Friday, July 23, 2010

I felt ridiculously better after Mass last Sunday.

This, despite 3 cell phones going off. Let me break down for you how this sounds.

1. You hear the muffled ringing, in someone's pocket or purse.

2. You hear the flustered fumbling of that person trying to get their phone out.

3. You hear the suddenly amplified and amazingly shrill sound fill the entire building, as the ringing reaches up to the painted heavens on the domed church ceiling.

I'm not sure how better to translate the 'please turn off all electronic devices' entreaty prior to the beginning of Mass.

Somehow, though, the Holy Spirit managed to weave its way around my annoyance and find a point of entry. Somehow we've managed to hang together this entire week. And it feels good.

I loved the Gospel reading, but I'm uncertain of its meaning. Martha and her sister Mary, welcoming Jesus. Martha, the workhorse, sweating in the kitchen, gets pissed when she sees Mary just chilling by the feet of Jesus. Why isn't she helping me? Martha thinks? Why is she just sitting there?

When Martha questions this, and brings Jesus into it, he tells her that her sister has chosen the better path. Listening has trumped service. Contemplation has trumped dinner prep.

I admit to being confused by this. On one hand, I can understand how contemplation has to be part of the spiritual life of a person. On the other hand, I wonder what the lesson is, exactly. Should Martha have taken her seat on the floor? Let her anxiety go about feeding someone whom she loves greatly?

As someone who enjoys having company, I could feel her stress. If I don't do it, who will prepare the meal? But Jesus essentially told her she was fretting about all the wrong things.

I admit to feeling bad for her.

So ultimately, I'm not sure the moral. We serve others. We contemplate. But we're supposed to know which is preferable when? Should Martha have trusted that somehow the meal would get made?

Can you help elucidate this for me?

Friday, July 16, 2010

If I were smart, I'd have gone to church this morning. 8AM Mass, dragging the kids and all. It would have been just us and a few elderly folks, I'm certain. If I really could pick, I'd only take Hannah with me. Lillian likes to test me. Last Sunday, she kept kicking her feet on the wood to make noises, and also kept lounging about on the pew like it was a poolside chaise lounge. I know she's four and I can't expect too much. But still, the reading and homily was about the Good Samaritan, and I like to focus. (Even though the focus sometimes is a stark reminder of how much I suck.) Case in point...difficult people. Jesus instructs us to love our neighbor, to show them mercy as the Samaritan does to the man who's been beaten and robbed and left for dead. I don't know how to apply this to difficult people.

I mean, I know how I'm supposed to apply this. I know I'm supposed to be kind to them anyway, even though they might drive me absolutely batty, that I'm supposed to show them love and mercy even when they are complete a-holes. This, my friends...exceedingly hard.

Anyway, a digression there, but a worthwhile one. I'm all upset. The class I'm taking is ridiculously hard, an advanced science course condensed into a nightmare 6-weeks long. I'm stuck and not getting these concepts. That's bad enough. Add to that the notion of being forgotten by the online community I've been writing with for almost 6 years? I'm feeling rather lost and sad, and singularly self-focused. Church is good for ridding oneself of this.

I have to pass this course.

I don't have to blog.

I want to be a nurse.

Is there a Patron Saint of Chemistry? Because I'm going to ask a favor, that you invoke this person and their brain, that they may take pity on me, suffering through my last chemistry class. I'm in tears for many reasons this morning, and sitting in front of my online homework problems certainly is not helping, because I have zero idea on how to complete these problems.

I wish I could shower in holy water.

I also need to go home. Like it's a drug, I need to go home and get some wide-open air in my veins. I need to sit by the pond and play with my nephew and see my parents. I think it's because I feel like such a kid right now, helpless and lonely.

Pray for me, okay? I don't need an A. I need to pass with a C for the credit to ultimately transfer. I got an 87 on my first test, but my optimistic bubble was burst when I saw the difficulty (and calculus-laden) quality of kinetics and equilibrium constants. I never took calculus. For good reason.

Anyway, I should have gone to church this morning.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Please help out and vote

It's been a ridiculously long time since I've posted. Summer is hectic, and chemistry is even more hectic. I knew I'd be losing my mind, so things are going as expected.

In the meantime, could you do me a favor and vote for Blessed Sarnelli Community on Facebook? My in-laws occasionally work with Fr. Kevin, who does really good work with Philadelphia's homeless community, by, you know, actually feeding them.

If they remain one of the top 200 vote-getters through Chase Community Giving, they will receive $20,000, which is a HUGE deal.

If you're on Facebook, it takes a second. Please help out! Just search for Blessed Sarnelli Community, located in Phila, PA, on the Chase Community Giving Facebook page. Thank you!!