1. Went to the first homeschooling conference of the year. I'm glad I went, but since it wasn't a Catholic conference, there really wasn't much in the way of books that I was interested in buying. (I'm not being snobbish... being in a very non-Catholic part of the United States, it is next to impossible to find a place where I can actually pick up and thumb through the books that my children will be using during the year.) However, I was able to hear some great talks by speakers such as Susan Wise Bauer. I wasn't sure what to expect, since The Well-Trained Mind is... well... rather intimidating at times. I have to say, though, that I thought she did a wonderful job, and gave sound advice for those of us dealing with kids who may be a bit more on the challenging side.
2. Being in Greenville for the day, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to go to Mass at St. Mary's. I know I've mentioned this before, but there is something so profoundly different when the priest faces ad orientem. I can barely put it into words. The best way I can describe it, I suppose, is that the entire Liturgy of the Eucharist feels like a giant procession towards God, with the priest leading the way in front. I was reminded of the awesome responsibilities of the priest who entered the Holy of Holies once a year, and realized that the responsibilities of the priests today are just as awesome, if not more so. He looked so small, standing and singing the Eucharistic prayers as the rest of us were on our knees (and, in the case of the altar boys, prostrate). If I let my imagination go, it wouldn't be too difficult to picture the presence of God humming and crackling on the altar, with the entire congregation on their knees, and one lone, brave man, standing and being obedient to the responsibilities God has called him to.
I know I'm not communicating all this well. Sigh.
3. I also had a great opportunity to listen to some Lighthouse CDs on my trip to the conference and back. My favorite one by far was the one by Dr. Brad Pitre on "Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist." I know he's written a book on this subject as well... so perhaps another book to add to my wish list?
4. Our "crown of thorns" on the door in the kitchen is quickly becoming covered in flowers. I don't say this to brag, but rather to rejoice that my children are taking great joy in doing hidden things for Jesus... which means that they are beginning to move from "I-believe-this-because-my-parents-do" to a more personal belief. I am overjoyed to be able to step back and see a tiny smattering of this process taking place. I remember how intense and wonderful that time of exploration and questioning was for me, and I can only pray that it will be the same for them.
God bless you all on this upcoming week!