The Mark of John Paul II

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New Joshua stood in the gates of Hell and led the people on,
Crying, “Open wide the doors to Christ. Be not afraid.” We rose.
He fought. He was born again. The Youth sprang up and fell for Christ.
And still we rise,
Horizon’s blazing stars
Scattering sparks and never burning out
As yet we soar up,
Up into the sky like fountains of flame
And as the gleaming embers penetrate the earth
Where each white-heat touches, a new torch fires up
And the never-ending, dying, immortal triumph marches on
Like the martyrs, living embers, ‘mid this century
When the Church shall rise again.
Rising like the sun of a new dawn,
Roaring like a Lion that once suffered as a Lamb,
Waking all the children sleeping weak within her gates.
For never shall the silence of the holy dead be lost
As the thundering battle cry
of Ver Sacrum
Living echoes on:
Long live Christ the King!

 

(Photo credit: Joshua D. Reznicek)

Prayer Through Action

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Every college student knows life can feel like a mad dash through a fountain of Post-It notes, clothing pieces, event reminders, alarms, and books. Your highschool friend texts you, “How’s life?” Family asks during a weekend Skype, “So what’s this week going to be like?” A roommate questions when you’re finally both in the bedroom at the same moment, “How’s it going today?” There’s usually one answer: “I’m doing pretty well. 😀 It’s crazy as usual.”

Under such circumstances then, how can we be expected to pray without ceasing (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)? Or as St. Frances Xavier Cabrini said: “We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success…but on Jesus alone.” I have been tempted to ask with a smidge of astonishment in my voice, “How does that work?”

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The Hidden Powers of Merlin

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“All of my friends in our group are so smart, and I’m not.”

“You are an artist!”

“But no one can see that,” she pointed out matter-of-factly. “It doesn’t matter.”

“Yes, it does,” I said. “That is your Gift.”

My friend was on the couch and I was washing dishes when our conversation about grades, report cards, and scholarships evolved into that exchange. I plopped on the table to dangle my legs and continued, “It matters because—”

Because I’ve been wrestling with the same experiences myself the past few weeks. The frequent realization of being the friend who starts others out on their journeys and then steps back to freely let them fly, or who steps into someone’s life for a period of time when they need it most and then shifts again to the background as paths race on.

Or the idea of certain film roles—script supervising, storyboard artist, craft services, scoring, production assistant, assistant director—that every film professional knows are obviously not as glamorous or professionally appealing as directing or writing or acting or even as mentionable as producing. Roles that even though they are hidden are indispensable.

That hiddenness, I’ve realized, is the catch. Continue reading “The Hidden Powers of Merlin”

A Skirted Journey

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I love dresses! As my friends can attest, I wear skirts or dresses most of the time. In fact, I often get passively irked by friends who make shocked faces and comment loudly, “Maria, you’re wearing jeans today!” (Disclaimer: I do wear jeans often enough on film sets or hikes or camping trips—its more practical—and I wear shorts every time I play sports.)

Maybe I think skirts are more feminine or more modest—I do—but I mainly wear skirts because I love them. I like the way they feel, the way they look, their classiness. Somehow skirts make me feel so much more womanly. I can spin and dance gorgeously in them, I can look fluid and graceful. (I also feel very adventurous and beautiful climbing a rock wall and leaping nimbly off the other end in a dress that flows along with me!) Looking back on how skirts became an almost daily part of my life makes me laugh, too, because it was in a rather unexpected way.

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