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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Book Review: Somewhere in my....

worthless, miserable blog, I must have done something good - NOT!

This evening we look at The Story of the Trapp Family Singers which inspired the movie The Sound of Music.

At least once a day, I have to stop and marvel at being married to such a wonderful woman. I really am incredibly blessed, and the more I think about my wife, the more reasons I have to thank God for her. Thoughts like these tend to wander, and occasionally I find myself humming the words to that song from the movie The Sound of Music, where the Captain and Fraulein Maria sing about how they 'must have done something good' to deserve something - I think each other's love. This song is objectionable on several levels, one being that it sounds so much like a sappy song about 'Catholic guilt' for receiving such a blessing. "I am not worthy" and all that nonsense.
The other objection is that I know in my heart that I never, ever did anything good enough to deserve my wife. I don't think any man could say that if he is married to a good woman.

As a priest said to me once, I really married up.

The real story of the von Trapp family is far more interesting than the movie.

To begin with, there was no proposal under a canopy in the backyard, followed by a little singing and snuggling. Instead, Maria went back to the convent, since she still was under obedience to the superior of her order, and asked the nuns to tell her what to do. After prayer and reflection, they gave her the answer I suspect she did not want to hear: they told her to marry the man. There was no dramatic song about mountain climbing, sung by the mother superior while looking out the wrong window. The most dramatic moments in real life are usually made up of less exciting stuff, and are more beautiful for that reason.

In our own life, I proposed to my wife in the midst of an argument.

Another part of the book which I found inspiring is the death of the Captain. I really got the sense that these folks were Catholic by the way they prepared for the Captain's death. Maria and the Captain had agreed that if one of them were on his deathbed that the other would ask him a special question. The question, paraphrased, was:

"Do you accept death willingly from the hand of God?"

My wife and I have said this to each other now; once before she had her gallbladder removed, and again when I thought I was having a heart attack. Thankfully, neither one of us died, but it is a good thing to meditate on one's death, and how disposed one is at the moment of death.

What is a Flibbertigibbet?

I found this word(from the song 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?) in Shakespeare's King Lear. It is the name of a devil which was featured in 1603 in a book by Samuel Harsnett. The book was called Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures. This does not seem like the kind of word a nun(at least not an orthodox one) would ever use.

There are some reviews of the book that mention some stresses of touring and singing, and how things weren't as rosy as they were described in the book. Overall, I still recommend the book as a change from watching Julie Andrews singing her way around Austria.

Tomorrow, I begin the Preparation for Total Consecration according to Saint Louis De Montfort. This is something I have done three or four times over the past twenty years.

The last day, when I pray the Consecration, something weird always seems to happen. It is as if God throws a curve ball at my head to see if I will duck, or just accept it as one who has given all to Jesus through Mary.

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Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation
Now restored with the help of some cement!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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