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I'm Feeling Extra Catholic Today

The strange thing about this semester is that even though I am taking fewer classes than ever, I have been more busy than ever. I got an abstract submitted for the Society of Toxicology meeting in March (in San Fran!!!). I had to do some massive amounts of data analysis (blister-inducing levels of number crunching) last-minute for this, but at least it's in. My neuro class is really keeping me on my toes as far as reading, studying, exams, quizzes, etc. goes. My other classes are okay, but laboratory-related work and reading have been taking up most of my time (...sooo many scientific papers to read!!!). On top of that, I am TA'ing a class that I also need to really understand in case one of the students has a question. Factor in the migraines and subsequent Imitrex side effects...and...well....that just about sums up my semester thus far.

Oh, and midterms...can't forget those...

On the plus side, I got a new quiet place to go to before and/or after Neuro. It's called St. Paul's Chapel. It's over a century in age, and it's beautiful. I first walked in there for mass some time ago, when proteomics gave me an excuse to stay on the main campus all day on Thursdays. I dropped this class, however, and have since been in the lab Thursday mornings and afternoons...only coming back for class at 4. As much as it pains me to miss mass by such a great padre (I still have that recording of his sermon), I can't help my schedule. Fortunately, however, I still have some time to visit Saint Paul's chapel for a few quick prayers. 

How could anyone possibly hate on this?
And boy do I need all the prayer time I can get these days....

It seems like there are so many people in need of prayers. I've had to add on quite a few people to my prayer list lately. I've added some angry souls, some souls with family problems, some souls that have passed away, some souls seeking reconciliation, some souls in search of happiness, some unemployed souls, some in-danger-of-abortion souls, some wandering souls (don't like calling them lost souls...because they aren't lost my book at least), and some other personal intentions. 

A few years, I started praying on behalf of people. I asked God to accept these prayers as though the other person was praying them. I asked God for his mercy on their behalf and asked God for help on their behalf. I even asked God to soften their hearts so that one day they would pray again and seek Him. I don't remember how I got the idea to pray for other people...but I hoped that God would take my prayers into if they had come from someone else. These people, out of anger or hopelessness had abandoned God. They had revolted against Him. They had ignored Him. In some way or another, they had sought to remove God from their lives or just given up in trying to believe that He was in their lives to begin with. However, I could not believe that they truly wanted to be separated from God. I saw them as angry people who needed some extra help. I figured that my prayers couldn't hurt, and I figured that they would one day seek God on their own. I don't know what the policy is for prayers such as these...but they worked. Someone who never knew God before, started believing. Someone who had stopped believing in God, started to find healing and are currently growing in their faith. 

I doubt I was the only one praying for these people...but I may have been the only one praying on behalf of these people....for these people. In any event, I am just glad that my prayers were answered (as I have never had a prayer that was left unanswered in some way or another) and that these people have gotten through their rough patches.

Recently, I have come to find that an individual I know has not only abandoned God, but grown to despise God and anyone or anything associated with God. There is a difference between atheist and anti-religious...and this person has chosen the second path. I may be Catholic...but I don't actively hate or seek to be anti-enter religion here. I may not practice Hinduism, but I will appreciate the artwork and even read the literature (Ramayana, anyone?). I may not practice the Muslim faith, but I seek to learn more about it and try to be respectful when it comes to Ramadan (anyone who takes Lent seriously can't help but sympathize). You get the idea. I may not believe in everything they believe, but I respect them and even try to learn from them if I see that it can improve my own religious life. Hating other religions is not something that comes naturally to me. I guess this is part of the reason why this individual's attitude upsets me.

I simply cannot justify someone actively hating people, artwork, etc. just because they are religious in nature. I cannot understand how people can find so much hatred for something that is so integral in my life... something I love so much. I love God. I truly love God. Therefore, I cannot comprehend or even stand when people curse God. I love Christ. I love that he was willing to sacrifice himself for us. Therefore, I cannot understand or stomach when people make obscene comments regarding his sacrifice...his body and blood. I am saddened that this individual has taken such a hateful path and that this individual actively seeks to scorn and make fun of things that others hold sacred.

So what am I going to do about it?

One clue: rosary.

Pax Vobiscum

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