Category Archives: lesser feasts & fasts

I can’t believe no one’s done this before now.

Anyone who’s using Google Calendar can now subscribe to the public calendar “Episcopal Lectionary Calendar” and have the the saints of the day helpfully pop into your own calendar. I’m adding them as I have time, so far we’re only up to Easter 3.

The rest of you lot who aren’t using Google Calendar to organize your lives (and the lives of your parish, if you make it a public calendar, it’s Googleable by zip code!) can access the calendar here.

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You’re better than ice cream.

This has been a San Valentin traditional link for me for over 8 years now. So please click the link and remember that I love you all.

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Feast of Absalom Jones, Priest and Prophet

Padre Mickey’s got the hagiography up, and it’s a good story. Go and read it if you’re not familiar with this saint.

This hits me in several places where I live, because this last week I’ve taken on a co-chair of St. Thatguy the Dude’s 90th Birthday Yearlong Celebration. And we’re kicking it off on Feb. 13th, 2009 with a big ol’ feast for St. Absalom Jones. CRAP! I HAVE ONE YEAR TO PLAN!

I hesitate a lot to talk about St. Thatguy the Dude here because anyone with half a brain and a malicious bone in their body could figure it out… small, predominantly and historically black church in McWhiteville Portland, Oregon.

Okay, I’m exagerrating the ethnic makeup of Portland. SLIGHTLY.

But part of my co-chair is something that gives me great joy: unfettered access to the parish archives. I did the Researcher Dance of Joy in the office when I came across a stack of typewritten pages, someone in the early 80s had combed 70 years of the Oregon Churchman newspaper and typed up citations and in most cases the complete article.

But the first part of my parish’s story is echoed in St. Absalom’s– St. Thatguy the Dude started when, in the words of one of the Elders of our congregation, “There was a mutual agreement with [other parish] and the immigrants from the West Indes that the immigrants would find a new place to worship.”

St. Absalom faced that situation in 1787. The fathers and mothers of St. Thatguy the Dude Episcopal Church faced that situation in 1919.

How can I end this post? Here’s the collect.

Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear; that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servant Absalom Jones, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which you have given us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Happy New Year!

May 2008 be full of all the blessings you asked for in 2007, and a hundred thousand more. …Ok, time for bed. 

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Happy St. Clement’s Day!

The first Episcopal parish I got really involved in was dedicated to St. Clement of Rome.

Um, yeah. That’s all I know about the guy. Sorry.

Update 10:18am — Should have done my blog reading first. From The Old Foodie:

Today is the feast day of St.Clement, the patron saint of blacksmiths and of the Worshipful Company of Bakers, and main star of the nursery rhyme and children’s game of “Oranges and Lemons”. The rhyme ostensibly refers to the ringing bells of a number of churches in the City of London, and there are two contenders for the “St Clement’s” – St. Clement Danes (in The Strand) and St Clement Eastcheap (near London Bridge).

There are many interpretations of the possible symbolism and meaning of the rhyme, but no convincing historic associations between either of these churches and citrus fruit. It was deemed a good enough connection however for the small seedless cross between an orange and a tangerine to be named a Clementine.

Happy Patronal Festival to St. Clement’s, Rancho Cordova! I miss you guys!

As for me and my house, well, it’s a filthy mess today and I’m sitting at my day gig getting caught up on work (and blogs, since the phone’s rung twice) before I head out to the Big Blue Box tonight for my first ever Black Friday as a retail worker.

Um, yay?

Pray for me!

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Honey in the Rock

I dunno if it’s the weather or it’s the factit’s a ghost town outside my window, or that my NaNovel is really depressing this year and that’s affecting me more than I’d like to admit, but today is stretching grey and featureless ahead of me. I was very excited yesterday that I had 38 whole hours where no one was expecting me to be anywhere and I turned down several invitations to go and be with people

Now? I’m cold and tired and a bit lonely.

(And watching some damnfools stand on the steps of the coffee shop across the street, completely lost because it’s closed. Heee. *drinks her own coffee*)

The plan for today was to bang out some words on my novel, but I’m losing all desire to write it. I think because when I set out tow rite a novel about a girl who’s stuck in an endless self-loathing cycle and can’t learn a single thing from her mistakes, well, I didn’t expect it to hit quite so close to home. I’m unpacking some pretty deep psychological problems here, without the supervision of a mental health professional.

That way lies madness and Stephen King’s entire body of work.

I have another novel in the wings. It’s about another wounded soul, a little girl making it through the world as well as she can. But in that book, the heros are better defined, there’s less grey uncertainty, and the demons can be stopped with a little stabby action from a sanctified sword.

I’m going to keep trying on the grey novel when I get back from St. Crankypants. It’s still early in the day, the caffeine hasn’t really hit my brain, and I issued a challenge on the NaNoWriMo forums to do a wordcount battle with anyone who’s cooking turkey this afternoon.

You know what I’m thankful for? I’m thankful my dramarama issues are existential. I’ve got a roof, central heat, and power for my laptop. I don’t have to worry about my next meal, it’s defrosting in the fridge. I’m thankful that if I want it, next year, I’ll have dozens of offers of places to go and be social on Thanksgiving, just like I will on Easter.

I’m thankful for the adventure. Bring it on.

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

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What I’m Thinking About During Advent

“But Mary Sue! Advent don’t start for another couple of weeks!”

Our Orthodox bretheren and sistren started fasting yesterday, the more strict Franciscans amongst us started on Nov. 1st, and the Big Blue Box put up its winter decorations on October 3rd, so if I want to talk about Advent, I’ll talk about it all I want!

Today when wandering around some blogs I came across the oft-beloved phrase “living out our baptismal promises.” And it got me to thinking. The 23rd of December marks the 28th anniversary of my baptisim. If you’re doing the math, you’ve probably figured out I was all of 3 months old at the time, so I can’t really tell you anything about the event except the fact that it happened. Some people made some promises on my behalf, I’m told.

28 years old is way beyond time to start taking care of my own promises, nu?

So this Advent, I’m going to be tracking down those promises, seeing what exactly those folks at the baptismal font so long ago got me into.

And I’m taking you with me. Bwahahah.

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Oh, this is SO COOL!

There’s a photo over at Acts of Hope of a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In a church in Belgium.

That’s right, punkins, us Mexicans are EVERYWHERE!

 In other news, at work I just got a missent fax that was supposed to go to the Miami Crime Lab. So, of course, I did what any good geek would– I cued up the CSI:Miami soundtrack on my iPod and faxed it to the correct number with “Attn: H. Caine” written across the top.

I bet they’ve never got that before. Heee.

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Day of the Children Spirits

Note: As always, I will be moderating comments. I don’t know when I’ll get around to it, though, because now that I’ve said it, I don’t want to talk about it. Yes, yes, I know, not our Earth logic… deal.

  • I am half Mexican, but I was raised American. I only spoke English until I got to high school and discovered in my first-year Spanish class a gift for languages and a heritage that had only been faintly echoed in the accents of my abuelitos and the food on the kitchen table.

    Los Dias de Los Muertos is a part of that culture, one that I’ve grown to cherish. It blends Catholic spiritualiy with family honor, history with the present, uniting all points in time and space here, in this point of the four-dimensional Universe, when the days are turning dark and the veil between the worlds feels thinner. Fr. Andrew Greeley talks in all his novels about the shining ones in the bright lands, an Irish expression of the Communion of Saints. I’m part Irish, too, and tonight my eyes close and I think I hear them, whispering just beyond reach.

    Well, either that’s the shining ones or the folks downstairs watching TV.

    In an hour and a half, I’m starting NaNoWriMo. All Saints Day, celebrating those who are in Heaven. Heaven being a construct outside our linear space/time continuum, we celebrate by name those we know who are up there because they left before us, but we recognize dimly that there are others who are also up there who are yet to come.

    In Mexico, the adults who have died are celebrated on All Souls Day, November 2nd. Tomorrow’s the day for the spirits of the children, the innocents who have died, to come back and visit. Toys and candies are left out for them, pinwheels and Mickey Mouse baloons. Even today in Mexico, too many babies don’t live to get old.

    The psychologists say that when a child experiences sexual or physical abuse, at a certain point on a clinical scale calibrated to precisely measure horror, at a certain point on that scale the child’s emotional development stops dead in its tracks. So if a young boy is raped at age eight, he can grow up and live to be a man of 100 years, but without psychological intervention he will react to all situations like an eight year old. The event(s) effectively kills the child emotionally.

    It sounds wierd to say, looks wierd written down, but thank God it wasn’t sexual abuse. Thank God it wasn’t my parents or any other adults. Thank God for the Complete Sherlock Holmes and a big purse and for finally, finally standing up for myself. Thank God the little jackass’ family moved to Hawaii.

    It’s funny, I thought I’d forgiven him completely. And here I go, calling him names again.

    When you’re twelve years old, you don’t know what love is. So when he tells you that he loves you as he hits you repeatedly on the head, you believe him. When he tells you that you’re stupid and lucky he’s around to protect you, you believe him. When he grabs your arm hard enough to leave black bruises for two weeks and drags you away from your friends to berate you, you change for PE in the girl’s bathroom and make sure they’re well hidden, because they’re your secret. Your stigmata, if anyone saw it they would truly know how stupid you are. Only one person knows what kind of an idiot you are, and he left his mark to prove he still cares, that you still belong to him.

    This year’s novel idea came to me in a dream, one with Martians and mummies and superheroes. The plot itself developed into a tale of mourning a lost childhood. Too much responsibility for little shoulders. For some reason I didn’t see the paralells with my reality until last week. I have a card here on my desk with a plot point, a snippet of conversation between the main character and her former friend. The former friend says, “Start acting like an adult!” My main character snaps back, “I never learned how.”

    You can learn how, I’ve discovered. Having a solid family base, one that has fairly healthy relationships is a bonus. Observation and study can take the place of therapy if your tongue gets tied up when you have to face the eyes of a shrink. So can writing. I think I’m about 16 years old, now.

    And there’s someone I like. Not just like, but like like. It’s absolutely terrifying how all my education, all my finely honed wit, all my inner strength, all my spiritual growth can be tossed out the window with one. stinkin’. sentence. Five words, a compliment probably tossed off without much thought and I’m blushing and not making eye contact and the Debate Team from my university is thinking about revoking my elocution awards.

    God, when did I become such a girl?

    Tomorrow’s only an hour away, now. The spirits of the children are coming back to visit, lined up like it’s Disneyland. Children who have been born, some who haven’t yet.

    I’ve got this strange feeling that somewhere in there is one who looks a lot like me, twelve years ago.

    I think I’m going to ask her to stay a while.

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    Troublemakers

    Today is the feast of St. Philip the Deacon, whose biggest exploits are in Acts 8. That would be the chapter before Saul was being kind of a dick. The reading today will focus on Acts 8:26-40. Which, you know, is trouble in and of itself.

    That’s where St. Philip goes rolling out to a road and hops a chariot ride with an Ethiopian eunich (read: one who’s totally not fit to even look at the temple) who’s studying the scriptures. The eunich asks one little question, and Philip starts a-preachin’. Then they find a puddle and the nameless eunich* says, “Hey! Water! Can I be baptized?”

    And Philip doesn’t say, “Well, we’re going to form a committee and start a listening process.” He says, “Sure thing!” and they both go jump in and then go their seperate ways, praising God.

    Now, let’s rewind a bit. Because in Acts 8:4, St. Philip goes to Samaria. Samaria, you know, is the Mortal Enemy of the Israelite people. And he just wanders over there and starts preaching, and people are saved.

    Buhwaithuh? Jesus was a Jew, wasn’t he supposed to just save the Jews? Because they were, you know, the Chosen Ones. They did everything right, never worshipped idols (and if they did, they repented real fast) soooo, um, aren’t the supposed to be the only ones who get the Holy Spirit? Why’s the Holy Spirit over there, we were here first!

    Acts has a couple of times where this discussion was brought up. And each time, they had a meeting and talky-talked about it. Eventually in Acts 8 they sent a couple of the Apostles over to check on Philip’s work, and found it good.

    But Philip had already moved on by then to that dusty road. Because there was some Good News to be spread. And some scandal to be started, and some trouble to be made, and some power structures to be shaken to their foundations.

    O Holy God, no one is excluded from your love, and your truth transforms the minds of all who seek you: As your servant Philip was led to embrace the fullness of your salvation and to bring the stranger to baptisim, so give us the grace to be heralds of the gospel, proclaiming your love to those who are strangers [to] us; through Jesus Christ our Savior,who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

    *which has always bothered me. Grrr.

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