Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On Preparations for SCBWI Carolinas Conference and Angelic Warfare

As I prepare to drag some participants of the SCBWI Carolinas into the world of children's magazine and nonfiction writing, I am also preparing for High Mass for the Feast of the Holy Angels. This is an especially important Mass since many in our parish (including my husband and I) are also committing themselves to Angelic Warfare. It is an apostolate of the Dominican Friars to promote chastity and purity with help from the Angelic Doctor, Thomas Aquinas, and the Blessed Mother. And it just so happened that last week, Chris Stefanick, came to speak at our Catholic High School about chastity and moral relativism. It was perfect timing.

Alas, what is perhaps the worst timing, we just discovered that our minivan has big troubles brewing. Transmission problems. Oy. Thankfully, there are friends coming to help us while we get it fixed. My husband doesn't think we'll have a catastrophic failure, but I don't want to take any chances, not on the freeway with the children. I see how instinctive it is to protect and preserve ourselves, but when it comes to matters of love, we are terribly reckless. My husband and I didn't even consider the ramifications of giving ourselves to each other without a commitment, and of the dangers of a broken heart. We were made to love and care for one another, not to use each other. And so we pray that our children and young people today will flee instinctively from counterfeit love and learn to discern and choose authentic love. Hence our commitment to Angelic Warfare.

I love the music our priest and choir director have chosen ... a beautiful Gregorian-style Mass by Rene Quignard. The hymns too, are beautiful as we call upon the three archangels and the Blessed Mother to come to our aid. Our organist is very talented and arranges much of the music for us. He is also fluent in Latin, so we often get a Latin lesson during choir practice. We are so very blessed to be bathed in so much beauty in our little church.

We pray the St. Michael prayer daily but until today I didn't know it was a short form. A good friend recently shared a Audio Sancto sermon that explains in greater detail who angels are, the powers they have, and how they help or harm us (yes there are bad ones too). At the end, the priest prays the entire prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII. If you have fifteen minutes to spare, I think you'll find it fascinating ... and perhaps find yourself criticizing children's literature featuring angels in completely absurd ways.

As you can see, my brain is again full of stuff. I am looking forward to the conference, the High Mass, and taking it easy for the next couple of weeks before polishing the historical. I ask for your prayers this weekend as we make these many preparations.


Becky Shillington said...

This is all so interesting, Vijaya! It sounds like a very meaningful commitment. I am looking forward to your session on Friday. I will be sending up prayers for safe travels for your sweet family!

Faith E. Hough said...

So much preparation! My preparations are for different things, but I know how stressful it can be when one little extra thing--like car troubles--sets itself atop an already existing pile! I'll pray that all goes wonderfully and that you have serenity throughout!

Mirka Breen said...

"As I prepare to drag some participants of the SCBWI..."

Somehow, I don't think you'll have to drag anyone. Say it your way, as you do here, and they will follow.
I wish you only good things in all your endeavors.

R. T. Freeman said...

You are assured of my prayers for all these intentions.

Amazing angel fact: "Each angel is pure form: each angel then, must exhaust the capacity of its species and be its own species. The choirs of angels are not, then, so many species of angels; they consist of angelic heirarchies not specifically, but according to function. There are as many species as there are angels." (Frederick Copleston, The History of Philosophy, Augustine to Scotus) Isn't that just so cool?

Gary Ludlam said...

Good luck! And have a safe trip. Cars are one area I don't play games. Too easy for bad things to happen.
I vaguely recall a website where one could buy a belt patterned after St. Thomas' for boys. Similar to a purity ring for girls. I'll have to look that up.

Vijaya said...

Thank you all for your good wishes and prayers. Without supernatural help, I wouldn't be able to do a thing.

Becky, when I first learned about this, I thought, it's a no-brainer because "blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" and I want that! I think it is so much harder for our young people to stay pure in this culture.

Faith, yes, it's the one more thing ... and this is a biggie. But the preparations I am making are nothing compared to what you are doing ... so praying for a most joyous nesting season.

Mirka, almost everybody I know dreams of writing books, not for throwaway magazines ... so there is a bit of that second-class feeling ... but I think of myself as a magazine and NF evangelist :)

Rosemary, that is amazing!!! When I look at just the physical world, I am amazed at the lavishness of creation ... and to think of all these invisible, immaterial creatures as a species unto themselves is mind-boggling. My poor, little mind.

Gary, this car is going to the shop tomorrow (after discussing the situation with a trusted mechanic), and we shall depend upon the generosity of the other parents until the car is fixed. I know God will provide.

I didn't know about the St. Thomas belt. What a great idea. For the Angelic Warfare, one wears a blessed medal or cord with 15 knots underneath the clothing.

Bish Denham said...

I just know you will inspire people to write short pieces for magazines!

And yes, it must be hard for kids to know the difference between lust and love when so much in our society is being sexualized. They need all the prayers they can get.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Praying that all will go smoothly and your trip will be blessed.

MollyMom103 said...

I understand the bias against freelancing. I've written over a thousand short articles (very few for magazines or for children, to be fair) in the past decade but I almost never mention this work.

Sorry about your mini-van. I feel for you.