Thursday, June 16, 2011

Got Mary?

Just kinda what my heart is thinking about today when doing my Bible in 90 Days reading (and catch up reading)...

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had pass'd.

Oh, how sad and sore distress'd
Was that Mother highly blest
Of the sole-begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
Whelm'd in miseries so deep
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother's pain untold?

Bruis'd, derided, curs'd, defil'd,
She beheld her tender child
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above;
Make my heart with thine accord.

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ our Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified.

Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all my sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourn'd for me,
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with thee to stay,
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins best,
Listen to my fond request
Let me share thy grief divine.

Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swoon'd
In His very blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awful Judgment day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
Be Thy Mother my defense,
Be Thy cross my victory.

While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.


Prayer to the Sorrowful Mother

St. Alphonsus de Liguori
O my afflicted Mother! Queen of martyrs and of sorrows, thou didst so bitterly weep over thy Son, who died for my salvation; but what will thy tears avail me if I am lost? By the merit, then, of thy sorrows, obtain me true contrition for my sins, and a real amendment of life, together with constant and tender compassion for the sufferings of Jesus and thy dolours. And if Jesus and thou, being so innocent, have suffered so much for love of me, obtain that at least I, who am deserving of hell, may suffer something for your love. "O Lady," will I say with St. Bonaventure, "if I have offended thee, in justice wound my heart; if I have served thee, I now ask wounds for my reward. It is shameful to me to see my Lord Jesus wounded, and thee wounded with Him, and myself without a wound." In fine, O my Mother, by the grief thou didst experience in seeing thy Son bow down His head and expire on the cross in the midst of so many torments, I beseech thee to obtain me a good death. Ah, cease not, O advocate of sinners, to assist my afflicted soul in the midst of the combats in which it will have to engage on its great passage from time to eternity. And as it is probable that I may then have lost my speech, and strength to invoke thy name and that of Jesus, who are all my hope, I do so now; I invoke thy Son and thee to succour me in that last moment; and I say, Jesus and Mary, to you I commend my soul. Amen

Litany of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows

by Pope Pius VII
V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of the Crucified, [etc.]
Sorrowful Mother
Mournful Mother
Sighing Mother
Afflicted Mother
Foresaken Mother
Desolate Mother
Mother most sad
Mother set around with anguish
Mother overwhelmed by grief
Mother transfixed by a sword
Mother crucified in thy heart
Mother bereaved of thy Son
Sighing Dove
Mother of Dolors
Fount of tears
Sea of bitterness
Field of tribulation
Mass of suffering
Mirror of patience
Rock of constancy
Remedy in perplexity
Joy of the afflicted
Ark of the desolate
Refuge of the abandoned
Shiled of the oppressed
Conqueror of the incredulous
Solace of the wretched
Medicine of the sick
Help of the faint
Strength of the weak
Protectress of those who fight
Haven of the shipwrecked
Calmer of tempests
Companion of the sorrowful
Retreat of those who groan
Terror of the treacherous
Standard-bearer of the Martyrs
Treasure of the Faithful
Light of Confessors
Pearl of Virgins
Comfort of Widows
Joy of all Saints
Queen of thy Servants

Holy Mary, who alone art unexampled
V. Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet soul of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary: grant that we, who celebrate the memory of her Seven Sorrows, may obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion, Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady
1. The Prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple
4. Mary meets Jesus Carrying the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
6. Mary Receives the Dead Body of Her Son
7. The Burial of Her Son and Closing of the Tomb.


Tonight my Bible in 90 Days group had our first meeting for discussion.  It was great!  But, I was caught off guard by questions about the Catholic Bible.  I hate it when I know the information in my head, but I have a hard time communicating it to someone.  Oh well, eventually I'll get it down.  Just like I have a definition of music therapy down cold. ;)

Here's some information that I should have been able to recall about the extra Catholic books of the bible.  Please note the references at the end.

"The Deuterocanonical books of the Bible are those books in the Catholic Old Testament that are not in the Hebrew canon, but were included in the Greek translation, the Septuagint, and taken over into the Latin versions.  The deuterocanonical books (and additions) are:  Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, and additions to Esther and Daniel."

And he continues... "It seems most proper to say that Sixtus of Sienna started using the term to denote those books whose place in the canon was denied by the Protestants, allegedly because of their absence from the Hebrew canon.  It would be fair, moreover, to suspect that Protestant rejection of these books was based on more than simply their absence from the Hebrew.  See for instance, the remarks of van den Born:"

"Although the complete canon of Scripture was at least implicitly held in the Church from the beginning and was semi-officially proclaimed by several early Popes and local Councils, it was not until 1546 that the Church, in the Council of Trent, issued it's dogmatic decree on the canon of Scripture, in which, after listing the books of the OT and the NT, it anathematized those who refused to hold as sacred and canonical these books "in their entirety, with all their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and are contained in the old common (vulgata) Latin edition.  Till the time of the Protestant Reformation no serious doubts were raised in the West about the deuterocanonical books..... In the 16th century the Protestants relegated the deuterocanonical books fo the OT as "apocryphal" works to an appendix in their Bible, partly on the authority of the few Fathers of the Church who had doubted about them, partly for the reason that some of these books offered passages opposed to Protestant tenents (e.g. 2 Mac, 12:43 on sacrifice for the dead; Tob. 4:10; 2:9; Sir 3:30; 29:11f on the merit of good works), and partly on the fact that these books are not in the Hebrew Bible, on which the Protestants based their new translations.  Sixtus of Sienna (1520-1569) introduced the terms 'protocanonical' and 'deuterocanonical,' to signify respectively the books of Scripture which were received by the entire church from the beginning as inspired... [and thus through Trent to the present day] ... and those whose inspiration was the object of doubt on the part of [the Protestant Reformers, among others].  This did not affect the belief of the Church as such, which received and used them as inspired.  This terminology is not very felicitous, inasmuch as it may wrongly give the impression that the Church had an earlier official canon that excluded certain books which were later included in a second ("deutero-") canon."

"In any case, in Catholic biblical studies, the term "deuterocanonical" refers to those books or portions of books in the OT (as defined by the Council of Trent) which are omitted from the Protestant scriptures, and to which Protestants attach the term "apocrypha."  It is specifically to this distinction that the term deuterocanonical has referred since the sixteenth century.  It is important that Catholic students of the bible keep two principles in mind, especially when using terminology in an ecumenical or apologetical setting:  First, the term "deuterocanonical" refers to the (fully inspired, and recognized by the Church from the beginning) OT books which are rejected by Protestants.  Second, the term "apocrypha" should never be used of the deuterocanonical books."

WHEW!  Did ya follow that?  Personally, anytime I'm reading something and someone uses "insomuch" I'm impressed.  Basically, the books of the bible that Protestants call "extra" were really always part of the bible the Catholic church used.  Only during the Protestant Reformation did they get eliminated from Protestant bibles.  Interesting, right?  You can read these books of the bible at the USCCB website.

David Twillman.  Coursebook from Ave Maria University. 2006.
A. Robert and A. Feuillet.  Introduction to the New Testament. Translated by Patrick W. Skehan et. al. New York: Desclee Company, 1965, p. 552.
Hartman, Louis F., C.SS.R. Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible. A Translation of A. van den Born's Bibels Woordenboek Second Revised Edition.  1963. McGraw-Hill Book Company, INC., New York. (309, 310, 311, 314).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yummy Sushi

I haven't really eaten sushi very often in the past couple of years since I was introduced to sushi on a date (thanks, Tim!), but that may change.

In St. Peter's, MO, of all places, is a little hole in the wall sushi place called "Crazy Sushi."  I've heard great things about it, and my bestie has been bugging me to make a sushi date.  Last night was the said sushi date...and it was GREAT!

I loved that our rolls came out on a wooden boat.  So cute!!  We got 5 rolls, and I tried them all, but I liked 3 of them the most.  I liked: california roll, crunch roll, and rock & roll (roll).  I still need to work on my chopstick form, but it was great!

Then we went shopping and to Starbucks.  Fun night with my bestie!  I still can't believe the best sushi I've ever had was in St. Peter's.  Amazing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Help From My Friends...

Oh life.  After talking to several friends on the phone and online today, this song randomly popped into my head.

Does this song get your cheese-o-meter going?

Maybe for some, but not for me.  I have fond memories of this song from yester-year, and I proudly sing along.  I know I sang this as a duet at a MASC (Missouri Association of Student Councils) camp one summer.  Well, actually it was the second summer I went to the Leadership Camp at William Woods University in Fulton, MO (nerd alert!).  I remember in high school, the Senior Farewell concert every may was guaranteed to have some version of this song included.  Usually it was two senior girls who were besties singing through tears in a duet or trio, and I fully expected to do the same thing when I was a senior choir girl.  However, I had more than one bestie, I had 7 others that were my high school choir besties.  So, we did a version of "With a Little Help from my Friends" by Pieces of 8.  You can listen to the Pieces of 8 version here.  We got permission from the band to sing it at our concert, and they even sent us the sheet music that wasn't published.  It was pretty cool!  Then, we were invited to be the opening act for Pieces of 8 at two benefit concerts for Habitat for Humanity...but that's a whole other story. :)

Anyway, I'm a person who doesn't have a lot of friends.  I mean, I'm friendly and have lots of friends, but only a few really good friends.  I have a few very close friends that I hold very close to my heart.  Today, I got to speak with most of them, and one more just sent me a text message!  Hooray!  I LURVE my girlfriends so very much, even if I'm a flake most of the time because I keep myself super busy.  Being able to chat with my friends on the phone for a couple of hours today just made me so happy.  Thanks, Ladies!  You know who you are!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Twenty-Four Hours to Go...

There is a reason I don't go on more trips with my sister, and I remembered the reason today.

My sister and I are complete opposites in just about every category known to man, except when it comes to shopping.  It's a miracle we don't show up wearing the same outfit more often.  We seem to get along fine for about 24 hours, then I just can't take it anymore and I turn into an evil, mean version of myself.  I think I lost it when, on our first night in the hotel, I started reading my bible and she gave me the "look."  Oh, you know the look.  The one that without saying a word it says "why are the world are you reading that crap" look.  So, I told her about the Bible in 90 days challenge I was doing this summer.  She said to me, "I thought you didn't like reading fiction."  I kept my cool and told her to believe what she wants, but it might be helpful to actually read something before she makes up her mind about it, because she has never read the bible.

Throughout the weekend, I let my sister choose what we did.  I gave into her wishes.  We shopped until I dropped, and I spent a lot more money than I anticipated or budgeted.  I let her choose where we ate, because it seemed like every suggestion I gave was met with a "I don't like that" reaction from her.  So, I gave up suggesting.  I let her listen to her music, which gave me a headache (apparently I'm old and don't like the youngins music anymore).  I wanted pictures of us at various places so I could add them to the blog or as a sisterly facebook profile picture, she refused and whined about it.  I only have one picture of me from the trip, and it's a bad picture of me with a bull outside a BBQ restaurant.  And, I didn't get mad when we walked in the hotel room and there was only 1 king sized bed because she, on purpose, didn't tell me we were sharing a bed.  I even let her use my razor because she forgot hers!

When it came time to drive home on Sunday, I was excited because I was ready to go home and I love a good road trip drive through mid-MO.  We split the driving to Kansas City, so I figured we would split the driving back to St. Louis.  I was apparently wrong.  When we stopped in Columbia, MO, for lunch, I stated I was excited about driving the second leg of the trip and my sister stated that there way no way she was going to allow me to drive.  That was IT.  I lost it.  The one thing I had been looking forward to all day and she was denying me that one small pleasure I asked for when I let her dictate our entire weekend.  I tried to tell her nicely that I really wanted to drive, I love driving, and I wanted to listen to my Christian music for the last leg.  She refused.  I started yelling, and she yelled back.  She threatened to leave me by the side of the road in Columbia because I was being such a beeeeeep.

So, I finally got in the car, on the passenger side, and engaged in some negative behavior that I am not proud of at all.  Every time she turned on the radio with the headache producing music, I turned it off.  She turned it on and yelled at me, and I turned it off.  Juvenile, I know.  Not my most amazing moment, but eventually she stopped turning it on and we drove from Columbia to St. Charles in silence.  It was wonderful once I calmed down!  No crap music on the radio that made me crazy.  I tried to not think about the fact I wasn't driving and she was just doing a power play.  I got out my iPhone and opened the iRosary app to silently pray to try and get balanced again after my angry episode and beg forgiveness for not being Christ to my sister in that moment.  I can't do it alone, and I'm not perfect.  But today, I absolutely lost it.

It's really unlike me to just lost it and yell and someone.  Something about my sister just drives me to the edge of sanity every time I spend extended time with her.  I feel like I need to limit my time in order to keep the peace.  It's too bad, because she's my only sister.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Today my sister and I embarked on a great "Sisters Across Missouri" roadtrip.  It all started earlier this year when my sister received word that she won a sweepstakes.  I thought it was a scam, but lo and behold it wasn't.  She won a two night stay at a Country Inns & Suites along with free water park passes and a $50 gift card to the Legends Outlet Mall.  She wanted me to go with her, and how could I say no to free hotel and free shopping (well, $50 doesn't go that far at an outlet mall...).

So, she picked me up in St. Charles this morning and we made our way on the great I-70 to Columbia, Missouri (CoMo).  My sister, being a proud Mizzou alumna, made it an imperative to stop at Mizzou for shopping at the Bookstore.  I don't know what I'm more excited about:  my new purple Mizzou T-shirt or my new white Mizzou cap with a big pink glittery "M" on it.  Yes, pink and purple girlie Mizzou-wear!

Do you live in Missouri?  Have you experienced the cicada infestation we have right now?

I really hadn't, because they aren't by my home.  Well, they had their revenge on me in CoMo.  We park at the student center and I'm halfway out of the car and BAM!  Dive bomb kamikaze attack on my head by cicadas.  Lovely.

Anyway, Katie let me drive her car from CoMo to KCK.  I was kinda excited because she's had her car for a while now and she had NOT allowed me to drive it...until now.  I'm jealous of her high end features in the Acura, but it's still a Honda at heart. :)

While driving through downtown KCMO in rush hour on a Friday, we were confused by the road construction!  In a one mile span of road, I saw 4 signs.  They said:  Left lane closed, right lane closed, center lane closed, ramp closed.  Huh.  I was waiting for the entire highway to be shut down!  But luckily, only the left lane and ramp were closed.  Whew!

After we checked into the hotel, Katie and I check out the outlet mall.  I spent entirely too much money at the Ann Taylor Loft Outlet, and we ate at a Western bar for dinner.  Katie wanted me to ride the mechanical bull, and although I was tempted, I refrained.  Here's my yummy dinner...

Dinner at Wild Bill's something something something...

Overall a great day so far, except our gift card Katie won came up with only $15 on it instead of $50...  She sent a stern email to her contact person about it.  Boo!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Poop Poop ba-Doop

Okay.  I just have to blog about this because it makes me crazy.  Did anyone else listen to Glenn Beck's radio show this week and hear his story about going to a New York City playground with his kids?  Oh my.  Watch it here.

To make a long story short, Glenn took his kids to a NYC playground only to witness two children urinate and one child defecate under money bars.  When the parent realized what was going on, she did not reprimand the children, but rather just said to not play under there anymore.  AND when the parent wasn't closely watching the children returned to the area to make sand castles in the human waste.  And when I say children, I mean girls that were about 6 or 7 - 1st graders.

What is this world coming to?  I heard this story live on the radio, and I had no words.  I think my jaw hit the floor and I had a new appreciation for living in "fly over country" and not New York City.  If that happened at a playground in St. Charles, I think other adults would say something and have a cow.  Don't you think??!  Would you have said something to the kids or the adult if you saw some first grader pooping under the monkey bars?  I think I would have, because of simple human decency!  ARG!

I find it amazing how if you allow your DOG to poop in public and you don't pick up the droppings that you get a fine and it is against the law (and others will call you out if you don't pick it up), but apparently it's okay to let 6 year old girls to do that same thing.  Are we turning into animals?  In the city of St. Louis, it's against the law to smoke a cigarette in public, but you can poop in NYC and no one will say anything.  This is just sick and disturbing.

Lord help me if I ever have to live somewhere besides the Midwest or Texas.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

B90: Day 1

Today is the official first day of the Bible in 90 Days challenge that I'm doing this summer (B90).  I actually read the readings for today last week because I thought it was starting last week, but I'll blog about it now. :)

Readings today:  Genesis 1:1 - Genesis 16:16

How many times have I read Genesis?  Many.  My thoughts on the opening of Genesis seem to change throughout the years.  The past several years it has reminded me of the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday because the first OT readings are of the beginnings.  But, this year, I thought more about science.  I guess it's because I'm watching all these science shows on television about how the universe works, but it's interesting to weave the Big Bang, black holes, and supernovas into the Genesis creation.

I continue to be amazed at how Mary plays into the creation story and how in the NT she's the new Eve. I love making those connections new again.

And, on the day I read about Noah and the rainbow, I saw a real rainbow.  Made my heart go all a twitter.


I don't think I've mentioned this year how I'm now officially done with work for the entire summer!  Well, about 8 weeks.  This is one of the main reasons I remain employed by a school district over other options because, let's face it, it's pretty awesome to make a good salary and still have 8 weeks off in the summer.  Booyah.

So last week my wise Father asked me what my summer plans were.  Perhaps you are thinking the same thing.  So, let's chat about my summer plans.

1.  Grad school.  I was going to take 3 grad school classes, but I ended up making the decision on the side of sanity and dropped the reading specialist practicum.  So, I'm taking a "Frameworks of Learning" course along with "Teaching Math in Elementary/Middle School."  I'm trying to just do a number of classes left countdown to December graduation.  Right now the magic number is 5.

2.  Work.  Wait...didn't I say I was done with work?  Yes.  HOWEVER, somehow I became a co-chair for two committee at my job, and so I have projects to do over the summer.  Luckily my fellow co-chair is a good friend, so doing departmental PR videos and developing an internship program will be uber fun.  I'll keep telling myself that...

3.  Travel.  I'm going on a mega-sisters-across-Missouri trip this weekend to Kansas City with my sister Katie.  I'm a little bummed that the health department in CoMo put the nix on the cicada ice cream, because I wanted to seriously try it!  I have no idea what we're going to do, but we have free hotel and gasoline to burn.  After that, I'm doing a solo road trip to Florida.  I'm excited to visit my Aunt and Uncle  and spend my days at the beach doing absolutely nothing but reading and sunning.

4.  Purging.  No, not vomiting.  Getting rid of "stuff" in my house.  I have way too much "stuff," and I need to get rid of some.  Look out goodwill, my CR-V might be full.

5.  Gardening.  I have a wicked awesome container garden going on.  So far, my lettuce and snow peas were successful, and I see baby tomatoes growing.  I'm hoping to also harvest peppers, carrots, parsley, and zucchini.  I probably forgot something...there are lots and lots of containers out on my patio!!

6.  B90.  I'm doing the Bible in 90 days challenge with a group of ladies, so every day I'll be reading and blogging about Bible.

I know these 8 weeks will go by very, very quickly, but I'm happy to get in my less stressed and relaxed groove.  I have a feeling the upcoming year with work is going to be extra busy, and I want to be ready to light the fire when work starts up again in August!  Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Apocalypse Nowish

Signs that the end is nigh?

Weird things are happening.  And what happens tonight?  The weirdest random thing of all.   Since the beginning of 2011, many natural disaster things have and continue to happen in my area, and I'm to the point where I am wondering if it will end any time soon.

Multiple destructive tornadoes in the St. Louis area?  Check.

Large hail on more occasions that I can count at my house?  Check.

Solar flare knocking out cell and GPS service?  Check.

Earthquake that woke me from my slumber and shook my home?  Check.

Cicada infestation?  Check.

What does the Book of Revelation say?  Did I miss anything?  Did somebody say, "repent?"  Oh yeah, I almost forgot the weirdest of them all.  I often randomly surf through random blogs trying to find something interesting to read or follow.  Tonight I stumbled across a blog of someone I know.  Who?  Oh, just my ex-fiance.

I was not expecting that.  At all.  I cannot ever remember stumbling across a blog and realizing I knew the owner before.  It's so strange.  And yet, my inner dialogue response was the weirdest of all.  I considered the possibility of commenting on a post.  This is definitely going to prayer with me tonight, but I have to wonder the big question of "why."  It would be great if you gave me a clue to what you're doing, God.  Thanks.

Friday, June 3, 2011

B90: Judith

Judith beheads Holofernes
I like reading things either really early in the morning or late at night, so I have a full day to ponder the material I read, often relating it to daily events or to the longings of my heart.

Judith was both difficult and a joy to read.  For my non-catholic-y readers, you can find the Book of Judith here with the introduction that I'm reading in The Catholic Study Bible.  In the Catholic bible, Judith is found after Tobit, before Esther.  So, as many of the Old Testament books begin, Judith opens with a narrative of war and battles in regions that are a bit fuzzy in my visual of an ancient map.  These parts of the bible that describe war, battles, and war strategies do not hold my attention unless there is a personal biographical narrative embedded within it.  Luckily, the book of Judith quickly got to the main storyline of, well, Judith!

The storyline is typically well known.  The Israelites are under attack and may be forced to surrender.  Judith convinces the elders to allow her to leave the gates of the city in order to do God's will and save God's people.  She ends up in the enemies tent, with a drunk commander.  She takes his sword, beheads him, and takes his head back in a sack to the village elders and God's people are saved.

When I read this last night, this one passage really stuck out to me:

Jdt 8:8: "No one had a bad word to say about her, for she was a very God fearing woman."

I know that many times I say things that I shouldn't say at work or with friends, and I often wonder if people speak ill of me when I am not present.  I'm glad I read this passage so I can take it to prayer for me to know when to shut my mouth so I can evolve into the character of a God fearing woman.

Today I was driving around trying to get some errands done.  When I drive, I contemplate things and life.  I started thinking about Judith...  Oh, God had quite the field day with my heart and mind this morning!

Often, I avoid God's tug on my heart.  I don't know if a lot of people know this or not, but when I'm at Mass or before the Blessed Sacrament, I feel his presence very strongly in a physical way.  It moves me.  It tugs at me.  It calls to me.  But, I'm often fearful of where it will take me.  In the story of Judith, the Elders were afraid of what would happen to the people in the city, and therefore gave God an ultimatum to receive water and food or they would surrender.  Judith was not fearful.  She prayed.  She heard the voice of God and acted.  God, in turn, saved his people by her hand.

How often do I hear the voice of God and refuse to act?  How often am I fearful and ignore the call, tug and voice?  How much good could I be doing to help others if I would have acted?

Judith, pray for us!  Help us to be trusting and fearless.  Help me act when the Holy Spirit moves me.  Jesus, I trust in You!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

B90: Tobit

Tobiah and Sarah kneeling in prayer on their wedding night while Raphael slays the demon.

God provides.

After I read all of my B90 day one reading in Genesis, I was greeted by an email from our B90 small group leader that we would be delaying the start for one week.  I was so excited!  Why?  Because I can spend this week reading my 7 deuterocanonical books!  Yeehaw!

So, last night I read Tobit.  All of Tobit.  It's not that long, and it's written as an engaging story in narrative form.  For all my non-Catholic-y readers, you can read the Book of Tobit here.  There is also an introduction at the link, which is the same introduction I'm reading in my Catholic Study Bible.  How convenient!  In the Catholic bible, Tobit is located after the Book of Nehemiah.

I love how the introduction to Tobit states the major themes that are taught in the text:  fidelity to the law, the intercessory function of angels, piety toward parents, the purity of marriage, reverence for the dead, and the value of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting.  It's easy to see all of this in Tobit.  I really liked how it wasn't in your face like, "OH, woe to you who did not fast and pray, death be to your kinsmen!"  It was embedded throughout the text in the virtues, values and principles of the characters.  The characters demonstrated these virtues through their words and actions, which is the best example there can be.

I won't tell you the entire story (don't want to spoil it for the newbies to Tobit!), but anytime there is an archangel in disguise to help humans and the slayage of a demon in order for a wedding to be consummated, I'm intrigued.   Of course, my favorite part is this prayer that Tobiah prays with Sarah on their wedding night...

"When the girl's parents left the bedroom and closed the door behind them, Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife, 'My love, get up.  Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grand us deliverance.'  She got up, and they started to pray and beg that deliverance might be theirs.  He began with these words:

'Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever.
Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever.
You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended.
You said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.'
Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose.
Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age.'"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Today, I start the Bible in 90 Days Challenge.  A wonderful friend invited me to join their B90 group, and I was eager to say YES.  One slight problem, however...  The Bible in 90 Days Challenge programming is for a non-Catholic bible.  What's the problem, you ask?  Oh, just a little thing called the deuterocanonical texts, that's all.

If you break it down and if I want to read the Catholic bible in 90 days (which let's face it, I do!), then I have 7 more books of the bible to fit in these mere 90 days of intense reading.  Which books am I referring to?  That would be: Baruch, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Sirach, Tobit, and Wisdom.  If anyone has a great plan for me to fit these extra books into the structure of B90, now would be the time to share your expertise with me.

Don't get me wrong, I've read the Old Testament before when I was taking graduate level theology courses at Ave Maria University, but it was a quick read.  The reading required for those classes was so intense I couldn't keep up and ultimately dropped out of the program.  Maybe again someday...

I'd really like to read the Old Testament using the newest edition of the New American Bible, but I'm torn between that and the RSV Catholic Edition by Ignatius, which was required reading for courses in theology.  But, honestly, I'm leaning towards my NAB "The Catholic Study Bible" because I can reread the introduction materials for each book, giving a great reference point.  Maybe I have too many bibles...

Anyway, I will be blogging about my reading, impressions, frustrations, new insights, and whatever else may surface.  Get ready bible, here I come!