What I Wore Sunday + More Pet Peeves + Liturgical Dance

This is what I wore today:

Experimenting with the Gorilla pod
Twinsies:
Girl 1 and I experimented with the Gorillapod:

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Last Sunday, I took Girl 1 to the Spanish mass (where there’s plenty of room), and she started dancing, arms in the air, to the rousing mariachi music.  To breathe is to dance for this girl.  I’m no devotee of liturgical dancing, but I didn’t have the heart to stop her, at least not at first.  The priest noticed and gave us a big grin.  Then he made a point of shaking hands with Girl 1 and me after mass, asking her name, and welcoming us to come again.

This week we went to 10:30 mass, which is the most crowded at our parish.  We experienced an interesting variant of my favorite pet peeve (the pew end squatter).  The lady near us was good enough to sit in the middle of the pew, but refused to scoot over into the empty space to her right.  “I can see good here,” she explained, indicating that we could sit on the other side of her.

Now, there were no tall people in the vicinity that would have blocked her view.  She just liked being right in front of the podium.  I happen to know that this particular lady is a kind soul and friendly toward young families in other respects.  Still, this sort of seating possessiveness is getting old.  It’s not the opera, folks!

As others pointed out last time, it’s a nice problem to have.  Plenty of parishes have empty pews, and ours is bursting at the seams.

All the same, we’re through with the 10:30 mass.  And I might start brushing up on my Spanish.

Linking up with FL&P.  Happy Sunday!

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What I Wore Sunday + Sunday Pet Peeves

This is what I wore today:

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Shirt from Conversation Pieces (gift from my husband); sadly not recommended; already pilling after one washing.  😦

And what I wore last week:

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Sweater from Kohls (now sold out).  I had some Christmas Kohls credit and couldn’t resist this sweater.  Not my color + hand wash only + sheds on everything < very soft + polka dots!

And here’s my pet peeve of the week: pew end squatters.*

People who get to church early and stake out a spot at the end of the pew.  Would it really kill you to scoot over to the middle?  Do you really enjoy having me and my young children stepping back and forth across your lap and over your toes, multiple times throughout the hour?  Seriously.

I get that some people are elderly and/or have limited mobility, and they have a right to the end of the pew.

It doesn’t help that, in our parish, we have many pious people who kneel and pray after Mass for a long time.  That’s fine and dandy, but please ~ look around you~ to see if you’re blocking in your neighbor as you close your eyes and have visions and levitate and whatever you want to do for the next fifteen minutes.  Otherwise you encourage the pew-end squatters.

Regardless, if a family with young children approaches the pew, just scoot over.  Offer it up.  Otherwise, the most charitable thought I can muster is to assume you have irritable bowel syndrome.

The end.

Linking up with FL&P today.

*I should add that today we sat next to a very gracious lady who was not a pew end squatter.  And I’m very grateful to her.

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Reclaiming Surrendered Ground: Protecting Your Family From Spiritual Attacks, A Review

Jen Fulwiler’s recent post about spiritual attack sparked a lot of discussion, both in the comments and in other blogs. This seems like a good time then, to review a book on the subject I read recently. In fact, Jen’s 2011 post on spiritual attack is what first drew my attention to the topic.

 

 

Reclaiming Surrendered Ground: Protecting Your Family From Spiritual Attacks is written by Jim Logan, a counselor at Biblical Restoration MInistries. He addresses, mainly, two issues (1) the fact that spiritual attack-active demonic activity in our lives–really occurs, even to Christians in modern society, and (2) the way to combat it. I found his treatment of the first topic enlightening. His discussion of how to counter-attack, however, I find unsatisfying.

Mr. Logan addresses one of the primary questions I had about spiritual attack: how is it different from plain old temptation and sin? In short, Mr. Logan says, it isn’t:

I have seen visible manifestations of demons in my counseling experience, but these are far from the norm. . . . For the vast majority of Christians . . . spiritual warfare is another name for the battle we wage against ‘all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).

The book addresses the particular areas of weakness where he, in his ministry, has seen Satan exploit people. He addresses separately the issues that men and women face. While reading his book on how spiritual attack can occur for women I thought, “Wow, is he talking to me, personally?” He has some insightful points on how Satan destroys families, not just through more obvious sins like occultism or adultery, but also through less shocking weaknesses like bitterness, anger, and anxiety:

Women struggle with a fearful spirit. That’s why they get angry . . . . A woman sees so much more than a man sees. She walks into the house, sees a crack in the wall, and knows something out to be done. Her husband, however, waits until the roof is blown off and the water is pouring in. Then he says wisely, ‘You know, honey, we ought to do something about this.’

*Ahem*

I was particularly intrigued by the connection Mr. Logan draws between authority and vulnerability to spiritual attack. He posits that God places a “hedge of protection” between us and Satan through the authority structures He designed: a parent’s authority over a child, a father’s authority over the family, the church’s authority over families.

When the flaming missiles of Satan pass through God’s hedge of protection, they cease to be Satan’s destructive missiles and become instead the refining fire of God. . . . . When we are out of God’s will, Satan doesn’t need permission to attack us. But when we are walking in obedience and victory, we know that God has power and is protecting and refining us during tough times. Satan can’t lay a finger on us unless God allows us.

I can’t help thinking how much more protected we must be who submit to the authority, not just of a church, but of the Church.

And here is where the book left me, as a Catholic, with a lot of questions. Mr. Logan is (as far as I can discern) an Evangelical Protestant. Mr. Logan describes prayer and the quoting of Scripture as the primary tools to resist spiritual attack and to “reclaim” the areas in our life that we have surrendered to Satan through past sin. Obviously, from his experience, this can work. But surely, prayer alone is not was powerful as when combined with the Sacraments, the intercession of the Saints, and the other tools the Church gives us?

I would like to find a book written on this topic from a Catholic perspective. The Spiritual Combat Revisited, by Fr Jonathan Robinson, looks promising. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s read it or other books on this topic.

I’m joining the “What I’m Reading Wednesday” link-up today, for the first time, hosted by Jessica at Housewifespice. Thanks Jessica!!