Monday, March 31, 2008
I miss being close to family. T's family was only four hours away, mine was 19 (19 may seem like a lot, but it's 19 hours driving, and in our good little car it's still cheaper to drive for 19 hours than to fly for 5 1/2 hours from Boston). Also, being on the west coast meant not changing time zones whenever we did go to visit family. We went down to CA at least twice a year (and were able to stay for at least a week or so) and we'd visit Seattle every few months for long weekends. It was so good to be around all our little siblings and nieces and nephews. They grow up so quickly that one wants to be around for as much of it as possible! They've changed so much since we left...
God and you have to love them (that's the way I put it when I was a kid--especially when my sisters and I were fighting). Friends may come and go, but you're stuck with family forever. :) And it's beautiful!
T and I miss the Ruthenian Byzantine rite. Though, to be perfectly honest, neither of us are technically Byzantine. T's family converted and were all baptized into the Roman rite, but soon after started attending the Byzantine rite. He was mostly raised Byzantine, though, since they converted when he was 9-ish... Six of his younger siblings were baptized Byzantine. I was born and raised Roman Catholic and "became" Byzantine after meeting, falling in love with, and marrying T. My love of the Eastern Catholic traditions draws from, I believe, a deep and abiding love for all the beautiful aspects of the Roman rite. We love both rites! In Spokane, we'd go to Divine Liturgy on Sundays and to daily Mass during the week. I miss the fullness of experiencing both.
dear little Ss. Cyril and Methodius church! I miss the icons and the Holy Doors and the processions and the vestments and the CUTE little altar boys and the singing and the babies and the INCENSE (so much incense--my hair usually smelled "like church" when we got home) and the Slavonic and... just everything. I miss Fr. Bill's homilies: "It's the quality of the fast, not the quantity, that is so important in our eastern tradition, my brothers and sisters. ::long pause as Father stares at the ceiling. Baby coos (sometimes crickets chirp):: And we must remember that as we move into this season of Great Lent."
For that matter, I miss going to St. John's in Seattle. I miss Fr. Joseph's homilies too: "The way you live is the way you die, and the way you die is the way you'll be for all eternity. So fast and pray!" (They're not all like that--he's just terse sometimes during Lent when he's only eating vegetables. His homilies are beautiful and profound!) I miss, too, all T's younger siblings singing the psalms and Fr. Joseph's gardens outside, and the bells!
And generally speaking, we miss the laid-back-ness of the west. It's not that the east coast is "uptight" or anything, but there's just a feeling of relaxation out west more than there is here. There's more space, too. And mountains--I miss the mountains.
Oh well, enough reminiscing. I didn't want this post to come off as complaining about being on the east coast--we are really enjoying ourselves out here (honest!). We have made wonderful friends, have good jobs, a nice home, and we get to have lots of fun, too. I guess I just wanted to put my two cents in about all the good we left behind. We'll get back there someday!
"You have tasted of death now," said the Old Man. "Is it good?" "It is good," said Mossy. "It is better than life." "No," said the Old Man, "it is only more life."It is more life because of Christ. And what about all the life we have already?! I know of at least 10 babies who have been born or will be born just this year. If I counted, I'll bet I could come up with at least 100 babies that I know (personally) who have been born in the last 5 years. That's a lot of children. Lots of beautiful children.. Which brings me to another thought. T and I are expecting. No (no), we're not pregnant. Not physically. But we are pregnant with the love God has given us, pregnant with the desire for new life. We are full of expectation and hope for the gift of a child. Our hearts swell at the chance to be parents. Why don't more people feel that way about life? We are blessed with happy families and many (many!) wonderful friends who are just as excited as we are about procreation, but what about the world? What happened to the sense of wonder and awe at the gift of new life. I've heard of villages who would throw a celebration if a baby cow was born. How about an immortal human soul being created? Anyway, enough ranting. Praise God for His gift of sweet life and lovely love. Happy feast of the Annunciation!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Lying in bed last night, T and I were talking about our day. Mine was pretty ordinary of late: at work all day editing a very long report. I can't say T's was un-ordinary, but listening to him sleepily tell me about his day, snuggled up close to him in the dark, made me smile and remember how much I love him... First, we went to Mass together, which was nice. It’s always better with him.
He works at the
“T, here’s my card, here are my keys. Go to this place and do this errand.”
“Ok, where is the place?”
“Oh, is it near this thing?”
“Yeah, but you make a sharper left.”
“Oh, ok. Cool.”
Then he tells me:
“So I went to her car and drove to the place. The radio was tuned to a mix-it station, and I listened to 5 songs on the way there. It occurred to me while I was driving that these same 5 songs were always played on the
mix-it station in high school. Then I wondered if all mix-it stations played the same songs all across the nation. Seattle
Anyway, then I got to the place, did the errand, and drove back.”
After work on Thursdays he goes to class. His first class of the day is at 2 in the afternoon:
“In Kierkegaard today, our professor was looking around the room to find someone to help her out of her pause, and I was smiling. She said, “T, do you have something to add?” And the whole class looked at me.
“I opened my mouth, which was a mistake, and then paused, because I wasn’t sure if what I had been thinking about was the same thing she had just stopped talking about. I didn’t want to say that I was thinking about Lonergan’s idea of the agent intellect and how it could be called “god” the way Kierkegaard does because I thought someone might stone me, so instead, I just said: “I wasn’t paying attention.” And everyone laughed and laughed.”
Normally he goes to his favorite class next: Bernard Lonergan's Insight taught by the one, the only, Pat Byrne. But..
"Insight was canceled today because Professor Byrne wanted to to go to this lecture thing. When I got there, everyone was really dressed up, and I was wearing my hobo coat. So the nice name tag people shoed me through the door so no one would see me outside the lecture hall. Then I took off my coat [he had on a nice blue sweater his mom got him for C'mas] and went out again and they were much nicer."His “hobo coat” isn’t really that bad; but it’s the typical plaid-flannel, polyester-lined, over-sized coat that he wears when he’s working outside and it’s cold.
T really liked the lecture. The speaker was good and she incorporated several solid elements into her talk (even JPII). “But she was introduced by four different people. And at the end, another guy got up to talk about her.” He wanted to record it, and kept telling himself “Ok, get ready to record. Get ready…” He even had his voice recorder in his bag. But I guess the number of introducers threw him off because he realized he was still telling himself “Get ready. Get ready…” half way through the actual lecture. Oh well.
He called me at the end to ask if it was ok to bring home a friend or two for dinner. I love that about him—he always calls to make sure it's alright. I don’t think I would go berserk if he didn’t ask me, but sometimes it could be bad… He’s very considerate :)
We had a delightful friend over for dinner and spent some time watching youtube videos about babies and hiccups and funny songs and fainting goats and had a good time laughing together. We told philosophy jokes (even about Plato and his political philosophy--the philosopher kings..) and talked about theology. We're such geeks.
Getting ready for bed, T began to do several things but forgot to finish them. He walked over to our humidifier, looked to make sure there was enough water in it, but then paused to, undoubtedly, catch a thought racing around in his head. Then he kinda stumbled away from the humidifier…
and plugged in his phone to change and reached to turn off the light. Except we have a lamp plugged into a socket that’s controlled by the wall-switch and he was reaching for the lamp. “T, you should turn it off at the wall,” I told him. “Oh... yeah” he said.
Then he climbed into bed and snuggled up to me and we said prayers together. Before drifting off, I asked him, "T, did you look at the humidifier and forget to turn it on?" He said, "Um.. yes." So I got up and turned it on :)
I think he’s deeply pondering one of the papers he will write this semester. One he will call "Kierkegaard Crosses the Rubicon" (a paper comparing Kierkegaard to Walker Percy, which title he told me about when he was in the shower: "Oh, and I've decided what I'm going to call my paper!"), and another for Insight. I don’t know what that paper will be about. I don’t know if
Or he could be thinking about the small village he and a bunch of friends are dreaming about building in
In any case, he was just adorable :) If anyone ever asks me why I married him, I quote my mother:
"He makes me laugh."
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
What a beautiful holiday Easter is!! We went to the Vigil last night at St. Clement's--it was lovely! I always love to see the church so prettily decorated (one of the reasons we were married during the Easter season), and the priests so finely dressed. Truly, Christ is Risen, just as He said!
Mass was wonderful yesterday evening. The church was dark as we walked in and took our seats. After my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I was able to faintly discern the lilies lining the steps before the altar. I could discern an image of the Risen Christ above the Tabernacle, and the church smelled of incense already.
The liturgy began outside before a small coal fire which was blessed. The Easter candle also was blessed and lighted, and we began our procession into the church as the priest sang, "Christ our Light" to which we responded, "Thanks be to God!" As the congregation filled the holy space, our vigil candles were lit, one by one, from the Easter candle and the church was ablaze with candle light. In this ancient light, the Light of Christ, the Exultet was sung by the main celebrant: This is the night... this is the night. Oh happy fault.. oh necessary sin of Adam, that gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Then the liturgy of the word began--three of the seven readings from the Old Testament were read, with psalms in between--all in darkness. The epistle, too, was read in the dark... Then the lights came on as the Gloria began (a bit out of order, I think) and the Alleluia was sung, and the Resurrection Gospel (the Good News) was proclaimed!! I got goose-bumps as the gospel narrative was read--the earth shook, and an angel from heaven came down, rolled away the stone and sat upon it! I can't imagine being the ointment-bearing women seeing such events. But what I love about those women, is that they believed the message and immediately went to tell the disciples. Almost as a "reward" for their faithful action, Jesus meets them on the way! He is THERE before them: their Risen Lord! For three days their world was shattered, but in a moment it was changed and renewed forever. In one moment, unending joy entered their hearts and the Love from God was present to them in a new, ever-permeating, and everlasting way!
The renewal of baptismal promises: I DO reject satan, and all his works, and all his empty promises. I DO believe in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. I DO look for the resurrection of the dead, and life everlasting. Amen.
Communion, as always, is especially moving after the Good Friday communion service, to once again witness the miracle of the Eucharist. To be truly one flesh with God... and be a true member of the Body of Christ, devoutly processing to receive Him into their hearts.
And the closing message: Go in peace, Alleluia! ALLELUIA!
Our response, which should be our response every moment of every day: Thanks be to God, Alleluia! ALLELUIA!!
for Christ is RISEN!
..just as He said.