Reflections

This past Tuesday, we had a retreat day here at school. Fr. Martin came from Miles Christe, and gave us a few talks and led some meditations. The day was just what I needed! Because of the retreat, classes were moved around; Daniel’s class began at 8am (it is usually 9am), so I got to the school early. I spent an hour in the Blessed Sacrament chapel before my theology class, which was from 9-12. The retreat started with a nice lunch, followed with talks, a group discussion, and meditation. There was adoration and confession for about 2 hours…I couldn’t be there for Exposition because I can’t breathe around incense, but spent the time praying. Then we had Mass and dinner. Father stayed over the scheduled time so that  everyone who wanted to go to confession could go–the retreat was scheduled to finish at 7pm, but there was still a line for confessions until about 8:30pm! I had one of the best confessions that I remember, and then finished off the day with a few more minutes in the chapel while waiting for Daniel to finish his evening class. Although I still have a lot of work to do and many things hanging overhead, the bit of rest and reflection was spiritually refreshing and I am confident that I will get through it all. May God bless and Mary keep you all.

Europe and goodbye

Europe was both fun and exhausting. There was so much that we had to do, places to go, work to be done that I was very glad when it was time to return home. On the way to Dublin on the 28th of February, we had a layover in Chicago–my family drove down, and we got to visit for a couple of hours. The first week, we enjoyed the slower life or rural Ireland. It was really pretty–a lot of green, a lot of rain, and quiet. The stars were visible (when it was not raining!) and there were good times with others on the trip. We went to daily Mass at a parish that was a five minute walk away, visited a few surrounding towns, talked to locals for a report we have to write (including two nuns at the Convent of Mercy!), visited a castle, went to the beach (it was in the 30’s and windy, so no swimming!), enjoyed some local food, and did LOTS of walking. Saturday morning we got up early, finished packing, and caught the bus at 7am to start our trip back to Dublin, so that we could fly to Rome.

We got into Rome late on Saturday night (March 7th), and found our way to the bus station. From there, we made it to the convent we were staying in a roundabout way. Even with the help of a nice local girl who spoke a bit of English, we got off the bus at a stop too late, and had to wander up and down the street trying to find where we were going. A few queries later, we finally found it–it was about 10:50pm, and the convent is locked every night at 11pm. I was a little paranoid that we were not going to get there in time…spending a night in a completely unfamiliar country, with a different language, in a large city, in a not very safe environment made me really nervous. It did not help that I was on the worst day of a head cold, and felt terrible physically. God provided, though, and we made it there, got a room, and were able to get a significant amount of sleep.

On Sunday we went to St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus, and then had a bit of free time. With his permission, we followed around the gentleman who put most of the details of the trip together for the day to get our bearings on the transportation system and such in Rome. We enjoyed a full Italian meal (one of two the whole week…other than that we ate cheap pizza and home made pb&j sandwiches) and then made our way over to the Roman Forums (the old city). We were pleasantly surprised that women got in free that day–apparently it was national women’s day in Italy! It was enjoyable and very interesting to see the old buildings. We also went into the prison where Sts. Peter & Paul were held before their martyrdom. After all that, we made our way back to St. Peter’s for Holy Mass at 5:30pm. Later that evening, the remaining part of the group joined us from Ireland, and we had our official meeting which kicked off the week.

Forgive the following names…they are a mixture of English and Italian. The ones I remembered the English names of, I wrote…but my schedule had them in Italian so that we could find them if we got lost while there. 🙂 Throughout the week we visited the four major bascilicas: St. Peter’s (multiple times), St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Paul Outside the Walls. We also visited many other churches: St. Peter in Montorio (The Tempietto), St. Cecilia and St. Maria in Trastevere, St. Sabina, Holy Cross in Jerusalem, Sistine Chapel, St. Maria degli Angeli, St. Maria della Vittoria, St. Susanna, St. Peter in Chains, St. Praessede, St. Clement, Il Gesu, St. Ignatius, St. Maria Sopra Minerva, the Pantheon, La Maddalena, St. Louis of France, St. Ivo alla Sapienza, Piazza Navona, St. Augustine, and St. Maria Del Popolo. Other sites included Piazzale Guiseppe Garibaldi, the Holy Stairs, the Catacombs of St. Sebastian, and the Vatican Museums.

Finally, we got up early again on Saturday to start our journey back. Our flight from Rome to New York was 9.5 hours, and then we had a 5.5 hour flight to Los Angeles, California. We were exhausted and very glad to get back. Now we are finishing papers and such, while enjoying spring break. On the 30th, we will start into a new quarter…I am getting back into the swing of things.

If you made it through the rest of the post, I congratulate you! Now I will explain the “goodbye” part of the title. I have enjoyed blogging for the past few years. I hope that through it I have been able to impact others lives in a positive way. However, since I have come to school I do not feel like I have been doing it justice. I wish I could post on here more, and sometimes it becomes a point of stress because I feel like I am obligated to keep it up, and I don’t even know if there are many people who read it. After thinking and praying about it for awhile I think it is time to say goodbye, ate least for now. If I get inspired to write something, you may see a post or two–but until I graduate in September 2010, so much of my time will be consumed by school that I doubt there will be much. I want to use the time I have spent on here to build up my prayer life, foster personal relationships, and pursue what I discern is God’s Will for me. Please keep me in your prayers, and feel free to browse through previous entries. I hope there is something edifying that you can receive from them! May God bless and Mary keep you all!

Lent, finals, Europe

Time has gone so fast! To be honest, I forgot about my blog for awhile. The past few weeks have been a flurry of getting assignments done, studying for finals, and getting ready to go to Europe. A few days ago, I realized that Lent started today, and began thinking about that. I am so scatterbrained that I am not going to attempt a long post…but thought I would post to ask for prayers for my last two finals, a safe trip to Ireland and Rome (and back!), and a blessed Lent. I will be praying for you all!

Another day

Today will be filled with:

  • More writing (four pages, double spaced) to finish my research paper
  • Walking to Holy Mass
  • Reading for homework
  • Enjoying my flowers
  • Praying

Please pray that I can finish a good amount. If I can finish my paper, I will be quite happy. 🙂

My life: part lxviii

Who knows if this is actually the 68th update on what is going here…but the usual titles can get boring, so there y’are. I know that I have scarcely posted such updates this year, but it seems like most everything stays the same and I am so busy that I don’t get a chance to come up with something new and exciting to say. But it is a rainy day and I am in a good mood, so I will try to write some of the happenings of my life.

We have completed 5 weeks of classes, and will be leaving for Europe in 3 weeks. Because of the trip that takes up the last two weeks of the quarter, our schedule is quite different. My classes are called Overview of Deal Making (two hours on Mondays and Tuesdays), Project Execution (two hours on Mondays and Tuesdays), Financial Management (two hours on Wednesdays and Fridays), Masterpieces of Art, Literature, & Music (two hours on Thursdays), and Global Cultures (three hours on most Fridays). I don’t really care for most of my classes this time–the one that I enjoy the most is Financial Management, where we are learning Quickbooks. The amount of homework that is have is crazy…we are essentially doing ten weeks of work in 8 weeks. The weekly homework has been taking so much time that I did not have time to start research for my paper that is due on 2/19 until this past Wednesday afternoon. Daniel is taking six classes this quarter, and I don’t envy the stress that he has right now. I think most of the school is drowning in work… Daily activities are praying, reading the Bible, Mass, cooking, homework, class, and sleeping. Other than that, we have little time.

Daniel and I also helped with a one-day Confirmation retreat, and have been up to his family’s house twice. We won’t be able to go up much for awhile, though…the transmission in his car is pretty much shot and until it gets replaced we are without a vehicle. As a result, we have been walking more–it is nice most of the time. 🙂

The past few days it has been raining a lot. It is nice to have a break from the (monotonous) sunshine. Today I went out for a few minutes with some of my roommates to splash in puddles and run in the rain. I also was able to read outside (under shelter) and now am watching the steady flow of rain from the inside of my window. It is a yawny sort of day, conducive to reading, thinking, hot chocolate, and blankets.

While I am on here, I will ask for your prayers for a few special intentions. Thank you! And now I must go continue working. Only three more weeks of book work…

Double standard

There is such a double standard in our society today…people are outraged (and quite rightly so) at an occurrence of a live baby being thrown out in the trash after a botched abortion in Florida (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,488644,00.html). This is horrible, there is no denying it. My heart hurts when thinking about the little baby dying because it couldn’t breathe and bleeding through the umbilical cord that was cut but not clamped.

What does not make any sense to me is that they are so outraged at this, and yet if the baby had been murdered just minutes before–before it was taken out of the mother’s womb–it would not have been offensive.

Tell me how that makes any sense at all?

Litany of Humility

Here is a beautiful prayer that I was just reminded of today. I need to pray it more often, to keep life in perspective…

Litany of Humility
Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Amen.