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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It Must Be Advent

I'm still struggling to get my stuff done for class this weekend. I'm supposed to be (or * ahem * was supposed to be at a liturgy commission meeting tonight at my church, but because I have class Friday night and need to leave early, I couldn't leave early tonight. Besides....I have my papers still to do.

* sigh *

Last night I THOUGHT my synthetic paper on God's mercy was done. But today at work I took it out in relation to a discussion between a co-worker and I, and realized some huge omissions in scripture...and that MUST be remedied before I turn this in. Besides...I found a few more errors. And so did my dear friend Cathy, bless her heart! So...back to editing.

Tonight I've been working on my spirituality paper. I think I might be a heretic....I can't seem to summarize/phrase some of these important points about the Eucharist. Mind you, it's not a doctrinal paper, but it has doctrinal elements just out of necessity and for the purpose of important theological definitions. But I'm now done with 5 pages....3 to go...oy, this is torture! I'm not sure if it's worse for me or God...especially given the heresy contained within my bad attempts to explain spiritual concepts. Massive editing will need to be done.

3 pages, though, sounds easy, doesn't it? Nope. Not at all.

I once read a quote that seems apt in my situation: "Writing is like squeezing blood from a rock." Maybe it would be better to say that "Writing is like squeezing a rock so hard the the blood squeezes from your OWN pores."

Or maybe I'm a rock-head?

On to other things now....

Mom is better, and is now out of the hospital and recovering at my Aunt and Uncle's home. She can't take care of herself and can't go up stairs, but thank God she doesn't have to spend Christmas in a nursing home! We don't know yet what will happen for Christmas, but if she goes anywhere, she will have to be driven as her surgeon will not be able to clear her until the first week in January. So our Christmas plans will change to some degree, but perhaps in a way that will allow me to go to Midnight Mass for the first time in my life. Although I'd rather go with plan A and be with my family that evening as opposed to driving down to have a crowded Christmas with about 5 families while I can bring only a few meager gifts according to my lack of income.

Yes, they'll understand, but's hard to not have anything to offer in the face of massive generosity.

Oh, and the next batch of brightening news: my brother went in for his evaluation today, and it didn't turn out as expected; they are cutting him loose. He is a consultant and the company is changing directions so has no need of his services. He doesn't get a severance package because of his employment status as a consultant, however they are having him work part time until the end of the year, but paying him full-time wages. This gives him a chance to look for another job. Thank God he has an interview tomorrow already, so may be able to land on his feet.

He's actually not that upset about this change in course, especially because he is leaving with references and a valuable set of skills to offer his next employer. Please keep my brother in your prayers.

In all of this, although my family has been experiencing all sorts of catastrophies, God's blessings have been with us, and those blessings seem to keep on coming. We all just have to trust.

And today, God even gave me a little gift! As (I hope!) my papers will be done by the weekend, and this coming weekend will be the last set of classes for the semester, I will finally have some time to read some stuff...and not have to write a paper on it!

So I was thinking of reading "Abandonment to Divine Providence" OR "Imitation of Christ" for what is left of Advent and through the Christmas season. But which? A coworker has both books and said she could bring them in for me to borrow.

Then I went back to my desk, which is a disaster, by the way. It's a sign of genius, I am told. Well, I moved some papers over, and there I found....Imitation of Christ! by Thomas a' Kempis. So there you have it...sometimes God is very clear in what he wants us to do. This particular version is published by TAN books, and the binding isn't even broken - it's never been read!

I think it is one I snarfed from a box of donations to the parish library. We were sorting through it, and Father told us that if we found a treasure, we could help ourselves. I must have "helped myself" to this book and tossed it aside as I have no time to read it currently. Although I don't really remember picking up the book, but I must have done so because there it was, under that stuff.

Well...this might be part of God's plan for me. We'll see. He always has a plan, though, and I don't believe in coincidences, especially when they happen like that.

OK...I am determined to finish page 6 before I go to bed! God bless and good night!


Andrew said...

I sympathize with you. I just finished my exam on Hebrews yesterday, but was so tired that I missed out huge portions of stuff I wanted to include. While driving in the morning, it all came back to me... too late.

Anonymous said...

Nah! You're no heretic!

Sara said...

Look at it this way - at least you can spend the first part of your advent by having your mind occupied with theological matters. I've devoted my advent so far to memorizing federal rules of evidence and antitrust law. There's just nothing like channeling one's inner Scalia to get one in the mood for the arrival of Our Lord :-)

Melody said...

I glad to hear that your Mom is doing better, and is able to be out of the hospital.
You will like "The Imitation of Christ", especially the 4th (last)section. It is interesting that my husband was given that book in his Evangelical Protestant days by his pastor. The 4th section is titled "Concerning the Communion" and lays out in a very beautiful way the belief in the Real Presence and the devout reception of Holy Communion. I am wondering how that whole thing flew under the radar; it isn't at all the Evangelical belief. My guess is that the pastor never read it all the way through; it just seemed like a good "gift" book.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: Glad to hear things sound good on the family front (even with your brothers situation). You are still in my prayers!

If you need more help with that paper (another eye), let me know. Glad to help!

I knew the first time I saw your townhouse you were a genius! LOL!

angelmeg said...

I wonder if this will help with your spirituality paper. It is a reflection I wrote a few Christmases ago on Incarnation and Eucharist.

uncle jim said...

this will be one of your most memorable Christmases ... just a thought that popped in my head while reading yours

Adoro te Devote said...

angelmeg ~ The paper is DONE. It's a piece of crap, but it's done and over with. I didn't look at your work for that purpose although I am happy to look it over now that I'm done.

Much of the problem is that our paper is a synthesis not only of our Spirituality course, but also of Vatican II. Although the latter was not stated, it's obvious because much of the paper's inspiration comes from Sacrosanctum Concilium articl 10. (Seriously, read it).

I've spoken with others in my class, and we all feel the same way...the amount of info is overwhelming given the topic, and this prof is GRUELING in his grading and in his expectations. A B+ in his class is likely an A or higher in another.

That's why I asked that no sources be suggested to time to look at them. I didn't even google "Source and Summit" for fear it would disrupt my thought process even further.

Our own sources were more than enough, and most of what the prof wants actually comes from his course notes, which are extensive and include many different sources within them.

(I did manage to fit in a couple choice quotes from Spe salvi, though! LOL! )

Adoro te Devote said...

angelmeg ~ ok, I just read your reflection, it actually has nothing to do with the paper. And because I'm burned out and fried and don't care anymore, I'm not going to say what the paper is about, suffice to say it's way deep theology and it makes me tired. :-(

I should really go to sleep.

I did like your reflection, though.