7 Quick Takes (Saint Nicholas Edition)

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St.-Nick

Today, December 6th, is the feast day of Saint Nicholas. You probably know him better as “Santa Claus.”

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He was born around the year 270 AD and died around 343 AD.  When he was young, both of his parents died, and he used the wealth that his parents had left him to “secretly” help those in need.  There are several stories of the wonderful acts of kindness that he did for those in need.

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Saint Nicholas would later go on to become the Bishop of Myra (now known as Demre).

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Nichols-Punch-Meme

One of the main topics that The First Ecumenical Council of Nicea (325) addressed Arianism.  This was a heretical teaching by a priest named Arius who wrongly taught that Jesus was not fully divine and was a mere creature like the rest of us.  During Arius’ exposition of this belief, Jolly St. Nick had heard all he could of this nonsense,  got up and punched Arius in the face.

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Emperor Constantine was in attendance at the Council of Nicea and after witnessing St. Nick sucker punch Arius, he and the other Bishops had Nicholas stripped of his office as Bishop of Myra, and confiscated his personal copy of the Gospels (remember books weren’t easy to come by back in the 4th century) and his pallium.

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St. Nick’s story doesn’t end there.  According to tradition:

“…after Nicholas was deposed, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary visited Nicholas who was being held in a prison cell for his fist-fight with the heretic.

Our Lord Jesus Christ asked Saint Nicholas, “Why are you here?” Nicholas responded, “Because I love you, my Lord and my God.”

Christ then presented Nicholas with his copy of the Gospels. Next, the Blessed Virgin vested Nicholas with his episcopal pallium, thus restoring him to his rank as a bishop.

When the Emperor Constantine heard of this miracle, he immediately ordered that Nicholas be reinstated as a bishop in good standing for the Council of Nicea. Today we recite the Nicene Creed every Sunday so we know how the controversy played out. The bishops at Nicea sided with Saint Nicholas and Saint Athanasius and they condemned Arius as a heretic. To this very day, we still recite in the Creed that Christ is “God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father.””

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And I thought I’d just add my favourite Saint Nicholas memes I’ve seen around the interwebs.  Enjoy!

St.-Nick2 St.-Nick3 St.-Nick4

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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Happy Advent

This past Sunday was the start of the Advent season.  What is Advent?  It is the time of preparation for the coming of Christ into the world.  It is a looking back to that day when he was born as a helpless child as well as looking forward to that day when he will return to the earth.   We must remember that it is not the Christmas season yet.  I like to think of Advent as that time of “nesting” that a family goes through before the arrival of their child.  During this time we clean our house, prepare a bunch of freezer meals, finish putting together the baby’s new room, or whatever it is that needs to be done before the baby arrives.  It is after the child is born that we truly celebrate this new life.

The Christmas season begins on December 25th, with the twelve days of Christmas beginning Christmas morning and concluding on January 6th, the day attributed to the arrival of the three wise men (also known as Three Kings Day and in some cultures this is the traditional day of giving presents). It isn’t until January 12th with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord that the Christmas season finally draws to a close.

I’m Still Here

I never meant to go on this long of a hiatus from writing, and I really haven’t. Instead of posting my thoughts and whatnot on this little blog, I’ve been journaling. In the next few days I hope to be back on here posting at least twice a week. *fingers crossed*

The main reason I have been away is because I’m pregnant, and during these past several months I’ve experienced some incredibly strong nausea.  Thankfully, I seem to have turned the corner and am having more good days than bad. Baby number three is due in late May, and my other two children are very excited about having a new baby in the house. We greatly welcome all of your prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

  

7 Quick Takes (Vol 3)

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There is nothing “quick” about writing a Quick Takes.  That is unless i were to write seven random words.

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As you can tell from the title of this blog, I am Catholic.  This does not mean that I don’t struggle with particular teachings of the Church.  I started off having difficulties with a lot of her teachings before I returned to the Catholic Church and I still have a few today.

Does that mean I have just resigned myself to the fact that I will always disagree without trying to understand? No. I have done a lot of self educating by reading (books, the catechism, etc) and listening to Church leaders, most of them laity (a lay person is someone who is not ordained or consecrated to religious life).  And still there are particular teachings that I don’t fully understand, grasp, and/or have a difficult time accepting. I do however trust that Mother Church will not lead me astray and I will find an answer to all of my questions.

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When you sign a contract to work for someone, and you break the contract don’t be surprised if you lose your job. You know what you signed and agreed to. If you didn’t agree with the terms and conditions of said contract,then you never should have signed it.

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As I’ve mentioned before, I love Doctor Who.  It’s an awesome show that turns 50 years old this October. The key to it’s longevity has been how it replaces the actor who plays the lead character. Tomorrow the BBC will officially announce who will be the 12th person to fill the very large shoes of the Doctor. If you’re interested it’s  going to be broadcast live from the UK, and will air on BBCA at 2pm EDT.

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GISHWHES is coming!!!!!!  This will be my first year participating and I’m super excited. Let the antics begin!

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Mike and I are dropping our munchkins off for another Parent Survival night at The Little Gym.  I so love this place – as do our children. The only problem: What will Mike and I do for four hours?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Faith and Science

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.  –Blessed John Paul II, Fides et Ratio

Faith and science do not oppose to each other, they compliment each other. I’ve never fully understood why someone would negate years of scientific study and insurmountable evidence to cling to a past hypothesis that has been proven incorrect. The Flat Earth Society is a great example of clinging to such a hypothesis.  And no, that is not a joke.

Perhaps the biggest problem is when people confuse the Bible for a history, science, or biology textbook. It is none of those things. The Bible is the story of salvation and the truths that are needed in order to achieve it. The Bible is not one book but it is a collection of books, a library if you will. There are books of poetry and prose that are meant to be read allegorically and then there are books that are more biographical in nature that are to be taken more literally. Oftentimes within the same book we find both allegory and literal passages.

The creation story found at the beginning of Genesis is a great example of allegory. It isn’t a literal explanation in how God created everything. Always at the forefront of the faith and science issue is the question of young Earth versus old Earth. Was all of creation created in six literal days or billions of years? The overwhelming evidence points to billions of years. Does that somehow negate that a higher being created the cosmos? I don’t think so.

Here’s a great article on what the Church’s views on the age of the cosmos as well as evolution.

Humans are extremely curious and we are always trying to understand our surroundings. Science is the conduit by which we learn about the world around us. For me, science is another way to have an encounter with our creator. It’s not something big and scary, but it is extremely complex, magical, and awe-inspiring.  At the top of this post I quoted soon to be Saint Pope John Paul II from his encyclical on Faith and Reason.  It is an excellent starting point for anyone who has questions concerning faith’s role in science and vice versa.

Throughout history there have been many Catholic scientists that have increased our knowledge of the world around us.  Here is but a tiny list of such scientists:

  • Georgius Agricola – founder of geology.
  • Nicolas Steno – Catholic convert who would go on to be a Bishop played a crucial role in the development of modern geology, and contributed to the study of paleontology.
  • Roger Joseph Boscovich, S.J. – a Jesuit who is famous for his atomic theory, given as a clear, precisely formulated system utilizing principles of Newtonian mechanics. He also gave many important contributions to astronomy, including the first geometric procedure for determining the equator of a rotating planet from three observations of a surface feature and for computing the orbit of a planet from three observations of its position.
  • Maria Gaetana Agnesi – She was a linguist and mathematician, and is credited with writing the first book on both differential and intregal calculus.
  • Gregor Mendel – an Augustinian friar who is the father of genetics.
  • Georges Lemaître – a priest, astronomer, and professor of physics who is also the father of the Big Bang Theory.

The Church has always embraced scientific endeavor.  Yes, there have been times when the Church doubted certain scientific discoveries, but the same is said within the scientific community when something new comes about.  In the world of archaeology there is a debate over when the America’s was settled, and if you are on the “wrong” side (ie-Pre-Clovis) of the debate you might have your reputation tarnished at best and career over at worst.*  Just as there is debate within the scientific community the Church also enters into the debate from time to time because she too has a love of science.

* Hopefully the debate isn’t as fierce as it was ten years ago while I was at university.  I don’t know because since that time I’ve been busy either a) trying to save money so I could attend Grad school or b) putting that dream on hold and raising a family.

7 Quick Takes (Vol 2)

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Knee rehab update:  The range of motion in my knee is almost back to normal; the pt said that they consider “normal” to be around 140°-145°.  While moving my leg on my own I’m at 118°.  Now I just have to work on getting my strength back up so I can start going to Zumba again.

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So this happened:

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My camera doesn’t pick up purple very well so imagine the colour is a vibrant purple.  It took a few days to get used to it, but I have been enjoying it.  It’s fun to add a bit of colour now and then.

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Last week I said that I was going to read  Lumen Fidei this past week.  So I have a bit of a confession.  I haven’t finished reading it, but I am in the process of reading it.  Granted I would be a lot further if I had printed it off before this morning.  So far I’ve read the first chapter and it is definitely something everyone should read.  I’ll share a few of my favourite quotes from it after I’ve digested what I’ve read.

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With Mike back at work and my Mother-in-law back in Florida, this past week has been my first week back to full-time mom status.  And boy was it a tough week.  My knee isn’t back to 100% or even 75%, but my kids don’t get that.  They are your typical rambunctious 3 and 5 year olds who have enough energy to play from sun up to sun down without taking a break.  Yet, I am not able to chase after them. So unless we go to the tiny park at our Church that is fenced in, they are stuck indoors. It’s times like these I wish we had a fenced in back yard.  Also, this has been “let’s test mom” week.  This has to be my least favourite game to play, and they aren’t fans either.  One day they will learn that Mom always wins this game.

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The munchkins don’t know this yet, but they are going to get to see Thomas the Tank Engine tomorrow.  My husband set this up months ago and we know that our kids will be excited, well at least the boy will be.

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I never thought coming up with seven little snippets a week would be such hard work.  The only little thing I have is this:  I wish I were able to be at San Diego Comic Con!!!   But alas, I am not.  One of these years we will be brave and take the munchkins to Dragon*Con in Hotlanta and introduce them to the awesomeness!  In the meantime I will be over here dreaming up a costume to wear.  **Insert maniacal laugh**

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It’s late and I’ve got nothing.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes (vol 1)

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Welcome to my first ever Quick Takes Friday!!   I’ve decided to start this to help me write more often here, and to improve my writing style.

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Yesterday was one month post op.  What a difference a month has made.  I went from feeling as if the surgery was the worst decision ever because of all the pain and lack of motion that I had (not to mention feeling as if I had to re-learn to walk), to feeling really positive about the outcome.  I am in very little pain now; my knee only hurts when I step on it wrong or I’ve been on it too long and it’s tired.  My range of motion is returning and everything is getting easier.  I need to add that I am very thankful for my Mother-in-law spending the past three weeks out here to help me around the house and with the kiddos.

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While I am thankful and happy that Grandma came out to visit and help, I’m also happy that she is going back home tomorrow.  It’s always nice when family can come to visit, and while it can be sad to see them leave – it’s also so very nice to have your house back to yourself.  These past three weeks has been extra hard on my daughter because she has had to share her bed with Grandma and because she hasn’t been allowed to watch her two favourite shows — The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and The Aquabats Super Show.  And yes, I let my children watch shows like these.  They are fun and my husband and I enjoy watching shows we actually like with or children.

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I have several books lying around that I want to read (many of them I’ve started but put down for one reason or another), and one that I am currently reading. I have enough books to last me for at least the summer, and yet there are so many more out there that I want to purchase and read. This is the curse of being a lover of books.  I’m constantly having to stop myself from heading over to Amazon to purchase another book; I’m constantly saying to myself, “Self, you need to read those other five or so books you have before you purchase another one.”  Having two small children at home really puts a damper on my reading – not to mention blogging.  These two little monsters that I have are my favourite distractions and I’m not upset or disappointed that they are my main distractions.

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Unrelated to any other topic here:  I have tried once again to get into the cult sci-fi tv show Firefly once more.  This has been attempt number 5-ish.  All of my fellow nerdy friends are astonished that I have never enjoyed this show, and so every few years I give it another go. So, how did this last attempt go?  Well… I made it through the first two episodes. That’s two more episodes than I have ever finished before (minus the movie; I have watched all of Serenity.).  So now I have a decision.  Push on and potentially be bored through the rest of the series, or push on and watch the rest of the 14 episodes so I can say I did it and maybe, just maybe I’ll decide that it’s okay and not dreadful.

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Last Friday (July 5th), Pope Francis published his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei.  Pope Benedict XVI started writing it and Francis finished it.  For those of us who don’t know Latin, Lumen Fidei translates as The Light of Faith.  No, I haven’t read the encyclical, but it is on my very short to read list.  And from all the awesomeness I’ve heard about it you should read it too.  You know what, I’m going to make it my goal to read through it this week.

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I’m seriously disappointed in the USCCB and what they are doing to bloggers and others who are trying to spread the Good News, especially during this Year of Faith.  If you haven’t heard I highly recommend you take a time to read Brandon Vogt’s encounter with them.  Granted I do believe he should have asked them first before he converted and offered Lumen Fidei in all the formats he did, but the USCCB should also have seen the value in it.  And it isn’t just Vogt that they have hindered in spreading the Gospel and an understanding of Catholic doctrine.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!