Friday, June 18, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (#4)

  1. I have the final Girl Scout meeting of the school year tonight. Hopefully I will have more entertaining stories to share!
  2. Check out my latest post for some interesting, comedic, and thought-provoking videos from The Colbert Report. I found them to be highly entertaining while also presenting an intriguing defense of the faith.
  3. Taking a (brief) break from the spiritual workout and focusing on just a regular workout... I forgot how good it feels to have some real physical activity in my life with softball. I wake up sore the morning after practicing or playing a game, but I feel like I have so much more energy to get me through the day! I really should remember this and try to stick with it throughout the year... yeah, like that will happen...
  4. I'm starting to get Harry Potter fever again... they just finished with the last day of filming for Deathly Hallows, the theme park in Orlando is opening up next week (I want to go so badly!!!), and I'm already getting my t-shirt ready for the midnight showing of Deathly Hallows: Part 1. I really should spend this time trying to figure out what I am going to do with my life once Harry Potter is no more.
  5. I went on my first Rosary Pilgrimage this week! We prayed the Luminous Mysteries on our walk to the chapel, prayed the Joyful Mysteries in the chapel, and then finished up with the Sorrowful Mysteries on our way home. All in all, we prayed 3 rosaries in 45 minutes. Not bad. I will probably be doing it again at least once this summer.
  6. Please pray for my Aunt Jeanne. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and just had surgery this past week. Pray for a speedy recovery and for all the cancer to be gone!
  7. I really want to read more about the lives of the saints. Do you have any recommendations for good books? They can be about individual saints or a collection of many. I really enjoy reading the mini-biographies in the Magnificat each day, but I would love to find more!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Isn't it just possible that you are missing the point and that Jesus is an elephant?" and other fun quotations

I strongly encourage you to check out this blog post over at GW Catholic Forum (well, check them all out while you're over there!). It mentions a segment from The Colbert Report where Stephen Colbert defends the faith against an author who has written a book about religions of the world. I really enjoyed the video, and since I had nothing better to do... I went and found some more. So here are a few videos for your viewing pleasure.

Stephen Prothero, author of God is Not One from June 14, 2010.

I am intrigued by his statement about Judaism - that they don't have this "idea" of sin. If you break the Mosaic Law, then it's just a "whoops" as opposed to a sin? He talks about it as an "exile from God" and a desire to return to God, but isn't that what sin is, at least in the Christian sense? I would like to be further enlightened on this concept.

And Christianity is "losing marketshare"? What?!

Best line (in response to his comment above): "Jesus always wins in the end. I mean, Jesus loves to run up the odds, you saw what he did last time he was here, he let them think he had him on the ropes. But three days later, boom!, he comes back, they clean up at the table... and that will be the case, forever after!"

Bart Ehrman, author of Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) from April 9, 2009.

This guy just irks me a bit. In addition to Colbert pointing him in the direction of John in response to the divinity of Christ, I would also like to point out the covenants that God made, specifically with David:

'The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.' (2 Samuel 7:11-16)
That's me putting what we've been learning in Bible Study to good use!

But I really like Colbert's analogy of the four blind men and the elephant in a hole... it is just like when a cop is questioning witnesses to a crime - if all of their stories are exactly the same, doesn't that come across as suspicious, as if they rehearsed their responses together to make it appear as if they were telling the truth? Doesn't the fact that each witness has a slightly different perception of the events that happened, where each focused on what he found important versus what a different observer found significant, make the words not only more truthful and believable, but provide the complete story? Just a thought, Dr. Ehrman, just a thought...

Philip Zimbardo, author of The Lucifer Effect from February 11, 2008.

I would like to read this book. I feel like this exact experiment was in an episode of Veronica Mars. I think his probably came first, but I think I will probably still like the VM version better.

The end of this segment is great. "You send yourself to Hell, God does not send you there."

I think I would be slightly intrigued/scared to be in Colbert's Sunday School class!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Philip Zimbardo
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

While I am not endorsing all that Colbert says, I find his take on defending the faith very refreshing.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"'re not bossy at all!"

I started working with a local Girl Scout troop soon after I moved here. I am a Life Member of Girl Scouts and thought it would be a good way to get involved with the community and do some fun things... so far, so good! The moms are fun and enjoy taking care of me, and the girls are 11 and 12 years old, so they have the ability to be highly entertaining. I've decided it's time to start sharing some of these Girl Scout adventures, because hilarity always ensues.

Today, the troop spent the day together - we played laser tag and went to the mall - I mean, what kind of Girl Scout leader would I be if I didn't teach these girls how to shop properly in addition to the usual camping skills?!

It was my turn to drive, and so we loaded up three of the girls and one of the moms in my car and hit the road. We're in the car about 10 minutes when one of the girls pipes up from the backseat - "Miss Liesl, oh my gosh, you're driving!" - mind you, I am at this point sitting behind the wheel going 50 mph down the road, so naturally I reply sarcastically with, "Oh my gosh, I am driving!!" The rest of the conversation is as follows:

Girl: Are you even old enough to drive?
Me: Well, I'm 23, and the last time I checked, it was legal to drive at that age in Virginia...
Girl: You're 23?!? I thought you were 17 or 18!
Me: (laughing) Uh, thank you?
Girl: But you're soooo cool! I mean, you're not bossy at all!
Me: (really laughing)

I am not sure whether I should feel flattered that they think I am so cool, not bossy, and still retain my youth, or to be a bit concerned that they think I am so young... but I think I will just take it with a smile for now!

Friday, June 11, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (#3)

  1. Since I installed the Feedjit on my blog, I’ve noticed some people other than myself are appearing on my blog! Welcome, hope you’re enjoying what you’re reading! If you have a few minutes and want to introduce yourself, I would love to get to know you!
  2. This is my science geek-out moment for the week… I just finished reading Solar by Ian McEwan, his latest work of fiction - he is one of my favorite authors if you are looking for a good read this summer. The novel follows the life of a Nobel prize physicist who is past his prime... but it talks about a research project he "discovered" later in his career that has the concept of using solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as a fuel source. His novel is so well researched - the science is pretty sound - but I was just so fascinated because I spent a semester researching these "solar fuel cells" for my senior capstone for my bachelor's degree. It was completely amazing to be a reading a novel that detailed a subject area with which I was familiar. I sort of wish he cited his sources, as I would love to see if he read literature from Dr. Harry Gray or Dr. Dan Nocera - two of the big researchers at Caltech and MIT, respectively, that have been great pioneers in this work. I can only imagine that he had to have stumbled upon their work, but I am intrigued. And if you geek out about stuff this kind of stuff like I do, be sure to check out this video and this video
  3. I had my first softball game this week - it is so good to be back on the field after 5 years of not playing! My batting game was, well, non-existent, but I rocked in the field - 8 outs! That’s pretty cool. My hand now has a nice, swollen purple bruise on it though - the girls on my team don’t mess around with throwing the ball. Wham. Ouch.
  4. I have had something going on EVERY NIGHT this week… but I am not complaining. Something that I struggled with moving here was finding things to do and people to talk to - I can be a pretty shy person at first - so it is very nice to have so much going on and feel like I have people I can call up just to hang out or get some food.
  5. One of my favorite things about summer is the fresh fruit! I am pretty convinced that I have an addiction to sugar - I just HAVE to have it - but I love getting my sugar fix through strawberries or grapes or cherries or mangoes or… you get the idea. I’m eating cherries as I am writing this. Delicious.
  6. I am going out tonight with some friends from the Newman Center - we are going to a place that has country line dancing and karaoke. Should be really interesting. I tend to go weak in the knees for country boys... there's just something about those cowboy hats and boots combined with that cute southern drawl!
  7. I went to Eucharistic Adoration THREE times since last Friday. I feel pretty spiritually rejuvenated! I especially enjoy all-night adoration - there is something about sitting with Jesus at 1 AM that I just find so peaceful. What’s something that brings peace into your everyday life?

"Oh, How great is a priest!"

The parish a few miles from my apartment held a 40-hour Eucharistic Adoration for the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi. I was able to stop by twice and spend some quality time with Jesus for more than an hour each time, but I also had the opportunity to hear a speaker (Fr. Ramon Baez) on the Eucharist and the priesthood. He talked a lot about St. John Vianney, and there was a quote he included from the Curé d’Ars on the priesthood that I found particularly relevant to the Church today:
Oh, How great is a priest! The priest has the key of the heavenly treasures; it is he who opens the door; he is the steward of the good God, the distributor of His wealth… The priest is not a priest for himself, he does not give himself absolution, he does not administer the sacraments to himself… he is for you. After God, the priest is everything... When the people wish to destroy religion, they begin by attacking the priest, because where there is no longer any priest there is no sacrifice, and where there is no longer any sacrifice, there is no religion.

This last bit sounded oddly familiar to me… and I wonder why! Look at the recent newspaper headlines especially - in attempts to discredit the Church, there are people in society that are trying to tarnish the reputations of individual priests and bishops, attack the Pope, and even question and criticize the institution of the priesthood. It all makes sense - if you wish to destroy the Catholic Church, attack the “key of the heavenly treasures”, because if he is torn down, then we lose that crucial connection to God.

I think we Catholics sometimes take our priests (and the sacrifices they have made) for granted, but I think this is also a reflection of how we sometimes forget how great is the sacrifice that the High Priest made to redeem us all. In Jesus’ lifetime, those who felt threatened by his words tried to tear down his reputation and ultimately had him crucified... but it turned out great for us! I just really took this message to heart because our priests are so incredibly important for our spiritual growth.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Getting to know YOU

Ignoring the tune from The King and I drifting through my head, I would love to get to know more about the people that stop by to read my blog. Please take a moment to introduce yourself and answer a few questions!

1. What brought you here? Literally, to my blog.
2. What brought you here? Figuratively, to who and where you are today.
3. Where are you from?
4. Name a book (or two or three...) that has greatly impacted your life.
5. What is your favorite Bible passage? Why?
6. What is your favorite thing to do each day?
7. Do you have a spiritual workout suggestion? Please share!
8. Do you have a blog? Leave a link and let me know what you write about so I can check it out!

Friday, June 4, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (#2)

Click on the picture to head over to Conversion Diary!

1.  As I sit here writing my “Quick Takes” for this week… I have to wonder, how on earth do people come up with SEVEN things each week? Clearly, I do not have enough exciting things happen in my life each week. I must work on that.

2.  Something I love about reading a new book is where it takes you. For example, I just finished People of the Book this week and it was a pretty good read. In talking about it on two separate occasions, I had two people recommend the same book to me - The Red Tent - and so it has been added to my reading list. Books just have a way of creating good conversations and leading to contemplative thinking - what a journey!

3.  I had a professor at my school who acts as a spiritual mother to many of us Catholic students ask me to go on a rosary pilgrammage next week. I had never even heard of these before she suggested it - has anyone ever been on one and what kind of experience was it for you?

4.  I love xkcd comics - they often have fun math and science jokes - but I found this recent one particularly entertaining. According to this, I am a science geek… but I am also a band nerd. So I guess I fit in the middle of the Venn diagram? (Points if you knew this was called a Venn diagram!)

5. Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Fridays? I think I might have...

6.  I had my first softball practice this week. I haven’t played fast-pitch in five years and so I was a little nervous to get back into it - but it was a blast! I am so glad I found a team to play with for the season and am looking forward to getting some physical exercise in a fun and enjoyable way! 

7.  Tonight, I will be attending a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration to pray for the men that will be ordained priests in DC. Adoration is a wonderful way to get some exercise for the spirit - we are in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Awesome. Please pray for all those that have answered the call to the religious life, especially those that will soon be ordained as priests!
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