Sunday, March 30, 2014

Zombies Don't Share the Gospel

I like to stay busy.  It keeps me out of trouble!  We aren't supposed to be idle and we're called to use our time wisely for God.  So far in 2014, I've been actively involved in RCIA, I tutor algebra once or twice a week, and I've been taking the excellent Certificate of Theology courses from JP Catholic.  I've been doing CrossFit three times a week, ran three times a week as part of a Couch to 3.1 group, and began a morning exercise program twice a week at the start of March.  I like to visit my Dad on weekends I'm free, hang out with my friends as much as possible, read novels, and write here or elsewhere.  Oh, and there's work too.  I'd not given much thought to this hectic schedule until this month.

The week I began the morning exercise program, I started noticing mild physical symptoms.  I'd just finished an added-sugar fast in February so I assumed they were from the re-introduction of sugar.  As the weeks went by though, they kept getting worse and worse.  Things got really bad when I stopped being able to go to sleep until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning if I'd worked out that day.  I love my sleep!  I grew more stressed and irritable.  One night (morning) I was still awake at 2:00 and finally decided to throw some research into what might be causing me all of these problems.  Every single result on Google indicated I was WAY too busy and was having a textbook response to too much stress.  I didn't feel stressed before the symptoms appeared, but apparently my body didn't care how I felt.

I was reminded of a few posts Jennifer Fulwiler has made at Conversion Diary regarding scheduling and being overwhelmed.  I'm not a mom with that many kids, but the signs and solutions seemed obvious in my life once I'd re-read her posts.  

I'm in between classes at JP Catholic, so I talked to them about withdrawing from the program for awhile.  They were very supportive.  I also dropped the morning exercise program I'd started at the beginning of the month and skipped a 5k I was signed up for over the weekend.  Just as she experienced a lot of results by making some changes, I've noticed huge improvements as well.  I'm sleeping better which is amazing.  I feel like I have time to do things in my house, like clean the dishes.  I'm in a better mood in general, and I feel like I'm more prepared to tackle the day.

We are supposed to keep away from idleness and serve God with our time, but we can't be so busy that we fail at being joyful communicators of the Good News.  We don't set a good example if we're cranky all the time or too tired to help with anything not on our schedule.   Nobody wants to hear about Jesus from a zombie.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wisdom

I was reading the Book of Wisdom last week.  I think it may be one of my favorite books in the whole Bible.  If you're not Catholic, you probably won't find this in your Bible unless it happens to include this at the end with the six others not considered canonical by most Protestants.  The KJV had these books included as well for a time, though they didn't consider them inspired.  The reasons why for that are best left to a different post, but I do think anyone can enjoy the Book of Wisdom.

This section speaks to the ideas of non-believers, and the idea there is nothing after this life.  I see the treatment of Jesus in verses 2:12-20, and the promises of God in 3:1-8.

Chapter 2

For the ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright, Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave. For we are born at all adventure: and we shall be hereafter as though we had never been: for the breath in our nostrils is as smoke, and a little spark in the moving of our heart: Which being extinguished, our body shall be turned into ashes, and our spirit shall vanish as the soft air, And our name shall be forgotten in time, and no man shall have our works in remembrance, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist, that is driven away with the beams of the sun, and overcome with the heat thereof. For our time is a very shadow that passeth away; and after our end there is no returning: for it is fast sealed, so that no man cometh again. 

Come on therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present: and let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth. Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments: and let no flower of the spring pass by us: Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered: Let none of us go without his part of our voluptuousness: let us leave tokens of our joyfulness in every place: for this is our portion, and our lot is this. 10 Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged. 11 Let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth. 

12 Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our education. 13 He professeth to have the knowledge of God: and he calleth himself the child of the Lord. 14 He was made to reprove our thoughts. 15 He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men’s, his ways are of another fashion. 16 We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that God is his father. 17 Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him. 18 For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies. 19 Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience. 20 Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shall be respected. 

21 Such things they did imagine, and were deceived: for their own wickedness hath blinded them. 22 As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls. 23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. 24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it. 

Chapter 3

But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him: for grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect. 

 

 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Third Sunday of Lent

Today is the third Sunday in Lent.  Readings are here.  I just love the Gospel reading from today.  In addition to being a great story of Jesus' interaction with a sinner, the woman's history mirrors that of her people.  Jesus isn't just telling her story; He's telling the story of the Samaritans.  There's just so much wonderful about this story!  There's the woman and her interaction, there's the connection to her people, there is the promise of salvation, and there's the fact this woman who was so shunned she had to go get water when nobody else was out there manages to bring Jesus to her whole town.  I. Just. Love. It.

I love it so much I found commentary on the readings from other, more articulate people just for you!

Go.  Click.  Read.  Everything about the Mass is better when we understand more.