Join Jennifer and other zany souls like her over at Conversion Diary for Seven Quick Takes Friday!
This week we had the honor and privilege of attending the funeral Mass for Sister Michael Marie, OP, one of the nuns at the monastery where my Dominican laity chapter meets.
She went into the seclusion of the monastery at the age of sixteen in 1943. The large chapel was PACKED with mourners–family, yes, but others whose lives Sister had touched from behind the grille. I had all three kids with me, and they behaved surprisingly well. Granted, they were being bribed with a trip to a local diner/dairy with an ice cream bar, playground and petting zoo. Call it piety or love of ice cream, but either way, we got lots of compliments on their behavior.
I pointed out to the kids that this was our our second funeral in about as many months. The last had been for a laywoman, the mother of former neighbors of ours, whose funeral had been somewhat sparsely attended. Now that’s neither here nor there, but I pointed out to the girls that our culture tells us that cloistered life is oppressively lonely and anything like it should be avoided at all costs, while life with a spouse and children is the way to banish loneliness. Then I pointed out to them that the funeral of a nun who hardly ever stepped out of the walls of her cloister was more well attended than the funeral of the woman whom society tells us should have had it all. The point being, it’s not the vocation God chooses for you that guarantees you’ll reach people on this side; it’s the life you live that matters in the end.
One funeral attendee asked our three girls, “Which one of you will become a nun?” I responded, “That’s for them to find out from God. If He wants nuns now, he’ll get them. He may still need more devout Catholic mommies and daddies, though, to raise up those nuns before He can start filling up more convents.” Something like that. Those weren’t my exact words. You get the idea. I hope.
PROOFS ARE IN TO MAH HOUSE!
Just in time to cap off NFP Awareness Week. (Check out that link. The little rattle graphic is adorable.) A year ago, when Full Quiver Publishing was looking at the earliest consumable draft of DYFAM, I went to the CMN/CWG/CNM event and told people I had written “an NFP murder mystery.” What could the two possibly have in common? Ah, you’ll have to stay tuned for teasers, the book trailer, and the book itself, to be released on November 1.
Speaking of Conversion Diary way up there at the top of this post, I read her post this week on “How We Built Our Village.” It was indeed another beautiful, funny post. For my part, I read it with… well, not jealousy, exactly, but I sure did fall into a self-pity spiral out of which I’m trying to swim. It was a timely post, though. Building a community is activity that is partly intentional, partly providential. The long range plan, however, has to be that this here is not my actual village. Our village is supposed to be heaven. Some earthly communities, like Jennifer’s, are a taste of the glory that awaits us on the other side. Other earthly communities remind us that… well, this is not where we want to stay! Either way, if you look for the good, you’ll find it.
Oh! I almost forgot! I finally got around to reading The Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman.
Oooohhh… this was some dark chocolate for my brain: bitter in all the right ways, sweet in all the others, and just enough good-for-you antioxidants, by which I mean spiritually uplifting goodness, to hit all the spots on my little bookwormy palate. Byronic heroes, dreadlocks, pretty clothes from thrift stores, and one of the minor heroines is a Dominican sister. What’s not to love? HIGHLY recommended!
Fun Erin-Fact: for somebody who’s given chastity talks to college students, I’m actually quite the introvert.
If I meet you at CWG in a little over a week, and I seem mean or stand-offish or say something incredibly stupid, please try to understand: my Small Talk Energy Allowance has probably bottomed out. For my part, I’ll try very hard not to do any of those things even when my STEA has disappeared.
Yesterday was the Feast of St. James the Apostle. I explained to the kids about Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and about the pilgrims’ way and how many hike it on their knees in penance. We celebrated this feast with tapas–a.k.a. “snacks for dinner.” My favorite was chorizo with a little dollop of goat cheese…
…. um, yes, on a Club cracker. We were supposed to go pick up some actual tortas, but then there was a trip to a creek and three muddy kids and… well, you can figure out the rest. Don’t you judge me!
I hear you on the STEA thing. It’s actually a huge fear for me as regards this conference. Hopefully I won’t top out too early!
And the pastor at the Catholic school where Little Brother goes is not shy about bringing up the topic of vocations with the kids. I have to give the man at the funeral who spoke to your kids kudos for not being afraid to bring up the subject. There’s nothing wrong with planting a seed.
I think somebody should sell Small Talk Allowance Meters. We could wear them on our lapels and people could check our STEAM levels.
Roomie, we should talk! Check your email later. This post of yours was an answer to prayer!