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Addi's journey with the Marianists...

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And there is a purring Jeanie on my lap. Life is good.
:)
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30 descend upon my house. And they are staying for one week. And we still only have one shower... Pray for me!

:P

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I know! But last week got a little crazy, and this week's even crazier. But I will post about it soon! No time now- must go clean house for my retreat group coming this week! I have an hour and 1/2 to do it... ack!

;D

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To pay my respects to my grandfather. He was one of the most adorable grandpas ever. God Bless him.
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I'll talk to y'all later!

:)

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The high was 15 today. The HIGH. And yes, it is currently snowing. Or "flurrying", as they call it (think of it as flakey drizzle...).
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In a conversation I had last week, the discussion turned to the world in general; that there are so many unfortunate things in it- hatred, violence, poverty, corruption, etc... I was told that while doing things like volunteering are wonderful and much needed, historically speaking, these problems are never going to go away. As much as my sense of optimism screamed against it, I had to concede on this point. The human race can't fix all of its problems. Sorry Bono. That is not a reason to stop trying, of course. We can alleviate some of what makes us suffer; get rid of some of this crud. But then I as I lied awake in bed, waiting for sleep to come that night, I was pondering the why of it all. Why can't we all be decent to each other? Why can't we just stop bickering and bombing and settle down and have ourselves a big, international potluck (just imagine the menu!)? What keeps tripping us up? I thought for a few minutes, and the obvious answer dawned on me. You'd think I'd have come to this sooner, considering I am a religious volunteer, but this just goes to show you how those of us, even with the best of spiritual intentions, can get wrapped up in their little daily lives and lose perspective. To much of the world, it is an antiquated, old-fashioned notion, but please bear with me as I think it merits further inspection. The answer? Sin of course. It still plagues our little blue-green planet, as it did from the dawn of man, whenever and however that happened. So then I started conjecturing- okay, what exactly is sin? I could have turned to my Catechism, or looked up something somebody wrote online, but I decided just to lay there, staring at the ceiling. What I came up with is probably a conglomeration of things I've forgotten I'd read, but my reasoning was thus: If God, who is infinite love, truth and goodness, created everything, then where does that leave sin? Sin is the exact opposite of all that. Could the all-loving creator make up something as awful as sin? No. If God is love, and created everything, sin is therefore, nothing. Sin is the absence of love. It is the void; it is the emptiness that leads to fear, despair, loneliness... selfishness... It is what we are left with when we push love aside. Then it can form great black holes in the fabric of our souls in which suck at our inner-beings, trying to extinguish the light of what is good... if we allow it to. Of course this is all rather simplistic, and needs further introspection- but it is something to chew on this Sunday evening.
;)
Current Mood:
contemplative contemplative
Current Music:
Joni Mitchell
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Last night there was a sleepover with the choir at our director's parents house. It was a BIG house. When she said we'd be partying in their basement, I pictured one similar to my own (which is currently being re-modeled, by the way! No more scary basement!). Anyhow, was my imagination wrong! This place looked like a hotel. Going down to the "basement" was a staircase with live plants everywhere and an indoor, little atrium, I suppose you'd call it, at the bottom. There was a bar down there, a TV room with a large plasma screen, several couches, a pool & a foosball table... it was nuts! And art was hanging everywhere (lots of ceramics and glass). So cool. And even better, I think I made some friends. There were a few of us who were falling asleep at midnight, so we talked a while, and then found a dark corner upstairs to sleep in while the others stayed up with their games (some until 4 a.m!). And I got to see most of them again tonight at the CSC Talent Show, which was a hoot. Carla, the one who introduced me to the CSC & the choir (and a former Jesuit Volunteer), helped to wrap up the night with a few others by doing the "Bulbous Bouffant" sketch. They did a great job...
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Oh- and Lauren already knows this, but I got my hair cut today. It was time for a change, so I found a salon and told them to do whatever they thought would look good. So now it's shoulder-length, layered, and has some highlights. I promised Lauren a picture, so here's one I just took. Sorry it is so dark...

Also, here are some pics from the pirate birthday party that I'd promised earlier. ARRR!



Pirates with Bailey's!


Singing Pirate songs.


Piratey costumes.
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Macadamia! ;)
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I am well sated! Boy. Last night Meagan finally was able to buy me my Birthday meal at Cracker Barrel (she was going to take me on my Birthday, but I just hadn't really felt up to it before then!). And tonight, I come home, and Sr. Marge was here & she wanted to take Meagan I out, so we went there again... (insert big, fat, happy grin here). Last night I had grilled chicken, mashers with gravy, beans, and fluffy biscuits. Tonight's meal, as Sr. Marge said, was "brought to me by the color white"; it was chicken & dumplings, mashers w/white gravy this time, those fluffy biscuits again, and fried apples. Oh- and we split a blackberry cobbler for dessert... Sooo healthy... ;)
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Was a rather busy one. We had the core team of the Adele Social Justice Program here to plan a young adult retreat in May. A lovely bunch of people- the lady in charge came down from Ohio, a girl from D.C. came to consult, a guy from a Marianist school here in St. Louis came, plus a Marianist Brother, also from St. Louis (not to be confused w/ the Bros. in E. St. Louis). I was especially glad that the Marianist Brother decided to join our team, as I had some inklings already that the St. Louis guy was a little flaky, and I knew the burden of running this retreat would fall on us local folk. We had a meeting Saturday morning, and then went to visit a few "service sites", places to consider sending our retreatants for a few hours during the retreat. We went to a place called Doorways that helps homeless/financially struggling people with AIDS/HIV. I learned that their average client comes to them with a multitude of problems often stemming from the fact that their poverty inhibited them from affording the treatment they needed, so they are much sicker than they would be otherwise. Add on to this that they are usually black and gay, and you've got a good recipe for a person the world would just not rather deal with. Thankfully, at Doorways, they know these people still deserve love, and have had a 70% success rate in rehabilitating their clients so they might live productive, self-sufficient lives. Our next stop was a Catholic Worker House. It was run by a couple in St. Louis (who live across the street) and it is basically a house for people who have nowhere else to go. It is the oddest conglomeration of people I've ever seen living together, but somehow, it all worked. It kind of reminded me of this movie I saw with Lauren (you'll know which one I mean!) where a bunch of random people are living together in a house, doing what makes them happy (collecting stamps, making toys, fireworks...). Only here, they seem to cook and play chess a lot. From what I could recall, there was an elderly African-American man, a single mother & 3-month-old from Nicaragua, 2 African-American women, a Latino man who only spoke Spanish, and 4 volunteers who shared this 3 or 4 bedroom house. But it was so cheery and comfortable there. Those who worked, contributed some money to the household, those who couldn't, cleaned, and everyone took turns cooking (almost all of their food was supplied through Trader Joe's and Whole Foods surpluses). Everyone was happy, and it was a pleasure meeting them and learning about the different programs that went on in their neighborhood. Our last stop was at a shelter in E. St. Louis, where unfortunately, they don't tend to have a lot of people on the weekends, so it is now my job to search for more possible sites in my city. I feel I am learning a lot, being with the ASJP people- some of it broadening my views on the injustices that plague society- other things just strengthen some of my *ahem* more conservative views (that word was tossed about with such disgust this past weekend- I was starting to feel a bit put out by the end). All in all, in my quest to achieve a balanced state of perspective, the ASJP is helping, plus it does do my heart good to know that I'll be helping others in the process. Cause that's what life is about. "[I] did not come to be served, but to serve..." Matthew 20:28

:)
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