A Special Meal for the Feast of Angels

I generally draw a blank when it comes to celebrating the liturgical calendar at home. I certainly can’t rely on my own creativity. The last time I attempted to do so, the best I could do for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was this:

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No one was able to guess the significance, so I’ll spill the beans:

Kale Mary, full of grapes. The gourd is with you.

Totally irreverent, yes. But you have to admit it’s pretty funny. Here’s hoping God has a sense of humor. And Mary. And Jesus. And Joseph.

You don’t think I’d get to heaven only to have Joseph, Protector, come after me for a little kale Mary joke, do you? Eek.

Any who… Thanks be to God, my friend Kristine recently shared the blog, Catholic Cuisine, and I am loving it!

It has lots of great meal ideas for celebrating the liturgical calendar that are simple and do-able. Plus, as long as they taste good, I don’t think Ray will be too terribly annoyed by my Jesus-freakishness.

Since I’m reading St. Therese’s Story of a Soul, I really wanted to observe her feast day on Wednesday. There was a suggestion for Penne Rosa on the website that looked lovely. However, when I went to find the flower-shaped pasta today at Kroger, I had no such luck.

BUT, they did, of course, have angel hair pasta. Yesterday was the feast of St.’s Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Archangels, so I thought, What the hay, I can make angel hair pasta with white sauce, and we will celebrate that.

Not completely lacking in creativity, I continued to embellish the creation over the course of making dinner. When the children and I finally sat down for our meal, I had come up with this:

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I read the day’s Mass reading to them (Revelation 12:7-12ab), which tells the story of Michael and his angels casting Satan and his minions down to hell. Then I explained that:

  • The angel hair pasta is, of course, for the angels. Dressed in white as angels do, with an alfredo sauce.
  • The tomatoes symbolize the blood of Christ, through which we are saved. (Originally, the tomatoes were to be the demons, but once I read the scripture verse again, I realized that I liked this scheme better. A drizzling of red sauce would have worked better, but, well… I was improvising as I was reading to the kids, plates already set before us, so this had to do.)
  • The chicken nuggets symbolize Satan and his demons – since they’re just a bunch of chickens.
  • And they’re passing the earth (AKA broccoli), on their way to the netherworld.

The Feast of the Guardian Angels is Thursday, and this could easily be modified.  The pasta with alfredo sauce for the angels, which you could wrap around the nuggets, symbolizing each of us, as our guardian angels are always with us and protecting us. Of course, I like the well-balanced meal, so a little broccoli would show that the angels are with us, even here on earth, and you could put grapes – still on the vine – on the plate, reminding us that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, and the guardian angels are working to protect us and support us in our work for Christ!

As for St. Therese’s feast… I’m looking forward to making the crepes for breakfast. I haven’t ironed out dinner, but thought I might do something to demonstrate her “little way.” Some orzo pasta, perhaps, to show how even very little things can add up to so much more? I also plan to challenge the children to do at least one small act of kindness which no one else will ever no about, just for the knowledge that they’ve been pleasing to God.

What are your plans for upcoming liturgical celebrations? Please share in the comments!

 

Seven Quick Takes On Craziness, Possessed iPhones, and Impure Souls

— 1 —

First, let me tell you that I have actually blogged in the past three weeks of silence. I was just never able to grab enough time to finish the posts. I have many lovely drafts running, with excellent thoughts to share on bubble-wrapping our children, whether the Pope has deified Mary (I’ll give you a hint – he has not), my conversion story, and I don’t even remember what else. So stay tuned. One of these days, life will settle down and I’ll have time to right a truly excellent blog post.

— 2 —

In the mean time, you’re stuck with this, a quick and dirty Boo-is-asleep-and-I’ve finished-my-most-urgent-Inkwell-business-so-I’m-going-to-see-if-I-can-write-seven-quick-takes-in-twenty-minutes blog post. And just writing that last sentence with all the dashes took me three, so prepare to be disappointed.

— 3 —

In a nutshell, life in my house is crazy. But wait. It should be but it actually isn’t. We’ve rented the house, have to be out in less than a month, haven’t found a new house yet, are driving a half hour to and from school (yes, each way), Dude has football practice four to five times a week, plus games, I’m working a couple hours each day, with no childcare… and yet I’m honestly not stressed out. I can only speak for myself, of course. Ray might be a *little* stressed.

Part of it is that Ray’s handling much of the driving. He takes the kids to school three to four times a week, and does the same for football practice. And then part of it is child neglect. Boo is watching more TV than any child should. Part of it is that I’ve done very little packing, which I’m sure will come back to bite me. Then there’s the convenient part of being at a new church where I have little to no volunteer commitments… and the fact that I haven’t posted to my blog in weeks.

But I think much of it is a Grace thing. When this all started, I had a long talk with God and told him that I’d never get through this without him. I haven’t, and I won’t.

— 4 —

Attempting to add to any chaos that might exist is my lovely iPhone. I hate my iPhone. I used to love my iPhone, but then I got a new one and now I hate my iPhone. I don’t often use profanity but Ray’s kind of the one person who knows I used to talk like a sailor and if I don’t throw it in occasionally he thinks he lost his wife completely to that Jesus dude. So, I allow myself the luxury of texting things like this:

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This was brought on by the fact that, last night at football practice, my phone mysteriously deleted all of my contacts. ALL OF THEM. My husband became a number. My mom and dad became a number. My sisters and closest friends became numbers. I currently have two contacts, both of which I’ve recreated in the last 18 hours.

The phone says it’s over-capacity. I’ve tried numerous times to delete all of the photos when I sync to my computer, but it won’t do it. So I wind up going in and deleting them one by one. Yes, I have found a simpler way, but it’s still not the way it’s supposed to happen.

I think my phone has been possessed by a demon, intent on getting me to use profanity in texts. And then share it on my Christian blog.

Update: I’ve deleted all but about 20 photos on my phone and it still says I’m over capacity by 3.05 GB. I’d like to use more profanity here, but instead I’ll settle for…

GRRRRRRRR!

— 5 —

Largely due to messing around with my phone problems, I wasn’t able to finish this during Boo’s nap. Now it’s Saturday morning and I have good news. Ray was able to restore my phone. Hallelujah! It didn’t even require a priest.

— 6 —

Not that I really thought my phone was possessed by a demon, but I thought it worth noting that, last night, as I was reading The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of the Little Flower (Tan Classics), I came across the following:

“As yet I had not experienced that ‘to the pure all things are pure,’ that a simple and upright soul does not see evil in anything, because evil only exists in impure hearts and not in inanimate objects.”

I had to laugh. Of course, it comes as no surprise to me that St. Therese just totally called me out as an impure soul. Following the news these days makes it a little difficult to conceive of being so pure and upright that one sees evil in nothing. And I remember that the Pope recently said that one of Satan’s greatest victories is convincing the world that he (Satan) doesn’t exist. Nonetheless, these words are a good reminder that we are to see Jesus in everyone. Even the terrorists and the murderers. And, yes, even our husbands who are really stressed out and neighbors who don’t take care of their yards when we’re trying to sell our houses.

— 7 —

On that note, I would ask for your prayers for our family. That, if it’s God’s will, we will quickly find a house in which we can all be happy, or that if He prefers to wait and teach us patience, that we can find peace in this transition and blessings in the unknowns.

**Thanks!** And feel free to add your own prayer requests in the comments section.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

 P.S. That Story of a Soul link is an affiliate link. Thanks for your support! I do highly recommend the book. It’s an easy, enjoyable read from which much insight can be gained!

What Not to Say… When A Woman Tells You She’s Pregnant

 

The news of our fifth child was certainly met with widely variant responses. Most of my friends were shocked but excited for us. Our family, on the other hand… well, once I got over the tears and the anger, their responses seemed downright amusing.

The words below are all ones that I have heard, whether for this child or a previous one. I’m sure many of you can relate.

1. “Aren’t you a little old?” Well, thanks for the vote of confidence. I was of “advanced maternal age” when I had my last one, so, YES, according to most of society, I am TOO OLD to have another child. But I am healthy and active and pretty sure that I can survive having a child at forty.

2. “I’ll bet your husband was ticked!”  The man who threatened to jump off a tall building if I got pregnant again? Well, the good news is, he hasn’t gone to those levels… yet. Now, the task before me is to identify a hospital whose maternity ward is on the first floor. Just to be safe.

3. “That’s going to be a huge financial burden.” Thanks for pointing out the obvious and being so imminently practical. Yes, children are a tremendous financial burden.They are also a source of indescribable joy. I will trust in God to provide. (Those words were met with a snort, btw.) On a bright note, I’ll now have five children to look after me when I’m old, decrepit, and broke.

4. “I’m sorry.” Nobody’s died, here! I don’t need – or want – your condolences!!! An added hug only makes it worse. I don’t need to be comforted. Instead, I would really like someone to celebrate with me. Clearly you are not the person with whom I shall be doing that.

5. “You do know what causes that, don’t you?” Yes, as a matter of fact I do. And I’m kind of a fan.

6. “There’s a way to prevent these things, you know.” I’m well aware. That “way” also happens to be contrary to my beliefs. I know you don’t understand that, but I’d ask that you please respect it.

7. “You should have gone to the doctor a long time ago.” (This said to the father-to-be.) Seriously? When should that have been? After #4 was conceived… or before? Or perhaps it should have been before #3 was created? Exactly which ones of our children do you feel we should have prevented?

8. “You’re killing me.” Okay. This one left me without words. How could my having another child possibly kill anyone, with the possibly exception of ME? I do not intend to raise a homicidal maniac. In fact, perhaps this child will grow to become a great scientist and find a cure for cancer. So, perhaps, rather than killing you, this child could actually save your rude, thoughtless, life-disrespecting @*s.

Ending on this note might leave one thinking that I’m bitter, and I’m not. Honestly, some of these responses left me in tears, and others left me red with anger. But I understand the intentions behind them (well, most of them. Let’s face it, though, a few are just really rude and selfish), and I know that… most of them… were said out of love.

The kids’ response was what really got me. In the midst of the negativity, they screamed in joy, jumping up and down, immediately arguing whether it would be a girl or a boy, and asking what we were going to name it. The continue to make me a little uncomfortable by coming up to “kiss baby” and give him/her hugs. They loved and were overjoyed by this child from the moment they knew it existed.

Jesus tells us that we must become like little children. This was a glimpse into exactly what he meant.

What responses have you heard when you shared the news of an unexpected pregnancy?