Because I love the church and her saints and all of the feast days, guess what?
TODAY YOU LEARN MORE.
My hero, St. Hildegard.
Yesterday was her feast day.
I love her first of all because my coworker had a quote of St. Hildegard’s on the wall. I love her secondly because she is a powerhouse of feminine awesome, bursting with color into the Middle Ages. She was a poet, a mystic, a playwright, a theologian, a doctor/ scientist, an abbess…and more (oh! Also! A “doctor of the church.” That’s the highest honor bestowed on the saints. It means their writings are used in official teaching, I want to say?). Seriously, guys, the saints.
One time Father Pio Maria was joking with me about the saints and how their lives are so power-packed it’s hard to imagine that one person did all of those things. We could imagine that they accomplished one or maybe two things. But all of them? 🙂 And yet, they did.
Want the quote that first caught my eye?
“Be not lax in celebrating. Be not lazy in the festive service of God. Be ablaze with enthusiasm. Let us be an alive, burning offering before the altar of God.”
Doesn’t that just make you want to jump and dance and fling around in a twirl-y skirt in a summer garden with the grass cool under your feet?
It does to me.
In fact, I’ll make a graphic.
So, yeah. My youngest, babi-est brother is still in college, but nearing the end.
And thinking about him makes me remember when I was in college.
When I was in college I was super afraid that I would get less then A’s and so that and my two part-time jobs and internships devoured all of my time om nom nom until I was almost done with college. And then I realized I was wasting valuable years caged by my own perfectionism.
Cue more dancing, more hanging out with friends, more laughter, more memories.
I’m not saying I let the grades slide (I didn’t), I just discovered a bit more balance.
I think this is what St. Hildegard is saying.
We can be so quick to believe that the service of God is all about prayers in silent chapels and all-chant all the time on Pandora and bowed heads and heavy eyelids.
And St. Hildegard comes along all, “So. God is in the party, too.”
And, you know, she’s right.
(Unless you’re super introverted? Maybe? I don’t speak from experience. Introverts, maybe a three-to-four person party. Talking about that one subject that you like the most. God is there. Is that better?)
We’re in Guadete week, friends. How’s your rejoicing? Mine is fun and full.
I know I know I know that I can get so tense because there’s so much to do. And I’m writing lists but, by golly!, I just keep adding more things! (Case in point. Went Christmas shopping yesterday. Came home with more crafting supplies. I’m on fire.)
But, they’re blessed and sacred lists, aren’t they? I have beautiful people in my world. And I have the means to gift them.
This is a blessing.
And there are Christmas lights. What wonder!
And people are exchanging baked goods. In a world of fast food. This is the magic of the season, I think.
And Christmas carols! How beautiful.
And our mailbox is full of cards of, “We think of you. Merry Christmas.”
Even the words are special. “Merry.” Who talks like that anymore? 🙂
Oh blessed season.
Want to see some pictures of beautiful people?
I thought you did.
Here they are, friends who encourage us in the celebration:
Yesterday I went to the Oboe recital of my youngest brother’s best friend’s younger brother. Catch all that?
Before I went I told this guy I know who is passionate about music that I was going and that I was excited.
He was like, “OBOE IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL INSTRUMENT.”
And I was like, “Yeah. That’s awesome. I’m really excited.”
BUT I HAD NO IDEA HOW BEAUTIFUL IT WAS.
It was magical beautiful.
And every second that passed was my new favorite second.
If you ever get the chance to go to an oboe recital, go.
Christine leaned over and whispered to me, “Any play you have should include the oboe.”
And I was like, “I know, I know, I know. I’m over here scheming myself.”
I seriously youtube’d some oboe concerts to fill my day today.
On Friday I went to a Christmas lights show with Christine and her friend Roxy. That’s us in the hats, washed out by the bright lights of our reindeer friend, breaking rules of staying on the path because we didn’t know the rules existed.
Let us not grow lax in celebration, friends.
Let us celebrate much and celebrate gladly.
Here Julia and my mother celebrating tea time. Julia came to my Ladies’ Night wherein ornaments were made and stories were told.
Maria and Nikki also came.
Aren’t they the lovliest?
Nikki shared how she is inspired by St. Joan of Arc’s courage; Maria told us of her other friend, also named Maria, who brings love to some many situations.
More friends. More family.
My cousin, Hanna.
Other cousin. This one is a tricksy rabbit and we usually don’t see her because she’s working.
I’m closing this post with this: it’s super easy to get distracted and wound up in this season.
But, the special times and the sacred times of meeting and greeting and sharing and gifting are treasured, treasured moments. So, jump in and share and talk and may the fun begin.
St. Hildegard would have it no other way, methinks.
Where love is, God is.
And, because I’m sure you were wondering, here’s a video of Paul. Much like the video of Paul’s reaction to Flamenco dance, this is his reaction to la fiesta de Nell a la Casa.
(Yes, that is a mouse-earred hoodie.
I made it to come that much closer of achieving my dream of a world where costumes-as-clothes are more widely accepted.
I made it for a coworker as an inside joke, my coworker left it behind when he went to a different job, and I took it home for my brothers.
So now you know.)
Party on, Party People.
For thy light is com(ing).