Friday, October 4, 2013

a boost

After a long hiatus from art of any kind, I came upon an open invitation via FB for local artists to come to a meet and greet for the newly formed Art Council. My husband urged me to go. I am so glad he did. I got to meet people whom I only knew from the cyber world. It was encouraging to hear others commenting about some piece of mine that they own and why they like it. I needed that little boost to force me to tackle the garage again to unearth my wheel. I think my slump may be over.....

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Assumption of Mary

In planning to teach my children about the holy day of the Assumption of Mary, I realized I did not know very much about it from a historical standpoint. It is easy for me to believe that Mary is in heaven. I mean how could someone told by an angel that she was full grace, blessed and that the fruit of her womb would be Christ, not be in heaven? (and yes for arguements sake, I know that through faults of her own she could have ended up in hell, but I am not argueing)

In the 4th century in Jerusalem, the place of Mary's dormition (or falling asleep) was traditionally said to be on Mt. Zion. There the "Memory of Mary" was celebrated. For a time, the "Memory of Mary" was marked only in Palestine, but then it was extended by the emperor to all the churches of the East. In the seventh century, it began to be celebrated in Rome under the title of the "Falling Asleep" ("Dormitio") of the Mother of God.  The name was changed to the "Assumption of Mary," since there was more to the feast than her dying. It also proclaimed that she had been taken up, body and soul, into heaven.

There are apocryphial writings, (apocrypha means "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", and "Christian texts that are not canonical") that say Mary died surrounded by the apostles and was taken into heaven by Christ after her death. There are Eastern and Western versions of this legend.

To be assumed into heaven is to enter heaven both body and soul, meaning complete personhood and not the soul alone, by a direct act of God. Thus "Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, for God took him away" (Gen. 5:24; cf. Heb. 11:5). Elijah was assumed into heaven, though in a more grandiose style (2 Kings 2:11). Catholics believe that Mary entered heaven in this same manner, though they generally believe that she died before being assumed. Mary is seen not as a petty goddess, but as a redeemed Christian granted a special privilege through the love of Christ.


A piece of papyrus was found in the early 20th century that had a prayer of intercession to Mary written upon it. (a copy is shown below) It is argued to be from between the 3rd and 4th centuries in age. Even at this point when oral histories would be alive and well, it was believed that Mary was an intercessor in heaven.

http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=87

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1992/9205fea2.asp

In 1917 there was discovered in Egypt a piece of papyrus dating to about A.D. 250. Its ten lines of Greek included this: "Under cover of your motherly heart we flee for refuge, Mother of God [Theotokos]; do not brush aside our entreaties in our distress, but rescue us from danger, you, peerlessly holy and blessed." This ancient version of the Sub Tuum is now housed in the John Rylands Library (Papyrus 470) in Manchester.) Adopting the title Theotokos into official dogma sparked an intense Marian devotion, out of which grew the Transitus Mariae literature.

Since we have texts in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic (Egyptian), and Arabic, there would seem to be little doubt that the Assumption was a catholic (i.e. universal) belief among early Christians. While popular Christian literature has never been entirely reliable historically or theologically (it rarely is even today), yet there is much to be learned from the Transitus about the faith of the average Christian sitting in the pew. For example, all the Transitus literature agrees that Mary was assumed after having died a natural death and was neither martyred nor immortal. No doubt if we could talk to a fourth or fifth century Christian today, this is what he would tell us about Mary.

http://www.davidscottwritings.com/assumption.html

But we have a different kind of “evidence” in the oldest–known Marian prayer—the Sub tuum praesidium:

We fly to your patronage , O holy Mother of God
Despise not our petitions in our necessities
But deliver us from all dangers
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Discovered in 1938 in a third–century Egyptian papyrus, it’s a short prayer that says nothing about the Assumption. But it does presume that Mary has somehow attained a place of heavenly glory as the exalted Mother of God. And it presumes she is both capable of hearing prayers and of somehow answering them.

This is known as the John Rylands Papyrus 470
http://theoblogoumena.blogspot.com/2007/08/john-rylands-papyrus-470.html


http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/ROSARYDI.htm

The bodily Assumption of Mary into heaven at the end of her life is neither explicitly taught nor contradicted by the Bible, though there are precedents (Hebrews 11:5 mentions the assumption of Enoch; 2 Kings 2:113 recounts that of Elijah; Paul admits the possibility of his own bodily assumption in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4). There is no indication that Mary's remains were venerated as relics (a customary practice in the early Church), and the belief in her Assumption is held both in the East (Orthodox) and in the West (Catholic).

Mary is perceived in Catholic thought as the proto-Christian and the symbol of the Church as a whole. Hence her Assumption is seen as a sign of the ultimate destiny of the Church: Christ will come at the end in order to take his Bride into the kingdom and to glorify her (2 Thess. 4:16-17). The belief in the Assumption is affirmed by all Christian communities having historic links with the ancient Church—which our Lord promised to lead into all truth (John 16:12-13; cf. Matt. 16:18, 28:20). The belief is very old as well as widespread, and those who deny this teaching do so without scriptural warrant, for Christians are to follow apostolic traditions, whether or not written in the New Testament (2 Thess. 2:15).

The coronation of Mary in heaven should be understood against the Jewish background of early Christianity. In Judah, partly because of the Fourth Commandment (Ex. 20:12), the mother of the anointed king had a function of considerable importance, and her name is with only two exceptions associated with the accession of the king in the official annals.6 The king's mother bore the powerful and prestigious title of Gebirah7 and received honors of the first order. She had an official place at the court, was mistress of the harem, had enough power to seize complete control over the nation (as did Athaliah in 842 B.C., 2 Kgs. 11:1-3), was sent into exile with the king (as was Nehushta in 597 B.C., Jer. 29:2), and could be deposed (as was King Asa's idolatrous grandmother, Maacah, who first became queen mother during the reign of her son Abijam,1 Kgs. 15:2, 10,13, 2 Chron. 15:16). The was a monarchical institution and had a throne and a crown.8

As Jesus is the ultimate King of the Jews, fulfilling the messianic prophecy in 2 Samuel 7:10-17, it would be strange indeed if Mary did not have this crown as the ultimate queen mother. The monarchical nature of the kingdom of God, complete with queen mother, may be difficult to appreciate for those who live in a democratic culture, but it was something accepted as natural in early Christendom, as witnessed by the art and literature.


A Long Week

A day late, but I'm here. It has been a crazy busy week in our house. Catholic Kids Week at the Cathedral took up our mornings. The kids had a great time concentrating on the Luminous mysteries.  I helped out with the littles in the nursery. This was one of the best run camps we have participated in to date. The children were lamenting as we entered the van for our final trip home that they would have to wait a whole year before they could come back. That sounds like success to me!

A whirlwind trip to the McWane center for some hands on fun to celebrate a friend's birthday and swimming rounded out our week. I was so tired in the evenings that I didn't sit down at the computer to research a new approach to a major project DH and I have been hashing out for about 3 years. If you know me at all that is some serious fatigue!

Over the last maybe two years we have been modifying our diet to a real food/Paleo lifestyle change. In doing so, DH has lost 20 lbs and I have cured my lifelong IBS issue. Most people think I'm crazy when I start to discuss things that are considered fringy to my SAD mainstream family and friends. (SAD = Standard American Diet)

My latest addition to our protocol is taking hydrolyzed gelatin twice daily. Since doing so I have had a bought of cystic acne on my neck and hairline. I have had acne problems for most of my life and until recently thought it was horomonal and something I could not control without topical treatments. With all my research over the last year I had become aware of the role of acne in detox.  But when it actually happened to me I never made the connection.

Until today.  In my random blog hopping I came across a blog that explained my issues. The state of my skin made complete sense after reading it over. I had a big "why didn't I think of that?" moment. The Cellulite Investigation shares a personal story of how beef stock causes an onset of acne from the displacement of fluoride in her body. I am also noticing cherry angiomas popping up here and there. According to the research of Cheeseslave this is a sign of bromide detox/poisoning. Seems my daily beef gelatin is doing its job.

On a side note to the gelatin, I made homemade gummies and a no bake cheesecake. Both turned out well. I think with some tweaking the cheesecake can be fabulous. I'll save that for another post. Thanks to The Coconut Mama for the cheesecake idea.

I am very thankful for this full and exhausting week. Without it, I would have been a bit depressed with missing my DH while he is out of town. Hats off to all the military spouses out there. I do believe your families make the greatest sacrifice of all!

Friday, June 14, 2013

I did it!

I finished most of what I set out to do this week. Most importantly I turned the grades into the admin. What a burden lifted! I can not procrastinate next year.

We planted peanuts Monday with Mama. Of course I had to go barefoot in the garden. It just makes me feel better. Earthing and all that. On a side note about feet, I finally purchased a new pair of flip flops. I still haven't brought myself to throw the old ones out. I had worn a hole through the heel. Slipping into them was like saying hello to old friends. We had walked many a mile together. It truly is hard to let go of something so familiar and broken in. Even if it is just a pair of flops.

I took a pile of bundles and envelopes to the post office.  Hopefully the recipients will see a belated gift as a pleasant surprise and not just a procrastinating aunt who has forgotten what day (or month) it is.

The kids and I had an unexpected pool date with some friends. They unanimously agreed that it was a "good day". My heart warms when I hear those words. I can only pray that those are the moments they remember. Instead of me in a conniption over something that didn't deserve the energy expended upon it.

I caught up with the SIL and BIL while watching a nephew's baseball game this afternoon. They braved five o'clock traffic to have dinner with us. Their youngest opted for a sleep over instead of sleeping on the hotel floor. Our crew was beside themselves to have a cousin stay. Usually we are the ones visiting them.

With the hubby being so busy this week, I think I can tackle the garage without causing too much chaos. First, I must organize. Then I can wade through the individual projects one at a time. Or at least that is the current plan. However, Catholic Kids Week may just be my undoing.

Until next Friday. Adieu. Adieu. Auf wiedersehen . Good night.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sigh.....

I have made a self discovery that is not very pleasing. As a matter of fact, I find it quite horrifying. I have become one of those people who says yes to requests even when I know I should say no. Or I allude to the probable potential that something will come to be. As a result I have made promises that I just can't keep. That makes me a liar and untrustworthy.

We are trying to instill honesty, integrity and trust into the character of our children. How can I teach this if I cannot be a primary example?  I refuse to be the do as I say not as I do parent. So today I begin a new leg of my journey: living honestly in everything.

I am taking the summer to finish all (God help me) of the half finished projects cluttering both bays of the garage and closets, to do the fun summer kid activities that I have pinned with good intention, and to be a better, mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend.

Hopefully, in this process I will find joy in clay again. The mug project sucked the artistic life out of me. I realized I am definitely not a production potter. I have several drawings and paintings to finish that are years overdue as well.

To hold myself accountable, I am going to post my progress weekly in a Friday recap. If I miss a week, please call me out.

The first task: sending grades to the admin for this school year before the due date. It's like pulling my own teeth to do paperwork and go to the post office.

To any and all that I may have disappointed by making a promise or pledge, I sincerely apologize.