He Knows Not How

There are over 7 billion people living on earth right now, which fact may lead you to wonder if you – little, tiny you – really matter in the grand scheme of things. If you’re like me (you know, human) then it usually feels like you don’t. The world is a mess and you don’t see how you can make it any better, you often feel like you don’t make any difference at all.

Last weekend, in the Scripture passages for June 17, 2018, the roughly 1 billion Catholics in the world (including me) were given a chance to wake up to reality and offered a glimpse of our true worth.

seeds

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Happy Birthday to Me

baby, crib, Christina Chase

Tomorrow is my birthday.  (Thank you for the kind thoughts!  Yes, of course I can hear what’s in your head, silly.)  This year, my birthday brings good news and bad news.

The Bad News:

I am unable to make my self-imposed deadline for my book.  As part of my New Year’s Resolution, I had resolved to get my first manuscript into the hands of an editor by my birthday.  Well, that’s not going to happen.  (Okay, I know, that’s really not that terrible. But, I’m disappointed and a little scared that I will keep missing deadlines.)

I was able to make the first deadline of my resolution, completing the first draft of the manuscript by March 1.  But… well, perhaps I shouldn’t say that I am unable to make the other deadline – it’s more that I am unwilling.  What I mean is that the first draft was of a book that I didn’t really like.  In my opinion (which matters, since it is my book) it had major flaws.  These flaws required an extensive revision, which included the writing of several new reflection chapters.

The needed revision wasn’t so extensive that it needed, say, 40 days and 40 nights of rain to cause a biblical sized flood to wash away the horrors and start afresh.  Nope.  Just another six weeks or so of work.  My new deadline for sending the manuscript to an editor is my parents’ 48th wedding anniversary (mid-May.)  Or traditional Memorial Day at the absolute latest!  (To this date I must stay firm – please help me by bugging me, dear reader!)

The Good News:

The good news is that it’s my birthday tomorrow.  Every birthday is good news!  I am sublimely grateful to be celebrating another year, especially after what I went through medically last year.  But, I’m always grateful.  Frankly, due to the grim prognosis of my disease given to my parents on my second birthday, every year since I was 18 has felt like a bonus prize.  For, every time April 6 comes around, I wonder if it will be the last birthday that I will get to celebrate.  This wonder isn’t as morbid as it sounds, for it doesn’t fill me with gloom or anxiety.  Rather, it is truly a wonder – a gladness and a delighted surprise that I am still here.  Oh, all of the beauties of spring that I will again be able to witness dripping, stretching, and bursting open all around me!

An essential part of this good news is that I know that I am loved.  My amazing parents are still with me, able to give of themselves to me as they have done for decades, showing me and everyone who knows them the wondrous truth, beauty, and power of self-sacrificing love.  And all with a great sense of humor and enjoyment of life!  My big sister, too, is in my life, a cherished gift in herself, having also brought to the family the gift of her good and loving husband and their two bright and beautiful sons, who, themselves, are endless gifts of wonder and joy.

And, most thankfully, I know that I am infinitely and intimately loved by my Creator.  No matter what.  Always and forever.

Life is good.  I am happy that I was conceived and born into the world!  And that’s what I’ll be celebrating tomorrow: the gift of life and all that God has given me.  Yes, all.  I willingly take the bitter with the sweet for the chance to be able to live in God’s terribly beautiful Creation and participate, in every little way, in Creation’s awe-filled praise of the Divine.

It is good to be here.

Spring, Apple blossoms, cherry blossoms

© 2018 Christina Chase


1st photo, me in my crib, reaching for my photographer father

2nd photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

Who Is God?

Horizon, dawn, God

Lent is a good time to get back to basics, to the essentials.  (Actually, anytime is a good time for that.)  So, I’m sharing some words on the very basics of faith, starting with what comes first: God.  This explanation is something that I said (in shorter form) to my nephews when they were very young.  It is meant for a child – but, it is also good for me to read once in a while, when I need to be reminded that I am little.  And, I have to say, writing a book for the first time is certainly a humbling process!  I am being made aware, very acutely, of my limitations, of just how little I am in this great big world… but, also, how great God is…. Continue reading

Lasting Words: The Book of Wisdom

Sacred Scripture on Beauty and Truth….

For the first reading at my funeral (read more about that HERE) I would like these words from The Book of Wisdom proclaimed.  This is God divinely understanding primitive beginnings of finding Him – understanding my own primitive ignorance, when I did not believe in Him and, yet, sought the truth through science alone.  I have always wanted the truth and been drawn to Beauty, loving the beauty of the natural world, even in my ignorance of God.  God was speaking to me – and I recognized Him not.  God is merciful.  (It is clear to me now how Saint Augustine was inspired to write what he wrote on the Beautiful One.)

When my body is in attendance at my last Mass, I want all people in attendance to be filled with the same desire of truth that filled me in my earthly life – and to receive Wisdom from God, as I mercifully did while I still breathed within God’s beautiful Creation of the natural world.  Let us  have mercy on those who still do not know the fullness of reality, that they may come to know God and the fullness of who they are as God’s beloved creatures!

(In case  you’re wondering, yes, I am working on my book – although this is prescheduled,  I trust in God’s mercy that progress is being made.  I will be checking on the comments, so please bug me! 🙂 )

Fire, coastline, nature, Book of Wisdom

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Leaving with These Words

Last year,  I had several health challenges that reminded me, yet again, of how fragile and fleeting my life is.  Having been born with a rare disease and living all of my life with severe disability, I have always know that my lifespan would be limited.  But, how limited?  What will be my last year?  When will be my last day?

This is not something to obsess about, but, last year, I did realize that it’s okay to think about one’s death and to plan for it.  This is actually a good and beautiful thing to do.  I even wrote a blog post called Preparing to Die in Five Easy Steps.  One of these steps was to plan my own funeral.

Bible, funeral, Mass, church

I gave a lot of thought to what readings I would like to have read at my Catholic Funeral Mass, but didn’t finalize my choices until nearly the end of the year, when I heard a reading from the book of Wisdom, which I wanted, instantly, as my funeral’s first reading.  Everything else flowed from there.

And, now, I want to share my chosen passages of Scripture with you, dear reader.

As this is being posted, I am supposed to be busily working on my first book.  I prescheduled this post and one for every week of February in order to free me from distractions while I write.  The blog post for February 1 will feature the first reading for my funeral.  February 8 will feature the Psalm of my choice, February 15 will contain my selected epistle (Second Reading) and February 22 will reveal my chosen Gospel passage.  Taken together, these readings from Sacred Scripture tell a little of my personal story, my follies and my faith, my love and my hope, as well as give prompting and encouragement to all who will hear them to seek beauty and truth, finding God.

Seek and find the One who is Beauty, the One who is Truth.  Find and be found by God, who intimately and infinitely loves each and every one of us – and in loving Him, be fulfilled as the wonderful, blessed human being that you are uniquely created to be.

© 2018 Christina Chase


Photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash

The Book I’m Writing

Book

To my ears, it sounds a bit ridiculous and slightly pretentious to say that I am writing a book. But… I am. Again.

This is not the first writing project that I have intended for publication in the last 20 years. But, God willing, this will be the first one to actually get completed and become a real, live book.

In the past, my great ideas have fizzled out into failure because of one simple thing: faith. Or, more precisely, lack of faith. Each project begins with great enthusiasm and confidence in the goodness and rightness of what I am undertaking. And then… and then I start to doubt. I either doubt the idea or my ability to bring the idea into fruition and my enthusiasm wanes… my confidence dries up… and I leave my idea to die on the vine.

Not this time! But… haven’t I said that before? Continue reading

Advent Waiting… Christmas Is Coming

I love the Advent Season.  When I was a kid, that meant that I loved Advent calendars.

Advent calendar

Oooo… my kind of Advent calendar!

Opening little doors every day to find hidden words, pictures, or best of all, CHOCOLATE, gave me a delighted little thrill that is still very warm in my memory.  I confess, the deeper, symbolic meaning of Advent was lost on me.  Back then, Advent was all about counting down to Christmas.

What child who receives presents on Christmas morning doesn’t shiver with excitement as the day draws nearer and nearer?  My parents were generous, but also practical.  My older sister sister and I knew that the only toys or games that we would own would be gifts received for either our birthdays or Christmas.  And we both have April birthdays.  So, during that long, long period between the end April and the end of December, whenever we might desire something, from a toy to a jacket, we would hear from our mother, “Christmas is coming.”  Even in July! Continue reading

Fibonacci: Science and Poetry, Part 2

Cliff diver, leap of faith

 

Faith

 

on

the

cliff, a

diver waits,

stilled, toes gripping edge…

then… leaps!  as Heart commits to Sea.

 

© 2017 Christina Chase


This is Part 2 of my journey of faith chronicled through Fibonacci poems

Photo of cliff diver from Shore Trips, Limited Mobility Travel via Google images

Fibonacci: Science and Poetry, Part 1

beach, seashell, Spirals

There is order in the created world, both seen and unseen.  As a person of both faith and reason, I know that some aspects of this order can be discerned – while some will always remain Mysterious to the limited human brain.  When science documentaries show the collapsing and exploding of stars, the forming of galaxies, the wondrous growth of life on our blue and green planet, some people see this as proof that God, Our Divine Creator, doesn’t exist.  I, too, once drew this conclusion – but how to do so now is beyond me, for all of my eyes are open.

If there is order in the universe to be discovered by scientific methods, then the universe must have been ordered.  And if it has been ordered, then there must be an Orderer.  Hello, God!   Continue reading

Joy of Heaven

When I was going through my cancer scare, a friend of mine asked me to pray for her friend who had just been told that his leukemia was terminal.  And I didn’t know what to pray.  The thought of my own dying was, I think, still to close to the matter.  If I were, indeed, terminal, I thought, for what would I pray?  For what would I want others to pray?

After heading out of church one Sunday with a sudden, bright knowledge that I was healed, I began to understand what was important about last rites and what was needed in all of our prayers for the dying.  It isn’t enough to tidy things up before one dies and then leave everything to God’s mercy.  The part about leaving everything in God’s merciful hands is certainly sufficient, but the beautiful healing in that is not only the rightness of it and the sense of peace that it can bring – but also the joy.

Sky, clouds, Revelation

Joyful Hope

What will it be like to be dead?  Does this question seem dark and morbid to you, raising up fear?  It does a little to me, but, perhaps that is instinctive, since it goes against nature to want to experience being dead.  However, as people of faith, it is not a scary question to ask.  For, we do not believe that death is the end of our lives.  Our bodies will no longer be able to hold onto life, will die and decay back into the earth – but the life that is let go continues.  Our souls, which had animated our bodies, are of spirit and therefore they are immortal and cannot die.  So… what happens after our lungs stop breathing, our hearts stop beating, and our brains stop firing signals?  What will life be like then? Continue reading