Angela got married today. Is anyone as impatient as me to see the pictures? THE INTERNET IS WAITING.
I intended to use the long Thanksgiving weekend to finish up Catholic Month, but I haven't felt like it. We've done a lot of driving and visiting and baking and rearranging and getting up at all hours with the Child Who Will Not Sleep. I rarely wait until 9pm to update my website, but that's been the story all weekend. Suddenly I have more important things to do? Since when?
But I want to post while people are still not really reading the internet yet so...
All the Yuckiness (yes, that is a technical term) going on in the NDCF when I was a freshman and sophomore played a huge, no, HUUUUUGE part in making me Me. (Did that make sense? My grasp of language is not particularly stellar at the moment. There was wine with dinner. Also pie with berries and a cheesecakey topping smothered in chocolate. Mmm.) Huge because I prayed my way through it. That is pretty much how I handle everything big: prayer. And not very refined prayer either, but the kind you do when you are going for a very long walk by yourself and need to Hash Some Things Out. (Wine brings out the Caps Lock Key in me.)
I never moved off campus and into a rat-infested overpriced apartment like every other college student. I stayed in the dorms and stuck with my bible studies and prayed for the stupid fellowship. On one hand it was sort of embarrassing. On the other, I really felt like that was what I was supposed to do. So I did.
My junior year I was gently prodded into starting and leading an all-fellowship prayer group. The NDCF was slowly beginning to wonder if there might be other roles for the students who hopelessly sucked at bible study. HOW NOVEL. So I found myself gathering a group of students into a cramped study closet at seven in the morning to pray. I didn't know what in the world I was doing (and thankfully, neither did anyone else in the group), but it was such an amazing and wonderful experience for me. We did so many different things in that group, experimented with so many different ways to pray. Specifically, we interceded for the fellowship. It was, if I may say so, waaaaay awesome. And I felt like I'd found my Thing. I wasn't terribly knowledgeable or experienced or wise or authoritative, but prayer is what I wanted to do.
Except! I do not know how to pray as a Catholic.
BEFORE YOU COMMENT! Let me explain. A little. Remember there has been some wine drinking. Ummm, okay. So let's just say that the prayer in which I participated in college (and, interestingly so, the prayer I participated in as a high school student hanging out with a bunch of Catholic charismatics) will give the average Catholic the heebie jeebies. Heaps of them. Rummaging through the dresser drawer looking for the holy water kind of heebie jeebies.
Unfortunately for me, I've had a very difficult time finding a way to pray as a Catholic. And I don't mean Catholics and non-denominational church goers can't pray the same way, or that one or the other is the "right" way or anything like that. This is not- NOT NOT NOT- about right or wrong. It's more that the way I know to reach God is not really the way Catholics (the ones I know) reach God. And while I have no intention of giving up "my" way, I would really really love to experience prayer as a Catholic. Not a former NDCFer, not a desperate fifteen-year-old, but someone who owns her Catholic faith.
So my interest in the rosary is not just for its anchoring potential. I want to fall in love with a Catholic 'style' of prayer. I want to feel as close to God during Adoration as I did in dorm study rooms early in the morning. I know it can be done! I've been graced with a handful of wise and patient Catholic women who pray. Like, PRAY. I want to be like them. I want what they have. If you are an NDCF student you join the prayer team. If you are a twenty-something Catholic chick with an allergic-to-sleep six-month-old you... what? I believe God has called me to intercessory prayer AND the Catholic church, so it's possible, yes? I'm investigating. I've been investigating.
There are a million trillion things wrong with this post, most of which I should take the time to think about and rewrite to better explain myself, but if I do that this post won't get published till NEXT year's NaBloPoMo and I'd like to think you want me to post before then. (Ah, narcissism!) Things are a lot more complicated than what I've typed out here, but I think it will do for now. Hopefully. If not I'll have pictures posted first thing tomorrow. No one has opinions about pictures.
P.S. By the time I graduated, the NDCF was a different animal. The freshmen were excited. The older students weren't bitter. The staff acknowledged something had gone wrong- and publicly apologized. IT WAS A MIRACLE.