It is Saturday: the Sabbath for Jews, the day after Sabbath for Muslims, and the day before Sabbath for Christians. It’s also a day late for “7 Quick Takes,” Jennifer Fulwiler’s popular blog trend. As previously mentioned, my slow San Antonio style presents you with, instead, 7 Slow Gives:
1. I just came home from Endow‘s Momentum Event, a luncheon promoting the marvelous Endow study groups for women (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women). The event’s keynote speaker was Heather King, ex-barfly, ex-Beverly Hills lawyer, and fairly-new Catholic who writes for Magnificat and RC Spiritual Direction among others. Heather has this incredibly beautiful, gritty, authentic way of expressing herself. I never reviewed her excellent book, Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Therese of Lisieux, but it truly changed my life. (I know, I say that about every book I’ve ever mentioned here…Our Lord must have some angelic librarians working overtime this year.) If you have a soul, you will be touched by Heather’s writing. My mind is totally blown that I’m speaking alongside her at the Catholic Women’s Conference in September.
2. In her talk this afternoon, Heather briefly mentioned Jesus’ encounter with the paralytic. She put it this way (paraphrasing): Let’s not sit and feel sorry for ourselves. Let’s take some ownership of things. Pick up your mat and walk.
I totally love that. That’s what Jesus does. That’s the Jesus I know.
3. One of my absolute favorite paintings by the brilliant Spanish painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo is, Christ healing the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda (1667-70). Jesus extends a hand to the paralytic, and behind him the ordinary-ness of life goes on. An angel comes down from heaven, while the broken people lay beside the pool. In this painting, I see the world: an intermingling of brokenness, pain, suffering, loneliness, and at the same instant, healing, redemption, renewal, strength. This is our God’s presence in the world.
4. I’m officially on the website as a speaker for the 2013 Catholic New Media Conference in Boston this October! The gracious CNMC planning committee has chosen me to speak about, “How to be a new media missionary – lessons from Mary, Star of the New Evangelization,” in the Chapel of Boston’s Pastoral Center. I feel totally and completely unworthy of such a grace. While I do work full-time in evangelization and with new media, I have always struggled to have a meaningful relationship with Mary.
(Our Lord is absolutely hinting at something through my being asked to speak on this topic.) Plus, my place of employment’s logo includes a star guiding the Church (symbolized by a ship) through the waves of a storm, and that star actually represents “Mary, Star of Evangelization.” SO…when all’s said and done, Divine Providence beckons me to pray and research in new ways as I prepare this talk.
5. One of my primary sources for the talk will be Pope Paul VI’s Evangelii Nuntiandi, wherein the Holy Father proclaims Mary as the “Star of Evangelization.” I love that document, and I love Paul VI. He is one of my heroes. I have read this document so many times, and I’m always blown away by its brilliance, practical advice, and deep spiritual insight. Yesterday was the anniversary of his election to the Chair of Peter, and Rome Reports put together a neat little montage for the occasion:
6. Swinging things back to daily life, y’all know my fandom for the San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball team. After a gut-wrenching, intense, seven-game series, the Spurs lost the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat. This past week was everything Spurs, all the time. Here in San Antonio, pretty much everyone and their pet is a Spurs fan. Even the nuns are Spurs fans. I literally wore black and silver every day of the week.
While losing in the NBA Finals is a completely new experience to San Antonians, that did not damper our fandom. Hundreds and hundreds of people showed up at the airport on Friday when the Spurs arrived home from Miami, to show their love and support. Stay classy, San Antonio. That’s the one thing we’ve consistently been known for in the NBA, and I’ll take that prize any day.
7. Undoubtedly, the epitome of Spurs class is David Robinson. The man who wore Spurs #50 has been named one of the top 50 players in NBA history. He continues to give to our local community, as associate pastor at Oak Hills Church, founder of a faith-based school for low-income children, and supporter of local Catholic schools. I hope his testimony inspires and blesses you: