"I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Son, let this woman be a bride to you in the restoration of my people. Let her be a mother for these people, regenerating souls through the salvation of spirit and water.'" (Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Style: Wolf Taming

Blouse and skirt: thrifted in Ohio.
Jacket: thrifted here in San Jose.
Earrings: thrifted in Michigan.
Butterfly necklace: Mervyn's, or maybe Target, in Portland when Katie was a baby and I was dissertating.
Scarf/veil: mom and pop (or maybe just pop) shop, East San Jose.

The picture is the first on the front porch of our beautiful, peaceful, tiny apartment now that we are back home in Paradise. For more Sunday style links visit Rosie!

Tried to go to the Black Baptist church downtown I like, since I played guitar and sang for the Portuguese-English bilingual mass at my parish last night. The young Carmelite friar who was subbing was marvelous, especially getting to know him afterwards via conversation, healing prayer for my wrist which has been acting up, and a short, sweet, and powerful Confession before Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. I was kneeling on her altar steps to center myself while he divested and was tremendously moved when he came out, hit his knees beside me, and stayed that way throughout until asking, with marvelous respect and boundaries: "With your permission, I am going to stand and lay my hands on your head for the absolution." Yes, please! And you bet I gave him props after!

I will have to try next week for the Black church, since I left late because of an important ministry phone call and then hit a bunch of roadblocks downtown for some kind of bike-a-thon. So I ended up heading over to the wonderful East Side Latina parish where Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta founded the UFW for a packed and lively celebration followed by pozole and a taco de pollo as well as buying a couple different devotional booklets to combine prayer and Spanish improvement. A favorite is the snappy "Detente enemigo! El Corazon de Jesus esta conmigo!" ("Begone, enemy! The Heart of Jesus is with me!")

Didn't bring a camera or even my phone so I will have to post photos another time of the stunning art of NS de Guadualupe, St. Clare, and the coolest St. Francis ever--he is petting the tamed wolf of Gubbio who looks up at him with gentle delight! I was so moved when a father brought up his step and stairs children--the older two reached up to touch the wolf and Francis themselves and he held up the toddler so she could too. I did the same praying to be like him in loving service to the poor and the church--I love that he stayed a deacon, while Clare as an abbess had similar authority to a bishop--and for a strong and loving presence to help "tame" the wolves I am called to, my brothers caught in the enemy's traps of toxic masculinity and rape culture.

I hadn't brought a veil, which I wear when the Spirit moves, so She whispered to drop into a tiny little shop run by a friendly old Asian gentleman. I found this gorgeous scarf, and one just like it in lilac, as well as a nice hanger for my growing collection--all at bargain prices. There were more colors in this stunning sheer gold-adorned design but I am resisting for now! After mass I spent some time in prayer and touched the new veil in consecration to the images of Francis, Clare, and the stunning gold-rose-surrounded Guadalupe.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

JEI Prayer Edition

Prayer and devotions are the perfect focus for this feast of Mary's birthday! It's also a day of great joy for me as I have a confession and healing appt with a favorite Jesuit from my undergrad alma mater--the first in thirty years since IBM just moved ComputerGuy, and the rest of us, back to the area.

1.What are your favorite devotions?

There are so many beloved ones but right now I am taking special joy in the long-beloved Angelus and newly-discovered Morning Offering. I love the Angelus, irregularly said when I happen to notice it's 6 am, 12 noon, or 6 pm, because it helps me claim as my own Miriam of Nazareth's fierce and courageous embrace of life, love, and work for justice as God's joyously surrendered demon-fighting handmaid.

I have always greeted God lovingly and chatted a bit--or a lot--upon first waking up. And I sometimes get to official Morning Prayer, and/or last night's Examen if I was too tired. But I never prayed the Morning Offering because it just didn't fit my style and relationship with God, until a few months ago when I realized that I could customize one that did. I started with one I found online and after getting it just right have totally rejoiced in the practice, and--grace of God and total miracle--haven't missed one day because it is so short and easy to do. And that is a real comfort, as Simcha movingly wrote recently, on the days I am not able, or sometimes willing, to come back for a more in depth prayer time during the day. In the midst of the move chaos I did forget one time till right before collapsing at midnight, when I realized that offering "the precious blood of Jesus from all the altars of the world, together with my every thought, word and action of this day" is an equally good night offering closing a day of blessings!

My personal offering--and I would love to hear yours in the comments:

Holy Wisdom, my friend and God, in union with the priestly heart of Mary I offer you the precious blood of Jesus from all the altars of the world, together with my every thought, word, and action of this day. I ask for [optional special grace]. Mystical Rose, pray for me; sister Spirit, dance with me; Jesus, fiercely gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like unto yours. Amen!

2.Have any of your prayers been answered? Do you have any prayers that you are glad weren’t answered the way you’d hoped?

The amazing miracle right now is that God has answered the deep desire of my heart to come home to California, less than an hour from the sacred ocean--and have doors open for ministry and community--that I did not even consciously pray for cause it seemed impossible. The Spirit prayed in me (Romans 8) and God my loving Mother and Jesus my brother, savior, and friend granted more than I could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3)!

3. How do you pray with your kids?

Very differently now that they are grown or almost grown--more for them than with them (except for the two saints always living in my heart as well as heaven). I joyfully remember the many years of rocking, singing, praying, cuddling with nurslings and weanlings and even elementary age kids as I pray for my young adult son now launched back in the Midwest. And worshipping together ecumenically, since their Dad is Presby, in so many places we have lived. And last year's bible study and morning office and Angelus for the first part of the first year of homeschooling, till we gradually came to recognize Katie's thirteen year old rite of passage to "spiritual but not religious, not self-sacrificial enough to be Christian" and release her from most practice.

She and I still share our spiritual/ethical/human journeys joyfully in hours of conversation, and the knowledge of theology and scripture I gave her shines in her understanding of literature in our classes--this fall a delightful exploration of classic Gothic literature including the stunning original Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley accompanied by the stunning voice acting of Dan Stevens in the Audible version. And she and I and ComputerGuy have adopted a previous occasional grace option, a group hug with silent prayer, before dinner as the perfect balance of loving unity and individual freedom.

I went to an amazing funeral mass at my college alma mater chapel, Mission Santa Clara, the other day and prayed for my four ducklings, feeling them so close in spirit as well as dwelling in my own flesh through the incarnational miracle of microchimerism--Julian and Rachel dancing by the altar as my grad school best friend saw Rachel at her daughter's First Communion, and Katie and Nick busy on their own adventures of study and growth in wisdom, age, and grace!

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sunday Style: Open My Eyes, Lord

New to me offertory song by Jesse Manibusan today which was a lovely meditation in preparation for my first confession in with a favorite Jesuit in decades later this week on the campus of my alma mater. [Edited for clarity as it's just the first with him in the thirty years since I graduated--I love and need that healing sacrament and went both early in Lent and during the novena of Pentecost!] It's even better with alternating Spanish verses but I couldn't find that on youtube.

Tank Sundress: Meijer, last summer, Empire style and decidedly not maternity!
T-shirt underneath: Goodwill, yesterday, after an awesome catch up lunch with a grad school friend now in this area
Shoes: New Balance super sturdy walking shoes, replaced recently
Jewelry: Guadalupe medal from our pilgrimage last summer on my Grandma Pat's gold chain; large gold hoops with pearls a long ago present from Mom; small gold hoops in upper piercings a hand me down from her, also yesterday, when she also gave Katie a cool little silver rhinestone set and crescent moons for her upper cartilage piercing before the Europe roadschool trip (I gave up on my matching mini crosses, sadly, when one got gunky on the road).

The moving chaos is starting to die down so it feels good to get back to the blog with my first What I Wore Sunday post! It's been two and a half weeks since the movers arrived to pack a day after my last post and they have finally promised a solid delivery date of this Wednesday. ComputerGuy, homeschool maiden and I have been pilgrims with a carry on backpack each and one checked suitcase for shoes, night splints, and vitamins as we balanced accessibility and affordability by frequent moves. We stayed 1) with his parents in Michigan for two nights 2) in a San Jose hotel after our flight for one night 3) with my parents in Ventura (a five-six hour drive south) for four nights 3) in a Pismo Beach hotel (halfway up) for one night 4)in an extended stay hotel in downtown San Jose with kitchenette for two nights 5) in a cheaper motel, also near downtown, with a little fridge and microwave for two more nights 6)back at my parents' for three nights, plus tonight and finally we will spend 7)two more nights at a different extended stay much closer to our empty apartment in southeast San Jose and his IBM campus in the country even farther south.

I discovered a new Catholic church closer to my parents than my usual Mission, and it turns out my mom would always drive my Grandma Dorothy there for mass when she visited. They have been ethical and supremely loving atheists for a long time, prompting one of my kids to say as a preschooler: "They are going to have a weally happy supwise when they get to heaven." I went to a lovely First Friday mass followed by adoration and rosary there, but forgot the announcement of the fiftieth anniversary celebration this weekend. So I could hardly find a parking spot for what I thought would be the start of the normal noon Spanish mass and turned out be halftime=offertory of a joyous and elaborate bilingual mass with two bishops: Jose Gomez, the first Latino Archbishop of LA, and Robert Barron, whom I had not known was the auxiliary for the Santa Barbara region. Rather than sit in the overflow chairs outside I joined some other latecomers alternately standing and kneeling in front of the confessionals and behind the last pew in a side section and looking over the shoulder of a woman in front of me to see hymn words in the thankfully large program.

On the way home I swung by the grocery store on the way home to get provisions for the equally Eucharistic Sunday night dinner my parents host for my Great-Grandpa and my uncle/godfather when he's available (sadly, not today, so I won't see how he's doing in person after his leg amputation). After some serious study in homeschool this year and turning thirteen Katie has been released from regular church attendance in honor of her present spiritual but not religious, "not self-sacrificial enough to be Christian beliefs" but she is wearing her comfy classy new dress anyway, topped by the new color from our last hair date in Michigan when I got my gold retouched, as she bakes the brownies for dessert. Mom is grilling hamburgers and I just took out a large pan of roasted sweet potatoes and peppers I was counting on Uncle R. to help me eat and take home. They will go into a cheap tupperware instead and become my easy to eat veggies in the last hotel room cause they are just as good cold. For more church fashion and commentary visit Rosie for "My Sunday Best" at Blog For My Mom!