Sunday, August 1: Attended a Latin Mass.
The first and only other time I had been to a Latin Mass was a couple of years ago when I was in Washington, D.C. for a youth climate conference. It was terrible--not because of the content itself (how could something as beautiful as the Eucharist be terrible?), but because I didn't understand what was going on. So this time, I went with a friend who frequents the Latin Mass at Holy Wisdom Parish on the North Side, and who was gracious enough to lend me a missal, complete with translations and bookmarks and whatnot. I was really surprised at the Latin Mass, especially after my bad experience with it in D.C.--I think now I can appreciate the opportunity that it provides for personal prayer and contemplation of the Eucharist. I definitely prefer the Novus Ordo Mass--the "regular" Mass for most of us--but I'm very glad for the opportunity to experience the Latin Mass in a more positive light.
Monday, August 2: Went mini-golfing.
I hadn't been mini-golfing in ages, so as a little "last hurrah" before my friend Dan left to do NET Ministries, we decided to go! It was pretty fun--the place we went to has two courses, one of which is suuuuper old...like, I'm pretty sure it's a historic something-or-other. Either way, it was a jolly good way to say "Adios!" to Dan before he made the trip out to Minnesota to start his NET training.
Tuesday, August 3: Survived a near-breakdown.
I had some unexpected drama come my way from Minnesota that I'd rather not go into detail about. But suffice it to say that I had a major freak-out which nearly ended in copious amounts of yelling and crying...but which got sorted out before too much of that happened--for which we should all be very grateful.
Wednesday, August 4: Discovered duck-pin bowling.
Ahhhh, Summer Stretch...teaching me new things, exposing me to new activities and opportunities. Like duck-pin bowling! It's basically the same as bowling...only mini! So the pins are about two-thirds the size of normal bowling pins, and the ball is super small too. So our social activity in the afternoon was to go duck-pin bowling. I was really only half-there all day (having lost a good bit of sleep over the drama mentioned above), so I didn't actually play...but it was still fun to watch the kids play and to discover the game's existence. It's the cutest bowling ever!
Thursday, August 5: Participated in Learning Days with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie.
Each August, the Benedictine Sisters of Erie have something called "Learning Days." They bring in a theologian to speak for two days on a particular topic, and they invite all of their Sisters and Oblates to be a part of it. Since I'm in the process of becoming an Oblate, I was also included on their invitation list. The person they brought in was Fr. Dick Sparks, a Paulist priest, who talked about Catholic morality. I was only able to attend the second day (due to Summer Stretch on Wednesday), but it was a really lovely day: back in the "learning mode" that I kind of forgot about after college, out of the Burgh, at a place I hope will become a sort of second home to me during my time in Pennsylvania.
Friday, August 6: Went to Starbucks with one of my youth.
(Sidenote: I keep reading articles where young people are referred to as "youths," and I think that sounds funny. Like, I actually chuckle to myself when I read anything about "youths"...anyway.) I met up with one of my girls and had a lovely little chat. I love relational ministry, I really do!
Saturday, August 7: Got back into the Lectio groove.
As part of my preparation to become an Oblate, I'm expected to pray regularly using a particularly Benedictine prayer form called Lectio Divina (Latin for "sacred reading"). Lectio is a way to read and reflect on a passage by taking a small chunk of text and reading it multiple times, deepening your reflection with each reading. My explanation doesn't do it any justice at all, but it's a wonderful way to pray, especially if you have a hard time knowing what to say/do in prayer. Normally you do Lectio with a passage from Scripture...but since I'm becoming a Benedictine Oblate, and one of the other expectations is that I study the Rule of Benedict, I decided to do something a little different--I take a small section from the Rule each day and pray through it the same way I would through Scripture. And I have to tell you...I love it. There's so much wisdom packed into the Rule. It's hard to believe that it was written over 1500 years ago!
Alright, one more done! Now I think I'm going to go grocery shopping. YAY! I love grocery shopping so much!
3 hours ago