Friday, February 18, 2011

WWYPDD: What Would Your Prom Date Do?

Happy Chapter 12!


Things I like about my family: they keep it real. My collegiate brother posted this as part of his Valentine's Day status: "And for all the people who see today as singles awareness day, just remember that the guy this holiday was named after was beaten to death, so today isn't that bad for you."

Or whenever I don't feel like running, I check out the Desert Nuns running in full habit:

Ahh, gotta love keeping perspective in life.


Mr. Hudson, a British R&B artist, teamed up with Kayne West to produce "Supernova":

My bestest friend Bear made me a mix cd since we're thousands of miles away from each other and this is the second song. I love it!

Speaking of British hip-hoppin' tunes, Mary introduced me to LZ7's "This Little Light" and I danced to it with my baby sister. So great:

It is a nice reminder that we can all use our unique talents to witness for Christ to believers and non-believers alike. St. Francis of Assisi said to preach the Gospels at all times and, if necessary, use words. If that includes somersaulting off buildings, so be it. Ad maiorem Dei gloriam!


Last night, I stayed up way too late editing seven med school essays for my friend Jeff, who is currently working for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest/Americorps in Anchorage, Alaska. He took a year off before med school to deepen his faith and his commitment to work for poor and at-risk communities.

Reading/ editing Jeff's essays was really inspiring. Specifically, his work with Alaska Native elders and traumatic injury cases, as well as the No One Dies Alone (NODA) initiative and being a counsoler to incarcerated men who do not realize the health care available to them and how their actions affect their rural community. I really admire Jeff and the work he has done, is doing, and wants to do.  

Jeff and I have been friends since we were wee freshmen in high school, when he started calling me Sally because he couldn't remember my name. (He still calls me Sally!) Jeff was also my date to prom because I really didn't want to go (on the principle that I [still] think it's an overrated commercialized holiday rolled into a dance); but then he convinced me to go after I was elected to prom court. 

Did I mention I like pulling practical jokes? I asked Jeff to prom by coordinating with his Calc teacher (who had just transferred from his school from my school, where she had been my math teacher) to call another guy in his class' cell phone. She answered it, yelled a bit about calling during school hours, then said, "What? You want to talk to Jeff?" She then handed the phone to bewildered Jeff, who still claims he has never been more embarassed and complimented at the same time. Then I got asked to St. X's prom, so I went to two proms my senior year. Irony, folks. 

But editing last night was a nice reminder of the importance of being there for good friends, even ones far away, whom you might not talk to on a consistent basis. Even though I was exhausted, I was so glad I could help him out before the deadline. He was impressed by how fast I can edit; I was impressed with the story he told in his essays! Win-win situation.


A new book came out on Tuesday and I want to read it reeeeeeeal bad. It's called Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Dr. Brant Pitre, with a forward by Dr. Scott Hahn of Steubenville. Released only a few days ago, it is now ranked at #1 in three bestsellers lists!:

#1 in Books on Catholicism
#1 in Books on Judaism
#1 in Books on Ritual

Dr. Pitre works at Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans, Louisiana as an assistant professor of Scripture and Theology. He received his Ph.D. in New Testament and ancient Judaism from the University of Notre Dame. He blogs with two other Scripture profs at The Sacred Page.

Elizabeth Scalia had a fantastic interview with Dr. Pitre at Patheos too:

The whole section on the Bread of the Presence is riveting, but when I read that the golden table and the Bread of the Presence would be displayed to the people, it matched so perfectly the experience of the Holy Eucharist being elevated at Mass—and especially at Benediction—that I experienced a thrill of recognition and a sense of how Eternal is this notion of "Real Presence," and even of "bread before time" in relation to the Logos. In discussing the manna from heaven you do a good job of responding to modern conjecture about this heavenly food "occurring in nature" but you also bring up ancient rabbinical writing suggesting the manna has always existed, since before Eden. Can you briefly explain what that means, in light of John 1 and John 6?

Yes. Among the Jewish rabbis, there was an ancient tradition that the manna was not only given to Israel during the time of the exodus; it was also reserved for the righteous in heaven since the beginning of creation. The reason this is important is that Jesus uses this Jewish belief about the eternal manna to set the stage for revealing the fact that he himself has existed since the beginning, that he has "come down from heaven" (Jn. 6:38). In other words, he is no ordinary man, but the divine, preexistent Son of God. As he says elsewhere: "Before Abraham was, I AM" (Jn. 8:58).

In this sense, Jesus does not reject Jewish tradition in order to reveal his divine identity; he draws upon it and transforms it to reveal that in him, so to speak, 'something greater than the heavenly manna is here'. The eternal Word that is made flesh in the Incarnation has not only existed since the beginning (like the manna), but before the world was made (Jn. 1:1-14).

I really, really can't wait to read it. Plus, my Dad just gave me an Amazon card he got for something-rather. Hello, book! Come to my mailbox!


Two notable reads from this week comes from blogs I follow.

First, "Books Save Lives" at Illumination:

In the case of the war, books were not used as an escapist route. I was fully aware of the evil, which was occurring right before my eyes. Rather, the books were used as a vehicle to keep the mind active in things that are good, things that are ordered. War, by its very nature, is a disordered thing. It may consist of strategic moves but when the civilians are shot and taken into concentration camps, then it becomes an exercise in absurdity. So, in order to fight the absurdity, my mind had to do something else. And that involved what came to me most naturally—reading.

Emina is a wonderful writer and deserves many more readers as she explores what it means to be human.

Second comes from my good friend Trevor, who converted to Catholicism after college. He was baptized Catholic and received his First Communion, but his family left the Church at age 14, and he became an Evangelical Christian. We became friends in Latin class after he transferred up North our sophomore year and, as a fellow Cincinnatian, we would go to Mass together occasionally at the wonderful St. Gertrude during breaks. He's at grad school in California now and runs a lovely blog, City of Beauty. He's starting a series of posts on his return to Catholicism:

Since I thought through a fair amount of things on my way to Rome, and since I've been thinking some since my arrival, this seems like an appropriate forum to share some of the journey. Perhaps at a rate of one post a week, I will try to map out the spiritual and theological questions I asked on my way to becoming Catholic, and the answers I arrived at. The posts will be an intellectual rather than personal narrative, which is to say I will try to convey my thought processes rather than my personal or emotional influences or experiences. And they will not be in order. Instead I will highlight most significant things that led me to the Church from the beginning, and see where that takes me.

Isn't his prose stained with Newman?! Trevor is a really wonderful person, and seeing who he is now from the guy who sat in the back row with me in Dr. Weaire's class is encouraging in my own spirituality and faith formation. It is a tremendous blessing to cross paths with him in this journey upwards and onwards.


This week, I was posed with a possible predicament. Well... a potential job opportunity in another city. I responded in the three-fold way:

1. I squealed with excitement to my parents.
2. I got nervous and e-mailed and/ or talked to a couple close friends.
3. I offered it up this week at Mass.

I'm an extrovert, so the first two were much needed, but the last one has been the most helpful this week. When I was working as a statehouse reporter, I went to Mass nearly every day at the Cathedral two blocks away. It was the best part of my day. When I moved home, I stopped for a few months because I got so transfixed on my new job. One day, I was feeling over-tired and knew it wasn't work- I missed daily Mass. I missed daily exposure to the Eucharist. I missed my daily chats with God.

Prayer isn't enough for me. It's like being in a long-distance relationship. Talking is good, but spending time with the person is crucial for getting to know them better. This is the same with God! And in the Mass, he is physically present. What a blessing and gift so readily available! When I was going through a spiritual desert in college, really struggling to hear God and his will for me, I went to the weekly Mass on campus one day. The next week, I was back, followed by the next, and the next. It was at the Mass where I really came back into my faith. I never left it or doubted it, but it didn't color my life the way it does now.

St. Thomas More, when he was criticized for going to daily Mass with his busy schedule, said he went to conference with the Lord. Isn't that great? As a reporter, if you don't get a source on the phone in the first try, you keep calling. If you can't get them on the phone, then you track them down other ways. I see a similar strand with worship and all its different modes. God gives us so many ways to come to him, and I know I am so grateful. May we all frequently share in the sacraments with our Lord!

Two songs that epitomize how I'm feeling right now:

"All the Right Moves" by OneRepublic

"I'm Coming Home" by P. Diddy and ft. Skylar Grey

Yep. That about sums it up.


Sen. Rand Paul came out with a letter in opposition to the Patriot Act and kicks it off with James Otis. The man is a rock star.

James Otis argued against general warrants and writs of assistance that were issued by British soldiers without judicial review and that did not name the subject or items to be searched.

He condemned these general warrants as “the worst instrument[s] of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law, that ever w[ere] found in an English law book.” Otis objected to these writs of assistance because they “placed the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.” The Fourth Amendment was intended to guarantee that only judges—not soldiers or policemen—would issue warrants. Otis’ battle against warrantless searches led to our Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable government intrusion.

If you're not well-acquainted with James Otis, I highly recommend reading up on him. He was a super-awesome lawyer in Boston who was the first to spark the very idea of an American Revolution (although it went down very different than he would have liked, since he was a fierce defender of common law). He was called, by John Adams, a "flame of Fire" and a "rapid Torrent of impetous Eloquence" after his 4-5 impromptu speech in front of the Boston general assembly. 

I seriously have the coolest friends.
Okay, busy weekend coming up: seeing Hillsdale people (like Kiernan and Brad!), playing tennis and meeting a dog named Abby. I sponsored a raffle last week and I promise I have not forgotten about it: just giving extra time for more people to enter.

Happy Friday! See Conversion Diary for more.

1 comment:

  1. I AM SO BUMMED I MISSED THIS POST ON FRIDAY. I'm sorry, I was in the middle of Nowheresville, VA.

    1. Your brother sounds hilarious... and right about that.

    3. Wow, he sounds like a wonderful person already making a great mark for Christ on Earth. The prom story is hilarious.

    4. I wonder if that book is a Nookbook too? I have a list THIS LONG of books to read, but can you read too much? Methinks not.

    5. "stained with Newman" Yes, and I like this phrase.

    6. All the Right Moves is one of those songs I will never get sick of (please don't make me fix that grammar). What a great point: only prayer life is like a long-distance relationship. I really need to close that gap and go to daily Mass more often. Thanks for the push!