some digging. He doesn’t mention the healing to anyone but later events leave witnesses of other miracle healings. More and more they are convinced that John could not have committed the crime he is convicted of. This film is full of talking points – and I’m sure it would take multiple posts to really go into all of them, but here’s a start:
All people deserve to be treated with dignity: Most of the guards are very careful about how they talk to and handle the prisoners. The do not condone physical or verbal abuse. They say that staying calm and talking the prisoners prevents issues with already tense prisoners. They are very careful to find distractions for the prisoners being executed while they practice the execution process. Even to the end, they do everything they can to make the execution as clean, quick and calm as possible. You know they don’t enjoy killing these men. In contrast, we see Percy who is mean to the prisoners and treats them as scum. He doesn’t care about them beyond how his poor treatment makes him feel superior. But what this difference shows is how when treated with respect, most of the prisoners are peaceful and lovable. When situations are tense do we tend to lash out, or do we try to keep things calm? What about when you encounter someone that scares you? I believe in most cases, you’ll find it that even though you may want to react like Percy, you’ll find the typical way of the guards gets much farther with much less uproar… Granted, most of us don’t have padded rooms we can throw people in who disrespect us, but for the most part, they handled everything through calm and even a little humor, when appropriate.
Child-like nature: One thing I’ve noticed each time I’ve watched The Green Mile is the child-like nature of the prisoners. Is that because they are somehow emotionally or mentally stunted and their lack of maturity is what led to the crimes that landed them there. I find myself wondering if you peel back the layers of our current prison inmates, that you’d find certain similarities.
At the same time, John’s gift of being able to heal, seems to be in a strange package. But, as we see in scripture, God always chooses someone that we wouldn’t expect. John is dirty, sweaty, uneducated – but gentle and truly caring. Once you see John in action, you know there is no way he could have committed the heinous acts he is sentenced to death for.
The death penalty: Well, if you are on the fence about the electric chair, this film will definitely show you how violent a death it really is – even without the disastrous one. None of the inmates deny what they’ve done and I’m sure their crimes were heinous, but seeing them as the men in the cell – relatively childlike and powerless, it was hard to see them killed.
St. Christopher reference: When John Coffey first arrives at the prison, the prison wagon appears to be riding extremely low. And John is a BIG guy, but as I watched the scene (and having seen it several times before) it struck me as an analogy to St. Christopher. For those not familiar with the Christopher story, the basics are that Christopher was crossing a river and a child asked to be carried across. The child was unbelievably heavy. Later it was understood that in carrying the child, he was carrying Christ who was carrying the whole world. So, when I saw that prison wagon carrying such a load, it made me wonder. Then later, one of those healed gives John a St. Christopher medal, suggesting the St. Christopher would protect him. What do you make of it? Is John supposed to represent Christ?
If he is meant to be a Christ figure, it certainly explains the healings and the profound sadness he shows about how people treat each other. It also explains the low riding wagon. Could it be that John Coffey was supposed to be such a big figure physically to show us how big Christ is figuratively. Of course, if that was the case, I would have thought John Coffey would have bigger… but At first I wondered why John would choose to die… but then I realized Jesus did just that. I’m sure he could have gotten himself out of his situation, but he did it for us. That is the big difference between Jesus and John Coffey… Coffey was escaping. Jesus suffered and died for us!
Sweet, gentle John Coffey also sets into motion events that I always thought exacted revenge, which disappointed me… however, looking as him as a Christ figure, I’m guessing it could be called “judgment” or at least helping put them before God for His judgment.
In conclusion: The Green Mile is rated R for violence, language and sexual references – and deservedly so. It does however, provide a lot of food for thought. Think about the difference in how the guard and the prisoners interact in comparison with how you look at the people you encounter in your life. Think about how we are called to love, and that love is not a weakness, but evil does try to exploit it and we cannot let it win! Think about the implications of the death penalty. Think about what you would do if you were John Coffey or Paul Edgecomb. If you can do that, I’m sure you’ll learn something!
For the original post at Suscipio check out:
Here we go again… I’d say I was snowed it – but really its iced in. But, that gives me time to watch a few more movies and TRY to get a movie post out… I’m working on one for The Green Mile, Just Like Heaven and a few others, but I needed to take a break from them for a little bit, so here we go…
Thanking God for…
:: Safety in this nasty weather
:: A warm home to wait out this mess
:: A wonderful family. Even though we disagree a lot, we’re pretty good at circling the wagon when it’s needed.
:: My wonderful husband.
:: Getting to get out with one of my girlfriends and spend some quality time with my newest God-daughter.
Looking out my window…
We had a pretty serious bit of weather come through that left about an inch of ice and then another five or six inches of snow on top. It’s dangerous, but you can’t help but see the beauty in that blanket of snow. Our pup seems to enjoy it. She’s light colored, so sometimes it’s hard to see her as she goes running around in it.
I am praying…
:: For someone who contacted me by accident last week that appeared to be suicidal. I am incredibly thankful nothing came of it. I’m also thankful for the nudging of the Spirit that made me realize what was going on and I was able to get them in touch with help.
:: For those that have lost babies this week. While I’ve never miscarried, that I know of, some part of me feels like I’m suffering with them in my own struggle. I know those babies were loved more than seems humanly possible.
:: For all those who are stuck inside all the time, not just because of the weather, but because of health, poverty, or fear.
::For those who are always on my prayer list.
I am pondering…
Why I’m feeling a certain sense of writer’s block.
I am reading…
Still working on Between Heaven and Mirth – and my prayer book.
I am creating…
I was hoping to get to Hobby Lobby today to get some things for a few projects I want to try. But, since I didn’t make it that far, I’ll be creating a new blog post and whatever else I can try to work on with stuff I have around the house.
That I have to keep listening to those nudges the Spirit gives. I try, but I think I probably block out a few.
In the kitchen…
The most I’ve done in the kitchen is help dry a few dishes and heat up some left over pizza. That is not my domain!
Around the house…
Well, I had all the laundry done and some cleaning, but with the nasty weather, and wearing lots of layers, it has stacked up again, so I’ll be hitting that shortly.
A t-shirt and jeans.
Look what I found…
Hmmmmmm…. sorry, since I’ve been home, I haven’t been on the computer much.
I am looking forward to…
Having all my Christmas shopping done and other duties done so I can enjoy the holiday.
A favorite quote for today…
Distant peoples stand in awe of your marvels;
the places of morning and evening you make resound with joy.
You visit the earth and water it,
make it abundantly fertile.
God’s stream is filled with water;
you supply their grain.
Thus do you prepare it:
you drench its plowed furrows,
and level its ridges.
With showers you keep it soft,
blessing its young sprouts.
You adorn the year with your bounty;
your paths drip with fruitful rain.
The meadows of the wilderness also drip;
the hills are robed with joy.
The pastures are clothed with flocks,
the valleys blanketed with grain;
they cheer and sing for joy.
Snuggling with the hubs & pup watching tv or movie.
The week ahead…
Will be a mess trying to catch up along with getting ready for Christmas. I just pray God’s guidance will see us through.
There is a pup in there if you look really close.
On this Feast of St Bibiana
So this is my fifth attempt at the Catholic Women’s Almanac through Suscipio. I was skeptical about these at first, but somehow I find these little Monday posts help me organize my mind a little more…
Thanking God for…
- Great family (and a great Thanksgiving dinner with them).
- Good friends that keep me sane.
- My Parish family
- My sweet pup (as neurotic as she is) who reminds me about unconditional love
- Blessings of health, employment and that even though I still have worries, most everything is going well now.
Looking out my window…
- It’s beautiful out – over 50 degrees! Wishing I could be out doing yard work!
I am praying…
- For God’s will do be done in all the changes swirling around me. I actually like change in many cases, but some of what’s going on is actually complicating things, not simplifying, so I’m not so accepting of it at present.
- For those kiddos on my prayer list
- All those who ask for prayer, and for all those that need it but won’t or can’t ask.
- The Holy Souls in Purgatory
- The Mychal Judge prayer:
Lord, take me where You want me to go.
Let me meet who You want me to meet.
Tell me what You want me to say
And keep me out of YOUR way.
I am pondering…
The season of Advent. I always have a difficult time with it. Probably since I know too many people who start SOOOOOOOO early with Christmas stuff that I never seem to feel like I get the time to let the meaning of Advent sink in.
I’m also still on this thing about joy. Reading more and more about how many people are brought to the Church by a sense of joy and peace they see in others. How many saints had really good humorous sides, and how even though we need to be serious about our faith, it does not mean there is no joy in it, in fact, there should be great joy in the promises and hope we have been given by God!
I am reading…
Between Heaven and Mirth by James Martin, SJ.
I am creating…
I am in the process of fixing up our star for the parish nativity pageant, fixing up some old projects and trying to get prepared for making some Christmas gifts – if I could just figure out what to do!
That I am not alone, although very few will stand up and say so.
In the kitchen…
What can I say – this is not one of my gifts…
I’m Listening to…
Whatever is on tv…
I am looking forward to…
I don’t know… things are moving so fast that I’m just trying to get caught up and am having a hard time trying to look forward. But if pressed, I guess I would say a trip away right after Christmas… just praying it goes well.
I haven’t taken any photos this week that are worth posting…. sorry!
- The Catechists in my Religious Ed Program.
- Those who continue to support me.
- My wonderful family and friends.
- All the things I continually take forgranted.
- For all those who request prayer.
- For those assigned to me.
- Those who don’t know to request prayer.
- Holy Souls in Purgatory.
- Friends and family.
- Personal intentions
- Trying to have an “attitude of gratitude” when I don’t feel so grateful. But, when I count my blessings, I really am grateful… its just frustrating to have to keep reminding myself.
- Contemplating “joy” in faith. I feel surrounded (although I’m probably being slightly melodramatic) by people who seem to think that there is no room for joy in faith. Which led me to pick up the book you’ll see in the reading section. The people I’ve always felt most drawn to as “holy” people always seemed to have a peace and joy about them… so I’m trying to grapple with the differences and try to figure out who to work with those who seem so devoid of joy, and put more joy into my life.
- Lastly, contemplating where God really wants me (doing this one sort of in tandem with the hubs). We’re both frustrated with where we are right now, but we’re not in a position to make the changes we’d like to.
Whatever is on TV.Cooking
Royally burned grilled cheese this weekend. Think I better stay out of the kitchen.Homing & Making
Tried my hand at bottle cutting. Got to keep working on it.Around the Web
Having fun with Pinterest both personally and for work.
This quote from Between Heaven and Mirth: “Humor is a prelude to faith, and laughter is the beginning of prayer.” ~Reinhold Niebuhr