Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lyric of the Moment 2

"You should have a travel agent cuz you a trip / You should make your own toilet tissue since you the shit"
                            ~Kanye West, Deuces (Remix)

Friday, August 19, 2011

What is Love?

"God cannot fall in love for the same reason water cannot get wet: it is wet. It is wetness itself. Love Itself cannot receive love as a passivity. It can only spread it as an activity."
                                                       ~ Peter Kreeft, What is Love?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bad Liturgy, Awkward Moments, and Improper Thoughts

Mass is the source and summit of the Catholic faith.  I love the Mass and most people who know me would never question that.  However, I'm sure like many people, my mind can tend to wander around a bit during Mass both through my own fault and sometimes as a result of bad liturgy.  I'm sometimes bemused by bad liturgy, awkward moments, and/or improper thoughts.  For example:
  • Priests that like to make small talk
    You know those priests that try to make a personal connection with the congregation either right after the entrance song or right before the recessional song?  The ones that say something like "How is everyone today?" or "Have a great day!"?  It's always funny to watch how the congregation responds.  For the greeting, some people respond with, "Good, Father."  Others say, "Fine," or, "Great."  For the farewell, you hear some people say, "You too, Father," and others, "Thank you."  Some of the responders speak up forcefully as if trying to speak for everyone while others sort of respond quietly out of automated politeness.  For both cases, there are also those who sense the awkwardness of the situation and simply nod or shift uncomfortably and don't say anything.  Altogether, it makes for a few moments of a messy din that makes me just want to look at my feet.  I think it actually makes the point of why liturgy, the definition of which is a prescribed form of public worship, is practical, necessary, and important.

  • Judging the Cantor, Lectors, etc.
    This is the one where while the cantor or lector is doing their thing, you find yourself distracted because you're thinking more about them.  Perhaps it's because you're judging them because of "stuff" you know about their personal lives which, for whatever reason, makes you deem them "unfit" for their role.  Or maybe you feel like they're cantoring because it makes them feel like a rock star or lectoring because they just like to hear the sound of their own voice instead of seeing themselves as a vessel of the Holy Spirit.  In any case, your thoughts are distracting you from paying attention to the Word of God.  And by "you," I mean "me."  However, the reverse is also true where an inspirational lector or cantor can also lead you into a powerful experience with God.

  • Gift Bearers Bowing During the Offertory
    I especially love seeing large Catholic families bring up the gifts to the altar.  It's so heart-warming for me.  However, it could easily degenerate and this is where having a good liturgical coordinator is crucial.  The pace down the center aisle is important, but not as important (to me) as coordinating the bowing.  It's painful for me to watch when after presenting the gifts to the priest and altar servers, one of the gift bearers unsure of whether or not to bow begins a half-hearted bow.  The second gift bearer, who wasn't going to bow in the first place and has already slowly started to walk away turns back and starts a quick bow because the other gift bearer was bowing.  The first gift bearer has already stopped bowing and is walking away.  It's like liturgical teen angst.

  • Musicians Coming in at the Wrong Time
    I tend to see this more when there is a new priest or if the lead cantor has zoned out a bit.  It usually goes something like this.  The priest has just finished saying, "And so we join the angels and saints in proclaiming your glory..." and is waiting for the musicians to come in.  They are a little bit late and so the priest begins to say the Sanctus.  Just as the congregation is about to join in, the musicians come in and everyone stops in their tracks and then begins singing.  If it's not late, then it's early.  I imagine that many Catholics have experienced a moment where in the middle of the beautiful Eucharistic prayer, the overzealous pianist or organist comes in with a triumphant chord jarring everyone and throwing the priest off.  People spend the rest of the prayer trying not to look at the embarrassed musician who is trying to hide. 

  • and my personal favorite: Has a Priest Ever Been Hit in the Face with the Thurible?
    Incense is a beautiful image and symbol within the Mass and the moment during the Mass when the priest and the people are incensed with three swings is one of my favorites.  One day, while the altar server acting as the thurifer was incensing the priest, I had a horrible thought.  For the next few seconds, it was all I could do to not burst out in giggles because I couldn't stop picturing the altar server accidentally swinging the thurible into the priest's face as he bowed, knocking him backwards with a solid "boink."
I need to go to Confession.  However, most importantly, I am reminded of how human liturgy is and the amazing grace it is for God to make Himself physically present in the midst of such brokenness and awkwardness.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lyric of the Moment 1

"I'll treat you like milk, I'll do nothin' but spoil you."
                                             ~Lil' Flip, Sunshine

Thursday, August 4, 2011

More Changes...

In keeping with the last post, not only does getting married change things in a relationship, but so does getting pregnant.  Go figure. 

As my wife and I undergo this transition in our marriage, one thing that pregnancy has changed is the way we're used to physically interacting with each other.  I know that it may seem obvious, but it's not really something that is talked about as much as YOUR LIFE BEING OVER

For example, hugging.  There's nothing better to calm one of us down or pick one of us up than a nice intimate hug.  I'm talking crotch-to-crotch intimate.  But with the growing tummy, that experience actually sorta feels a little violated.  It's supposed to be a me and wife moment and whether we like it or not, there is now a melon between us that is perfectly/conveniently in the way of prime bit-fitting nuzzlage.  The obvious take-away here is: welcome to parenthood.  I guess even starting from the womb, kids can naturally get in the way of potential intimacy with the spouse so I suppose my feeling towards it depends on my thoughts about how I entitled I feel to that intimacy and how hard I want to work towards it.

Then there's the cuddling change.  Yes, wifey and I love us some cuddle action.  Face to face, I guess it's actually made that particular position better as there's a natural negative cavity that's perfect for the baby bump (think of the space when two spoons are facing each other).  But speaking of spooning, now, when I'm small spoon, I also get nice, random kicks in the back by the baby.  It's a really weird, yet awesome feeling.  Still, this position is the bomb-diggity because instead of getting left behind for the pregnancy pillow like in The Back-up Plan, which I may or may not have seen, I'm still the man.  Seriously.  It's the gift that keeps on giving.

And going back to bits fitting together, sex has changed as well.  Previously comfortable positions now no longer really work either for health reasons and/or practical reasons.  We've had to re-learn a bit and try new things.  This one had the biggest potential to drive a bit of a wedge between us almost literally, but communication has been the key to unlocking this new adventure.

Lots of changes, but we've embraced them.