Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fortnight to Freedom

"It's a cute title with the alliteration and all...but 'Fortnight to Freedom?'...two weeks to freedom?  What's going on?"

This was my initial reaction to a Facebook invite about two weeks ago to join a group to pray for our religious liberty here in the United States.  As time goes on, however, and I've been reading more and more about this, (via Facebook, Twitter, the Criterion...Catholic News Agency...seriously, it's everywhere if you know where to look), I'm getting more into following the "Fortnight to Freedom" (see what I did right there, with the alliteration?)

Bottom line: The Fortnight to Freedom is an opportunity proposed by the United States Catholic Bishops to educate others (not just Catholics, it should be mentioned) about the value of our religious freedom and how the recent proposed healthcare mandate could infringe on this said religious freedom.

There's a novena (a prayer to be prayed every day for the duration of these two weeks leading up to July 4th) as well as daily reflections that you can find here on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

I'm seeing that this argument isn't about birth control, as I originally posted in this blog a few months back...(forgive my ignorance...although it still wasn't a bad blog post about the necessity to understanding what it means to be a woman.)

This fight isn't about being against universal healthcare...

It isn't about specific people  in the positions of making these laws become a reality...

It's a desperate cry to say, "WAKE UP!! Do you know what passing a law like this could mean for the future of religious worship in the United States?"

The increased education being provided to us from the Bishops is an attempt to teach us the deepest needs and longings of ALL human hearts (not just those of certain faith traditions) and to stand up for Truth in a society where relativism reigns.

The daily reflections have brought HUGE insight to me about what it means as a human being to seek the truth, and having the freedom to do it, both publicly and privately.  If you care for your heart, take the time to read at least one of these reflections--our dignity as human beings demands it!

The link again: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/fortnight-for-freedom-reflections.cfm


Sunday, June 10, 2012

It Takes a Village

"It takes a village to raise a child" is an old saying that we've probably all heard.  I was reminded of this saying again a few weeks ago as it appeared in my textbook.  My immediate reaction was "...child?! It takes a village to raise ME!"

For anyone who knows me, these last few weeks have been especially busy as I was closing out my sixth year of teaching at St. Susanna while also starting nine credit hours of graduate school--along with everything else I already did.

I was drowning in deadlines, trying to not let anyone else down, still be "happy and stress free," and basically manage my life...get to all of my appointments, be love and service to others, etc.

It was not pretty.  It was the last day of school and I hadn't even STARTED my report cards when they were to go out that afternoon. (My coworker picked up that slack and took my class so I could get the work done.)  I forgot to pick up the pizza for the rewards party... (the janitor covered my butt for that one.)  I submitted an assignment for grad school at 9:58pm for a 10:00pm deadline.

This last month has been a total mess.  And despite all of my thinking, "What did I do wrong?  How could I have fixed the circumstances? What could I have managed better so people aren't having to wait/work around me?" I was left with no solutions.  And I've been incredibly unhappy.

Managing your life is simply not as fun as living it.

I had forgotten everything I'd learned before--my worth, my happiness, does not come from what I achieve, who I impress, or (yes, even) if I hit deadlines on time.

My happiness comes from a fact much more obvious than that.  I exist, I was created "to be."  I exist to love, to serve, to learn, to teach....but I exist.  Which means that God who created me to exist, is still here with me now.

How merciful is God to not only give me a huge heart that craves Him so much I can't settle for anything less (hence my dissatisfaction this last month) but He gives me a village (more like a whole freakin' KINGDOM) of people to show God's love, patience and forgiveness daily.  I'm surrounded by people who love me and push me to see the truest purpose in life and God bombards me with them--even when I don't plan it.

For me, this weekend (I was with the Movement Communion and Liberation on a Spiritual Exercises Retreat) has been one of rejuvenation that I hope you see as this blog continues.  God, my Creator, came to Earth as Jesus Christ and never left it...that means that tomorrow, He'll be there, present in that village of people, educating me on how to see the beauty inherent in the "boring crap" of life.  I never again want to forget my heart and it's huge desire for Him again---but when I do, He'll rescue me again, as He does through the faces of all who surround me.