The St. Cecilia statue mom bought for me after "Sour Sunday." More on the reason behind the gift coming up...
Sorry about the extended break again. I did not anticipate the amount of work and things that bombarded me over the weekend. As I said in the last post, I was (correction: still am!) struggling with math. I bombed the math test... again... on Sunday. I studied for hours just to bomb it? Oh goodness no. Joe can verify that I do know my stuff (he tutored me for 3 hours on Friday... and he heard "Please shoot me now" at least half a dozen times, lol) I just completely blank out when I take the test... and that is BAD news because, it being an accelerated math course, I cannot afford to "screw up" as one of my classmates so eloquently put it. Here's the kicker to this whole "not passing" issue: NO ONE in the class is getting over a 50/100 on the exams. I'm serious. Everyone I spoke to said they received a 50 or lower. Personally, I received a 40/100 (yes, I'm putting it out there for all to know. I'm not ashamed to admit I fail at something). The problem with this class is the professor. I hate to point fingers but we've all agreed that it's not really our fault because we try the best we can with what we're given. The math problems presented to us are not clear (both Joe and my friend Dave, who has attempted to help me with math, both agreed on that) and the prof. spends 5 minutes on a single problem (per chapter) and then moves onto the next chapter. I had someone, who wasn't in the class, attend the class with me on Sunday and, surprise surprise, she didn't understand it either because nothing is properly explained to us. So what am I going to do? I have devised a plan that will take into effect tonight (after I do all those 101 errands)... I will use music to help me study. Music is ever present in my life. Even when I'm not actively listening to it, I have at least something "playing" in my head. This is why I often say that St. Cecilia (patron saint of music, musicians) chose me as my confirmation saint, I didn't choose her. I'm glad too. :) The inspiration to use music came at the end of what is now known as "Sour Sunday."
After I fantastically bombed my second math exam in a row, I came out feeling horrible... but I wanted to put it aside and focus on the fact that I would be able to finally attend Mass on a Sunday. I would be cutting it close but I was going to go, and that's all I wanted. We got there 10 minutes late (because my transportation situation isn't always the best when it comes to time management). "Fine, no big deal... at least I'm here." I had to stand in the back since we got there late. I said "Okay. I don't mind. I'll offer up the fatigue (since I was carrying a backpack that weighed at least 15 pounds) and whatever I feel." The Mass went by quickly. I enjoyed the homily Fr. Leo gave about how we should not be afraid of death and how we should try to live our lives as best as we could so we could be reunited with the Lord in Heaven. Then came time to receive the Eucharist. Someone announced that they were advising everyone to receive the Eucharist by hand so that there would be minimal contact (Swine Flu paranoia strikes away). Of course, no wine was given due to the same fear. From my understanding, receiving communion by hand was optional... and an option I didn't care for. I've NEVER received the Eucharist in my hand and I wasn't about to start... or so I thought. When it came time for me to receive the Eucharist, I stood there with my hands together, clearly waiting for the Eucharistic minister to give it to me on the tongue. The guy just stood there and said "We're giving it by hand." I was starting to say how that was optional but he got angry and practically threw it at my hands. I was LUCKY I caught it because it would've fallen on the ground. WHO DOES THAT?!
I was so angry, I took the Eucharist, put it in my mouth, did the sign of the cross and walked to the back of the parish... shaking my head, showing my disgust, with tears welling up in my eyes. I couldn't take it anymore... I walked outside and I openly cried those big crocodile tears I am famous for. I waited for Mass to be over and for my mom to come out. She asked me what was wrong. I told her and she shrugged it off. Then we walked by Fr. Leo and he asked what was wrong. I told him... and I added "It doesn't feel right. It's NOT right." He countered with "Well, Jesus gave his disciples bread that they each broke off with their hands. If Jesus was here, do you think he'd give you the Eucharist by hand? Think about it. He probably would." I was stunned... I couldn't say what I was thinking out of the respect I have for the Church and for those with a religious vocation. Before I left he said "You can't teach this old dog new tricks... but you can teach young dogs (me) new ones." He laughed, told me to get used to receiving the Eucharist by hand, and said he'd pray for me (probably to "get over" what I felt). As we were leaving, I vowed to my mom that I wouldn't set foot in that parish again.
It might be a little dramatic for me to say that I am never going back there again... but I can't, in good conscience, do it. The liturgical abuse is horrid (they practically skip over the Penitential Rites for starters) and I'm so disillusioned with this particular parish. I know I've grown up there, and that thanks to Fr. Leo, we were able to bury my father quickly and a lot cheaper than we were initially told, but I just can't sit there and pretend I'm okay with how things are conducted there. I can't. Mom loves the parish but I just can't make myself overlook how Masses are given there. I will look for another parish elsewhere because it's getting ridiculous.
Before we left, to come home, we stopped by the little shop on the side of the parish. I saw this statue of St. Cecilia and pointed it out to mom. I told her that I thought it was pretty and that she was the reason Cecilia is being (legally) added as my middle name. Mom ended up buying it for me, after seeing the horrible day I was having, so that I would have something that would remind me of her whenever I was having a similar type of day. On our way home, I told my mom St. Cecilia's story and she said "Wow. That's a great story. Very inspiring." When I thought about it, the idea of using music to help me cope with things like my math issues. I have used it (music) when I needed it, i.e. when I've had to control my anxiety or when I am stuck on a particular chapter in the novel I'm writing. I've placed the statue on my desk, right next to me, so I can glance over and remind myself that I've used music to help me overcome things before... and it will, hopefully, help me with my math issues. It will also remind me that, just like I cannot stand liturgical abuses... especially when they badly butcher the music, I must do what I feel is true and not give into pressures of what is expected of me (i.e. going to parishes that don't honor the Mass properly). Life handed me lemons on Sunday, but I refuse to give up without a fight.
Alright, that's all for now. I have to go run a million errands (yes, that is a great exaggeration ;)) before I dedicate the evening to math. Ick. lol.
As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D