Thursday, October 27, 2011

Here I Come

 I have been teaching Roy's Theology of the Body for Teens class this year since he had to bail when duty called. There are a wealth of concerns that a family must deal with when a spouse comes home after a year. This TOB class will be my #1 concern. I love it and don't want to give it up!! What are we going to do?! In the mean time, I will continue to teach and put my whole heart into it. The past few weeks, our class has been working on self-donation....the complete giving of your whole self to someone else. Each student is to find someone to give 2-3 hours of their time serving and doing everything the other person wants them to do. Last year, one of Roy's students, Annika, had a water gun fight with her little brother in dead of Winter. That is what he wanted to do and that is what she did.  
I thought I would be a good teacher and do this assignment myself. I mean, really devote a couple hours to one person for the entire time. This was much more difficult than I thought it would be. Max and I decided to ride our bikes together. This would be perfect! Just the two of us! No distractions! This could be my 2 hours. I knew this would be a piece of cake.
Well? It was not as easy as I thought. He wants to take a different route to our normal biking trail that includes an ugly hill (actually, its a slope to some people. Bring out your level and I'll show you. Its an upward slope! aka, ugly hill).  I say, "Whats wrong with the way we normally go?" Then I remember my assignment..."Wait! No. We will take this new way."
He stops very shortly after we get on our trail because he finds a hiking path. "Max, we just got started. Lets ride some more." There I go again! "No. No. Here I come. I would love to go down the trail with you."

With mud and rocks and jumping live objects, Max says, "Mom, come over here and look at all these tiny frogs."
"Its OK Max, I can see them from here." UGH!! "Here I come."
"Mom, look at this long snake!!"
"No way. I hate snakes." Geez!!!! This was supposed to be easy!! "Here I come."

I believe that I failed at my attempt to be a total gift to Max for these couple hours. Yes, I remembered my assignment, brought myself back and focused but why did I have to do that so many times? I believe that I truly never really had the habit of being a total gift. I am trying to train my TOB students to be a gift ALL the time. Not just for this one assignment. I want them to see it, feel it, know that they are doing it and make it a part of their everyday life. Is this what I am doing? It's time to try again.
"Mommy!! Swing me!"
"You know how to pump. You can do it."
Really?? "Here I come."

"Mom? When are you going to grade my Algebra?"
"Can't you grade it yourself?" <eyeroll> "Here I come."

"Mom? Are you the only one that is going to eat dinner?"
"I fed you yesterday!!" Fine, "Here I come."

"Mom? Can I tell you my dream?"
"Sure. Wait till I change the baby's diaper." Pause and smile, "Of course. Here I come."

My most favorite motto is, "Your interruptions are your life's most important work." This is so true. If I could just get that motto bobbing in front of my eyes at all times, I would not be drifting off my path so frequently. Wouldn't it be nice to stay the course for longer periods of time? So, how can this be done?  I am trying to get through to my TOB students that they are in the training period of their lives right now. They are training themselves in chastity. Training themselves in faithfulness. Training to be a total gift of themselves so they can be willing and ready to give themselves freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully to their spouse...holding nothing back.

So, what about their teacher? It is by the grace of God that my life is as pure and full of love that it is. I can't imagine how much more rich my life will be when I train myself the way I am asking my students to. I can train this old dog with a new trick. I can. My husband is gone and I can be free to give of myself to everyone around me if I can keep my eye on the ball. When he comes back, it will be a honeymoon that is more pleasing to God than our first.

Friday, October 14, 2011

SNAP, crackle, POP

Here we go again. I have to climb in the attic and dust off my "Support Bishop Finn" signs! I was SO hoping they would just disintegrate to next to nothing up there. That's what is happening to my "Its a Girl" and "Its a boy" yard signs so I know it can happen.
Our Catholic (which means universal, so it really belongs to everyone) Church is being attacked again. There is no real surprise there. The attacks only make it more evident that I am right where I belong. The attacks are expected even though they are frequently unjustified. As I scroll around the Bishop Finn Facebook pages, the hateful comments come from a vast majority of fallen away Catholics that desperately need to come home. Rome sweet Rome. They try to make us believe that the 1.8% of priestly abuses is what drove them away but any halfway intelligent person would clearly see the holes in that excuse.  That is like saying that I need to move out of my house because I found mold in the corner of my bathroom. Let me explain my analogy. I originally had put "dirt" but thought....wait, we can live with dirt. We can not live with mold. It MUST be removed or it will grow and be a cancer for the inhabitants. Making it in the corner of the bathroom is only to compare the size to the rest of the house. It is not meant to imply that it is insignificant because it is small and in the corner.  How about we just clean it up and continue to live here? What a novel idea! Pardon my sarcasm but these people are doing a serious disservice to the victims of abuse. The victims are not looking for a "gang" of supporters. They are looking for healing and justice...appropriate justice....on the appropriate people. They need our prayers!! The church needs our prayers!! The Priests and Bishops need our prayers!!  My "Support Bishop Finn" signs are useless and empty without prayer. The SNAP protesters are nothing more than an angry, ugly mob if they abandon prayer, which they have. I just went to the SNAP website and NO WHERE does it mention praying for ANYTHING. Even in the section I was sure I would find it in...nothing...nada. As a matter of fact, they gave a litany of ways you can help "make a difference." It had 12 "quick and easy ways you can prevent future abuse, and help already wounded survivors to heal."
When I read "quick and easy", I thought I would surely find prayer in this list. Nope. Nothing. Their last and longest plea on the list was for money.  No surprise there either. If you're not going to worship the true God, you're bound to worship a false god. It is in our hearts to worship and desire something greater than ourselves. If you're prayer life has been twisted into a spiral of nothingness, examine your love and pursuit you have for something else. Perhaps...the next party? Gone off on another tangent again!! Focus Katy!!
So? What can you do to help the victims? According to SNAP, it's not prayer. God is not even mentioned.
When I stood in support of Bishop Finn, one of our Dad's invited the SNAP protesters  to pray with us. Not only were we turned down, they laughed and talked then entire time. Where are their hearts exactly? Why are they REALLY there on the sidewalks? Is it really for victims or does it stem from a hatred for the church....
"You will know them by their deeds." Matthew 7:16
How fitting. Praying for Priests and Religious on Vocation Day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Last night, I took 12 teenagers out to see the long awaited movie, Courageous. I have been counting down the days until this movie came out. Usually, when I get my hopes really high about a movie, I always end up disappointed. Even when the movie is great, my standards were over-the-top going in and ends up losing esteem as the story line plays out. I have never awaited and looked forward to a movie more than I did this one and I can tell you that it exceeded my expectations that were already put on a pedestal equal to their past films...Fireproof, Facing the Giants and Flywheel.
This movie was about fatherhood. It was about what it really means to be a man.  I'm talking, REAL manhood. The kind that stands up and fights for the good, crushes the bad, holds their imaginary weapon at all times in defense of their family, annihilate's evil,  leads their family as the spiritual head of the household and is willing and ready to lay down his life for his wife and children. Hubba-HUBBA. That is my kind of man!
Earlier in the day, I had a 2 hour Theology of the Body class with 20 teenagers. (The #'s keep going up each week!) We talked and discussed and watched video's all about LOVE. We defined it as giving of yourself completely to another person. Total self-donation. Our short 5 minute video was from the movie Princess Bride. Every command the princess gave to her farm boy was responded with "As you wish." Her farm boy gave his entire self to the princess. The girls in my class were fanning themselves at the end. This is what God has stamped into the hearts of men. This is what they want to do for us. This is what will fulfill them and give their life real purpose and meaning. Our only simple job as women is to be submissive to their calling. And NO Christian Neiderhiser, it is NOT "You wish". It's "AS YOU WISH."  (He's still single, btw)
Please head out this weekend to see Courageous. I wish I could say more but I have some total self donation I need to extend to my family which will include some hair-do's on baby dolls, puzzles, tickling and making eye contact for an entire conversation.