Friday, January 29, 2010

"Go Forth and Blog"

There's always a comical reaction in the media when the Pope delivers any sort of public message.

Which is why- when Pope Benedict XVI came forward last weekend and recommended that young priests become familiar with new media and ways of reaching out to youth- I sat back with my bag of popcorn and began to peruse the internet's headlines.

"Pope encourages priests to become more like Perez Hilton!!" (I don't make this stuff up, folks.)

[I don't think that's *quite* what his Holiness has in mind. But I have been known to be wrong in the past. (Once or twice.)]

The Pope's message could not have come at a better time. (The Holy Spirit is funny that way, eh.) There has never been a time in history that Americans have been more reliant on modern technology. Laptops, Blackberries, iPods, iPhones... all never further away than the back pocket. Most of us could communicate instantly with almost anyone anywhere in the world, if we desired to. The Pope knows what's goin' on.

Upon hearing his Holiness' message, I could not help but think about myself and my own blog. I absolutely love to write. When I started this blog almost two years ago, I did so to share a story, the story of my life. I intended that story to cover joys, struggles, the emotions surrounding each, and how the mysteries of the Lord's will is drawn out of our every action. I knew that I needed to get at least one message off my chest, but I was having a hard time putting it into words. And that came to me in the form of a song:

"There's no better place on earth than the road that leads to heaven--
No better place to be."

And thus my blog was born.



My husband's birthday is next week. I recently asked him what he'd like, and the first thing out of his mouth was:

"For you to blog. More."

How could a gift that's intended to be for him, be such a gift to myself? I was beyond flattered, and every insecurity towards writing "publicly" immediately vanished.

"I love what you have to say, and you have a gift for saying it."

After much struggling to put this post into words, my wonderful husband wrote this as an inspiration:

"Emily and I were talking about the Popes message challenging Priests to “proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources -- images, videos, animated features, blogs, Web sites..."

This got us thinking about Emily’s blog and what a wonderful way of sharing the Gospel to those around us that blogging can be. Should we not strive to be more holy? If the Pope is calling the Priesthood to use more modern ways to proclaim the Gospel, shouldn’t we?

By no means do I think we are all called to post a daily blog about the day's readings and Gospel. But, maybe, we can apply the message of St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel at all time, use words when necessary,” to this modern way of communicating.

Share your life with your friends and family who cannot be near you, let them know of your joys and your sorrows, and let them see how the Lord is working in your own life."


So here it is- my blog. My New Years Resolution and my husband's "birthday gift". I will go forth, and I will blog.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Toast to Robert, on his Wedding Day.

Robert, for as long as I can remember, you have always had to take everything one step further.

In fact, this lifestyle of yours dates all the way back to the day of your birth.
You were not just born, but you made your grand entrance on Mom’s birthday.

And as you entered into those pre-school years, you were often on stage performing with the Wee-Woozles or Haymarket Baptist, and you’d be the one exaggerating all of the hand-motions and wailing your arms to the songs; all while the audience was ignoring their own children and in stitches over your personal performance.

Playing at home or Lake George where we spent every summer was no different. How many times did you insist on playing “who-could-scream-the-loudest”, or “who-could-walk-the-furthest-into-the-neighbor’s-with-the-scary-dog’s-yard”?

And how could I forget about “The Incredible Hulk Incident”? While shopping in Walmart one day, instead of just walking past that set of “Hulk” arms on display that you could slide your own arms into and instantly look strong, you had to try them out for yourself. You slid those babies on, approached the nearest innocent employee, flexed your arms out in front of you and let out a ferocious roar, loud enough to have shoppers stop dead in their tracks.

There was even that time when I was a senior in High School and you were in 7th grade. It was one of the few years in our lives that we happened to be at the same school at the same time. I remember sitting in Latin class and hearing you sneeze from the next classroom over. Your “choo” was so loud and exaggerated, it lasted about 20 seconds. And as I recall, you were dismissed from Mr. Flook’s class for the remainder of that day.

Yes, Robert, you have always taken everything one step further.

Which is why, when you came home one afternoon years ago, and told me that you had found someone special, someone who you really really liked and you wanted to know how to impress; and was it too soon to take her out?—someone who emulated Mother Mary and gave you that overwhelming desire to become more like St. Joseph—I waited. I waited for that one step further that you were going to take it. That’s when I heard:

“Oh yeah. Did I mention she is Alessandra’s best friend and roommate?”

All joking aside, I watched your relationship with Julia blossom. From the very beginning, you knew deep down inside that she was the woman who would become your wife. Her patience made you want to become a better man. Her gratitude has made you want to work hard to provide for her. Her love of children, especially her nieces and nephews, is preparing you to become a father when it’s time. Her perseverance in schooling has you wanting to persevere as well. And your mutual willingness to sacrifice for the other has brought you both to this point.

Robert, I want to take this opportunity to thank you. Thank you for your wonderful example of a true Christian man. You spent years serving the church with the altar boy robe on, and made it through Knighthood, the highest ranking of altar boys. Again, you did not just serve, but you took it a step further. The same applies to your current vocation. You knew you had to find a job and soon, if you were going to ask Julia to be your bride. So instead of submitting a resume to and waiting, you went straight to the army recruiting office and began a daily workout routine. You were accepted into the army and made a commitment to serve your country while providing for your wife. You took it one step further.

Thank you Robert, for the brother that you are to me. It is such an honor to be your sister. Words could never repay the unconditional love that you have shown to me over the past several years. You have taken your vocation of “brother” one step further. You’ve stood by me when I needed it the most. You’re there to console me when I’m sad, as well as there to celebrate when I’m happy. And Julia, you have been like a sister to both Jim and me from the moment when Robert first brought you home. It’s been like stepping inside of your own siblings’ shoes and experiencing what it’s like to have you as a sister. You have called Robert to be the person whom he has become. And from getting to know you over the past few years, you also, take your responsibility as God’s daughter one step further. You hold your family in the highest regard. You and Robert are a true example of Christ’s love for his church.

And finally, Robert, although they cannot be with us physically today, know how truly proud Grandma and Grandpop are of you. Pray for their intercession always, for we both know that their marriage was not only a great earthly example, but a heavenly gift from God to us to emulate.

In fact, if they were here today, I know that they’d both be taking credit for your inherited gene of taking everything one step further.

To Robert and Julia: cheers.