— 1 —
I distinctly remember the day I ventured into Barnes and Noble to buy my first book about Catholicism. At this point I still considered myself highly skeptical of all things Rome and thus found the experience of browsing the “Religion” section to be more than a little intimidating. I started with a very basic title: Catholicism for Dummies by Fr. JohnTrigilio and Fr. Kenneth Brighenti. It seemed simple, straightforward, and to the point (and actually it was awesome and I highly recommend it to anyone, Catholic or otherwise, though later I moved on to more scholarly sources). I was terrified that someone would see me buying such a blasphemous book, so I got out of there as quickly as possible.
For some reason I decided to keep the receipt from my purchase. I used it as a bookmark, not really thinking much about it. About a year later, my husband and I joked that no one could ever accuse me of making a rash decision to become a Catholic revert – and I had the receipt to prove it! The other day I found that silly receipt and we had another good laugh. It’s almost three years old now.
September 9, 2009. And I totally overpaid.
I think I’ll keep it as an artifact from the beginning of our amazing journey home.
— 2 —
Any home educators out there? This fall, our homeschooling years officially begin. My older daughter just turned three and I’m excited to begin some semi-structured learning at home. Of course, both of my girls are already learning at home through play and interaction together and with friends. My hope is to devote a bit more focus on specific preschool skills in preparation for the academic years that are just around the corner.
My educational background is in elementary education and I feel pretty confident in my ability to evaluate curriculum and chart our own learning course. What intimidates me is the idea of instructing my girls in our faith (which will obviously be a major focus of my homeschooling objectives). This is a totally new area of expertise for me and while I consider myself to be a knowledgeable Catholic, I’m not so sure I’m knowledgeable about making our beautiful faith come alive to my little girls. I have the added terror of recalling what I was like as a child – the skeptical, bored, and inwardly-rebellious kid who secretly tuned out at the mention of Jesus. What if my kids are like me? Why do I get the feeling that my kids are going to just as inquisitive as I was? I need to be prepared for this.
So needless to say, I’m on the hunt for preschool curriculum that has an emphasis on Catholic faith. I’m also interested in finding forums, web sites, and blogs that focus on these topics too. Can you recommend anything?
— 3 —
Speaking of my children, they’re already brilliant if I do say so myself. The other day I found them in bathroom baptizing their dolls in the dog’s water dish. My older daughter seemed to be the main celebrant of the sacrament with the younger daughter simply following her orders. Later, younger daughter emerged from the bathroom with a dripping head and that’s when I put the kabosh on the whole thing.
I also noticed that my older daughter has been paying attention at mass lately. This evening she was “reading” one of her story books and kept inserting the phrase “the Lord” as she narrated the pictures. The only place she could have picked this up was from church! She’s also more familiar with the new translation of the mass than many of our fellow parishioners.
In a way, “homeschooling” is going pretty well already.
— 4 —
Under the heading “Things In Which I Will Never Be Competent,” I place the field of web design. I had one major goal this week for my business: create a website. I have failed so miserably to scrape together anything that even remotely functions as a professional internet destination. I wish I could describe what I find to be so difficult about the web design process, but my brain is so fried from the experience that I can’t even articulate what is going awry. I have made the executive decision to hire someone. It will be expensive but the relief I feel tonight is worth it already.
Ironically, I’m really happy with the design of this blog. I like the header design, the fonts, the background pattern. ”I’m like a web designer!” I thought erroneously. As it turns out, I’m not. It was just an unfortunate coincidence that The Recovered Catholic looks presentable. I’ll probably never change the appearance of this blog again, lest I destroy it with my sheer lack of any technological skills whatsoever.
— 5 —
My husband and I have been completely obsessed with this song by Josh Garrels called Revelator. (Spoiler alert: It’s about the book of Revelation.) We both agree that it gives us chills.
— 6 —
A dear friend of mine had a question about the video featured in my last entry. She asked specifically for the biblical proof of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Her question was a good one and the answer wasn’t clear from the video itself. Here was my response:
At 8:20 in the video, there is a reference to the Annunciation. For whatever reason, the creator of the video didn’t provide the exact scripture verse. It’s Luke 1:28 in which the angel Gabriel says “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” The traditional Greek translation of “full of grace” is “to fill or endow with grace.” The tense of the phrase is in the perfect passive participle which, in English, indicates that Mary’s fullness of grace was present always, at the very earliest moment of her being – her conception. She was given grace in the past with continuing effects in the present. This is where we get the term “Immaculate Conception.”
Another scripture proof that the video creator DID include is a bit more implicit. The latter part of the video demonstrates Mary’s role as Ark of the New Covenant. If Mary IS the Ark of the New Covenant (which we can reasonably conclude through scripture), then it would be both logical and necessary that she be undefiled by sin. The Old Testament Ark of the Covenant was the epitome of sacred to the Jews because it symbolized the forthcoming Messiah. The Old Ark was so pure that it could not even be touched by sinful man. If Mary is the New Ark, she brought the Messiah to mankind – literally. She would need to be pure and free from sin.
Here’s a link to more info, which I keep bookmarked for reference.
— 7 —
This week, I’d like to highlight some links to a few fantastic reads from my Reader as of late. The New Evangelization is alive and well in the Catholic blogosphere these days!
We Are Starting Over by “The Reverend Know-It-All,” Father Richard Simon of Relevant Radio. He has some interesting thoughts on the future of religious education.
Paganism, Prophesies, and Propaganda by Father Dwight Longenecker. He shares his thoughts on the claim that Catholicism is a recycled form of Paganism.
Is Scripture Self-Attesting? by Joe Heschmeyer at Shameless Popery
Okay, over and out! It’s been a particularly ridiculous week for my music program and as you read this, I’m conducting a field trip for thirty kindergarten students. This is on top of the six students I will teach this afternoon in my regular classes. Luckily, my schedule is consolidated into just two hectic days. Weekend, she cometh!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!