Through Another’s Eyes

A few weekends ago the Sunday school class I have been teaching received first communion. With this in mind, I thought I’d talk a little bit about communion.

Mass is such a scared time and part of the Catholic faith; however, this is mostly because of the sacrament of Eucharist which is celebrated in every single mass. Eucharist is one of those special sacraments that comes directly from the bible. Every time a priest celebrates the sacrament of Holy Eucharist it’s like the last supper is happening again.

Because this happens at every single mass and follows pretty much the same format every single time, it can sometimes become monotonous and feel like we’re just going through the motions. So how do you stay involved and active during the mass, specifically the Eucharistic Prayer.

Throughout my life, I have had various ways that I’ve gotten through the Eucharistic Prayer. When I was younger, I had no idea what it was and kinda zoned out through it. In high school, I started to understand what was actually happening and tried to place myself at the last supper and looked up at the cross every time I heard the Eucharistic Prayer. Recently, I’ve had a different view on it.

I sing in the choir at my church; however, you can’t see the crucifix from where the choir sits. Instead I end up looking at one of the side walls of the church. Then I started to notice what was on the wall, the stations of the cross. I decided that every time I heard the Eucharistic Prayer I would look at the stations and imagined I was seeing it for real. After a little while, I started wondering what it would look like from Mary’s point of view.

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See the story with this picture Artwork

 

I drew a picture that shows what I think about every time I hear the Eucharistic Prayer. It’s the beam from a dropped cross with child footprints running past in the sand. When Mary looked on during these events, she didn’t see a man but a child. She saw her child who she had watched play tag and run through the sand now carrying the cross he would die on.

Every time I imagine this, it reminds me of what actually happened during the last supper and why it is so important that we do this at every single mass. This is just one way to look at the Eucharistic prayer. How do you look at it?

The Beginning of a New Adventure

This past weekend, I graduated college. The hardest and best 4 years of my life have come to a close and I’m moving on to bigger and better things. Ok so maybe not bigger or better but different. My life has changed over night and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. While I was packing up some of my stuff, a couple of lines came to me. By the end there was a whole poem. Change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, but it’s still something I have to get my head around.

Here’s the poem I wrote to commemorate graduating college

On to the Next Adventure

The start of the end

began with relief

A place to move on

The next chapter awaits

After that came excitement

A long awaited gift

The first yes to forever

To begin finally

Then started the closings

The final curtain call

The end of confusion

and things rather left behind

The last time sitting

filling my mind

learning useless facts

for the final time

The ultimate performance

repeated for a sweeter end

To start the conclusion

surrounded by friends

Tears of rejoice

as students meet success

A party meant for laughter

But filled with goodbyes

An empty locker

A full suitcase

A car packed

with all the memories

Last farewells

and never ending hugs

The tears whose flow

never seems to stop

The end of an era

The end of an age

The beginning

of the next stage

They Believed

This past weekend was Eater. It’s a fun day with eggs, chocolate, and everyone you know posting on Facebook saying happy Easter. You also go to mass. My specific mass had a really great homily that I’d like to steal some ideas from.

The first part of the homily had to do with how Mary Magdelene had gone to the tomb when it was still dark outside and had found the tomb empty. Her first thought had been that something evil had happened, “They took the Lord.” This can be very representative or our own lives. We all have those dark moments in our lives and most of the time our first thought is negative. We think about how this ruins our lives, how this is a horrible thing, and how we are going to get past it. This is a very human reaction and very natural but there’s another way to think about it.

When Peter and the other apostle get to the empty tomb, the gospel simply says “They believed.” They had faith that this was supposed to be. They saw the signs that this wasn’t a bad thing including how the face covering had been purposefully placed on the floor. Something so small showed them that this was actually a good thing.

When dark events happen in our lives, it can be hard to see the good in it; however, sometimes it just takes one small thing to show that brighter days are around the corner. WE just have to have faith that that small thing is there if we just pay attention to it.

Lenten Promise in Review

This week is holy week which means Easter is almost upon us. This also means that soon our lenten promises are over. So how’re you do? Did you stick with it the whole time with no problems or weak moments? Did you not count Sundays? Did you cheat only a couple of times? Did you last only a few days? How you did on your lenten promise can itself be some to learn from.

If you had zero problems sticking to your promise then it probably wasn’t something that interfered with your life or your relationship with God too much. Maybe you should have given up something harder.

If you didn’t count Sundays, then you weren’t working on creating a new habit because each week you were starting the process over. Almost like a binge then purge sort of mentality.

If you only lasted a couple of days, then maybe you went too fast. Maybe think of something smaller that could lead up to that big thing.

If you broke your promise a few time, don’t worry we all do this. A lenten promise isn’t supposed to be easy so sometimes there is going to be a little cheating; however, it’s all about how you about this cheating and what you do next that defines you.

When you cheat, don’t defend it with excuses. It was a mistake. You also don’t want to tear yourself down because then you’ll never get back up. Just admit to yourself that you made a mistake then make a recommitment to try again. You may even want to recognize why you cheated and make a plan for if you ever want to cheat again to stop yourself from doing so.

Keep these things in mind as we head into holy week and make a new commitment to your lenten promise. Finish the season out strong.

This past weekend, my grandmother passed away and the entire family went home for the funeral. Thinking about it, this is probably the first time we were all together in the same room in about 10 years. Now when it comes to family drama, mine stands on the line of 100% screwed up, we can’t be in the same room together and everything great, everybody loves everyone, everybody hugs everyone. Needless to say, tensions were high on a day when emotions were already screwed up.

The advice I kept getting on that day was to pray. It wasn’t like “say a prayer and everything will be ok.” It was more like “say a prayer before you ay something.” Saying a prayer gave me a second to calm down and think about what I was going to say, or do, without the reaction of emotion behind it. It actually helped a lot.

Overtime I got upset or wanted to say something, usually negative, to someone, I said a prayer and was reminded why we were all there. I went home to respect the life of my grandmother and to help support those I love that had been close to her. It was a rough day to get through but everyone survived with little harm done.

This day just reminded me that sometimes it’s not about the prayer you say but the intention behind why you’re saying it.

Falling Apart

So far 2017 has been the year for God to serve my butt to me on a platter. Reminder that we’ve only had three months in 2017. I’ve gotten down to the point where I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to get back up. Recently, I had two kicks to the stomach in a row and am still reeling form the after shock.

Now, I am definitely one of those who believes that God has a plan and it’s not always the same as ours and that God never gives us more than we can handle with Him at our side. This weekend, though, really got me wondering.

Then today happened. I found solace in the last place I would have thought to look. It goes to show that you really never know what you’re going to get, but it also shows that sometimes we’re supposed to be down in the dirt. When we feeling like we’re falling apart is often times when we turn to God the most. It takes really tough moments to remember that there is always more I can be giving to God and that I should do that even when things are going right, not just when they’re going wrong.

Here’s a little song about turning to God when things seem the roughest.

Be like Children

I assist in a religious education class for second graders at my local church. As they are in second grade, they are preparing to take first communion and last winter took first reconciliation. In preparation for first communion, we taught them about adoration and thought it would be a good idea to have a mini-adoration with them. When we first told the children, they thought it was pretty cool but mostly were concerned about having to sit  still quietly for 15 minutes.

There were a few children who were very excited. One in particular ran to his mom when she came to pick him up and showed her the picture of the monstrance and told her they were going to do adoration. On the day we had adoration, this child walked in and was jumping up and down with excitement exclaiming “We’re having adoration! We’re having adoration!”

After adoration, we talked to the children about their experiences. Most of the children enjoyed the experience but had found it hard to sit still and be quiet for that long. The previous child I had discussed had enjoyed it immensely. He said he was so peaceful when in adoration. We asked the children if they wanted to do adoration again and this child was the only one out of 15 children to say yes. Not only did he say yes, but he was jumping up and down again with excitement at the prospect of going to adoration again.

Seeing this child’s excitement reminded me about how I feel about the faith. Most of the time praying and going to mass are a struggle and more part of routine then anything else. His excitement to see Jesus during adoration made me excited to dive back into my faith. Jesus calls to us to be like children when we come to Him. He wants us to be like this child, so full of excitement to see Him and speak to Him that we can’t contain ourselves and are bouncing up and down.

We are currently in the season of lent which is the perfect time to rekindle our excitement for Jesus and for the faith. Was there ever a time the you were so excited about the faith that you were jumping up and down? Try to bring that excitement back into your faith life.

Jesus called the children to himself and said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.”