Friday, June 21, 2013

A Solid Start to Summer

Today is officially the beginning of summer, though I have actually been honing my pool/couch lounging skills for about 10 days now!

I decided to take my annual Ohio summer trip early on in the season since I will be working as a nanny for the next 8 weeks or so. Gah! Working with kids when I don't have to? What was I thinking?! I guess I was thinking it was God's will or something. (Also, that it is good money and a new experience that will hopefully keep me moving and active instead of permanently fixated on my new couch. Though, I'm still not entirely sure why I told myself that wasn't an option.)

My trip home was a good one- relaxing and filled with family as per usual. I got to be home for Father's Day which was really nice. I usually just send cards for the Hallmark holidays, but there I was! In the flesh! Reciting my greeting much less poetically, but still sentimentally nonetheless. We spent the day (my parents and I) by going to Mass, watching baseball and golf on tv, and later hosting my Babci, sister, nephew, brother-in-law, and our neighbor at our house.

No one is surprised that I was particularly struck by the Mass on Sunday, though, I was also quite taken aback by my new-found interest in GOLF. I've never been able to sit through broadcastings of the sport for more than 10 minutes previously at best. Perhaps with each decade comes a higher tolerance for watching men in funny pants walk across green fields and swing clubs in silence? I may never know.

The readings for this past Sunday were all about forgiveness, as the priest who was presiding at my parent's parish pointed out (cue the Don Henley which was running on repeat in my head each time the priest said the above noted *f* word. Heh.)

The first was about David and God forgiving him for, oh you know, taking another man's wife for himself and then sending said other man to the frontlines to be killed. Just your typical biblical patriarch. KIDDING. But that really happened.

The second reading is from my beloved St. Paul and his letter to the Galatians in which Paul says it is no longer he that lives, but Christ that lives in him. The priest at Mass called that line to our attention as well as how dramatic Paul's conversion was. He reminded us that Paul was killing and persecuting early Christians but then completely renounced himself and his old ways because Christ called him. Again- Christ not only forgives but then uses someone who was once doing something evil to carry out his mission.

Lastly, the Gospel is the beautiful encounter in Luke with the woman who anoints Christ's feet with oil. Some say this woman is Mary Magdalene, and she is mentioned later in the passage as following Christ when he journeys from one town to another. But the part that I was struck by was Christ explaining the action to Simon with this story:

Simon, I have something to say to you.”
“Tell me, teacher, ” he said.
“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred day’s wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?”
Simon said in reply,
“The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.”
He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

We like to keep a tally of people's debts and weigh them against our own. We want people to suffer for their error or feel shame. We quickly forget that being Christian is about forgiveness and that we should want everyone to experience the true love and forgiveness of Christ. And those with the bigger debts often are the ones who God uses significantly- like David, Paul, and this woman in the Gospel- and teach us about His truth and love.

One last bit of church-y nerdiness: I noticed while at my parent's parish something that I already knew- how much a difference good liturgy really makes. At my parent's parish people were singing. The music was modern (which I know is not how all like to worship. I myself do have a place in my heart for the traditional, but I like to switch it up a little here and there), there were drums and multiple instruments, the preaching was good and involved the congregation, and the Eucharist and Scripture were still the main focus for the community and the priest. I was excited to see these books being used which made me think of my Workcamp friends (who are working hard this week in the diocese!) and my friends at Spirit and Song:

This week in Ohio went really quickly! Here are some pics of other things that happened:

Hanging out at a marina on Lake Erie with a friend...

I love dive bars and they abound in CLE.  I also can't resist a Polish dive bar... see below:

I also got to start each morning with the sun, a book, and my mom's garden :)

And I didn't realize it until I was sitting back in my apt in VA and reading my aunt's post on Facebook that today is the second anniversary of my Grandma Mary's death. In some ways, two years seems to have come and gone quickly. But I think about and pray to my Grandma often. She was such a selfless and classy lady:

I wish I had a better pic of the two of us, but here is Grandma and I in 2007 at my "going away" party before I entered the convent:

Forgiveness, Family, and summer Fun are my words for the week! A solid start to summer indeed.


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