Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Advent from Albacete

"The Christian life begins with a fact, not an idea. It begins with something that happens at a particular place and moment...Mary was the first to experience the fulfillment of the promises made to Israel, the promises of Advent. Through her freedom, preserved from the wound of sin, the Salvation of the world became a child in her womb... what happened on the day of the Annunciation is meant to occur every day of our lives. This is Christianity's fundamental claim. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the gift of Mary's freedom, the salvation of the world- Jesus Christ- enters into the very structure of our human world. It is good to begin every day reciting the 'Angelus,' praying that what happened then will happen to us."
~Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, reflection on Lk 1:26-38

That's My Girl!

My roommate Amy has been publish-ed. Read Anna's Song at the new literary e-zine, Dappled Things.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Stop it, Self.

Part of being human is the desire to infinitize the instant. To hold on to some good thing and make it eternal. We had a retreat last weekend given by a wonderful priest involved in CL. He pointed this out, along with a number of other awesome soundbites that I could chew on for a long time. If you're lucky I'll include them at the end of this post.

One of the biggest temptations I face is wanting everything to stay the same. I'm so content with most everything, that when things change I take a while to adjust. Usually I don't like the change. I almost always dislike a new job or position or school or semester for at least 2 weeks. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I always identified with Anne of Green Gables as a girl, and how I still do; "Why do people have to change? Why can't things just stay the way they've always been?" Of course, it is part of being human that all things change- the earth is passing away! And God is always asking us to trust and live our dependence on Him by following, and gives us new ways of finding Him.

Last year after finals, a big group of us JPII students took over a little restaurant to celebrate together. We had the entire place to ourselves, set up 4 or 5 tables and wandered from one to another. People brought their spouses and/or children. One of our professors joined the party. The class ahead of us was great at promoting "communio" and we were eager to be a part of it.

So naturally, I wanted the same thing to happen this year. I wanted us all to celebrate together. Of course, many factors have changed. 4 of our classmates have babies they didn't have a year ago. The last exams for us were on Thursday instead of Friday, so some students or spouses had work the next day, and the phD students weren't yet finished with their papers. All very good reasons not to be surprised at the lack of enthusiasm for a get-together at the pub. But it still made me sad. A big part of it is that the 2 people most in my life here were already gone for home (my roommates) and another has a boyfriend and spent it with him instead.

Don't get me wrong, I had a great time last night, talking and dancing and seeing people. I was disappointed because of something as simple as "It's not like last year." No, self, it never will be like last year! These are different people, lives have changed, and I have to learn to love the real and not the image in my head. I wish that weren't so difficult.

Other great soundbites for reflection:
  • We always run from God. We fear He is the enemy, and He has to keep reminding us (prophets) that we're running and that He has done nothing to warrant it. He's always kept His promises. Why are we running?
  • There's nothing worse to the human being than the uninvited unforeseen.
  • God hates abstraction. (I love that one.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One down, one to go!

Exams, that is. Trinity was this morning, in which I was supposed to
1.) explain Aquinas' concept of "person" (in Q.43) and how it contributes to our understanding of the Trinity as communio personarum.
2.) explain and critique Richard of St. Victor's analysis of God as "summa caritas"
3.) Use Balthasar and Lumen Gentium to talk about the Marian dimension of the Church and its relation to the ministerial and "sub-ministerial" (lay) levels.
4.) Use Henri de Lubac and Luigi Giussani to explain the Church's mission.

Now I have Patristics on Thursday- and if you could just pray for that, that'd be great :)