Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday Tidbits #5

Listening To:

We picked up a selection of new music from iTunes in the last week or so, mostly for Ria's birthday. Some of my favorites include Bill Murray singing The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book, On the Road by The High Kings,  Just Give Me a Reason by Pink (I wonder how many marriages have been saved by this song!), and Oceans by Hillsong United.

Grateful For:

Getting back to blogging! I am amazed that this is my fifth consecutive week of blogging! I decided to aim for some blogging on Tuesday mornings because that's my one "slow" morning of the week. It seems like having a little structure and a weekly goal is really working for me. I'm now finding myself looking forward to writing a blog post each week!

Everything Keeps Coming Up...

Being outside! Track, baseball, dogs, good weather, and not too many bugs yet. We enjoyed having our associate pastor and his sister over for dinner last week and got to eat outside with them. Father even played a little baseball with Frank. :)


We've pulled out our old Perspective timeline board game quite a few times since Gus got back from school. The game consists of historic event cards (pre-divided into four major time periods) and a board game on which the cards are played. Dates are on the back of the card (where you can't see them!) and the goal is to put them in order correctly. Others players can challenge your play and gain or lose cards depending on the wisdom of their challenge.

We've also added a few homemade cards over the years. This has been a family favorite for many years (maybe 10?). We also frequently make some adjustments to make it work better for us, like giving better players extra cards to start out with. I was so delighted to discover, when searching for an image for this post, that this game is now back in print!!! More information here: Perspective... The Timeline Game


Nothing new here, really. Still working on Sacramentum Caritatis with the high school catechism class and reading Emma and Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck on my own. Oh, and I've also grown fond of the Catholic website Aleteia.

After watching The Jungle Book, I am really eager to read the book.


 The Jungle Book

Gus and I went to see this in the theater last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. The music was wonderful - with plenty of nods to the original film. The storyline was terrific. Again, it kept most of the key parts of the animated movie, but without getting stuck in the mud. Bill Murray as Baloo and Christopher Walken as King Louie were fabulous. I loved how they let both actors really play it up as themselves. So fun!!!

The whole movie worked well in so many ways. I love how it portrayed mankind's relationship with nature and the other animals. Nature is beautiful and noble but also can be quite fierce. The animals are both afraid of man and in awe of him. Mowgli (representing mankind), in his turn is weak and vulnerable but also clever in a way that allows him to construct tools and strategies that make up for that deficit. He has the capacity for great destruction, but also for great good.

Quote I'm Pondering: 

The Montessorian and the liturgist in me were both made very happy by this quote from Sacramentum Caritatis (The Sacrament of Charity) by Pope Benedict XVI:

In the course of the Synod, there was frequent insistence on the need to avoid any antithesis between the ars celebrandi, the art of proper celebration, and the full, active and fruitful participation of all the faithful. The primary way to foster the participation of the People of God in the sacred rite is the proper celebration of the rite itself. The ars celebrandi is the best way to ensure their actuosa participatio. The ars celebrandi is the fruit of faithful adherence to the liturgical norms in all their richness; indeed, for two thousand years this way of celebrating has sustained the faith of all believers, called to take part in the celebration as the People of God, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.
So we've talked about the importance of beauty and fidelity in liturgy, but also spent a lot of time talking about perspective. Yes, we want really beautiful liturgies and we should do what we can to help build those up, but first of all, the Mass itself is perfect. Jesus comes to us and we receive the Eucharist and it is amazing! Never lose that most basic piece when thinking about the music or the homily or whatever you didn't really quite like.

It's also essential to remember that liturgies are a very human thing and will never be perfect and God understands that. After all, Jesus came down to earth as one of us and didn't in any sense of the word have the best of everything. I help out at our parish sometimes as a backup liturgist. In my mind this role could be considered to have two basic aspects.

  1. Set things up well to help things go as smoothly as possible, help people be comfortable/prepared for their various roles, etc. 
  2. Don't get upset that people will mess up sometimes, babies will cry, etc. 

That human aspect can actually be understood as a beautiful part of the liturgy too. I have long felt that a little baby noise makes things better in church. Maybe this is just because we are always praying and offering ourselves to God as seriously flawed individuals. It's good to have a little perspective and sense of humor about this!

One quote that has long been a guiding piece for me in understanding my relationship to the liturgy is  1 Samuel 15:22:

But Samuel said:
“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obedience to the LORD’s command?
Obedience is better than sacrifice,
to listen, better than the fat of rams."

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