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Archive for the ‘Everyday Ediths’ Category

Read the title.  Can you hear George Michael (RIP) singing?  Is the song stuck in your head now?  Because it’s been stuck in mine for the past couple of days as I contemplated this month’s theme!

I’m not sure what George Michael intended to convey in the song, but it got me thinking.  When my husband and I were married, someone thought it was hilarious to bring a ball and chain to the reception and attach it to his ankle.  I was not amused.  Which, however, leads me to another song, this one by Paul Overstreet and aptly entitled Ball and Chain.  The relevant lyrics are: Love don’t feel like a ball and chain to me; when I’m close to you my heart feels wild and free.

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If you ask someone to choose an illustration of “Catholic femininity” what do you think they might describe?

An aproned Mother in a kitchen surrounded by a small army of well-behaved children?

A traditionally habited nun, eyes downcast in prayer?

A modest school girl with a plaid skirt covering her knees?

An elderly lady kneeling in a pew, clutching her rosary?

A statue of the Blessed Mother?

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In my first religion class as a freshman at Knoxville Catholic High School, I was introduced to the concepts of literalism and contextualism in interpreting the Bible.  I was excited to learn about all the symbolism in the Genesis creation stories, some of which directly relates to the passage above.

Our textbook said when the Biblical writer said that Eve was created from Adam’s rib, he wanted to express that she was equal in dignity with Adam–not from his head to rule over him, not from his feet to be trampled on.

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Before the last couple of years, worry and anxiety were never challenges for me.  I have the kind of mind that just doesn’t hold on the those kinds of things.  Unlike my husband, who is consumed with worry pretty much all the time, making him miserable, I have always been able to put problems aside to deal with whatever is right in front of me.

But more recently, I’ve suffered from anxiety of the free-floating variety.

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Maybe the problem is that I have always enjoyed Lent just a little too much.  I’ve actually looked forward to it with excitement, thought of it as a challenge, taken on some serious disciplines and stuck to them.

But it was last year at this time that I realized that Lent wasn’t meant to be an endurance test, that unless I offered up my sacrifices in prayer, they weren’t helping me grow in holiness.

It was a lesson learned the hard way, as the Lent I wanted fell prey to the Lent God sent me.

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“For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.”

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

There was once a sad and solitary man named Mr. Hatch.  He lived alone, had no friends, and led a lonely, routine existence–until one Valentine’s Day he received a gift.  It wasn’t so much the giant box of candy that changed his life as it was the anonymous note enclosed:  “Somebody loves you!”

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Going back again to the historical event–imagine the wise men, weary with their long journey, seeing that star growing closer and closer, finally beholding the infant king, being able to present their gifts to Him!  It was the culmination not just of a physical journey, but of years of studying and waiting and no doubt praying.  Don’t you wish you could have been there?

That first manifestation of Christ can seem very long ago and out of reach to us, especially once the Feast of the Epiphany is over and the manger scene has been put away.  For insight into how we might encounter Him today, we can find clues in the story of the Other Wise Man.

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