Just in a funk this week.  Trying to get back into gear after 2 weeks of vacation.

I did have a beautiful Epiphany.  It’s one of my favorite days.  It reinforces the truth that God really did live among us in the flesh, and that He came to draw the entire world to Himself.  I’ve always been enchanted by the story of the Magi, the star, the three gifts.  I love the carols:  “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise,” “As with Gladness  Men of Old.”  I think it’s a shame we don’t observe it as a Holy Day of Obligation in the U.S., and that it gets transferred to Sunday instead of being observed on 6 January.  I still don’t really understand why the Church allows that for any holy day… but I don’t presume to know better than the Church.

And to make it especially special, I spent the day with my friend Steph over in Fort Worth.  We exchanged gifts on that most appropriate of days–she kindly paid tribute to my love of Japanese culture with a calendar of prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige and a beautiful maiko figurine.  We then had Italian food for lunch, browsed some stores, got some awesome ice cream, and hung out with her pups.  The next day, my sister’s gifts arrived in the mail–a beautiful silver bracelet engraved with “peace” in different languages, a “Save Darfur” wristband, and a copy of The Priests.  Then, that evening, I was surprised when UPS showed up to deliver an Ignatius Bible from another friend!

Yesterday, I heard with great sorrow of Father Neuhaus’ passing.  May the Lord grant him peaceful rest and let perpetual light shine upon him.  I will miss him, as I know many of us will.  But I’m sure his spirit will always be close to us.  He has left us a great legacy.

Which reminds me, I haven’t yet read my latest issue of First Things–one of the most scrumptious dishes of brain food out there!  I always have to set the proper mood to settle down and dig into it.

Tomorrow, I’m going to try very hard to get out of bed early enough to meet with my parish pro-life group.

Sunday I’m going to Mass at the priory then lunching and having the monthly meeting with my Lay Dominican community.  I’m glad we moved our meeting from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.  I will be so much more awake!

Things I’m looking forward to:

Next Saturday, 17 January:  Dallas’ annual Roe v. Wade Anniversary Mass, rally, and march for life. The actual anniversary is 22 January.  This will be the 36th anniversary.  It always sends chills down my spine… as a 32-year-old, I know that I could have legally been killed in the womb… and worse, I know that thousands of people who would be my age were.  That’s a difficult, painful realization.

Saturday, 24 January:  Mark Shea comes to my hometown! (If any Dallasites want to carpool, lemme know!)

So… a nice eventful January to look forward to.  This first month of 2009 is going to be over before we know it!

For now, I am just going to relax and gaze at the magnificent and large full moon, which is at perigee, the closest it will get to Earth this year.  Enjoy it wherever you live!