I'm glad it's Friday, but I'm terrified that it's Friday. Friday means that Monday is only two days away and my term paper for my Old Testament class isn't done. Friday means that Wednesday is only five days away and I still have twenty-four costumes and accessories to finish for my 9th and 10th graders' Living Stations. Methinks this will be a weekend without much sleep and lots of caffeine.--2--
Last Friday I didn't post because I was at a Diocesan conference on "parish revitalization." The first day of the conference was fantastic, mainly due to its amazing keynote speaker, Leisa Anslinger. However, I almost walked out of Friday's session, and many of my collegues did. Friday's keynote was Paul Wilkes, a less-than-orthodox Catholic known for his dissent from the CDF's document Dominus Iesus (and other things) and his less-than-positive view on our clergy. The morning started with his declaration that "the age of priests is over. It's time for the age of the laity!" Yes, we're living in a post VII world. Yes, laity are important. But the way he said it (and in the larger context of his talk) he seemed to be saying, "move over, guys with collers! You're washed up!" His wording was so eerie it actually gave me flashbacks to this guy -----> saying," "The age of Men is over. The time of the Orc has come." Anyway, he was giving away issues of the National Catholic Distortor/Reporter; that should have been my first clue that I was in for a long, frustrating day. Oy.--3--
Despite Paul Wilkes and his boo-hiss Church schpeel, last weekend I was incredibly encouraged by the many faithful Catholic youth at the YOUTH2000 retreat in Madison run by the CFR brothers and sisters. The CFRs are a great community, and their honesty and pastoral approach to the truths of our Faith was awesome. The kids all seemed to respond really well. I was sitting with kids from St. Ambrose Academy though, so most of them are already from rockstar Catholic families. But even public school studnets seemed to be responding well. It was beautiful. I cried, especially at the end of the weekend when brothers invited anyone who had felt a preistly or religious calling that weekend to come forward. Three of "my" girls and three of "my" boys from St Ambrose went up, and I felt buyoed with so much hope I was soon a blubbering mess. Hope! The New Evangelization is happening; there *is* a coming springtime in the Church!--4--
I was able to chat with a college friend who is in Ave Maria University's Institute for Pastoral Theology Master's program; he couldn't stop raving about it. He encouraged me to look into it, and it looks like something I definitely will pursue when I finish Commissioned Ministries in three years. I like that it's part time and once a month; I like that I can trust the professors will be from an orthodox theological background; I like it a lot! Something to keep in mind.--5--
The Feast of the Annuciation was Wednesay, and so I kicked off my nine-month Novena (ending Christmas Day). My intentions list is really, really long this year. Really long. But I entrust it all to Blessed Mary and her powerful intercession!--6--
I have had some more vocational clarity of late. Thanks so some brave people in my life who told me things I needed to hear, I'm getting closer to actually discerning my vocation *for real* rather than constantly waiting to discern. That sure will be nice.--7--
I may have found a new spiritual director. I'm excited about this possibility. Spiritual directors = Made of Awesome. I love Fr. Philip's awesome post about SD here.