Friday, March 13, 2015

Five on Friday

I thought this was the Lent edition but it went awry so it's the "random" edition.

1. Drink of choice

So, for Lent I gave this up
actually all forms of adult beverages. I won't say I have a problem (I've not risen to the "wine-in-a-coffee-mug-dropping-the-kids-at-school" mom - I kid you not, it was a 60 minutes story - but it was becoming routine...enough to be missed over 40 days). In its place, I spend several evenings each week having a glass of this
I'm pretty sure I should have given up tonic instead. It's like the gin never mattered. Oh well, more ideas for next year.

2. Sacrifice

Lest you think I've escaped my Lenten duty, I will say that I'm not sure I've ever had a more prayerful Lent. Holy Hour, Divine Mercy Chaplet/Rosary, Adoration (with and without my little people), Mass, Stations, 40 Days Vigil (we are now known as the "R" family on the blog...that cracks me up a bit, no idea why). I have been doing as much listening and following as I can. Always, I can do more. I wanted to take the kids down to vigil yesterday but it was really raining and I didn't want to deal with the complaining (because one Lenten penance I'm struggling with is sloth). I'm glad there is always more to aspire to - I will keep working since we still have many days to go!
can you say "bad attitude girl"?

3. Home school

When we were in South Carolina, we were blessed enough to visit with some dear friends who had relocated down there. While we were talking, we came upon a truth that seemed to resonate with both of order to properly home school, we have to send the little ones somewhere else! I'm sure there are plenty in the HS community who pull off the "little people participate with the big ones" or "sit quietly with busy baskets while the big ones work". Well, around here, that works about 40% of the time...not really enough to get a good amount of actual work done. We manage and catch up on weekends but when Blondie asked to go to kindergarten, it got me thinking.

I looked into our local Catholic school. I don't have any huge issues with the school and the nun who runs it seems to be on track but it's still five days a week. Too much for our budget (time budget mostly). So, I looked into the programs at the Christian school where the two little ones do Mom's Day Out and where #1 has helped in the past. Bingo! Kindergarten enrichment for 3 hours, twice a week. Oh and, unlike the Catholic school, they celebrate "Farm Day" when the calendar says "Halloween". If I didn't know I was Catholic, sometimes I wonder if I'm in the wrong place.

4. But what kind of Catholic?

I'm not going to lie. Sometimes it gets tiring being the "weird Catholic family" even in the confines of our home parish. We were presenting at the Baptism Prep class the other day and during the "come to church" speech, it came up that, "you don't have to be one of those Jesus-freak Catholics"...oh, my. I looked at my husband and said, "I think we qualify at this point". Truthfully, we're just trying to follow the teachings. I'm astonished by the number of people who just don't go to Mass on Sunday. Are they not aware that it's a mortal sin? When I was working, I always turned my grades in on time too. I never got the "suggestion-not-commandment" memo.

I digress. I was perusing places to purchase paska (what a great sentence...try that five times fast) and went to my go-to ladies at the local Ukrainian Catholic church. While looking, I read the most recent bulletin. Check this out.

From the Desk of the Pastor:
Dear Friends in Christ,

To my great edification I’ve received clear confirmation that people pay very close attention to the church bulletin. Last week’s bulletin had an announcement that Easter baskets would only be blessed on Easter Sunday, and not on Holy and Great Saturday.
 The way people have responded to that decision has helped me to see that my parishioners are the best any priest would ever hope of having. I say that because people have let me know that they would like their baskets blessed on Holy Saturday, but each person has done this in a manner that was so charitable and helpful.
 Allow me to share with you my fears and hopes for our parish. The reason priests blessed baskets on Saturdays was because of the excessive number of people trying to have their baskets blessed on one day, Easter. Today, our parishes don’t have the numbers which we used to 50 years ago, so it seems to make sense just to have it all on one day. But, this is beside the point. The point I want to make is that Easter, Holy and Great Pascha, is the holiest day of the year. If the calendar were a solar system, then Easter would be the Sun. Everything in our church life revolves around this supremely holy day. My fear is that people will come to get their baskets blessed on Saturday, after attending the Holy Saturday service in the evening, and not come to church on the actual day of Sunday. Now, I  understand that technically the Holy Saturday service is an Easter service, the vestments are changed to bright ones and “Christ is Risen!” is sung. However, to attend only that service and to not attend Matins or Liturgy on the morning of Easter Sunday is like coming to a wedding and leaving before the vows. My hope is that we will be one parish on this day above all others. We are a parish with three Sunday liturgies and we never have one liturgy wherein all are present. I believe with all my heart that Holy and Great Pascha is the one day of the year when we should all be together in church as one family in Christ. On that day, we are neither Ukrainian nor American, neither young nor old, neither rich nor poor. On that day we are all together to sing those glorious and goose-bump inducing words: Christ is Risen!
Sorry about the format and that it's long but...WOW. I think I would drop dead if I read that in my bulletin. I suppose that's one benefit of having a small, homogeneous population, most of those whom don't like the "rules" have already left.

5. Now for something totally different...

I read Town and Country

It's not my fault, really. It seems my aunt has gotten a bogo deal for the last 20 years and I'm the free subscription. It is kind of amazing to look at some of the extravagance in our world (mainly our nation) and how it's "normal" to some people. Mainly, though, it either angers or depresses me...depending on the day. Sometimes I enjoy the irony. Take this cover. The "Earth Angels" and their plan to end world hunger. I remember looking at the picture write-up and noting the costs of the dresses and jewelry. If they donated the value of their ensembles, they would certainly come up with enough to keep a tiny country (say Djibouti) running for at least several months.

Now, more often than not, I use this publication as the "don't" list for things to do when trying to get to heaven. For example, there was an article entitled "Hunger Games" last month about going to insane lengths (flying from New York to Europe and back in one day) to experience some trendy and/or exceptional restaurants...mainly for the purpose of bragging to friends and colleagues (and Facebook). DH and I spotted at least 4 of the 7 Deadly Sins in that one article. If it wasn't so sad I would use it as a teaching aid for the kids.

Wherever this weekend finds you, I pray it is one of great rest. Remember, always, to give thanks to the One from whom all of your blessings flow.

We are blessed.

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