Fragmented thoughts

The past week:
– Our apartment was clean (the Mom of one of my suite mates was visiting, and cleaned everything for us…).
– I read 125 pages of homework on Friday–somehow they all related to finance.
– I found out who my new suite mates will be for the next year or so, as well as the fact that I will have the apartment to myself for a week or two.
– I watched Cinderella Man with Daniel. It was very good, except the one scene where they use God’s name in vain multiple times. 😦
– I took a couple walks.
– Daniel dressed up and made dinner for me, just to make me smile on a bad day. 😀
– I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in adoration.
– I found out that one of my friends will be visiting this winter!

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Today is the feast of St. Monica, and at the school Mass we did the optional readings which were from Sirach 26.

A wife’s charm delights her husband, and her skill puts fat on his bones. A sensible and silent wife is a gift of the Lord, and there is nothing so precious as a disciplined soul. A modest wife adds charm to charm, and no balance can weigh the value of a chaste soul. Like the sun rising in the heights of the Lord, so is the beauty of a good wife in her well-ordered home. (Vs. 13-16)

There is so much for me to work on–I want to cooperate with the formation of my soul, mind, and body. I want to do all things in the most perfect way possible: out of love. I wish I could absorb everything that is held in Scripture, and live it in everyday life. I guess I will just pick myself up yet again and continue striving to follow that path for the rest of my life, one day at a time.

Quote from Pope Benedict XVI

These years of your life are the years which will prepare you for your future. Your “tomorrow” depends much on how you are living the “today” of your youth. Stretching out in front of you, my dear young friends, is a life that all of us hope will be long; yet it is only one life, it is unique: do not let it pass it vain; do not squander it. Live it with enthusiasm and with joy, but most of all, with a sense of responsibility.Address to Youth

Busy days

The past few weeks were full of work and excitement. I went up with Daniel to visit his family and go to the birthday party for one of his little cousins. The car quit on the way up, and so it created complications for the entire weekend. Amidst the upsetting of plans, I managed to get some homework done, have a good time, and watch a little bit of Olympics.

My sister’s wedding was this past Saturday, and so the days leading up to it were filled with homework, homework, getting things ready for the wedding, and more homework. I was able to finish enough homework that it was not necessary for me to bring much on the plane. Instead, I brought my Bible and Introduction to the Devout Life. It was refreshing to do some reading that was not for homework, and I hope to continue.

I had interesting conversations on the plane! Normally, all the interaction I have with the person sitting next to me are pleasantries. I am not that great at starting conversations with people I don’t know, and get particularly intimidated when they are large men without any glimmer of a smile on their face. This weekend, though, my fellow flight mates were friendly…I didn’t get either of their names, but had enjoyable conversations. On Friday, I was reading my Bible (finishing homework) and then pulled out my bag that has a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe on it. The gentleman next to me said “Happy feast day!” (it was the Feast of the Assumption) and then asked me what part of the Bible I was reading. Apparently he was a Jesuit priest from Marquette University in Milwaukee, and was in San Diego to give a talk and celebrate the 60th anniversary of joining the Jesuits with the rest of the priests that joined at the same time. On Sunday I was seated next to a band musician that has traveled all over the world. We talked about philosophy (particularly Plato and Aquinas), Catholicism, and the architecture of Catholic Churches around the world. He was apparently baptized Catholic, but is not practicing. Please pray for him–I don’t understand how someone can have such a knowledge of the Faith and yet not follow the teachings of the Church…and yet know that he must need prayers to receive the grace to come back to the Church.

My flight got into Milwaukee a few minutes late, but there still was enough time to get to the hotel and get ready for the rehearsal dinner before we had to leave for the restaurant. At the dinner I was able to hold a baby–that made me very happy, despite the fact that he spit up all over me. 🙂 Then we headed over to the Church where we were taught how to line up, walk, stand, and all that for the wedding. After that, we went out to another restaurant and talked for awhile.

Saturday was full of trying to get my sister organized. The morning was a whirlwind of getting breakfast, packing up the hotel room, getting hair done, etc. We finally got to the Church to put on our dresses and frozen smiles, and got a bunch of pictures taken. The wedding Mass was nice; I liked the readings they had chosen, and the homily was very good. Then the talking began. We made our way over to the banquet hall, where there was more talking…then food…then dancing. It was a fun, yet exhausting night.

Sunday I got up and started packing, went to Mass, talked to everyone who came for the gift opening, organized pictures for my Mom and myself, finished packing, said goodbyes, and left for the airport. The flight ended up being quite turbulent, and so I didn’t feel well by the time I got back to San Diego. After getting back to the apartments, Daniel & I walked for awhile–it was nice.

There you have all the more interesting happenings. Now I must return to my homework that is ever before me…

More musings

Prompted by Prof. Barber, here is an update to my blog. 🙂

I think that more than anytime before, this quarter has been a test of trust in getting everything done. Besides the fact that there is a lot to do in general, I want to understand everything to the best of my ability AND get ahead before going home for my sister’s wedding next weekend. It has taken a lot of discipline to resist doing homework on Sundays–except reading the Bible. However, I think that those days off have been good for me; they provide much needed rest both physically and mentally.

It is amazing to think how much my mind has been formed in the past year. At times I am tempted to panic at how much more information I have to soak up in order to graduate; at times I feel lost and don’t know how I will survive without a passion for some of the topics that I have to study; at times I just don’t know if this is where I should be. But then I have a day where I have the opportunity to go to Holy Mass, adoration, confession, spend time with other Catholic youth, and read the Bible for homework–and wonder how I could be elsewhere.

Perhaps it is, in a way, similar to when the Israelites traveled in the desert after being delivered from Egypt. It is a constant path of detachment and challenges to be drawn closer to He who made heaven and earth. All the things I thought I could never leave, I needed to leave. The beauty of Wisconsin, my love of seasons, my family, my friends, my relative freedom of time, my indecision…the business world may not be the destination I am headed to, but it is a journey which when I get to the other side I will be closer to the person God wishes me to be. Many times I doubt that I am called to go on and create my own business, but somehow God wishes to form me here at JP Catholic.

The Old Testament is fascinating. We have been reading a good portion of it in our Scripture class, and I am reminded how much of a pity it is that it is not known or appreciated, especially among Catholics. One of the greatest things I have gained so far is a bit of an answer to a question that has bothered me for years. I knew that it was a truth of our Faith that Christ had to die for our sins to fulfill the requirements of justice, but I could not comprehend why…obviously, I still can not comprehend its fullness. Yet in studying from the view of the Covenant I have come to a greater understanding and now am struck with an even greater awe of God’s love of all of us. The parallels and foreshadowing in the Old Covenant of what was to come in the New Covenant are so obvious and mysterious at the same time. It is interesting to see that humanity has had the same struggles over all time: fear of death has motivated so many decisions, and yet we are a lazy and complaining people who will always try to transfer the blame of our actions and their consequences.

So much for my rambling…back to homework. May God bless and Mary keep you all!

Thoughts for today

“When we foster an enlightened loving relationship with God, our hearts will be pure and purified, our being will be a constant sursum corda.”
-Fr. Joseph Kentenich

“There is no place for selfishness–and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.”
-Pope John Paul II

“Real love is demanding. I would fail in my mission if I did not tell you so. Love demands a personal commitment to the will of God.”
-Pope John Paul II

Recent causes of smiles

This is what has kept me busy (with the exception of the usual classes and homework that eats up the majority of my time). These are the little breaths of life that fill my days! They are in no particular order except that which they came to mind.

-Daily Mass
-Confession
-Adoration
-Long calls home on Wednesday nights
-Quiet moments with Daniel
-Appreciation of my coffee cake by several students (hungry guys)
-Being mildly teased and tickled
-A shrinking to-do list (even though it grows every week again…)
-Soaking up the sun
-Seeing Daniel attempting to spoil me
-Driving to the rich, quiet part of town…overlooking a lake and lights of the city from a hill, barely hearing traffic in the distance, hearing frogs and ducks, looking at the stars
-Talking about “someday”
-Prof. Barber talking about the baby
-Scripture class
-Talking about Schoenstatt
-Reading the Bible
-Being assistant sacristan and setting up for Mass on Thursdays
-Being at the beach with Daniel’s family…playing with little girls, teasing the boys, talking with the adults, just generally enjoying the family atmosphere
-Dancing–swing and the Virginia reel
-The fact that at JP Catholic, everyone is having a blast dancing and someone says, “It is 10:00. Anyone want to pray a rosary?” and everyone follows into the chapel.

And the funny and insulting (although true) excerpts from homework:

“Human beings behave with bounded rationality because they have limited cognitive abilities and cannot fully exercise self-control.” – Managerial Economics (Ivan Png & Dale Lehman), p. 10

Please keep me in your prayers, you all are in mine. May God bless and Mary keep you all!