Last week I was asked to be a Eucharistic minister at my church. The proper term for this, of course, is “Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion” (EMHC), as the priest is the actual Eucharistic minister. In case you’re unfamiliar with Catholic jargon, this means that I will be assisting with the distribution of the Eucharist at weekday and weekend masses. In case you’re also unfamiliar with Catholic doctrine, this means that I’m charged with actually giving Jesus to my fellow church members. How do you even describe something so incredible? Pretty amazing. It’s a real honor to even be asked.
I met with my priest yesterday to be trained for this new ministry. It was the most fascinating thirty minutes of my life. Catholic tradition (lower-case “t” this time) is so utterly awesome. I could have spent all day there just repeatedly asking, “Okay, now tell me about this.” Maybe I’ll do a full post on some of the interesting things I learned. These takes are supposed to be quick, after all.
You know, this is ironic. The Evangelical churches we used to attend would distribute communion juice in little cups that nested inside this massive tray. The tray was usually passed from row to row. It looked like this:
I used to joke with Shannon that I had NIGHTMARES about dropping it. The tray would come my way and I’d practically insist that the people on either side of me just pass it over my lap. It was awkward, heavy, and full of disaster potential. Such fear, and that was juice! Oh man. Thankfully now I’ll be handling a chalice, not a tray. I will be fine. My first turn is this morning at 8:30 AM mass. I’m excited and humbled and amazed that I get to do this. [Edited to add: It went fine. ]
I’ve had my new smartphone for over a week now and I’ve been busy filling it up with apps that everyone else has already been using since 2009. I feel like I’m catching up with technology (for a few seconds anyway). One app you might not know about is called the Laudete app. Its basically for Catholic geeks like me, but you might like it too. It has the daily readings, the Liturgy of the Hours, an interactive Rosary, stations of the cross, prayers (English and Latin!), two bible translations and even a catechism. Its the #1 free Catholic app. Go download it!
I ran across an interesting quote/poem this week on a random blog I was perusing. It’s called the Litany of Gendlin and I thought it was worth sharing here. It really spoke to me in terms of my recent reversion and the whole process that entailed (especially that first stanza!):
What is true is already so.
Owning up to it doesn’t make it worse.
Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away.
And because it’s true, it is what is there to be interacted with.
Anything untrue isn’t there to be lived.
People can stand what is true,
for they are already enduring it.
Yesterday the Supreme Court declared Obamacare to be Constitutional. I don’t plan to exhaust the issue further by providing my personal feelings on the subject. Instead, I’ll link you to a posting on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website. If you’re wondering my opinion, it aligns with theirs. If ever this changes, so will the name of this blog.
It was a wild morning on Facebook when the news broke, to say the least. My pick for best meme image of the day goes to the creator of this:
Last summer I had the privilege of helping plan my best friend’s bridal shower. This summer, I’m helping to plan her baby shower! This September I become an honorary Auntie to a beautiful baby girl. The planning for the shower just got underway this week and we’re shooting for a mid-August party. I’m so excited to share the joys of parenthood with someone I grew up with. From passing notes to planning playdates…life is surreal.
I’m struggling to strike a balance in the kind of reading I like to do. Generally speaking, I have no time for fiction. There are so many theology-related books on my “to read” list that it actually causes me anxiety. I’m just not into reading fiction when there is so much to learn (and since I know fiction is worthwhile and awesome, I do hope I come to embrace it someday). As a busy mother of two toddlers, my reading time is seriously limited which makes my “to read” list seem even more insurmountable.
The problem gets more specific. What kind of Christian theology should I prioritize? Within this vast genre, I like to read books from the Catholic perspective but also from the non-Catholic perspective. I’m a firm believer in being well-rounded in study. I guess I’m wondering this: If I am decidedly and forever Catholic (yes), how much importance should I place on reading the works of dissenting thought? On the one hand, I’ll disagree with much of what I read and also potentially take time away from studying the many great works that await me in Catholic literature. On the other hand, the study of God is never wasted. Whether I agree with a concept or not, its helpful to understand the theological workings of other faith doctrines. I personally feel that you don’t really “know” a topic until you can understand why one understanding is correct to the exclusion of the others. I’m speaking of matters of absolute truth here, obviously. Arg. So much to read, so little time.
And don’t even get me started on my list of blogs! My google reader is giving me a panic attack tonight.
This week’s Blog Better Than Mine is by LT Horton and is aptly titled Look! A Black Catholic! LT’s blog really did make me stop for a second and say, “Huh…I really don’t know any black Catholics! I wonder why that is?” She has a beautiful conversion story and a really unique perspective on the universality of our awesome Church. I love her posts and hope you will too.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!