I never seem to remember the 7 Quick Takes Friday that Jen posts every week, so I'll have to fly solo here with my own version, the weekend wrap-up (how's that for alliteration?)
#1: Fr. Longenecker
I had the opportunity to hear Fr. Longenecker speak a few nights ago, and the thing that stuck with me the most from his talk is something that he wrote about here: Namely, that without the infallible authority of the Church, one will either fall into latitudinalism or sectarianism. In other words, without papal authority, churches will either try to maintain unity of form while encompassing a wide range of beliefs (like the Anglican church, for example), or they will continue to separate themselves into various sects that maintain unity of doctrine and lose unity of form with others. I remember having a discussion with a girl in high school, for example, who was explaining to me the necessity of her church breaking away from the Church of God and becoming Church of God of Prophecy. It blew me away even then, that it basically came down to a disagreement over how one interprets the Bible, governance, direction that the church is heading towards, etc. Not to pick on this particular denomination (I use it only for an example), but just a quick search on wikipedia shows that the Church of God of Prophecy later broke into different sects, one of which is Church of God for All Nations. It continues and continues because there is no one central, infallible authority that settles all these issues and defines doctrine.
This doesn't mean that Catholics are all on board with all the teachings of the Church. Unfortunately, far from it. But if someone chooses to disagree or reject some of the doctrines of the Faith, there is an immoveable "something" to disagree with. It's not simply a matter of a difference of opinion.
That's what I've been mulling over for the past few days.
#2: So, I'm not so "perfect" after all...
I had a rather ugly episode during our normal Friday Rosary group (of all places!). No explanations forthcoming, other than I had a run-in with a person who had that "perfect storm" combination of traits and mannerisms that simply infuriated me. What was supposed to a quiet time of prayer and meditation with the kids turned into a raging storm inside me as I fought (rather unsuccessfully) with some pretty ugly thoughts and attitudes.
It was awful. I was reminded throughout the day that it was moments like these that made St. Therese the saint that she is. She sought out those who irritated her the most and spent her free time with them, getting to know them and finding ways to serve them. Sigh.
I'm not sure which is worse -- that I reacted so unkindly to begin with, or that I'm so shocked that I was capable of that sort of ugliness. To have been so unkind is uncharitable towards someone that Jesus loves. To be shocked by my own sinfulness is rather prideful, in that somehow I figured I was "above" that sort of thing. Either way, Friday was a rather looooooooooooooooooow day for me. I had a hard time getting over the whole thing, and an even harder time believing that the Lord forgave me and really can turn something ugly into something beautiful.
#3: Visual reminder of Friday
To hammer home the lesson of Friday, I came home after grocery shopping on Saturday to find that Marie... my sweet, beautiful little Marie... had CUT.HER.HAIR. Her gorgeous hair that I had lovingly (and quite successfully, I might add) cut into the cutest little bob.
She knew better, but chopped away anyway, leaving one ugly mess.
After lots of tears of repentance, I had to take her to a hair salon to try to repair the damage (I wasn't even going to TRY to touch this one!). The woman who took care of her was so sweet, doing her best to repair the damage and minimize the "chopped up" look that she was sporting.
Here is the end result:
When we bring our sinfulness to Jesus, He is able to take all the ugliness and turn it into something beautiful. We may find ourselves more than a bit humbled or pruned back, but like hair, we'll grow back stronger and more beautiful than before.
#4: On a completely different note...
We watched Race to Witch Mountain for our family movie night. Despite the somewhat lackluster reviews I'm seeing on various sites, I have to say that it was a really good family movie -- enough action to keep the older kids entertained, but not scary enough to drive the younger kids away. It was good to watch a film that had no bad language or inappropriate comments/sight gags, and it had a few moments that flashed back to the original movie, which made it enjoyable for us "old folks" as well.