Monday, July 23, 2012

snowed under in July and a birthday party

Here are some pictures from a fun thing, my son Ben's 17th birthday.

This was the Birthday Hat, and the Birthday Shirt. Rachael made the shirt. It has some significance to a show and video game. We went with  video game as the theme. The hat was just because. One year he wore a clown tie. It hung in the coat closet pictured, and for a long time it stuck out the side, giving the impression we had a clown trapped in our closet.

So happy Dan could make it. We all miss him!
He gave Ben a new drum throne, a really nice one with a tractor style seat. His old one had broken and he was using an old kitchen chair.

Here he is opening it.

 the old style Nintendo controller cake. The Cake Boss can rest easy.

 So this was what they mostly did. You know, just to keep with the theme. We had about fifteen or so people. It was a nice day, I think Ben had fun.

It took me pretty much a full week to recover from the prep and carrying out of this, though. Sometimes I wonder why I am so easily worn out. Other times, I am pretty sure it is a stress reaction. For me, they come way after the event(s). Sort of a chickens-coming-home-to-roost effect. I can function pretty well in the moment of a crisis, and be fairly clear headed. But later, all the residual exhaustion gangs up, hunts me down, and ambushes me when I least expect it. Yes, I have a lot on my mind presently, ( I won't list it out here, I might scare myself)  but it seems it is all I can do to get through the day, and that sometimes, just barely.

Guess it is time to regroup. Again. I want to go back to daily mass. Now that I am not in school, I hope to be able to. Getting up early, once something I did easily and enjoyed, is now difficult and far from enjoyable. Some combo of stress, middle age and all its accompanying changes, and my old cross, depression are OUT TO GET ME. Oh and maybe a touch of paranoia. Haha.

Nothing God can't handle. Praying He will soon do just that!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

urgent prayer request--update to the update

My grandson just fell from an 11 foot pool ladder onto his head.

Please, please pray for him.

these were taken just today.

when he first arrived at the ER

and on the way out--

I don't know everything yet, just that he has a broken collarbone.

All the prayers were VERY effective.

Thank you ♥

 here he is the next day. Guardian angel, thank you!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A good explanation of freedom and reponsibility

Archbishop Chaput

As Disciples of Christ, 'You and I Are Responsible for This Moment'

an excerpt from his homily -- given at the closing Mass for the Fortnight for Freedom, July 4 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

    ...The implication is clear: To be made in the image of God is more than a pious slogan. It’s a statement of fact. Every one of us shares — in a limited but real way — in the nature of God himself. When we follow Jesus Christ, we grow in conformity to that image.
Once we understand this, the impact of Christ’s response to his enemies becomes clear. Jesus isn’t being clever. He’s not offering a political commentary. He’s making a claim on every human being. He’s saying, “Render unto Caesar those things that bear Caesar’s image, but, more importantly, render unto God that which bears God’s image” — in other words, you and me. All of us.
And that raises some unsettling questions: What do you and I, and all of us, really render to God in our personal lives? If we claim to be disciples, then what does that actually mean in the way we speak and act?
Thinking about the relationship of Caesar and God, religious faith and secular authority, is important. It helps us sort through our different duties as Christians and citizens. But on a deeper level, Caesar is a creature of this world, and Christ’s message is uncompromising: We should give Caesar nothing of ourselves. Obviously, we’re in the world. That means we have obligations of charity and justice to the people with whom we share it. Patriotism is a virtue. Love of country is an honorable thing. As Chesterton once said, if we build a wall between ourselves and the world, it makes little difference whether we describe ourselves as locked in or locked out.
But God made us for more than the world. Our real home isn’t here. The point of today’s Gospel passage is not how we might calculate a fair division of goods between Caesar and God. In reality, it all belongs to God, and nothing — at least nothing permanent and important — belongs to Caesar. Why? Because just as the coin bears the stamp of Caesar’s image, we bear the stamp of God’s image in baptism. We belong to God and only to God.
In today’s second reading, St. Paul tells us, “Indeed, religion” — the RSV version says “godliness” — “with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it” (1 Timothy, 6:6-11).
True freedom knows no attachments other than Jesus Christ. It has no love of riches or the appetites they try to satisfy. True freedom can walk away from anything — wealth, honor, fame, pleasure. Even power. It fears neither the state, nor death itself.
Who is the most free person at anything? It’s the person who masters her art. A pianist is most free who — having mastered her instrument according to the rules that govern it and the rules of music and having disciplined and honed her skills — can now play anything she wants.
The same holds true for our lives. We’re free only to the extent that we unburden ourselves of our own willfulness and practice the art of living according to God’s plan. When we do this, when we choose to live according to God’s intention for us, we are then — and only then — truly free.
This is the freedom of the sons and daughters of God. It’s the freedom of Miguel Pro, Mother Teresa, Maximillian Kolbe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and all the other holy women and men who have gone before us to do the right thing, the heroic thing, in the face of suffering and adversity.
This is the kind of freedom that can transform the world. And it should animate all of our talk about liberty — religious or otherwise.

The image is my addition. I refrained from adding political cartoons because I didn't want to distract from the message. But it was tough. There are some good ones floating around. 

Aside from relating to the music reference, I appreciate the archbishop's explanation of how we can fuse living our faith and living as responsible citizens of our country.

I highly recommend reading the whole homily~