Sunday, December 31, 2006

Another Year Has Gone By

I've really meant to update more often, but haven't been doing very well. I'm on break until the January 22, so hopefully I'll get some more posts up. I will try to write something a few times a week, even if it's just a random bit of news that caught my interest.

So, tomorrow is 2007, and as always, I'm amazed at how fast the year has gone, and how much it has brought. I did make it through my first semester of college, and I'm looking forward to next semester, though my break is fantastic so far.

Well, if I'm true to my word, I'll be writing soon. And as for my bit of striking news for today, I was looking at the Parade magazine in the newspaper and I think that little Suri Holmes-Cruise might be the most beautiful baby in the world.

God Bless.

Friday, November 24, 2006

With Gratitude

I know this is a day late, but with the Thanksgiving spirit in mind, I'd like to say thank you to all the amazing people in my life...and I hope you know who you are.

My family, and all my friends in Wichita; all my friends at UD, especially the Catherine girls and 'The Bucket,' and the great professors who have made my learning experience so worthwhile. I can't believe it's been three months since I started school there, but I have come to love being there and learning there, and even now, being at home for Thanksgiving (Yay!!!) I realize that I miss it.

But the funny thing is, I don't miss it enough to wish I was back there. I mean, if I learned one thing this past semester, it is that there is nowhere I'd rather be than right here at home. And no matter how amazing UD is, it will never be home to me as this place is home...until, I guess, I have my own home and family, which is what I desire above everything else, even a college degree. But for me, college is the step that comes before that, and because college is my vocation right now, I will live the moment.

So again, thanks to you all, and many blessings in the approaching Advent season.

And Happy Birthday to Bridget, one of the most amazing people I know!

God Bless.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wow...I didn't realize that it had been so long since I last updated, probably because I didn't realize how busy schoolwork was going to keep me. About school, though: it's going really well, and I can't believe that it's over halfway through the semester. Hopefully if things work out, I'll be home for Thanksgiving, and then only a couple more weeks until the end of the semester.

It's been such a rewarding experince all around, and every day I encounter something new and beautiful in the people here, or in talking to people back home, or in just keeping my eyes open to the beauty of life.

So I can't promise that I will be able to write more often, but I just want to say that I miss everyone back home, and I can't wait to see them! I haven't looked forward to something so much in a long time.

And I'll leave you with a quote:

"There are millions of people in this world. But in the end, it all comes down to one."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

An Encounter

I really mean to update more frequently, but that last post I thought I had posted last Tuesday, when I wrote it, but for some reason it didn't get up there until today. But do read it if you're interested in the Nacogdoches CL Family Vacation.

As for college life and classes, it's all going very well and much more smoothly. I'm getting the hang of things and feeling more at home, though being away from home is still hard. But thank you all for all of your prayers and letters and everything--none of it has gone unnoticed.

This morning a group of us from UD went to an abortion clinic in Dallas to pray, and it was an amazing experience. With the excitement of school I had forgotten how much I love going out and interacting with other groups of people, like this, or at the Lord's Diner, or Abstinence Education over the summer. Even if just for one encounter, making the effort to be a presence is always worth it. You never know who you might meet.

Today at the clinic there was a young man carrying a little boy, maybe 2 or 3 years old. The young man was with his girlfriend, or sister, and the boy was apparently his son or nephew. But he was clearly distraught, and came to stand with our group for a while, as the young lady he came with was inside the clinic. He just stood there listening to us, maybe even praying with us--I couldn't tell--holding the little boy, and he became emotional as he talked to one of our sidewalk counselors. He stood there until the end of our rosary, and then went to his car to wait for the young lady.

I don't presume to know his story, or what stuggles he is going through with the girl and the young boy, but I do know that as he stood there with us, I was praying for him, and his family, and for the strength he needed to do the right thing. It's encounters like these that slap you in the face, in a way, and make you seriously question everything you think you know. No matter how bad you think you have it, someone has is worse, and when God grants you the grace of encountering those people, you are forced to re-examine your life, and thank Him for all the blessings He has given you, in particular the blessing of being able to meet these people.

Something I've learned that I think everyone should realize is that no event ever arrived without surprise, and an element of the unknown. Were the Jews expecting their God to become a man in the womb of a fourteen year old girl? Were they expecting Him to be born in a stable and grow up in the working class? Were they expecting Him to suffer and die a criminal's death? None of them expected this, and yet it was the greatest event in history. So we should learn to expect the unexpected, or at least be open to it. Events more often than not come to us as surprises--we do not expect them. But if we are open to them, they can be the greatest graces or encounters of all. Every event in our lives has a meaning, because they come from Christ, who is the Event of History.

Even when I am given these events, these encounters, I am always surprised by them. Because who would have expected to see Christ in the face of a young man at the abortion clinic? And who would have expected to touch the head of Christ on a sleeping three year old boy? No one expected it, but it happened, a great event of today. And that is why every day is precious, and why every moment should be lived fully, because we live for love of something happening now: the love of Christ, which is all around us, if we let it be.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

In Search of Certainty

So for some reason this did not post last week when I wrote it, so it's kind of old, but I hope you enjoy it all the same.


This past weekend (Sept 2-3) I was blessed to be able to go on the CL Family Vacation in Nacogdoches, Texas. Emad and I left at 5:30 am on Saturday (he drove down the night before) and we got back here (UD) at 2am on Monday.

As with any CL vacation or function, I was overwhelmed by the complete charity of these people that love the presence of Christ in each person, and even if I only see them once or twice a year--or even if I am meeting them for the first time--I feel such a deep connection to them. They become my best friends, because of our connection in the person of Christ, in our community, in this amazing friendship guided by destiny.

So the main thing I took away from the lessons was the concept of certainty, that is, having a certainty about your life that you find in faith; faith in a person, in Christ and in the people who show us Christ.Having this certainty means being able to say, “Yes, this is what I desire; what I want.” But in order to do that, to be able to say that, we first have to be fully aware of our desire. Our “I” has to be set in the right place, desiring happiness, justice, and freedom. Without this desire, the presence of Christ will not matter to us, even if He were to appear right in front of us.

To live, we need this certainty, but in this life, certainty is one of, if not the, hardest things to achieve. I my own life right now, I am greatly struggling with finding certainty. Adjusting to college life and academics has proved harder than I expected and initially realized. What the lessons on the vacation showed me was that to have certainty, we must recognize our desires. To recognize our desires, we must be fully aware of our “I”, our heart, and use it to judge reality. In judging reality with our heart we live that reality intensely. Once we can discern what is truly in our heart from what the world tells us is in our heart, we see Christ, and in Him we find the certainty we need, and the hope that does not disappoint.

Also, through the people we love we realize a deeper need for an infinite love, and in that infinite love, we are able to love people more deeply, with a love for their destiny, which is the same as our own.

Don’t be afraid to start at the beginning, to start with the desires of your heart. It is a risk—following rules is much easier—but only if you go deeper into whatever you are doing will you find the Mystery who gives us certainty, hope, and love.

God Bless.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Here We Go

Well, tomorrow I finally start classes at the University of Dallas, and I am so excited, so ready, and so nervous. First up is Calc I and then General Physics. In the afternoon is Literary Tradition I and then the Physics lab. Other classes (not tomorrow) are Understanding the Bible and Roman Historians (advanced Latin).

Also today I had an 'audition' for chamber music, and started the process for my music minor. I'm very happy to be able to continue music, so I'll let y'all know how that goes.

Besides school, I'm very very excited for this weekend, because I get to go on the Southwest CL Family Vacation in beautiful Nacogdoches, Texas. I won't be able to stay for all of it, because we have classes on Labor Day, but it will be great to be able to meet and see again all the CL people around here.

So that's pretty much what's up...I'll let you know how classes are going once they're underway.

And I finally got internet set up in my room, so I don't have to haul this thing up to Haggar (University Center).

Take care,

Monday, August 21, 2006

My Last Week at Home

So as most of you know I leave for the University of Dallas on Friday. I'm beyond excited about going to college, and learning, and meeting new people, but I'm also sad to leave behind so many amazing friends, and of course my family. I think that a big part of leaving for college, or going on to any new stage in life, is going to be learning to accept that things are changing, and that God may have bigger plans for us than we have for ourselves. So it all comes back to trusting in Him that everything will work out in His Plan.

Since the last time I wrote I have been on the Midwest CLU vacation, which was amazing. There were so many powerful things that struck me, but one of the best point was that of correspondence. When we meet someone who strikes us, or when we see something true or beautiful, it is actually Christ in them that strikes us, and it is Him who we are attracted to. Our hearts beg for Him and we are given the gift of being able to meet Him in other people. Our heart responds to His Presence and yearns for it all the more. When we meet Christ, we fall in love, and we hang on for dear life, because "He has told me the truth about myself." Even when it is hard to hear, we need to hear the truth about ourselves, and Christ tells us. If we are willing to listen.

I don't know if I'll post again before I get to Dallas, but I will be keeping in touch and letting you all know what I'm up to. So good luck to all of you going back to school, and thank you to all of my know who you are.

God Bless

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Clairity on "The Kite Runner"

A short but meaningful review of my favorite novel this summer, The Kite Runner at Clairity's Place.

If you haven't read the book yet, do so!

Monday, July 31, 2006

“In order to find God in ourselves, we must stop looking at ourselves, stop checking and verifying ourselves in the mirror of our own futility, and be content to be in Him and to do whatever He wills, according to our limitations, judging our acts not in the light of our own illusions, but in the light of His reality which is all around us in the things and people we live with.”

Thomas Merton No Man Is An Island

Saturday, July 29, 2006

"For You, a Thousand Times Over"

I've been putting off writing about The Kite Runner for a while, because I know that I could never do it justice. So I've decided just to write about it, and say whatever comes to mind. I'm still working on my scholarly essay about it, but as you all know, that could be a while. So you're stuck with this.

Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner was first published in 2003, and I can't believe that I had not heard of it for three years. Why has it taken me so long to read this book? I came across it only because it is the summer read of CL, and my dad bought it and brought it home. I picked it up, and off and on for the next two or three days, I was consumed by this amazing novel.

The debut of Afghanistan-born Hosseini, now a physician in California, The Kite Runner chronicles the lives and relationship of two boys from Afghanistan in the mid-1970's. It reads more like a memoir than a novel, taking us at times into the very soul of Amir, the narrator. At times heartbreaking, at times uplifting, but ultimately redemptive, this book is so powerful that more than once while I was reading I had to stop because I could not see the words--they were being blurred by my tears.

I was so unprepared for the impact that this book had on me, and I still think about it and talk about it nearly every day since I finished it. I don't know how many people I've recommended it to, but I believe that everyone should read it.

What was most memorable and powerful about this book was the unwavering realism it sustained throughout all its 400 pages. Everything that Amir and his friend Hassan experience, I felt that I experienced. The decisions that each of them made, I felt that I had to make. This is especially true for the character of Amir, because since he is telling the story from his point of view, I can literally feel every emotion that he describes. It makes you search yourself, and ask yourself what kind of person you are. Would you do the same in Amir or Hassan's place?

One of the central points of the book is how Amir's relationship with his father affects his relationship with Hassan. Amir and his father, Baba, are very wealthy, and Hassan and his father are their servants. Hassan's father, Ali, and Baba grew up together, and Amir and Hassan are growing up in much the same way. Amir would do anything to please his father, and this is the deciding factor in many of the crucial decisions he makes, especially the ones involving Hassan. I can't expand very much more on the plot without giving things away to those of you who have not read it, but I will say that Amir sets in motion a series of events that essentially cripple his life for the next twenty-six years.

Though we are told the story entirely from Amir's perspective, we are also drawn in by the character of Hassan, who is this novel's Christ figure. While Amir takes us primarily on a journey of redemption, Hassan takes us on a journey of love. He says to Amir, "for you, a thousand times over!" and this lines echoes twice more in the book, connecting Amir's destiny with Hassan's. Hassan is completely selfless; he never stops giving, even after he and Amir have parted. This is the path Amir struggles to find--the road that will lead him to forgiveness, peace, and eventually a changed heart that only wants to give, the kind of heart that he first experienced in knowing Hassan.

In the end (though I won't tell you the actual ending--you need to read this book for yourself!) Amir, who grew up being served, has learned how to serve others. He knows that what mistakes he made in the past have been forgiven, and this allows him to be able to forgive himself.

Though none of the main characters are Christians, this book resonates deeply with Christian messages, namely, love and forgiveness. Such things can never be too often written about, and talked about, and read about. Most of us are probably more like Amir than we would care to admit, but we constantly struggle to become like Hassan. Sometimes giving of ourselves hurts, and sometimes it seems like what we do is of no consequence anyway. But there is always a reason, because God has it all worked out in His plan. And we can only stand in wonder, and with our arms open say to Him and to those around us: "for You, a thousand times over."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Modern Day Fairy Tale

I just saw one of the most refreshingly original movies that I've seen in a long time. It was Lady in the Water, M. Night Shyamalan's new film.

I'm actually writing this post in response to Barbara Nicolosi's recent comments on the movie, because I completely, wholeheartedly, and most passionately disagree with every word she wrote about Lady in the Water, M. Night Shyamalan, and his other films. I have never been disappointed by a Shyamalan movie, and this one was no exception.

Lady in the Water does more than stimulate our imaginations. It challenges them, and takes them back into the realm of fairy tales. We've all heard fairy tales, or bedtime stories, at some point in our lives, and this movie proves that we're never too old to hear them. Every story with a meaning is worth hearing, and everything worth hearing has a meaning. The allegories and hidden messages of this story are woven into almost every scene, just as in any classic fairy tale.

Fairy tales are usually meant for kids, to entertain them, to teach a lesson, or to highlight some aspect of humanity. The best fairy tales were created by the imagination for the imagination, and they always have a deeper meaning than what is first heard or seen. In every good story, whether fantasy, fiction, or real life, there is a message, an inner-meaning, a truth to be seen and shared.

The message of Lady in the Water is simple but profound (and obviously a bit too deep for today's critics). Everyone is connected. Everyone has a purpose. It is up to each person to find their purpose and to do their part for the common good. The people around us are each unique and powerful. Everyone wants to be someone, and to matter. To be loved and remembered.

The fact that so few people appreciate Shyamalan's genius is very sad, because the fact that almost no critic can see the purpose of Lady in the Water tells me that America has lost its imagination and its sense of wonder. I'm sorry to pick on Ms. Nicolosi again, but for someone to say Lady in the Water is "monstrously bad storytelling," and then call The Devil Wears Prada one of the best movies of 2006 shows the sad fact that originality and imagination and hidden meanings and allegories and even fairy tales are no longer appreciated nor wanted.

What would it take for a brilliant movie like Lady in the Water to resonate with our hearts? Well, it's a fairy tale, a bedtime story, and those kinds of stories are usually written for kids. How does a child perceive fairy tales? Don't they look at them with the open imagination and mindset that anything is possible and that some things may not be immediately explained? Don't they sometimes see things that eccentric characters reveal about humanity that a philosopher could not? And don't they learn that being who you are is the best way to bring about change and hope...and a happy ending?

Maybe we need to be like kids again to be able to feel a resonance with movies like Lady in the Water. Maybe we have become so used to being handed the meaning when we watch a movie that we have forgotten how to look for it and find it ourselves. Maybe we've forgotten how to listen, and to wonder.

Everyone loves a good story, and everyone learns from a good story. And Shyamalan certainly knows how to tell a good story. What I learned from this movie is that even the most seemingly insignificant person can change the world, and we can experience incredible things if we just believe. But most importantly, we can find great support in our communities, because each person plays a part in the lives of the people around them. Man cannot make it on his own.

And learning from stories is sometimes the best way to find out who you are.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The New Church of the Masses

"Theatres are the new Church of the Masses--where people sit huddled in the dark listening to people in the light tell them what it is to be human."(1930's theatre critic)

I got this quote from Barbara Nicolosi's blog, and I used it today because last night, or this morning rather, I truly experienced the new "Church of the Masses."

My sister and I went to the midnight showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and while the movie was all in all fairly entertaining, it wasn't spectacular, or life-changing, and to be perfectly honest, like any other inner-meaning-less action movie, I'm going to forget it by next week. What I really took away from it, though, and the point of me writing about it, was the experience of simply being there.

I mean, it's the midnight showing; these people are either die-hard fans, parents who don't want their children out late by themselves, people who want to hang out with their friends (my sister), or people who go so that their sister can go (me). Needless to say, the movie was sold out to a 90% die-hard category audience. Now, I have to admit, I did not see the first "Pirates" until over a year after its initial release. Furthermore, I had all but completely forgotten its plot and/or key points. So with a large, highly caffeinated beverage, I sat down to watch the movie amidst a sea of people of all ages in eye patches, fake dreadlocks, and other miscellaneous pirate garb. And I sat there the entire time, because even though after that Dr. Pepper I had to use the restroom like no other, I had a feeling that if I got up and left, I would be bombarded with the fake swords and empty candy boxes of die-hards shouting "How dare you leave! You don't deserve that ticket!"

Keeping in mind that the show was at midnight, some friends of ours had been at the theatre since 8pm. By ten, they said, the theatre was fairly full. My sister and I arrived at 11:15, and I ended up sitting on the edge towards the front. The excitement in the auditorium was tangible, and to see so many people so happy about something, even though it was for a rather over-rated, over-advertised Disney production, made me feel some sort of hope. Hope that somewhere in the hearts of Americans, there is still the ability to live reality intensely.

As I watched these people watching this movie, a thought occurred to me: what movie would I get this excited about seeing? What movie would I completely and voluntarily choose to see at midnight? Maybe if "On the Waterfront" was re-released. Or if someone re-made "Ashes to Light." (*winks at John*) But seriously, I couldn't imagine ever getting so worked up over a movie that I would absolutely have to be the first one (in the general masses) to see it. So on one hand I'm happy that these people have a passion. But on the other I wish that they would have the same sort of passion for things in real life.

I guess what I'm taking a long time to say is that this new Church of the Masses and this new congregation is really the hope of America, in the sense that the art of film has the amazing potential to be used for evangelization. And while "Pirates 2" isn't the best example of people in the light telling us what it is to be human, there are many movies that do. And many movies can and will be made that will tell us. Because we need to be told.

The pulpit of America is a canvas screen, the pews are velour seats with cupholders, and the preacher is a roll of film passing in front of a projector, and this church where we so often go to escape reality is where so many times we end up finding it.

Here's to the great movies. Let them be made and seen.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Today in Acadia

"Just make sure you take it all in. Let yourself be dazzled."
-God to Joan in Joan of Arcadia

You all should read these interviews (links to parts 2 and 3 at the bottom) with the brilliant, the resourceful, the 23 year-old(!) Rocco Palmo.

There's also an article by him at BustedHalo.

I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day.

God Bless.

Friday, June 30, 2006


So if you haven't noticed, today marks the halfway point of 2006. It's hard to believe...

The story isn't done...

...but I know you all need another quote:

Truth is recognized by the beauty in which it manifests itself.

And here's a picture of Anne from a while ago:

I hope y'all are having a good summer!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Well, what do you know...?

Yesterday, after a fun time at the baseball game, my entire family (minus my Dad--coming back from Rome, and John--at TAC) and I went to a little Chinese restaurant for supper.

While we are waiting for our food, who would walk in but the Bishop of Wichita, in his Madras shorts, Under Armour shirt, and tennis shoes. Of course he recognizes us and we chat for a while.

The point of the story? You better be on your best behavior at all times, because you just never know who might show up.

I know y'all are just dying for a quote for today, so here it is:

Everything for me You were and are.(Ada Negri)


Friday, June 23, 2006

An Observation

It's so amazing to have a day off from work. Yeah...

So I'm still working on that story...thanks for being patient.

Quote of the day:

"You live for love of something happening now." (Theme of 2006 CL Spiritual Exercises)

God Bless.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Seniors' Wisdom

I asked some of my fellow seniors to say the most important thing they have learned these past four years, and what advice they would give to other graduates. Here are some quotes from a few graduating high school seniors of 2006:

"Never be afraid to ask for help right away... procrastinating only makes the problem worse."

"Wow, the most important thing? Hmmm...I guess, after watching classmate after classmate freak out under various pressures related to school (college, grades, tests, essays, etc.), I would say that the most important thing I've learned is not to worry so much because everything WILL work itself out eventually."

"I have learned so much about myself and about life during high school!
First, that God has a plan for me and his grace is always moving in my life, whether I see it or not.
Second, that even if other people think I'm working too hard or I'm trying to do something that is nearly impossible, I can still do it, because I can push myself.
Third, we can't relive the good times we have had, but all of our experiences combine to make us who we are.
Fourth, we can't be afraid of what God really wants us to do!
and finally, always have a smile outside and inside, and a sense of humor!"

"To my fellow graduates and to those who still have some high school years left:
First, stay true to yourself. Many people say this today but very few know what it means or take it seriously. God created you as a unique individual and as such you are different from each and every other human being on this planet living now or ever before. Since this is the case you should never comform to what others think about what you should like, how you should behave, speak, or think simply because it happens to appeal to some sense of temporary popularity.
Second, develop your talents that God gave you. No matter what it is, you have been gifted with an exceptional ability in some arena of activitiy, whether it be music, writing, speaking, organizing or whatever it may be. Be like the servant who took the talents from his master and multiplied them ten-fold and not like the servant who buried his talent because he was ashamed of it. God will expect you to make use of the abilities you have been given as he will make you accountable for how you have used them on judgement day.
Third, I simply advise to pray hard and often for the grace to discern God's will in your life and the courage to accept it with obedience."

"I'd say the most important thing that I learned in high school is the importance of family. Friends may come and go, but your family will always be your family. My advice? Make the most of the time you have left at home, and don't work too hard!"

And as for me, something I have learned is how many angels dance on the head of a pin: all of them. (Only Jen might get that.) : )

The advice I would give is that it is not enough merely to survive. We must live the drama of our existence, battling the nothingness that tempts us to stop living and merely survive. We must live, announcing the Presence which moves us to action, and seek every moment the One who is our Destiny. To live the moment in His Presence is the most important thing.

To all the graduates of 2006 (8th grade, high school, and college): Congratulations! The best of luck to all of you wherever you are and wherever you may go.

God Bless.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Here's the program from my senior recital:

A Senior Recital
June 3, 2006 ▪ 3:00 pm

Sarah Brungardt, violin
Laura Black, piano accompanist

J.S. Bach (1685-1750) ▪ Partita No. 2 in d minor
I. Allemanda
III. Sarabanda
IV. Giga

Max Bruch (1838-1920) ▪ Concerto No. 1 in g minor
I. Prelude
II. Adagio
III. Finale

W.A. Mozart (1756-1791) ▪ Concerto No. 5 in A major
I. Allegro Aperto

Jay Ungar (1946- ) ▪ Ashokan Farewell

J.S. Bach ▪ Concerto for Two Violins
with Virginia Brungardt
I. Vivace
By the way, I'm really happy. How about you all?

I had a fantastic senior recital, graduation, and graduation dance. Jeddy played at the dance--they were awesome--and I made some new friends last week.

Me again

So tomorrow I'm getting a laptop. How about that?

I have a story for you guys pretty soon...if anyone is still reading. : )

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Well, nothing much has been happening around here, except work and getting ready for my senior recital and for a violin quartet. Also, John came home for his two week vacation from TAC, and it's been great having him back. His being here, it makes me feel a lot of different things, but mostly a sort of homesickness for TAC, and a sad feeling that I won't be at college with him next year, but I'm very, very excited to be off to UD this fall. I know that I'm going to have a great year, and as always, I trust in the will of God for my future. We'll see...

Whenever I have a spare minute or two, I'm usually outside or reading. I recently finished a Willa Cather spree, which consisted of My Antonia, O Pioneers, and The Song of the Lark. All of them were remarkable, great books to read anytime. After that I tried 1984, by George Orwell, but after the first few chapters, I just couldn't stick with it. I'll try to pick it up again later, but another reason I stopped was that I was really excited to start Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset. I've read the first two books before, but got lost in the third. So far so good this time. It's really an amazing book with its imagery and realistic medieval Norwegian setting.

I have quite an extensive list for the rest of the summer, so I'll update you as soon as I read more.

Let me know what you're all up to this summer!

God bless.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Hey everyone! Here is a survey I found on a friend's blog. Feel free to write your own answers in the comments.

1. What does your MySpace headline mean?
Well, on MySpace it is "The Drama of Existence searches for its own Truth," which basically means that if we are truly living, we are seeking the Truth. Not what the world tells us is truth, but what the drama inside us desires: Christ.

2. Elaborate on your default photo:
At the TAC summer program dinner. Good times...

3. What's your middle name?

4. What is your current relationship status?
blessed with many awesome friends

5. What EXACTLY are you wearing right now?:
A tan a-line skirt, and a salmon colored cap-sleeve shirt. Earlier I had on a white 3/4 length sweater, but it got too hot. (98, I think)

6. What is your current problem?
I have to rehearse the entire Bruch concerto tomorrow by memory, and I am nervous.

7. What do you love the most?
God, Life, people (family and friends), beauty, chocolate, and good books and movies. Not to mention great times.

8. What makes you most happy?
doing what I'm supposed to do

9. Are you musically inclined?
Considering I'm giving a senior recital here pretty soon, I would say so.

10. If you could go back in time, and change something, what would it be?
I would have smiled at or talked to all those people that needed it, like the people you randomly meet at the gas station or in the checkout line.

11. If you MUST be an animal for ONE day what would you be?
a bird: I would fly around the world

12. Ever have a near death experience?
maybe not so near death as most

13. Name an obvious quality you have:
I'm an organizer and a listener

14. What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head right now?
I have several songs simultaneously in my head, most notably "Far Away" by Nickelback, and "Dreaming of You" by Selena, because my 3 year old sister sings it all day (Selena, not Nickelback).

15. Who did you cut and paste this from?:
the one, the only, Nicole Habashy

16. Name someone with the same b-day as you:
Christa Cannizarro, Mahatma Ghandi, Kelly Ripa, Sting, Don McLean

17. Have you ever vandalized someone's private property?
not exactly

18. Have you ever gotten in a fight?

19. Have you ever sang in front of a large audience?
not solo

20. What's the first thing you notice about the OPPOSITE sex?
face, smile, how they treat other people (sorry, that's 3)

21. What do you usually order from Starbucks?
hot chocolate or chai tea latte

23. Ever had a drunken night in Mexico?

25. Do you still watch kiddy movies or TV shows?
YES!! Beauty and the Beast is the BEST movie.

26. Did you have braces?
not now, but I did

27. Are you comfortable with your height?
very much so

28. What is the most romantic thing someone has ever done?
I'm not very experienced in the romance department, but a good friend of mine said that I am beautiful.

29. Do you speak any other languages?
spanish, a little italian, and I know a song in irish

30. What's your favorite smell?
rain, Ralph Lauren Blue

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Sarah and Jen before Jen's Confirmation.

Beautiful Anne

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Christ is Risen!

Rejoice and be glad!

The strength of God is the joy of His people.
-Fr. Giussani

Happy Easter!

And Happy Birthday to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Gaze to Our Destiny

I would like to wish everyone a beautiful and blessed Easter Season! In these days, the holiest time of the year, may you all be moved by your redemption by Christ, and feel His Presence with you throughout your life.

I just wanted to say a few words on a movie that is very appropriate for this time: The Passion of the Christ. We watched it last night, on Good Friday, and I must say that there aren't many more beautiful and powerful reflections on Christ's passion and death than this one. What will not--can not--leave me is the gaze of Christ, as he looks at the disciples, Mary Magdalen, Pilate, and most powerfully for me, His mother Mary and Simon of Cyrene. Just the way Jesus looks at them is enough to touch their hearts and change their lives forever.

The look in Christ's eyes touched Mary Magdalen in such a way that she left everything to follow Him.

It touched Pilate in such a way that for the rest of his life he would ask himself, Quid est veritas? What is truth?

It touched Simon of Cyrene in such a way that he left Golgatha with the gaze of Christ written on his soul, never to leave his memory.

It touched Mary, the Mother of God, in such a way throughout her whole life that she saw the fulfillment of the promise of redemption in Jesus' eyes as he said, See, mother, I make all things new.

If He was to look at me like this, how could I say 'no' to this Man? How could any of us? And when we see the Face of Christ in the people we meet, in our friends and family, how can we say 'no' to Him? The choice to love always comes from saying 'yes' to the Person of Christ, in Himself and in others.

To quote Fr. Giussani: "Do not weep! There is a gaze and a heart that penetrates to your very marrow and loves you all the way to your destiny, a gaze and a heart that no one can deflect from His course, no one can render incapable of saying what He thinks and what He feels, no one can render powerless!"

To all of you who show me the Face of Christ each day, thank you.

Have a Happy and Blessed Easter!

God Bless

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sentences on Hope

Okay, so I stole my post title from Thomas Merton (No Man Is An Island), but it just so happens that it fits perfectly with the theme of the CL Lenten retreat that I went to this past Saturday. The whole day was beautiful—driving up with my Dad at 5am, watching an amazing sunrise in the Flint Hills, walking around the BC campus which is just beginning to be filled with the sights and smells of the new season, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, and of course participating in the retreat itself.

The theme of the 2005 CL Spiritual Exercises, “Hope Does Not Disappoint,” was also the theme of the retreat. In a simple yet profound meditation on the second lesson of the exercises, led by Fr. Jerry from Minnesota, we asked the questions: “What is the hope that does not disappoint?” and “where is this place of hope in my life?”

Let’s back up for a moment, though, and ask ourselves this: “Do we even have hope?” Because in a sense, faith is easy—it’s natural. How could we look at the beauty and wonder of the world and say that God doesn’t exist? The same with charity, or love: how could we look at our fellow men and not love the face of Christ that we see in each of them? But hope is not natural to us. The man who has hope, writes Peguy, amazes even God. How is it that we are able to wake up every morning, get out of bed, and tell ourselves that today is going to be better? Time after time we are disappointed, yet time after time we continue to hope.

What, then, is the hope that does not disappoint? It is hope is Christ, the promise and fulfillment of our lives, that can never let us down. “Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5) Hope does not come or go forward by itself—you had to have received a great grace. The greatest grace we have received is the encounter with Christ. This encounter opens a path which, to follow, we must continually recognize this grace. In living with His Presence and recognizing the signs of Christ in our lives, we will have the hope that does not disappoint. But we must remember that this journey is for our whole lives: “I believe that not even when we have found Him will we stop looking for Him.”(St. Bernard) “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” (St. Augustine)

Where do we find this hope here on earth? In the place of hope, which is the Christian community. But I go to Mass, receive Communion, and go to Confession, and still I cannot hold onto hope. This reality forces us to ask yet another question: “Who are my friends?” Surrounding ourselves with people who are striving towards the same goal, and who are asking the same questions, is a crucial part of living the Christian community. Thomas Merton expressed this beautifully: “For in my soul and in your soul I find the same Christ Who is our Life, and He finds Himself in our love, and together we both find Paradise, which is the sharing of His love for His Father in the Person of Their Spirit.” Later he writes that if our souls are closed to that love, we are “denied the particular expressions which it finds through me and no other.” (both from New Seeds of Contemplation) This is an amazing proposition: that each of us uniquely expresses God’s love—and hope—to each other.

The community we need is a web of relationships that continually awakens our desire for Christ and our recognition of His Presence. These are our friends—those that we can share our lives with. What an awesome responsibility we have: to be the Face of the Presence for our friends.

The only hope that does not disappoint is this powerful Presence of You, Christ, made possible by the Spirit, because without You we put our hope where sooner or later we will be disappointed. You are the only hope that does not disappoint us, Christ.

Veni Sancte Spiritus; Veni Per Mariam

Friday, March 17, 2006


Here are some pictures from our Youth Symphony Concert:

Annamarie played the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Youth Symphony.

Jenni played a Saen-Sans Cello Concerto with the Repertory Orchestra.

Jen and I with Mr. McHugh. Our family has bought seven violins from him.

Mike, Jen, and I with our Grandma.

Jen and I with our violin teacher (12 years for me), Mrs. Black.

And randomly...

...Jeddy at the Roadhouse.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Music that Moves My Soul and the Saturday Mornings that Changed My Life

March 4, 2006, will be one of the happiest days of my life, but also on that day, I will lose part of myself. It will not be an unexpected loss, but rather an inevitable one that I have foreseen and have been preparing for these past ten years. Many people might see my last semester in the Wichita Youth Symphony—my last audition, my last concert—as a door to the freedom of lazy Saturday mornings at home. In some ways the end of my membership in Youth Symphony will free me, but this will not be its only effect. More immediate, and more substantial, is that with this loss, I myself will be lost. Instead of going to rehearsals, I’ll be sitting around on those Saturday mornings wondering, “What am I supposed to do with myself now?” In no other area of my life have I felt such joy and a sense of completeness as I do at Youth Symphony.

I have played the violin for twelve years, and I have been in Youth Symphony for ten. In all these years, I have missed only two rehearsals. People are always surprised when they hear this, and they wonder how I can put aside everything to be at Youth Symphony. The answer is simple: I could never imagine spending that time any other way. I wouldn’t trade one minute of any rehearsal to have been somewhere else.

I am overjoyed every time the orchestra comes together to play. It always amazes me how quickly we are able to come together and play as a group. At first, everyone is worried about learning their own part, but once the notes are out of the way, we can begin to make music together. There is no better feeling than getting it right and knowing that the conductor is truly pleased.

Most weeks we have sectionals, where each section of the orchestra plays separately under the guidance of a professional musician. These sessions are essential in helping each section polish its individual part, but still, you just can’t wait to get back to the full orchestra. I have learned so much from the section coaches, and they always go beyond their roles as teachers to show us true musicianship.

Each conductor has their own unique teaching style and personality, and I know that I will miss them all. Everyone who has been in Chamber Players would probably say that they miss the ‘Chamber days’ with Mrs. Dillon. She not only gets you ready for the concerts, but also prepares you for the other two orchestras. I’ll never forget her two cardinal rules for playing in an orchestra: one, the conductor is always right; and two, if the conductor is wrong, refer to rule number one.

Mr. Burrow also has a sense of humor. On our first day of rehearsal in Repertory, we were all reminded to take care of our ‘$50 folders’ with the ‘$30 pencil holders.’ (The pencil holders, by the way, should never be empty.) We were also cautioned about the dangers of marrying a trumpet player. Every fall semester by the second or third rehearsal, the string players can be sure to have received Mr. Burrow’s definition of playing at the frog (fingers over the strings). The students sitting on the front row should always be sure to wear a watch, because Mr. Burrow frequently asks for the time, especially how much longer it is until the afternoon football game.

What immediately strikes you about Mr. Luttrell is how much he genuinely loves his job. Just as Mrs. Dillon prepared us for the older orchestras, Mr. Luttrell prepares us for life as a musician beyond Youth Symphony. He never fails to point out passages that will be required in auditions for professional symphonies, but he also does not forget to point out passages that we play better than professional symphonies. He frequently encourages us to go to the Wichita Symphony or WSU Symphony concerts, or other classical music events. One of his favorite composers, I think, is Brahms, and he is always ready with the story behind the piece we are playing.

During the summer or Christmas break in between semesters, nothing feels quite right until that Saturday morning comes around when I go to WSU or Century II for a Youth Symphony rehearsal. Whether in crowded C-107, or the echoing service club room, or the somewhat intimidating Century II Concert Hall, rehearsals just fit, and nothing matches the feeling you get when you fill a room or stage with music.

Besides rehearsals there are many other memorable aspects of the Youth Symphony program. Of course, this includes the infamous seating auditions. It’s easy to get wrapped up in these and let them become the focus of the semester, but I always remind myself that just being in the orchestra is what matters. Another wonderful experience is the Honors Ushers program, which is a great way to be around and meet professional musicians and to listen to beautiful music. In December of 2004, members of the Youth Symphony were able to perform in a side-by-side concert with the Wichita Symphony. We were paired up with professionals from the Symphony for a weekend that I’ll never forget.

Even with all of these amazing opportunities within the program, nothing compares to the actual Youth Symphony concerts performed each semester. You just have to experience the thrill of walking onto a stage in front of hundreds of people to play for them the music that your orchestra has been perfecting for the past three months. It simply cannot be put into words. I still go back and look at all of the Youth Symphony programs that I have collected, and I try to remember how each piece goes. Two of my favorite pieces that I have been a part of performing are the Fifth Movement of Tchaikowsky’s 4th Symphony in Repertory, and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with Tim Jones as soloist. The Tchaikowsky performance was amazing because in rehearsals, we had never gotten the ending quite right, but at the concert, it was perfect. We knew it, Mr. Burrow knew it, and the audience knew it. It was my proudest moment in the orchestra. Everyone who heard Tim perform as the first place winner of the 2004-2005 Youth Talent Auditions would agree that he was one of the best soloists they’ve ever heard. Never has the joy and gratitude of a performance been so tangible. The audience’s ovation at the end was an acknowledgement of Tim’s talent as a violinist and of his value as a leader in Youth Symphony, but more importantly, it was a ‘thank you’ for being able to hear a piece performed with such emotion and intensity of feeling—performed from the heart.

This moment illustrates perfectly why we’re all in Youth Symphony and why I love it so passionately. It’s all about the community; the community of the orchestras and the larger musical community as a whole—performers, teachers, listeners, professionals. This is why the gift of this program is so huge, because experiencing music in such a community is unique and incomparable. Through music I believe that we encounter beauty and goodness, and in an orchestra, we encounter these in each other.

I’ve sat in the back of the section, and I’ve sat in the front, but what really matters is that I’m a part of the community. When I was about twelve years old, I seriously considered quitting the violin, but the Youth Symphony year was about to start, and I realized that I could never quit that. So I kept at it, and I have never regretted my decision. I’m not the best musician in Youth Symphony, but I still do my best as a member of the orchestra. I love Youth Symphony, because when I’m there, I know who I am.

Music can be described as the concrete beauty of infinite possibility. It is the timeless and universal language of the human soul. Who would have thought that a bunch of third to twelfth graders from every school, neighborhood, and church in and around the city would come together every week and share this timeless beauty of music with each other, and then after three months, with an equally diverse audience? If anything can be said for certain about music it is how it brings people together—the musicians as well as the listeners—people who would not necessarily come together otherwise. And it makes you ask yourself why do we separate people into groups at all? Because in the presence of this music we are all wonderers. And if you can believe that the curiosity of a nine year old turned into the passionate wonder of an eighteen year old, then you just might have a grasp of what this program means to me.

I thank every member of the Youth Orchestras, past and present, as well as the conductors, guest conductors, and section coaches, for an unforgettable ten years in the Youth Symphony program. I owe a special thank you to my amazing private teacher, Laura Black, for putting up with me for twelve years. Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I also thank Ann Trechak, Anne Marie Brown, and all those who make this program possible. Music, but especially the music I made in the Wichita Youth Orchestras, has made me who I am today. I know that I’ll never forget those Saturday mornings when my heart was full and everything was possibility. I never thought the day would come when my time in the Youth Orchestras was over, but at some point in every person’s life, the day comes when the risk to remain tight in a bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom. For me, that day is March 4, 2006.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

When the Clouds Return After the Rain

“I can’t believe it. There’s been a drought here for over two years, and today it decides to rain. Just my luck.”

She looked up at the quickly darkening sky, and felt a few stray drops on her nose and cheeks. The warm August breeze turned suddenly cool, and the late afternoon light changed from a carefree shade of gold to an almost troubled hue of blue-grey. There was no reason that she shouldn’t welcome the much needed rain, but today of all days. She reflexively hugged her graceful arms around herself wishing that she had a shawl or a sweater. The sleeves of her knee-length sundress came only to her elbows, and she shivered as the temperature dropped and the wind picked up, blowing her soft brown hair in her face. Something in the air, a faint smell of the clouds ready to pour, made her quicken her pace, as some early autumn leaves danced around her ankles.

Materia was on her way home from her piano lesson, and she was supposed to stop by the grocery store to pick up a few things for her parents’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary party. They sky, however, had different plans for this sunny day. When the first big drops began to fall, Materia knew that she had only a few moments before she would be soaked to the skin. She quickly ducked under a green veranda, one of many that jutted out along the busy city street. Most people outside had the same idea as her—mothers pulled their children inside and business men hurried into meetings or cars. There was a clap of thunder and the rain poured as if God were crying for his Son, just now dead on the cross. Everything was instantly covered in grey; the heavy rain made it look like someone had pulled an ash-colored veil over her eyes. Materia inhaled the comforting smell of this sudden shower, feeling the moisture seeping into her, though she remained dry under the canopy.

Leaning against the outside wall of an obscure bookstore, she was startled out of her reverie by the bell on the shop’s door.

“Hey, miss, you’d be more than welcome to come inside for a while.”

A young man about her age stood in front of her, holding the door open and beckoning her inside.

“I don’t think you want to catch a cold out here.”

He was dressed like a college student, maybe I’ve seen him at school, Materia thought, and under his arm he held a worn copy of Anna Karenina. He was well built, towering a good ten inches above her, and he carried himself in a way that reminded her of a football player, or a ballet dancer. She saw in his face a natural openness that came from his daily interaction with people. But in stark contrast to his cheerful disposition, his eyes held a deep sadness, and his handsome face could not hide some engraved tragedy.

All of this Materia observed in the second and a half before she replied, “Okay, thank you.”

Stepping into the bookstore, Materia felt a sense of familiarity, for the tall bookcases stuffed to capacity reminded her of the many rooms in her home filled with books. The shop was no bigger than her living room, and the thousands of books made it seem even smaller, but she could feel a an openness as big as the whole world, because she knew that these books were the lifeblood of man’s history and stories and genius. They were thousands of doors to every part and every age of the earth. To the right of the entrance in a corner of the tiny store was the sales counter, where the young man had resumed his place.

Materia browsed over the nearest shelf, every now and then running her hand along the uneven and colorful rows. She estimated no less than fourteen ceiling-high bookshelves, with probably a thousand volumes on each one. The aisles were barely wide enough for two people, but her slim body moved easily among the shelves. She spied a storage room, where there rested at least two more full bookcases.

“Do you think you’ll ever read them all?” Materia asked.

The young man smiled and said, “When I was little, maybe eight years old or so, I always told my father that I would read every one. Each day after school I’d come in here and take a book off a shelf and read until he closed the store. By the time I was finished with high school I had read through nearly three whole shelves. These days I don’t make as good of progress, with university classes and actually working here.”

He smiled again, and so did Materia. She pictured him as a little boy, his bright face smiling under a crown of unruly black curls, running from the confines of times tables and fractions to take an afternoon journey to another part of the world. I wonder if he still has that curiosity, she thought, looking over at him. His eyes were taking in the spectacle outside, and occasionally he would look back down at his book, but he couldn’t resist the rare view of the rain washing the earth, making little rivers in the streets and streaking the window through which he gazed.

Materia watched him for a while, and then walked over to see what held his attention so fixedly. They stood there together, staring at the downpour in a sort of wonder.

“I remember the last time it rained,” he said. “I was nineteen. It was June, I think.”

Materia nodded, not so much to affirm his statement, but to ask him to continue.

“I was working here—I’d just finished my first year at the university. It was a slow day for business, only a dozen people had come in all afternoon. At four o’clock it started to rain. I didn’t think anything of it, because it was the third time that week. The day wore on, and I closed early, ready for a hot supper and a good book. My house is only five blocks away, across the bridge, and on my way home I was drenched in a few seconds. I had forgotten my umbrella in the store, but I was too eager to get home, so I didn’t come back for it.”

His eyes had been fixed on some imaginary object in the distance outside, but now he looked behind him, where a brown umbrella lay on a cluttered desk, amidst piles of invoices and books.

“I’ve never used it since.” He turned his gaze towards Materia, who held it with an equal intensity and searching. The deep pain in his being had surfaced, and she knew that the story was not over, but she did not compel him to continue. Instead, they simply looked at each other, and in that moment it was enough. Materia’s face offered him comfort and patience, and he found in her warm brown eyes the strength he needed to finish.

“He died that night. My father.” He paused, but the rain filled the silence in-between his words. He looked out the window again, towards the place where his life had been changed forever. “I came within sight of my house, and there was my mother, running out to meet me. ‘Ma,’ I called, ‘you’re crazy! Go back inside!’ but in a moment she was in front of me with her arms around my neck. There were drops streaming down her face that had not fallen from the sky. They gave me a hole in the pit of my stomach, and a thousand questions formed in my head, but first I picked her up—she’s smaller that you—and carried her inside. We both soaked the couch immediately, but neither of us noticed. Then she told me, between sobs, that he had lost control of his car on the bridge.”

He stopped again, but this time for several minutes. Materia did not know what to say, so she simply touched his right hand, which was resting on the windowsill. It was trembling, and she steadied it with her own. When he started talking again, she took her hand away.

“I did not cry, not until he was lowered into the ground. I knelt by his grave, the ground was still wet, and I told him that it should have been me.”

“Nonsense,” Materia almost whispered, “it was an accident.” She tried to touch his shoulder, to reassure him, but he pulled away and spoke to the rain.

“We were both here that afternoon. He offered to close up, but I told him to go on home, that I’d take care of it. He wanted to walk home and let me take the car, but I told him to take it. He agreed, and it was the last time I saw him.”

He was crying now, and Materia herself was moved. At first he pushed her away, but finally let her hold him, because the tears had removed the wall around him. Materia hugged him close to her, so close that she could feel his heart beating. As her warmth enveloped him, his pain likewise flooded her. For a minute or an hour, neither of them knew, they stayed like that, as Materia shared his hurt, and helped him to carry it. When the rain had slowed to a soft drizzle, she released him, and looked into his eyes. He had spoken for so long that he now could not find words of thanks, but Materia saw it in his face.

“I should probably be getting home,” she said.

“Will your family be worried?” he asked anxiously.

“No, I usually spend the day in the city,” she answered. “They would understand.”

Materia picked up her bag, which she had set down by the bookshelf, and turned to leave.

“Hey,” the young man said, “wait a minute while I close up and I’ll walk you home.”

“Thanks,” she said, standing by the door as he locked the cash register and tidied up the desk. Satisfied, he came to follow her out, but she stopped him, and pointed at the desk.

“Better not forget that,” she said gently.

Smiling, his eyes still sad, but now less so, he returned to the desk and picked up the umbrella. He went out first, holding the door for Materia, but when they were both outside, they saw that the rain had stopped, and the sun was bathing the evening in gold once again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Deus Caritas Est

It's here: Benedict XVI's first encyclical Deus Caritas Est.

Check it out at the Vatican website.

As many of us know, Sunday was the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I have studied abortion in depth this past year, and as I continue to do so, I return again and again to the paramount problem that the secular position presents. Abortion is evidence of a deep-rooted selfishness, where the child is viewed as a thing, an object, which may be eliminated or manipulated. The human race cannot survive with this attitude, because we were made to give and to love selflessly. Abortion is the total rejection of life and of love, because a husband and wife are supposed to be open to life. When they reject life, they reject love, and destroy themselves in the process. And that is the loss of the respect for human life. They are saying that the unborn child is just a thing that can be thrown away if it presents an inconvenience. This is the fundamental problem with abortion: it is the willful and conscious murder of a human person, a person that has been denied recognition of their humanity.

But coming back to BXVI's encyclical, we are reminded, from just the title, that God is love and that He loves everyone; the parents, the unborn child, everyone. And maybe through this encyclical we will be able to see again more clearly and understand this Love. Then perhaps the love of parents for all children will flourish, and fill the earth.

In the news there is talk that Roe v. Wade will be overturned within the next ten, even five, years. But a law isn't going to put love in people's hearts; each person has to choose love for himself, for God, and for others.

“Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 5:5)

God Bless

Monday, January 09, 2006

Giorgione & Bellini

"La Tempesta" by Giorgione da Castelfranco (a student of Bellini). As many of you know, this painting from the Venetian Renaissance figures prominently in the novel "A Soldier of the Great War." For an enlarged reproduction, go here.

"Madonna and Child with St. Catherine and St. Mary Magdalen" by Giovanni Bellini. The figure of Mary Magdalen is on the cover of the newest edition of the above-mentioned novel.

Anyone care to speculate on the correlation?

A Poem

by Mary Fabyan Windeatt

There was a bride (the Gospel goes),
But whom she married no one knows;
Or if indeed she ever had
A likely lad.

Yet does it matter if she be
A shadow in antiquity?
That no man knows her height and weight
Or what she ate?

For of all brides who are, and were,
No one has ever equalled her-
That misty maid from the East
Who gave a feast.

Who was so gracious that the Lord
Came down to grace her wedding board;
To wrest the wine from the water
And woo a daughter.

Alas, that modern brides are girls
In satins and synthetic curls-
That no man dreams on Cana's child,
Who sipped...and smiled.

I thought that this was an interesting poem that goes with the Gospel from this past Saturday (and the Second Luminous Mystery). I was actually working on a short story about the wedding feast at Cana when I first read this.

God Bless

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

La Familia Brungardt

This picture was taken at our mini-family reunion on December 26th.

Kids in the front (l-r): Paul, Maggie, Luke, Grace, Luke, Anne, Therese, Andrew (in red), Gerard, Petra (in yellow), Jennifer, Mary Ann, Kaitlyn.

Middle row: Uncle Bruce, Fr. John, Aunt Elaine, Mom, Dad, Bryce, Frank, Aunt Sandi, Uncle Tom, Uncle Tony, Aunt Kathy.

Back row: Megan, Shantel, Catherine, Mike, Joe, Jen, John, Aubrey, Me.