I did not suffer from horrendous third degree acid burns on my skin from lye! Nor did I lose an eye (or two)! Yes, I would call my venture into soap-making a success in terms of safety. Only time will tell if the soap turns out properly; everything seemed to go well (apart from forgetting things, which is normal…I did remember most by the end), so I’m hoping I produced a soap that will work. 4-6 weeks, peeps! I’m going to attempt a milk soap on Sunday, I think, if this one cuts well.
This is what it looks like after pouring it into a mould. Tomorrow or Sunday I check if it’s solid enough, and if it is, I remove it and cut it into bars, then store them to cure for the remaining weeks to come.
I’m already dreaming of another trip. Yes, I did just come back from a week long trip to Cincinnati, thanks for asking. Wha- I’m a little crazy, you say? Well, I won’t deny anything of that sort, but I am craving a trip that involves driving somewhere. The flying really took it out of me – Cassia is not of an age in which she does well in small, confined places for long periods of time (and she isn’t sedated by TV like Spencer is, unfortunately). I think she’d do much better in a car trip. I think this trip has shown me that I really enjoy the process of the journey as well as the end of it. I enjoy traveling by car. I can make it manageable. Flying … well … it was mostly just really stressful. Especially around nap-times.
Last Saturday our diocese hosted a discussion on the permanent diaconate, as they are looking to possibly start up a formation program for this vocation. At this point, it sounded mostly like they were looking at hearing what concerns are out there and what would be the positive contributions to our faith community were this to happen. It was interesting to be a part of it. The diocese emphasized that if this were to happen here, the focus of the ministry would be primarily on service to the community, not (necessarily) on liturgical ministries, and definitely not taking the place of valid lay ecclesial ministry. Upon reflection later in the week, it came to me that there seems to be a lot of confusion about this vocation and its purpose, which (perhaps too simply) seems to boil down to three significant thoughts:
First thought: if the permanent diaconate is primarily about service, then why implement it when there are qualified lay ministers to do the exact same thing. Why not give lay ministers a formal commissioning in their ministry instead, holding them accountable to the bishop (and his office) in the work they do?
Second thought: the diaconate is different from lay ministry primarily via the sacrament of ordination. Traditionally ordination is viewed theologically and practically as a ministry of the altar, the diaconate via proclaiming the Gospel and preaching (also in the way of baptism and marriage). In taking focus away from ministry at the altar, or in the attempt to focus the permanent diaconate on service to the community over liturgical service, how does that affect our understanding of what ordination means? I understand that ordination has more to it that just being a ‘ministry of the altar’ and yet … lay people can be given the right by the bishop to do all of the same services except ministry of the altar. I don’t have any answers here; this is kind of the tension that I observed in the discussions throughout the day.
Third thought: there are men out there (women too, but our church is still considering our history and/or future with deaconesses and has not come to any decisions at this time) who have a valid call to the permanent diaconate. How are we helping them to realise the fullness of God’s plan in their lives like we are for those called to the priesthood, to other celibate life (sisters, nuns, brothers, etc), married life, and single life (though this one isn’t as easily defined as vocation as the others)? If we are truly looking for people to be on fire for their faith, which naturally leads to evangelisation, then what is the block that is preventing us from cooperating with their faith being set on fire, thereby becoming even more effective witnesses of the Good News to others?
It was a good discussion and I’m glad I’m not the one who is necessarily working out the answers. I’m looking forward to see where the Spirit takes this movement and how it forms. At least they’re seeking input prior to implementation, which is always a good indication of proper discernment.
6 months down, 3 to go. That’s what baby’s got in store for me. Carpal tunnel is flaring up again the last couple of days, but other than that, I can hardly complain about this pregnancy. Baby’s been good to me. Though I’m not looking forward to getting bigger. I already feel big enough.