Dominus Illuminatio Mea

"...the gaze of the Church is constantly turned to her Lord, present in the Sacrament of the Altar, in which she discovers the FULL manifestantion of His boundless love." Ecclesia de Eucharistia

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Well, today was a good day. I went to Confession this afternoon and Mass this evening. I don't know how I managed without Confession before my conversion. My friend from summer daily Mass was at Liturgy this evening. I guess she's home from college for Christmas. It was sooo nice to see her again. I wonder if she is going to change Rites? She likes the Byzantine Rite a lot apparently.

Got an email from my old Religion teacher today. He's doing quite well and is absolutely estatic about his upcoming ordination. What an incredible gift the Priesthood is. I can't wait until my brother in Christ in Ohio is ordained!!! That will be quite amazing. I would like very much to be at his first Mass, but who knows where I'll be by then. lol. Hmm...and Sr. Carrie's clothing is only a few months away! Who says there's a vocation crisis!?!

I wrote to Sr. Maria-Magdalen today. She's like a older sister even though I've never met her and only written to her a few times. I always open letters from her and go "wow!" She helped both me and my mom understand contemplative life better I think.

Tomorrow is the feast of the Holy Family. Jesus, Mary, Joseph pray for us!!

Friday, December 26, 2003

I'm still plugging away at the onerock article. I have a feeling there's a whole lot implied by Luke 2:35, but I simply can't lay a finger on what the "and the thoughts of many will be revealed" part at the moment. One of the many things beyond the reach of my mind! The rest of the article is ok, but it's incredibly difficult to sum up everything I would like to say about Our Mother. She's sooo beautiful!!!

No Adoration today afterall. They closed the Chapel for the holidays and it won't reopen until after New Year's. No excuse though! Jesus is Present in the Tabernacle in the Church, so I could have gone there. *sigh*

Happy Stephen's day!
My duties today are:
1. Writing my article for the onerock mag. Got any ideas anyone? My topic is the Sorrowful Mother. This is what I get for waiting until the due date to write it!
2. Studying for chem finals. *sigh*
3. Writing letters to Sr. Carrie, Sr. Margherita, Mother Marija, vocation directress for SsEWs, Rachel, two pen-pals, and sending out my Christmas cards (yes, on the day after Christmas!). They'll just have to be Epiphany cards instead.
4. Going to Adoration (yay!)
5. Practicing music for FOP and YAC
6. Pulling out my charcoals and doing some drawing hopefully.
7. Looking into the cost of plane tickets for visiting a certain order this summer!!

Thursday, December 25, 2003

It's Christmas! Had a nice day. My family and I went off to 10 o'clock Liturgy which turned out to be in Slavanic. "Hospodi pomiluj...!" Very beautiful though. The Slavanic is always gorgeous. It's always a joy to see the very little children receiving the Eucharist (in the Byzantine Rite even infants receive the Precious Blood). It doesn't matter if they don't understand really, because He enters their souls with love anyway. They must be very pure tabernacles for Him.

We went to pick up my brother a few days ago from college and then headed off to Chicago to spend a few days with relatives. A fun time was had by all, and it was nice to see grandma before Christmas. I read Ecclesia de Eucharistia on the 8 hour trip there. It completely took my breath away. Our Holy Father is a man of immense wisdom. Here are some quotes that struck me:

"The Church draws her life from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church. In a variety of ways she joyfully experiences the constant fulfilment of the promise: "I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Mt 28:20), but in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord, she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity. Ever since Pentecost, when the Church, the People of the New Covenant, began her pilgrim journey towards her heavenly homeland, the Divine Sacrament has continued to mark the passing of her days, filling them with confident hope."

On second is absolutely impossible to quote everything from this that made an impression on me because the whole thing did! That's a quote of the first paragraph, and the rest of it is equally dynamic. If you haven't read it yet, please do!!!! St. John Vianney once wrote that we would die of love if we truly realized what is happening when we receive the Eucharist. We need to, as Christians, be filled with the "Eucharistic amazement" the the Holy Father mentions so often. The Eucharist is, after all, the core and center of Christian and Catholic life.

Speaking of the Eucharist...I'm greatly looking forward to January's FOP (festival of praise). I'm not really sure if I like the whole charismatic thing, but if I get to be in the Presence of God, well that's quite enough!! My little sister is coming with me which should be interesting since she isn't Catholic. The other kids will make her feel welcome though. I'll explain or get one of the brothers to explain what on earth Adoration is.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

*sigh* Finally got the whole blogging thing figured out, and now I can do some actual writing. It's Christmas eve so I might as well stay up. I'd really love to go to Midnight Mass, but no such luck. Oh well.

I'm officially homesick. You'll think I'm crazy if you don't know me, but I'm homesick for the place where I can finally start formation (whether it be at Carmel, or in Irondale, or wherever). I know I lack patience. I need to settle down and focus on living each second for Christ here and now, but it is so hard to be patient about this. I've given thought to going to college, but really don't think that is an option. By the time I finish highschool I will have been discerning for eight years!! That's a long "engagement!" Then there's the question of what order. A very good friend of mine (pray for him!) thinks that I belong in an order that has Adoration. I have to say, I partly agree. Part of me wonders, though, if Our Lord isn't asking me to adore Him in a different fashion. Carmel is a desert as well as a garden, and a Carmelite adores her Spouse hidden within her soul since she is a Tabernacle of Him. Anyway, I lack trust, and I lack patience if you can't tell already. My job right now is to pass chemistry without causing poor Sr. Mary Helen too much grief!! Lest anyone think I'm dieing to leave home, that's not it at all. I love my family immensely, but also am eager to begin to live for Him! Eh, this whole paragraph will seem like a complete muddled mess unless you know where I'm coming from. In fact, it's probably better just to ignore it! (-;

I have to write a comparison paper between Thorton Wilder's OUR TOWN and a movie called STEEL MAGNOLIAS. I'm afraid, if I'm not careful, the whole paper is going to digress into a spiel about the degeneration of today's families. I am more than blessed with the parents I have. I thank God for my family every day of my life. Our Holy Father sure knows what he's talking about when he speaks of the "culture of death." It's so evident in school. If parents don't love God, how can they possibly expect to provide an atmosphere conducive to raising kids? Well, we have the Holy Family as a model of the sanctity of marriage and motherhood/fatherhood. That's quite something to live up to!

Speaking of the Holy Family, merry Christmas everyone!! May the love of the Infant Jesus be the joy of your days!
A very happy Christmas eve to everyone! The mystery of the Incarnation totally awes me. Here's something from St. John of the Cross about it:

Now that the time had come
when it would be good
to ransom the bride
serving under the hard yoke
of that law
which Moses had given her,
the Father, with tender love,
spoke in this way:
"Now you see, Son, that your
was made in your image,
and so far as she is like you
she will suit you well;
yet she is different, in her flesh,
which your simple being does
not have.
In perfect love
this law holds:
that the lover become
like the one he loves;
for the greater their likeness
the greater their delight.
Surely your bride's delight
would greatly increase
were she to see you like her,
in her own flesh."
"My will is yours,"
the Son replied,
"and my glory is
that your will be mine.
This is fitting, Father,
what you, the Most High, say;
for in this way
your goodness will be more
your great power will be seen
and your justice and wisdom.
I will go and tell the world,
spreading the word
of your beauty and sweetness
and of your sovereignty.
I will go seek my bride and take upon myself
her weariness and labors
in which she suffers so;
and that she may have life,
I will die for her,
and lifting her out of that deep,
I will restore her to you."