Go Visit Your Library! (No, seriously)

Go Visit Your Library! (No, seriously)

I’ll admit it: I love bookstores, especially fancy ones like Barnes and Noble. The pretension in the air is almost tangible and there’s nothing like the glossy pages of a new book. I love buying books too… each time I have the hope that this book will be added to the number that I read again and again, each time learning something new. It’s embarrassing to say that I take great pride in our library and am currently looking for a pair of fabulous bookshelves on which to hold the illustrious authors who’ve influenced the minds in our family. All of this is a major preface to the fact that John and I are currently engaged in Mission: Pay Down Student Loans and have called a halt to discretionary spending… aka, no more book buying. It makes sense, really. While my copy of G.K. Chesterton’s book of essays entitled, Brave New Family, has been read thoroughly numerous times, I’d say that most of my books have not enjoyed the same fate. I’m ashamed to say that there are books I own that I’ve never even read. Still, I’ve always liked reading and though I was aware of these institutions called libraries, I was reluctant to go. They’re not as glamorous, the books probably harbor a few germs, and there’s no guarantee they’ll have the newest books I’ve read reviews of. All of those qualms, however, were quashed by the bottom line: everything at the library can be enjoyed for free. So, I reluctantly donned my four layers of clothing and walked down the street to Jervis Public Library. Of course, a library’s a library. Per usual, there...
Redemptive Suffering and Why I am Bad at It

Redemptive Suffering and Why I am Bad at It

Last week, I was not able to write a post for Truth & Charity. In fact, I was not able to do much of anything for about three days because I was very sick. My wonderful husband took time from his paper writing, class prep, and research to take care of the kids while I did the minimum for the baby. I would like to say that I was a very gracious sick person, but I was not. Throughout my sickness, I thought to myself from time to time that I should be offering up my sufferings for something or someone, at least for my family and I even managed a few Hail Marys here and there, but all too quickly my attempts at prayer turned into focus on my discomfort. It is so easy to get caught up in ourselves when we are suffering. The last thing we want to think of is someone else. One could say it is natural to focus on the pain, but what is the supernatural response? St. Paul wrote: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s affliction for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” (Colossians 1:24)  What does that even mean? If you want the long version then please, forget my ramblings and go and read Blessed John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris on the meaning of Christian suffering. In the event that you are still here, I will try and explain. Christ redeemed human suffering by voluntarily taking on the suffering of his death....
7 Things You Should Know About Creation

7 Things You Should Know About Creation

In honor of the Year of Faith (yeah, yeah, I’m way ahead of schedule, right?), I’ve decided to use my love of trivia for good instead of evil. Each week, I’ll post a list of 7 Things You Should Know About _________. This week, I thought I’d start with one of the most fascinating passages of Scripture, which just so happens to be the first. The Holy Trinity is present in the first 3 verses of Sacred Scripture. Don’t believe me? Check it out. No more pointing to Matthew 28 in exasperation when a Oneness Pentecostal tells you you’re a bit short on textual references. Creation took 6 days, not 7. Aside from a large faction of Americans who believe that creation took literally 6 days (not what I’m saying here), there are a great many others who look at that first week and forget that the last day was set aside for rest (could these be the same people who don’t set aside their day of rest each week?). The structure of the whole earth is a response to its original state of formlessness and emptiness. The Hebrew phrase describing the earth in Genesis 1:2 is tohu wabohu, meaning “formless and empty.” The first set of 3 days in creation, God creates forms – either places or raw, semi-abstract concepts – such as light, sea and sky, land. The second set of 3 days in creation, God fills those forms accordingly with their corresponding fillings: He fills the light with sun, moon, and stars, the sea and sky with fish and birds, and the land with animals and...
Mourning the Loss of My Priesthood

Mourning the Loss of My Priesthood

My discernment of the priesthood began when I was in high school. What led me to first consider such a vocation was a series of retreat experiences and the continuation of prayer. One retreat in particular taught contemplative prayer in the presence of the Eucharist, which had been elevated and surrounded by about 80 large candles – each with the name of a retreatant on it. I took my candle home and would often light it, remembering myself to be in the presence of God through the recollection of that night of adoration. The first inkling toward discernment was not actually the thought of becoming a priest, but the realization that God simply wanted me to serve Him. I suppose that if I had been presented with the idea of becoming a priest, I would have either rejected it or it would have been scorched by the sun for lack of roots. I continued praying, though not specifically for God’s will, and grew into a deeper understanding and love for Him. It was through the sacraments that I first began to consider the priesthood. My family made it a point to to go confession as a family once a month, as was encouraged by Our Lady of Fatima and no one ever missed Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation. I tried desperately to find meaning in my Confirmation, though it was hard because it seemed that every other pimply-faced teenager was more concerned with simply having more oil on their forehead. Still, I would often go to confession on my own; even once a week during the...
Why Gun Bans Discount Virtue

Why Gun Bans Discount Virtue

I know, I know.  It’s a little late for more talk about banning guns.  The gun-control rally realized they were fighting a losing battle and decided to try to hype us up and fight against one another with their usual clarion calls for amnesty for illegal immigration.  That being said, I will resist the change and add more food for thought. In the aftermath of the Newtown, CT shooting, a handful of priests and bishops expressed their desire to enact further restriction on firearms, some even calling for confiscation.  I’m not particularly interested in arguing about the effectiveness of gun control, nor in citing the Catechism’s paragraphs about legitimate defense.  Been there, done that.  Let’s leave out the issue of semi-auto or high-capacity magazines, and simply address what is a gun. What is a gun?  It is a machine, an assembly of parts for the purpose of firing a projectile at high velocity for the purpose of striking a target.  Of course this could be applied to a crossbow, bow and arrow, slingshot, etc.. What can a gun do?  By itself, nothing.  I can place a pistol, or even semi-auto rifle with high-capacity magazine on the kitchen table untouched, and it will not fire.  A firearm is neither moral nor immoral, and has no ability to take moral or immoral action without the operation of a human being (and sometimes a dog). What is a human being?  A human being is a creation of God, dominant over all of creation, given the gift of free will for the purpose of loving God and living according to his commands.  Because...