Wednesday, February 09, 2011

...that Holy is not the same as "okay".

Do you ever have conversations in your head? Do you ever test out conversations and have them play out in your mind? I have been doing this a lot lately, mainly because I've been thinking a lot about a few big decisions we'll have to make when the kids get older. The decision I've been thinking a lot about lately is school. But before I get into that, let me give you some background.

For the past year I have had the honor (or should I write honour? Hee hee!) of being on the Seattle Archdiocese's Womens commission for Marriage and the Family. It's basically a committee of women and a few married couples who have been nominated and approved to serve the Archbishop in finding out what Catholic Married couples and Families in the Seattle Archdiocese need most. So we've been talking a lot about raising up good and holy Catholic families by supporting and properly catechising those entering Catholic Marriage. Etc, etc.

During the preparation of our document for the Archbishop we've come across the idea of raising saints. I was told, by my good friend Fr. Oakland, at Michael's baptism that my job (and Jon's) as a parent is to raise up Michael as a saint. This is no easy task or light order. That statement hit me like a ton of bricks. Thanks Father! I need to raise saints? I need to do my best to make Clare and Michael saints? Yikes! I mean, I knew this when I got married, but it hit me in a different way, a more tangible way at Michael's baptism when Father res-iterated our duties as good Catholic parents.

So back to the conversation in my head. I've been thinking about what to do about Clare's schooling, since we'll be headed that way in a few years. I really don't want her to go to public school because that's not something I did for elementary school, nor is it something Jon did.

My personal preference would be to find her a wonderful Catholic school for her to attend that we could afford. This is no small feat, since Catholic schools are incredibly expensive here. They were a large chunk of money in Canada where I grew up, but at least there, they were subsidized by the government. Here people pay almost double of what my mom did.

Then.....there was the third option. The option that I didn't want to acknowledge at all. The option that I wasn't open to at all. The option that I have so many horrible stereotypes in my own head about. Homeschooling.

Now I know many people who are going to homeschooling route. Many of them are cool, young, trendy, Catholic moms my age. Many of them have degrees. Heck, I even know some amazing young adults who were home schooled. I love and respect these people. But for some reason the word homeschooling in my head just conjures up images of denim jumpers, awkward children, cultish people and snooty families.

I have almost convinced myself that it's okay though. Almost.
So the conversation that was going on in my head last night as I was brushing my teeth, was me trying to convince person x (anyone really, probably more myself) that homeschooling is the best option. Here's how the conversation played out:

person x: What the heck? Why would you home school your kids?

Me: Because right now it seems like the best option financially and spiritually.

person x: Why don't you just send them to public school?

Me: because I don't want them to be so influenced by the junk that's floating around in our culture and I want them to be solid in their faith.

person x: But there are lots of kids that go to public school that turn out okay.

Me: But that's just it. I don't want my kids to be "okay".

And this is where the conversation stops and my reflection begins again. Whenever I hear people say, "but we turned out okay. You turned out okay." I used to think, "yeah ....but" and then I never had a quick answer. The answer is this: I don't want my kids to be "okay" I want them to be Holy. I want my kids to be the least messed up emotionally and spiritually as they can possibly be. If this means I have to home school them so that they know their faith, trust their parents, and don't buy into the lies our culture tells them about...well everything, then so be it. If God gives me another wonderful option, then Thanks God!

Anyways. I thought I would share my insane conversations. Sometimes they're pretty good.

Oh, and speaking of another option. Ha ha! Last night, I heard about this amazing school, which
happens to have lower tuition, is less than 20 minutes away from us, and just happens to be so solidly Catholic that they teach the children LATIN. Crazy eh? I wonder if this is one of those Abraham type situations where God tests you to the breaking point and just says, "Okay, nevermind. I just wanted to see if you'd be obedient." and then hands you what you were looking for all along. I feel like that happens to me a lot.

Here's the link for that school.

Veritas Academy Kenmore, WA


Wednesday, February 02, 2011 beautifully you created the female body.

Last weekend Jon and I were listening to a great cd while driving to my parent's house. It was a talk given by Dr. Alice von Hildebrand. The talk was entitled "Women as the Guardians of Purity."
You can click on the title for the text. **(later note. This is not the exact text, but the bulk of the talk is here). You can order the cd (for $1) here. It was a very refreshing and enlightening talk.

I sometimes slump into the "I know it all" sort of mentality when it comes to things like what the Church teaches about human sexuality, because I've taught it to a few teenagers a few times. Then I listen to something like this by a real theologian and I realize how little I actually know. (Maybe the title of this post should be" little I know." Heh.)

A few things that struck me about the talk were how she talked about the female organs being hidden and veiled. Now if you follow along with me, in the Theology of the Body we know that the female body is supposed to be an archetype for humanity and the Church. So our bodies are considered sacred and holy and show the world that we are supposed to be recipients of Christ and bear forth fruit to the world like Mary. This is pretty amazing.

So imagine my surprise when Alice Von Hildebrand makes this even more amazing by going further. She says that biologically the female organs are veiled. In medical terminology they are veiled by a membrane called a hymen. She says that medically there is no reason for the hymen. I haven't really checked up on it, but I'll take her word for it. So we all know when this is broken in the female body. Okay... yes. But think about this.

When Christ dies on the cross his last words are "consummatem est" or "it is consummated". He was referring to His marriage to the Church. Now what happens after this? The veil of the temple is torn in two. The (now I'm quoting Fr. Frank Schuster) profanis (common people) and the fanis (sacred) are now free to mingle because Christ has conquered death. He is now joined to his bride the Church. We are now free to live eternally with God if we so choose.

At this point, my brain pretty much explodes. Really exciting. How cool is that? The female body is such a well designed sign. God did a lot of planning! How cool is it when we can understand some of his mysterious and glorious ways!!

Well, I hope I made your brain explode for the day. Theology of the Body is really amazing.

Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus.

Contemplating the title of the blog

I've been thinking a lot about the title of my blog and it served its purpose very well while I was discerning my vocation, but I think lately it's been taking a back seat. I'd like to revive the name a bit by starting my new posts as continuations of the sentence. We'll see how well this works. For those of you who actually read my blog, you know I'm not the best at updates on .....anything really. So hopefully this new mini-resolution will help me keep the blog on my mind.