Monday, July 26, 2010

Why do we go to Mass....?

This post is to act as a note to self for future reference... maybe it will be a note to yourselves as well!

What's the easiest, quickest, and most understandable answer?

So that we can encounter Jesus through the Eucharist. There is no other place on earth where we can be in the Real Presence of God like we can at Mass!

Friday, July 16, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (#7)

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  1. MY FAMILY IS COMING TO VISIT TOMORROW! We have lots of fun things planned for an epic adventure in DC and NoVA. I am sure there will be lots of fun things to tell next week! We are planning on spending a day in Mount Vernon, taking a cruise along the Potomac, going to see the memorials at night, touring the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Smithsonians, playing a "friendly" game of softball with some of my DC friends, and probably lots of other fun things! There will definitely be some activities crossed off the DC Bucket List. I can't wait - I haven't seen my family since March and it will be nice to have them for a visit.
  2. This video is hilarious. Why have I spent all these years playing flute when I could have been one of the only two people in the world to be a professional typewriter musician?
  3. See more funny videos and Music Videos at Today's Big Thing.
  4. Well, so far, I haven't found that $100, but I did find some wall tacky I spent 20 minutes looking for yesterday. So thanks St. Anthony for the prayers... now how about that $100?
  5. I have been injury prone lately. Usually, it's softball that causes my bumps and bruises, but this time it was all me. I tripped over the coffee table. My pinky toe is very large and bruised, but I think it's just jammed, which is good since I have softball next week and tournaments the week after that! 
  6. This past week, I started re-reading Harry Potter for the 5 millionth time. I am almost finished with Prisoner of Azkaban. I LOVE THESE BOOKS! No matter how many times I've read them, I still read something I never noticed before
  7. I am getting a new dishwasher today! I am so excited... all I did was ask my landlords if I was up for new kitchen appliances anytime soon and they came to check them out and decided I needed a new dishwasher! It will be nice to have dishes that get clean the first time instead of needed washed after I take them out of the dishwasher.
  8. Is anyone doing the prayers for the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary? How's it working out as a spiritual workout?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Here is the ultimate spiritual workout that will last for the next 33 days! I recently heard about the Worldwide Consecration to Jesus through Mary:
Total Consecration to Mary, explains St. Louis de Montfort, "consists in surrendering oneself in the manner of a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through her, and then performing all our actions with Mary, in Mary, through Mary, and for Mary" (The Secret of Mary, No. 28).
Today starts off the 33-day preparation to the Feast of the Assumption on August 15th, according to St. Louis Marie de Montfort. What a great way to add some prayer and reflection into your daily routine. It's also great because it is bringing people from all over the world together via the internet, where the daily prayers and reflections are posted. To top it off, religious orders from all over have agreed to pray for all those participating in this year's Consecration.

If you'd like to follow along with the daily prayers and reflections, you can find them here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (#6)

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Despite all the fun things that have happened this week, I just cannot seem to muster up any energy to recall what all these fun things were in order to post them in my quick takes. Therefore, this week's quick takes features 7 works of fiction that I think are worth a try (in no particular order)...

  1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - this is not a surprise that this is on my list. I am re-reading the series for the umpteenth time.
  2. The Green Mile by Stephen King - it is difficult to find literature as well written as this story is, with such excellent characterizations (even down to Mr. Jingles, the mouse), and written with such believability.
  3. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine - one of my favorite books growing up that I still read from time to time.
  4. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen - a classic tale that all ladies and all men hoping to be someone's Mr. Darcy should read.
  5. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett - a beautiful story about the power that music has to bring all kinds of people together.
  6. Atonement by Ian McEwan - actually, read almost any of his novels. They are all excellently written, but this one is a tale that keeps you thinking up until the very end, when it suddenly all makes sense.
  7. Timeline by Michael Crichton - science geek out moment. Quantum mechanics take center stage here with quantum tunneling... and some French medieval history as well. Great read, especially if you can follow the science!
Do you have any book recommendations?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A DC 4th of July

I love the 4th of July. Parades, good food, good music, fireworks - many of my favorite things. So I was excited to be spending the 4th in DC for the first time, to see if our nation's capital could celebrate in style. While I failed to do enough research in advance and missed out on a lot of the celebration, it was still a night to remember.

The Good:

Like I mentioned before, I didn't do enough research in advance, so my 4th of July plans were a lot less than normal. However, I did spend a fun evening with some friends from the Newman Center! We met up around dinner time at a friend's apartment and snacked on some tasty treats - I provided pasta salad and delicious watermelon, two essential summer foods. Then we packed up the cars, drove to the metro station and hopped over a couple of stops to Rosslyn (more on the metro adventure later!). We decided to watch the fireworks from the Iwo Jima Memorial, as it supposedly had good views and was less crowded than going across the river. Well, it was crowded, but it was a wonderful place to sit. We arrived about an hour before the fireworks started and found the most PERFECT seats on the lawn. From where we were, we could see the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Capitol Building lit up in the evening sky, and when the fireworks started, it quieted down and it was a spectacular view. While it was shorter than what I was used to and we didn't have a radio, the fireworks were excellent! There were tons of people taking very professional photographs, but we all preferred to just enjoy the show! It was quite an experience to see our nation celebrating over iconic images for our country.

The Bad:

The Metro... what can I say? Leading up to the celebration, everyone and everything was recommending that people take public transportation to get to the fireworks. Many of the roads to get across the river were closed which would make traffic awful. However, we were not across the river, but still thought that the metro was best. What an adventure. They had cops and metro police everywhere trying to streamline the process, but it was still a fiasco. I can't imagine how awful it would have been without them there, though. After the fireworks, we waited in line just to get to the escalators about 20 minutes. When we finally reached the platform, the guys managed to run and make their train heading back into the city - they were the lucky ones. We headed down to the platform heading west and began our wait for an orange line train. The platform was packed and sweaty, and each time a train pulled up, people herded each other towards the doors. Unfortunately, there were so many people on the cars already from the district that we were often only able to squeeze a few people onto each car at a time. So we waited... and waited... and waited... finally a train arrived that had room, but we realized as it pulled up that the glass was fogged up on the car. When the doors opened, we saw sweat pouring down people's faces and their looks of horror at the prospect of more people getting onto the un-air conditioned car. One girl wrote on the window in the steam "CAN'T BREATHE!". We decided to skip that car. So we waited... and waited... and waited... finally, after about an hour of waiting, Danielle and I managed to squeeze onto a car. And I mean squeeze. Her ponytail was in my nose and mouth and I think she was standing at a 30° angle to fit inside the door. But we made it! This left the last 4 from our group waiting on the platform, which we found out later that they had made it onto a train and got home.

While it was an epic, sweaty adventure on Metro, we learned a very important lesson - DO NOT TAKE METRO ON THE 4TH!!! Ha! We decided that all the notices to take Metro was a conspiracy - Metro just increased fares, people were everywhere, and it was a way to cash in and try to make up for that budget deficit. Well, maybe it wasn't a conspiracy, but it's a possibility...

The Things I Shouldn't Miss Next Year:

I missed watching a nice orchestra concert. A couple of my friends went to the rehearsal for the Capitol 4th Concert on Saturday night, but I already had plans and wasn't able to make it. That is something I do not want to miss in the future. It is a great way to catch some good music - musical artists and the National Symphony Orchestra - without having to deal with really intense security and major crowds.

Also, growing up in my nice little suburb, I enjoyed the community aspect of the 4th celebration - seeing people you know in the parade, cheering on or marching with the band, grabbing Graeter's Ice Cream from down the street, beating up little kids to get all the Cheryl's cookies (OK, maybe not beating them up...), listening to the community orchestra play patriotic tunes out on the lawn, and watching the fireworks celebration along with the music on the radio. Not surprisingly, DC is not a nice little suburb, and it just can't really do these things like a smaller community can. Next year, I will have to see if any of the communities in NoVA have town parades, concerts, and fireworks so I can still get that community 4th of July celebration.

Friday, July 2, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (#5)

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  1. I missed Quick Takes last Friday... whoops! It was just a busy week!
  2. The trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows premiered this week. This is just too much excitement for me!
  3. This week, we had a good-bye barbecue for our campus minister at the Newman Center. It is sad to see her leave as she is such a fun person to be around and great person to talk with about almost anything, but hopefully she will still be in the area! Pray that she will have a safe trip wherever she heads next in life!
  4. I scored my first run of the season this past week in softball... and it was stealing home, which let's just say doesn't happen too often with me!
  5. Check out two great posts on the Eucharist this week here and here.
  6. This was another busy week for me, but I am enjoying being busy! This week, I got to work in the lab, read lots of articles, go to a fun Bible Study session, bake and decorate a cake, have Jocelyn over for a slumber party, hang out with some good friends, win 2 softball games, play putt-putt (and not come in last place!), go to the batting cages, get in some more softball practice with a couple of friends, watch some baseball games on TV, cook dinner for more people than just myself, take 2 bubble baths, and enjoy this gorgeous weather. I would say that was a successful week.
  7. Happy 4th of July! Hope you are celebrating with family, friends, good food, good memories, fireworks, parades, and good music!
  8. I thank God for my life 
    And for the stars and stripes 
    May freedom forever fly 
    Let it ring 
    Salute the ones who died 
    And the ones that gave their lives 
    So we don't have to sacrifice 
    All the things we love...
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