Tagged: year of faith

5 Ways to Catch up on Year of Faith Reading

I am so far behind in reading the Catechism, you wouldn’t believe it.
I still get the emails everyday, but since they switched to the YouCat, I started reading from my copy of the Catechism. I’m on the Second Commandment… the scheduled readings are at the Seventh Commandment. Oh boy.

Here are some of the ways I plan on catching up… and that have brought me up to speed before.

1. Use the weekend.

     This weekend might be a long weekend for you. If so, enjoy it, and spend a few extra moments reading.
     Stay in bed a few minutes longer if you can and just read. Or go to bed earlier. Sit outside in the sun (or the shade) and do it. Take a bath and do it (see #2).
     Turn the TV off. There really isn’t good TV on the weekends anyway. Unless you’re into NCIS and Law & Order rerun marathons on USA (which I am).
     Just keep it off, or make a point to turn off every other hour. MAKE THE TIME to read. That’s really what you have to do.
     Also, not a 40 hour 9 to 5er? Well, use your days off. That’s simple.

2. Read in the bathroom.

     Well. I guess.
     Just bring in the book and read when you’re in there. It’s nice to start the bath and sit in the room while the steam rises around you.
     I know some moms get some free time in there… sorry, moms.
     It’s OK to read it in the bathroom. You’ll be OK.

3. Read before bed.

     I just kind of assume that everyone reads something before bed because I’ve just always done it.
     If you don’t have books next to your bed, I highly insist you do this. It’s so much nicer to fall asleep with a book in front of your face as apposed to your phone or the TV.
Seriously, just read a few graphs. It helps you relax, and helps your eyes tire out while your mind slows down and your body relaxes.
Anyway, don’t try to force yourself to stay awake. Just read until you missed a word. Then stop. It’s OK.
Do it again the next night. You’ll be up to the calendar in no time.     

4. Read while you wait for…

    The bus. Your oil change. Your school board meeting to start late.
     Your coffee to brew. Your latte to be made. Your kids to run out of school.
     The point is, bring it with you. If you have five minutes, you can read a few paragraphs.
     If you still have all the emails in your inbox, pull out your phone.
     The emails are pretty easy to get through, actually.
     I have them archived and could go through it, but I’m better at retention when I read from a hard copy. I’m old school like that.

5. Slow down.

     This may seem counter intuitive, but the point of reading it is to know the faith better. It’s not to just get through it so you can say you did.
     So take your time. Yes, it’ll be cool if we can finish and know it all by the end of the Year of Faith.
     What would be even cooler is if we take notes while we read, share passages we like or find interesting, if we keep reading it even after the Year of Faith.
     Don’t read 100 pages in one sitting. This book is full of complicated stuff. It’s not the kind of thing you can read while distracted. Focus and take your time.
I hope those help you!
God bless.

Steeple Chase

Lenten retreat

I think I mentioned this steeple chase last week… during the quick takes? Maybe.

Anyway, here are some shaky, unedited photos from some of the churches we went to. I hope I have them labeled correctly. It was kind of a whirlwind event.

St. Josephat. Oh look. My finger. Oops.


The beauty and the scale and the height… so much to take in. It was amazing. There were FOUR side altars! Four!!

And check out those stations of the Cross… in Latin!



Here’s another photo of the ceiling. See what I was trying to say before.


The detail and passion of the craftsmen are obvious in the work. Beautiful.




And a simple cross outside the main church. Still beautiful.


Oh, and this is a blessing from John Paul I. Yes, one. Awesome.


From the School Sisters of St. Francis’ St. Joseph Chapel:

Again with the wonderful open space.



SSFS chapel edit

Our priestly tour guide said he used to pray while watching this statue when he was in the seminary.


The Adoration altar.


The most important part, the center…


From the relics chapel:


Hundreds of relics… labeled in Latin. So beautiful.



Then we went to the Cathedral… and I took two dark photos. Sorry.

Then we went to the St. Joan of Arc chapel at Marquette. Beautiful and quiet and peaceful. And I didn’t take any pictures because we had the most wonderful Mass I’ve been to in a long time.

If you get the chance to do one of these… do it. Just do it. Or go around to the churches in one of your bigger cities. So wonderful.

God bless.

Great days

I used to have really high

expectations of what a great day was. Sleep in, have a cup of awesome coffee, watch the news, take a long bath. Those kind of things.

Today, is not one of those days, not filled with those kind of things, but it’s a great day, none the less.

I’m going to spend most of it writing, a lot of it reading, catching up on all the blogs I follow (I still have posts from Jan. 11 to read!). It’ll be one of those catch-up days. But at the same time, I’ll be behind at work when I go back tomorrow. It’s not exactly a win-win, but it’s close. I can handle the work catch-up, if I have my other stuff caught up. If you get what I’m saying.

Year of Faith update

My original goals, from Oct. 11:

Attend adoration (1 hour)/attend benediction once a month

TODAY: up to date, 1 hour for October, November, December and January

Attend Mass at a new Parish/Church once a month (somewhere I haven’t been yet)

TODAY: up to date, St. Andrew’s, St. Paul’s, St. Francis de Sales and St. Charles Borromeo

Read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church

TODAY: up to date, today’s 112 in the year of faith, can you believe it?

Read six (more if I can) books on Church History, including saints, popes, council documents, papal documents, etc. These should be published with at least an imprimatur. I’m really interested in more on the Crusades

TODAY: slacking on this a little bit, I have read Scott Hahn’s A Father who Keeps his Promises and am working on Pope Benedict’s Infancy Narratives. I’m going slow with this one.


So, yes, I went to St. Charles on Saturday for the vigil Mass. Interesting.

Everyone was rushing, rushing, rushing. Even the priest! And after I resolved for 2013 to NEVER RUSH, it was even more frustrating for me.

I’m also working on my patience, though.

But during Mass, I like reverence, a proper pace, attention, incense. I may make my next “new church” service in my goals an extraordinary rite. At least those go at a good pace.

The closest one to me is not even close to me at all, though.

I also don’t like Saturday night Masses. Because are we just going so we don’t have to get up early on Sunday? Indeed, that was the case with me this weekend. I didn’t want to get up that much earlier to drive out to St. Charles. Lazy, Catholic.

I gave the Knights of Columbus Lifesaver guy $5. He offered me change. No, thanks. This made me smile. They’re collecting for pregnancy resource centers around my area. I tell you what, if I was a man, I would be in the KofC, no contest. I love what they do.

God bless. Have a great day everyday!

An Advent goal

Advent is about preparing.

Preparing a way for the Lord. In our homes, our hearts, our lives. (I tried really hard for a word that started with an “h” there.)

So my goal this coming Advent (coming so fast!) is to spend some time in prayer for one particular person every day.

Maybe I’ll say a (decade of a) Rosary for them. Maybe I’ll offer them up during the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Maybe I’ll pray while I’m driving.

There are those points in my day that remind me of someone. For instance, anything to do with the GOP, and I think of my friend that works at the headquarters in DC. Anything to do with layout in the newspaper, I think of my best friend and old managing editor.

When I think about working out, I think about Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness. I think about Juli at PaleOMG and Michelle Tam at NomNomPaleo when I’m hungry. I think about people for weird reasons, too.

I think (I hope!) we all do it. We relate people to things in our lives.

So each day this Advent, will be someone else. Someone special (they’re all special). And I don’t even have to know them! Though I’d like to know Steve and Juli and Michelle because they are all really awesome from what I know at least. (That’s what the Internet tells me.)

It’s going to be different every day. It’s going to be fun and refreshing.

And if I forget a day, it’s OK! The point is not to get stressed about it. It’s for prayerful reflection on my friends and people that I know.

I’m sure I’ll prayer for all my family, my friends, my coworkers. But I think those prayers for people we don’t know are important too. They work, too.

Probably a day for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.


I went to the Communion Service and Benediction this morning.

It was beautiful. And right after the Benediction, when we were praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and I was kneeling there in the REAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST, I got a large… um, sniff… of the incense.

Oh, Lord. I thank God that I am a Catholic and we use all of our senses in our Worship. Not just sight, not just sound. Smell, feel, taste.

We are humans, and I think I learned this from Scott Hahn (probably), we can worship with all of our senses! Thank God for that! Praise the Lord.

It was one of those moments where I was so glad, so grateful that I had come to the church this morning. So grateful that I am Catholic, that I belong (kind of… I’m not a member yet) to a Parish that practices Adoration weekly.

I can bring my pain, my sorrows, my worries, my troubles, my failings to the feet of Jesus. And he’s there to say, “Child, just take my hand.”

At least, that’s what I imagine Christ saying to me. Take my hand. The way a child takes her mother’s hand when crossing the street. I take Jesus’ hand in life.

Well, I try to.

God Bless. Happy Advent.

Mistakes (and those who make them)

Which is all of us, of course.

Because we’re human. Though we strive to be Christ-like every day, all day, it doesn’t always happen.

In this, it really is the trying that counts. The honest effort we put forth, makes it valuable. Especially if we learn from our mistakes.

As I’ve written about before, I am a reporter. I write for a medium-sized (circulation) weekly.

This week, we put out an early issue because of Thanksgiving… and I’m reading the printed copy now… and there are mistakes. It’s full of mistakes. It’s pretty bad some of these mistakes we made.

Let me show you.

Those question marks are filler text… who ever “sends” the page (the final reviewer) to the print house is supposed to fill it in. That didn’t happen last night.

That should be “budget (and) levy hold.” We use commas to mean AND. That’s OK in the headline, but the subject-verb disagreement is not OK.

(Just to be clear, subject-verb agreement is important everywhere.)

Anyway, as I read the entire paper (not just my stories!), I’m sure I’ll find more. It’s rough.

But I kind of become complacent with it, too. I mean, we publish every week. And we have four sections that the editorial team works on. It’s easy for us to overlook things when we’re in a hurry, tired or hungry.

It happens. We live with it. We beat ourselves up over it, and then we get over it.

Year of Faith goals

How are you going so far?

My goals (copied and pasted for you):

  • Attend adoration (1 hour)/attend benediction once a month
  • Attend Mass at a new Parish/Church once a month (somewhere I haven’t been yet)
  • Read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Read six (more if I can) books on Church History, including saints, popes, council documents, papal documents, etc. These should be published with at least an imprimatur. I’m really interested in more on the Crusades.

I spent an hour in adoration in October. Will probably go next week for November (see how I push it back? haha). It’s important to make my goals a priority, but “every day life” gets in the way sometimes.

In October, I went to St. Andrew’s. The past two weeks I was at St. Paul’s. There we go. So far so good with that. 🙂

I’m keeping up with the Catechism daily readings (you can still sign up). It’s day 41 in the Year of Faith. Wow. It doesn’t seem like that long at long.

Imagine all the things we’ll learn and experience the rest of the year?

I’m still working through Scott Hahn‘s “A Father who keeps His Promises.”

Also, Chesterton’s Orthodoxy is on my night stand. I plan to spend Thanksgiving reading (seriously).

Then up next is TOB for Beginners. I’m excited for that, so excited that I want to only be reading one thing while I read it. That will be a challenge itself (such a bibliophile).

Anyway, God bless ya’ll, and Happy Thanksgiving! See you in Mass! 🙂

(I traditionally go to Mass on Thanksgiving… why not? Another chance to be close to Christ in the Eucharist, yes, please!)