Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nothing To Lose

I participated in a Catechist Training class last night.  It was the last of our intermediate classes on the Sacraments, particulary on Holy Orders.

We were talking about Holy Orders leaving an indelible mark on your soul that can never be removed.  So, even if a priest leaves the priesthood, he's still a priest.  This led us to the other indelible Sacraments: Baptism and Confirmation.

Father Finian had an interesting way of describing indelible to us that really worked as a visual.

Picture this: when you are born, you are born with the stain of original sin on your soul.  When you are Baptized, it wipes that stain from your soul.  That clear spot can NEVER be removed.  You cannot be unbaptized!  This is why a valid Christian Baptism from any recognized denomination is considered a valid Baptism in the Catholic church.  Until the Reformation, there was no Catholic and no Lutheran, it was all Christian - from which the rites were based upon.

As usual, when you have a group of questing adults trying to further educate themselves, we strayed from the direct topic.

We moved to family members that have left the Church, but were Baptized Catholic.  What did that make them?  Father told us that they might not be practicing Catholics, but they would always be Catholics.

But, she's Lutheran/Methodist/etc...

No, She's Catholic.  If she was Baptized a Catholic and Confirmed a Catholic, she's a Catholic.


But, what happens if someone was Baptized Lutheran and becomes a Catholic?  Then, what are they?  They are Catholic.

But, you just said...

So, he used another interesting analogy.  Do we ever move from having more to less or do we always move from less to more?

We always try to move from having less to having more.  You'd switch banks if you could get 6% interest vs 2% interest, simple economics. 

But, how does this pertain to Catholic and Lutheran/Methodist, etc?

How many sacraments do Lutherans get?  None of us were really sure, but it's 2 - Baptism and Marriage.  So, if a Lutheran decides to become Catholic, they aren't losing anything they already have - they are GAINING 5 MORE SACRAMENTS!!!!!!

Wow! Never thought about it that way! 

So, why would anyone go from being Catholic to being Lutheran?

If they realized what they were losing, they would never decide to make that switch.  But, if they don't realize what they are losing, they could be convinced that they would be gaining by making that switch.  If they had been taught the value of what we have, no one would ever leave.

That's pretty heavy, especially to a room of catechism teachers.  Um, that makes us even more responsible for what we teach them, so they realize what to value about the church.  gulp.   

The first teachers are absolutely supposed to be the parents, but unfortunately that isn't often the case.

Dear Lord,

I am here and I am listening.  Please let the Holy Spirit guide me in what I teach and let my students retain those values that would never want to make them leave the Church.


Thursday, March 22, 2012


I'm really hoping that this little getup doesn't mean that I have a Vegas Showgirl in my future.

Actually, she'd be a pretty sedate showgirl in her hoodie and flowery dress.  It's just the feathery headdress that has me a tad worried.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

All the GOOD Super Hero Names are Taken

I'm watching my 3-year-old nephew today.  He and Fixit are only 4 months apart and we jokingly call them the twins from different parents.

Well, my nephew is a HUGE Super Hero fan.  I'm talking owns lots of masks, and capes, and he knows ALL their double names, like Peter Parker is Spiderman and Bruce Wayne is Batman.  He even knows obscure ones like Steve Rogers is Captain America.

So, this morning, he and Fixit were rapidly switching between a long list of Super Heroes.  I had at least the following in my living room:

Captain America
Incredible Hulk

So, they tried to get me involved.  I thought Captain Mom was the perfect Super Hero moniker.

However, the kids DID NOT AGREE.

They decided that I should be "Captain Thunderpants."


All the good Super Hero names are taken...and mine is not one of them.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Teaching Religion

I still feel that I must be the world's least qualified Catechism teacher.  I was really dreading having to teach 7th grade CCD again this spring. 

"I've got other stuff to do." 

"I really don't wanna." 

Let the litany of whining commence.

Poof!  I must have been listening to God this morning, or more likely, He hit me over the head with it! because I came back in the house after walking the dog with a new attitude.


Quit messing with me!

I decided that if I'm going to feel this undecided, apprehensive, etc about going back to teaching, then maybe it's not because I'm a bad teacher, but maybe it's because I've been letting those hints of doubt enter in.

I've got something to pass on to these kids!  I'm not exactly sure what that is, yet, but I'm going to do my job and do it to the best of my ability so they remember something from my class.

Off to prepare my lesson plan for tomorrow's class.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Put That Down as the Longest Weekend of My Life

About 5 Friday night, I got a tearful call from my Dad.  (The tearful part was enough to get my attention.)  The hospital had called and it didn't look like my Aunt Anita (my Mom's only sibling) was going to make it through the night.  Could I please take Mom to Madison, which is about a 2 1/2 hour drive, to the hospital.

Of course. Let me throw my stuff together, call the school I was supposed to judge forensics for on Saturday, and wait for my husband to get home to tell him what was going on and leave.

We left my Mom's place about 6.  We stopped on the way down for gas in the car and finally for me to eat.  We got to Madison and thank goodness for my GPS to get us through downtown Madison to the hospital by 9:00.  (Madison is built around 3 lakes and lots of hills - so we had to loop around two of the lakes and around the hill that the Capitol sits on to get to the hospital.)

My Aunt looked horrible.  Admittedly, she had been in the hospital since the previous Friday from a fall and not being responsive and was taken to the hospital and had emergency surgery for a perforated bowel, plus she had 3 broken ribs and a broken collar bone.  One of the ribs had punctured a long and the other one was collapsed.  But, lots of years of hard living with alcohol abuse and cigarettes were not helping the situation, at all.

We stayed at the hospital for almost 2 hours and then headed to her house to spend the night.  We were both surprised that we didn't get a call over night that she had passed. 

Back to the hospital by 7:30 on Saturday.  Somehow, she rallied during the night, was off the oxygen mask, was just back to the nasal oxygen. She knew who we were. She was able to talk to us. She remembered things that had happened the day before. She knew where she was and what month it was.  Friends came and saw her.  She talked to the doctors and nurses.  At one point, she looked straight at my Mom and told her "I'm withering away."  Oh, Jeez!  We left the hospital about 2:30 that afternoon.

Sunday morning, we were back at the hospital by 8:30.  She had a horrible night. They couldn't stabilize her oxygen levels, they couldn't do anything with her blood pressure that kept dropping, her breathing was low.  We talked to her wonderful nurse, Debbie, and we were told that it didn't look good.  We thought we had mentioned the "withering" comment to her the day prior, but we had told the doctor.  To his credit, he was still in "fix" mode vs "let go" mode.  As soon as we told Debbie about the withering comment, she gave us this huge smile and told us that Anita had taken the decision out of our hands, she had made it for us.

At that time, we made the decision to put Anita on Comfort Care, which is removing IVs, except one port to administer pain medication; removing tubes, removing the oxygen mask.  The goal was to make her as comfortable as possible until she passed.  They decided to not remove the tubes in her lungs, because the fluid draining was giving her comfort. My Mom didn't want her to get dehydrated and wanted an IV kept in, which they talked us out of administering IV fluid, because Anita was retaining so much fluid, dehydration was the opposite of what she was suffering from.

They started her on the Comfort Care about 10:30. We sat with her for a little while, then we went and got some lunch and some sanity.  We went back to her room about noon.  We held her hands, prayed over her, blessed her, and she was gone about 12:40.

I'm glad that I was there for my Mom and for my Aunt, but I never want to go through that again.

May Anita Rest In Peace and my Mom have some closure.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I was helping my Mom at my Aunt's house this past weekend, and I missed my kids. (My Aunt had to have emergency surgery and it doesn't look good for her - she's been in critical condition since Friday.)

So, when I got home, it was nice to see my kids after 3 days of not seeing them. 

I was sitting on my bed when Fixit came up to me and told me she was going on a treasure hunt.  She climbed into my lap, looked at me, and told me that she found her treasure.  It was me!

Awwwwww!!!!  Talk about melting my heart.

Then, Bug came in by me and sat on my lap, too.  She told me to close my eyes, which I did.  Then, I felt her rubbing both sides of my head and said, "Oh, magic ball what do I see."  At this, and the head rubbing, I opened my eyes and she proceded to say, "Eek, I see a head!"

My kids are such goofballs and I love them.

Ugh - Darn Internet

Internet has been very spotty.

Me thinks it has something to do with the note in our last phone bill about upgrading our modem and my husband deciding that we didn't need to.

Somehow, the old one just ISN'T working anymore.

So, will I have a brief moment of connectivity today.... posting an "I'm alive" post....then, need to call the phone company and get the new modem - I don't even think they are going to charge for it.