Friday, June 26, 2020

Staying Connected with scripture this summer, and returning to mass...

Hello all, and happy Friday! Last week of June, hard to believe. But right now, I have to admit that while I don't want to wish my life away, getting past each month seems like a victory and a step towards (more of) a sense of normalcy. It's not totally normal, that's for sure, and I'm doing my best with it, as I'm sure you all are too.

One of the changes I'm having to navigate right now is returning to mass. Depending on where you live, you may have already experienced this, or you may be in a situation wherein you cannot yet physically return to mass despite your parish re-opening. It's going to be different for everybody here coming up, depending on your health and life circumstances. Our parish isn't re-opening until next weekend, and we just received the letter detailing all of the new changes to accommodate for the state restrictions. It's daunting to say the least, and I think this is how it is everywhere right now. Even though I completely understand why these changes need to be made, it's going to make our worship experience feel a lot different then we are used to. I'm wondering if perhaps daily mass might be more manageable for us right now, since Sunday will be more in demand? I'll have to see. But I haven't received the Eucharist since March, and I'm definitely feeling it! Have any of you returned physically to mass since your re-opening began? How is it going?

In other news, the Stay Connected Journals series has some new additions, and Our Sunday Visitor is having a sale right now, so I wanted to give you all the scoop! There are 3 new additions since the original three books debuted last year (my efforts being Exploring the Catholic Classics *halo*):

Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time: A Guide to Living the Theological and Cardinal Virtues (vol. 4)

Seeking Peace: A Spiritual Journey from Worry to Trust (vol. 5)

Make Every Day Blessed: Living the Liturgical Year (vol. 6)

I'm interested in all three of these, but especially the liturgical year volume! Right now, with code GOOD25, you can receive 25% off your order, and there is always free shipping from their website! I'm placing my order today, and can't wait to dive in! I'm thinking this is a nice way to keep up with my budding scripture reading this summer. Each journal provides relevant and relatable commentary, scripture assignments, study questions, and space for you to write your reflections and answers.


Are you doing any scripture study this summer? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Friday, June 19, 2020

New books and new inspiration...

Hello friends, and I hope that you are well! We wrapped up Anne's school year this week, much to the relief of the entire family. :-0 I'm praying that the kids are back in school in the fall, and it looks like they are planning to make that the case. She needs a school environment in order to thrive, that definitely became clear during the past 3 months! So we now have two and a half months just to take it easy and not fret about school work, and that definitely feels good. Both of the kids are registered to go back to their Catholic schools in September, and we're just hoping that all goes smoothly!

I've been amusing myself by taking an introductory ballet class, and you can see my fancy setup here:


It's all very low tech in the dance studio of the Catholic Librarian, but we make do where we can! I'm really enjoying taking a dance form at which I'm a total beginner. Technically, I studied ballet when I was a child, but that was so long ago that it's essentially like starting over. Our session is being extended by another 4 weeks, so I'll be happily plie-ing in our guest room all through July. I've also been doing a lot of belly dance, but that's par for the course! There are certain commonalities between the 2 types of dance (posture, arms, long and graceful lines, strong feet, and connection with the floor) that I'm enjoying honing in ballet so that I can apply it to my belly dancing. I'm feeling quite inspired by it all!

In other news, my Word on Fire version of the Gospels arrived this week!

I'm loving it, and apparently these are nearly all sold out until the fall already! I'm hoping I don't regret not getting one of the sturdier covers (I went with paperback), but I absolutely love it. There are a few paperback copies left to purchase as of when I'm writing this, and I will say this particular paperback is much thicker and sturdier than usual! I just started reading the opening commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, and so far, I'm intrigued. :-)

I also made a purchase I can't believe I didn't already have:

I mean...this is perfect for me, right? How did I not already own this? :-0 The Catholic All Year Compendium has suggestions for liturgical home living for the entire year. My sister mentioned populating her new academic planner with the designated "meat Fridays" (that fall on solemnities) for the year, and I was instantly interested. We don't abstain from meat on Fridays outside of Lent, but when have you ever known your Catholic Librarian to shy away from a challenge? ;-)  Lots of good stuff in here, I'm excited to get started!

Do you have any new books or new inspiration this week? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Some Catholic uplifty things for June...

Hello all! Happy Friday to you, and I hope that you are doing well.

*group hug*

I've had a good week, truly. Henry is done with his school year, and Anne finishes today. Can I tell you that I have NEVER been so happy to finish a school year before? :-0 It was a tough year, not only because of unexpectedly doing it all at home for the past 3 months, but also because each of the kids went through some growing pains this year, with Henry transitioning to high school, and Anne getting used to being at school without him for the first time. But we made it!

This week, we've been talking about summer plans, which I'm looking forward to despite this particular summer looking quite a bit different than usual. We'll still carve out some nice time with the kids and with our parents. Both Mike and I will be working from home until the fall semester starts, so that will help out a lot with family time.

In Catholic stuff for June, the Pentecost novena that we prayed together really lifted my spirits. In that vein, and prompted by the Pray More Novenas site, I started the Sacred Heart Novena a few days ago:

I love the prayers associated with this novena. You repeat the intention that you are praying for, and your hope and trust in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, three times, and it just really lifts me up. You can easily play catch up if you'd like to join in!

Also, the new Word on Fire Bible (the Gospels) is finally available for purchase, and I've had my eye on this one! You all know how I enjoy collecting Bibles. :-)

This edition is GORGEOUS with full color artwork and lots of great commentary from Church Fathers. It's the Gospels, rather than the entire Bible or even entire New Testament, but I feel like this would make a nice travel companion when you want ot focus just on those. I'm definitely tempted to order a copy to read this summer! But the key question is what cover type should I pick? :-0 I'm thinking hardcover!

How is your June shaping up? Are you praying the Sacred Heart novena? I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, June 5, 2020

Happy bursts of creativity, and summer reading mode...

Happy Friday everyone! Last week, I just...forgot to blog. :-0 That is very unusual for me! But my mind was actually pre-occupied by the creative projects I've been working on, and combined with the daily parts of our lockdown life that we've finally gotten used to (homeschooling, working from home, dance and fitness classes in our guest room, hee!) it just slipped my mind until Friday evening. But I'm happy to say that I have settled into this situation a bit better and my mind is often now in a serene and creative place, and so things slipping my mind lately are a result of that, and no longer related to anxiety and depression, which I see as a very good thing!

I've been crafting up a storm owing to the Knit-along and Crochet-along that I'm participating in, both shawls. They are both arranged in blocks, and as you finish each block, you post a photo in the Ravelry group and are thus eligible to win a prize. It's very fun! The Knit-along shawl is particularly spectacular, and is called The Journey:

Pattern is "The Journey" via Expression Fiber Arts

So far, I've knit the segments called Cabin of Complacency (see the little cabins in the green section?), and Forest of Fear (leaves are my favorite!), and am about halfway through the River of Doubt:

This is a very rewarding project to make your way through. The yarn is an alpaca and silk blend and is quite warm and heavy, so sometimes I have to put the project down depending on the weather. :-0 But I'm loving it!

The crochet shawl moves along very quickly, as crochet is wont to do. I have 4 of 5 blocks done. This one is called the Renata shawl:

"Renata" shawl via Expression Fiber Arts

I'm calling mine the Spring Blooms shawl based on the colors I chose:

I just have the light green final segment left to go, and I'm aiming to complete that this weekend! The details in each section are really delicate and lovely:

I've also been a busy bee with writing, and my Catholic Mom piece this month on summer reading list themes. Yes, themes. :-0 This summer, I'm reading lots of cozy fiction, and there is also an intriguing biography in there about a prominent Catholic author. Check Catholic Mom next week for all the deets! If you have summer reading plans, I'd love to hear about them in the comments!