Kissing The Face of God

Kissing The Face of God
Kissing the Face of God

Friday, April 12, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

Ok, I promise not to be excessively depressing and morbid today though it's hard, really it is.  But I don't want to drive everyone away when I just started blogging. Still it was hard to take my husband's picture down and list myself as a "widow".

(not me--but close enough)

1) I am thrilled to hear that both Jen and Hallie's little boys are here (from Conversion Diary and Moxie Wife), but concerned about and praying for Jen's little one who is having breathing issues and is in the NICU. Please pray for little Joseph Thomas, that all will be well, that Jen herself will be protected from blod clots, and that the family will soon be reunited.

2) Pope Francis--I missed the whole thing while I was in Houston with my darling during his last days, so I am only just now getting to know anything about him.  I thought he was Italian until just a couple days ago, lol! But he seems like a very decent sort of guy--very much a "man of the people" who does not put on airs--and I like that. He has a friendly smile, too.  And I love the name he chose! I can't believe no one chose it before!

Pope Francis, smilin' away!

3)  I have a TON of wonderful books to read, as I have gotten quite behind on my reading, as you might well imagine. My sweet husband got me a subscription to National Geographic just before he passed, so I get to read about all my fantasy destinations--the Congo, Denmark, Greenland, the Northern Lights, Yellowstone at Christmas, etc.  I will probably never get to any of them, as I am not the type of person who has that sort of income, but it's nice to dream, and I hope my Robert is up there in Heaven seeing every inch of God's creation and marveling over it.

Christmas at Yellowstone

4)  I really want to start celebrating the liturgical  year with my son Daniel, who is 13. But how do I do this when I don't know much about it in the first place, as a relatively new Catholic, and when his interest is minimal to moderate at best, and when we are both grieving over our loss, and when I am a lousy creative person? He's too old for most of the "kid" stuff but bored by the adult stuff, and has ADHD as well as Aspergers. Any suggestions?

Liturgical Year

5)  haven't been doing much cooking or cleaning beyond the basics--laundry and dishes--since coming home from Houston.   I want to create a peaceful space for myself, at least in my bedroom.  Our house is older--1980--and small--what they call a "starter home"---and hasn't been repainted, recarpeted or had the linoleum changed since 1987. It's hideous. I have never painted, laid carpet or linoleum, etc in my life.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around paying the bills.  But it would be nice to have at least one clean, comforting room to go into.

Not my house but you get the general idea

6)All the meaning of life is contained in the original version of Disney's Fantasia.

7) Hard core grief sucks.


  1. Kerry, I'm praying for you that God will comfort you and your sons in your grief. I have some suggestions for living the liturgical year with a teenager that hopefully will be of some help to you! The list might be overwhelming, so you could pick just one or two suggestions and start there, and add on new things each year.

    In terms of experiencing the Church Year, think of how we celebrate Christmas, even as non-Catholics. Most people eat special foods, decorate, sing special songs, go to Church, smell Christmas smells, etc. Every season of the Church year can have special sights, sounds, music, prayers, foods, etc. The more senses we can engage in following the Church seasons, the more ingrained they become in our minds and bodies.

    1. Begin reading the daily mass readings either online or in a missal The readings reflect the seasons and feasts of the Church Year, and really help you feel in tune with the Church. Your teenager may complain at times, but it will make a deep impression on him that will bear fruits in the future. My family tried to gather around the table after dinner most nights when I was a teenager. We would light a candle and read the mass readings together, and I still remember it to this day.

    2. Learn more about seasonal prayers and practices. This site is very helpful in that regard: Each night, pick a prayer that fits in with that liturgical season or feast, and add it to your family prayers. Right now we are in May, the month of the Virgin Mary. If you have a statue of her, you can keep a little vase in front of it full of flowers in honor of her during this month. You can also sing or listen to Marian hymns, and pray the rosary often.

    3. If you are unfamiliar with novenas, they are nine-day prayers to a particular saint, or to prepare oneself for a particular feast You can find novenas online for many saints and feasts. Right now, we are in the middle of the novena in preparation for Pentecost: It ends on the eve of Pentecost, and tomorrow (May 13) is the 4th day of the novena. You might want to pray a novena to St. Rita, who was a widow. Her feast is coming up on May 22, meaning you would start a novena to her tomorrow, May 13. Another patroness of widows is St. Monica:

    4. Celebrate the feast days of the church with your sons by preparing special foods. Even if your son feels too old to make certain cute recipes (like Easter rolls shaped like tombs), you can still make food that is from the country belonging to a certain saint. Teenagers love food, so I think this is one of the easiest ways to get your son interested in the feasts of the Church. After sharing a special meal, read the life of the saint whom you are celebrating as part of your family prayers. The site is one of the best for Catholic recipes, including many that are not just for kids but for adults too. This site has a calendar to help you keep track of many saint's feastdays


  2. continued...
    5. Listen to seasonal music and sing seasonal songs. These will definitely help put you in the right liturgical spirit. I'll leave a separate response giving some music ideas for the Church year. The Shower of Roses blog also mentions some nice CD's for the seasons of the Church. During the seasons of Lent and Advent, allow for periods of extra silence to create a meditative atmosphere.

    6. Study the Catechism of the Church. This is something that teenagers can really learn a lot from. There are study guides out there for teens explaining how the teachings of the Church relate to our daily lives. For an online catechism see here:

    7. See if there is a youth group at church which your son can get involved in. And if there is a local teen group traveling to World Youth Day (worldwide meeting of youth with the pope every two years) see if he can join the pilgrimage! It's probably too late to sign up to go to WYD 2013, but perhaps in 2015.

    8. Decorate for the seasons of the church year. It doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive, just a few visual reminders of the season. For example, if you can have a prayer corner or fireplace mantle, change it as the seasons of the Church change. The dining table is another good place to place reminders of the Church's seasons. The Shower of Roses blog has many decorative ideas for each seasons, and you could pick a few that work for you. For example, have a tablecloth or piece of cloth based on the liturgical color of the season. Place a statue or picture of a saint or Mary or Jesus relating to the season or feastday (see some of the above links for more info on when different seasons and feasts occur). Light a few candles by the picture. One of the most special seasons is the seasons of Advent, when I recommend having an Advent wreath which you light daily.

    I hope some of these ideas work for you!

  3. I apologize for so many comments but I have ideas I think you might really be interested in! Before I mention my musical suggestions, here is one more idea I forgot: Catholic movies. There are many wonderful movies out there that are great teaching tools for teenagers. There are many on the lives of Jesus and the Saints which are inspiring. Here are a few suggestions:

    Jesus of Nazareth
    The Nativity Story
    The Miracle of the Sun
    A Man for All Seasons (St. Thomas More)
    For Greater Glory (R Rated for war violence. Probably too mature for his age, so you may want to watch it and decide when he's old enough)
    Francis of Assisi (1961)
    Padre Pio
    The Fourth Wise Man
    St. John in Exile
    The Passion of the Christ (R Rated for graphic depiction of the crucifixion. Probably too mature for his age, so you may want to watch it and decide when he's old enough)
    Therese (2006)
    Jesus (1979)
    Molokai (St. Damien)
    The Robe (1953)
    Quo Vadis
    The Ten Commandments (1956)
    Ben Hur (1959)
    Joan of Arc (1999)
    Joan of Arc (1948)
    The Song of Bernadette

    Good books for your teen son would be Be A Man: Becoming the Man God Created You to Be by Fr. Larry Richards and The Complete Father Brown Mysteries by G. K. Chesterton

  4. Finally, here are some more details on music to listen to/sing to experience the church year. You can look up these hymn titles on YouTube to listen to them. I'm also including links to certain musical albums you may enjoy.

    O Come, O Come Emmanuel
    Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
    Creator of The Stars of Night
    Of the Father's Love Begotten
    Lo, How A Rose Ere Blooming

    I'll include some Christmas music that you probably didn't know as a non-Catholic, rather than the common Christmas carols you already know.
    O Nata Lux by Lauridsen
    O Magnum Mysterium by Victoria
    Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
    O Sanctissima
    Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

    Forty Days and Forty Nights
    The Glory of These Forty Days
    Lord Jesus, Think On Me
    Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days
    O Cross of Christ, Immortal Tree
    Sing My Tongue, The Glorious Battle
    Stabat Mater (At the Cross Her Station Keeping)
    O Sacred Head Surrounded
    Handel's Messiah
    Jesus Christ is Risen Today
    Alleluia! Let the Holy Anthem Rise
    Victimae Paschali Laudes
    Ye Sons and Daughters
    Bach's Easter Oratorio
    St. Patrick's Day
    Celtic music
    May (Month of Virgin Mary) and any other Marian feasts

    1. Wow, what incredible suggestions and how much work you went to to sent them to me! And here I didn't even see them until now! That is just awful of me, please forgive me. But I love these ideas and will plan to use them all. I wish I had more uncluttered space in my very small home but I am working on it, so I will have more room for things like that. I know my son likes to candlelight when I do my prayer time at night. He often comes in and just lies on the bed to listen. He does go to R.E. at church, and I have watched many of the movies you suggested, they are wonderful! It's just a matter of getting him interested.