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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Cloud Nine is Made of Smog

Boy, is Sister St. Aloysius ever in a good mood today! And why not? It's a happy season between Easter and Pentecost, it's the Mary Month of May! And on top of that, she's been following our small but steady progress over at the Blogger's Choice Awards the way I follow the NBA playoffs (which are very exciting this year). It occurred to her to somehow send gifts for the people who voted for us, but I pointed out to her that could become like 'buying' votes if word got out. She's taken to saying some special prayers for them by way of thanks. Spiritual brownies. If her prayers are anything like her brownies, some people are in for some fatso heavenly help.

Her zeal about this silly voting site alarmed me a little at first. "It's an honor to be nominated." Isn't that what the movie stars say? (Do Nobel Prize nominees say that, too? I don't think I've ever heard one say that....) But as I mulled it over I came to this realization: Nuns love competition.

I know that seems counter to nunnyness...humility, obedience, poverty....but we do love a good contest! Maybe it's simply because we are American nuns and we understand that competition is a perfectly good way to strive for excellence.

We have a fabulous time competing! Because in the end we don't care if we win. In fact, we'll be happy to help you win while we're trying to win. If you win, we'll be so happy for you!

And! We never cheat! Cheating is a sin. In order to cheat you have to lie, by omission, by word or by deed. So when you beat us you've won fair and square, which should make you feel even better, which means we'll be even more happy for you!

It's a win/win situation, as they say. Not the Nobel Prize nominees...they don't say that. I think those people really, really want to win the Nobel Prize and they are mad when they don't.

Speaking of scientists...there is one more reason Sister St. Aloysius is on cloud nine these days. I've mentioned what a brainiac she is. She's been all over the Global Warming thing for years and was especially vexed at all the denial dire warnings of the actual scientific community. She is besides herself about the bees because she realizes that if it really is the cell phones that are causing the bees to disappear we really are doomed. Doomed! No one will turn those things off, even if you ask nicely.

So when we watch CNN to determine what to pray for, this topic has been high on her list. Her spiritual petitions have not gone unheeded. Score!


buckeyepride said...


Please pray for LeBron and the Cavs. Cleveland has been a city whose sports teams have been devoid of divine favor since 1965 when we won our last sports championship of any kind. We could use a night of sports-related (sinless!) revelry.

Anonymous said...

Sister Mary Martha, I am in the RCIA process, I have sent away for and recieved a medal, I'm wondering, how can Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal protect me when I can't see her? Does she protect people from the demonic? What graces do people get from the medal? Can she really be a mother to people who don't have that mother figure in their life like St. Catherine saw her as today? What do you think?

Anonymous said...

So I voted on the Blogger's Choice awards after I read that Sister St.Aloysius was praying for those who did, which made me feel guilty like I was just doing it for the good graces. I will readily admit I will take all the prayers and such that I can get and like a kid looking for candy, I definitely do some good things because I want the rewards associated with them. But like with the blog voting, I also mean what I do. I *do* think this is a great blog and deserves recognition. And when I'm nice because I know it makes God happy even though I don't always feel like being nice, I also really mean the nice things I say and do. Like deep down that is the person I really want to be. So here is my question: If we do charitable works and get a payoff, do they still count as charitable? And are there really any selfless good deeds given that at the very least a good deed makes the doer feel good?

Just a silly tangent my mind went off on while I was registering, but I'd like you hear your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I know this isn't where you really wanted your blog entry to go, but I have to TOTALLY agree with Kevin! Cleveland sports have been living in "purgatory" too long and a little sports "heaven" would do us all some good :)!

Sister Mary Martha said...

Well, you two must be pleased that the Cavs have made it into the finals. I can't go around praying for teams to win. I can pray to individuals on the teams, or the whole team, for their immortal souls or so they don't hurt each other too much, but that's where I draw the line.

Anyhow, they'll never get through the Pistons buzz saw...they only have Mr. Lebron James, the St Christopher of his team.

Anonymous said...

I used to agree with all the global warming scare stories, until someone sent me some articles from the 1970s which were all about global cooling. And a bunch of scientists are now saying that the earth warms & cools at its own pace & we humans have nothing to do with it. I'm not totally convinced either way, but it's something to consider.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
"If we do charitable works and get a payoff, do they still count as charitable? And are there really any selfless good deeds given that at the very least a good deed makes the doer feel good?"
Is the "payoff" that the little old blind man doesn't get run down crossing the street or is it that the photographer you tipped got a great shot of it and you got your name in the paper?
Isn't it your intention to not seek attention and plaudits that matters? If someone happens to notice, then you could be humble about it - humility being a particularly attractive quality these days.
In my area, I can't help but notice all the buildings named after living donors. At Lincoln Center, someone has even taken credit for the neon exit signs. (Something at the exit door, anyway, generously donated by...). Is that sort of thing a "good deed" or a "good investment" towards that club application down the road? It bothers me - offends me, really - although I appreciated having the egress lit.

Unknown said...

Good morning, Sister!

I keep looking at your goods at Etsy and love the look of the "medals of color." Are the photographs tinted or do you paint the medals? If the medals themselves are actually different colors, can you tell me about the longevity of the color? Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Sister, I watched Sister Act over the weekend and it would seem to me that Sister Mary Lazarus (played by the wonderful Mary Wickes) would seem to be your kind of nun. She misses the good old days when nuns had living conditions that were sheer torture.

Not to beat a dead horse, but don't you at least think that movies like this might interest some young girls in becoming nuns, or give us all a look at nuns as people, too?

Anonymous said...

They should read In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Debbie, we paint the medals ourselves and the color sticks with them unless you get them wet a lot.

Dan, I'm not sure that inept bunch is very inspiring to anyone. We may love Mary Wickes, but Sister Mary Moron isn't much of a poster girl for the convent.

Etrangère said...

My husband the budding theologian read something aloud to me about the motivation question...wish I could remember where it came from...anyway, the author pointed out that we should work towards the common good...that worrying too much about whether the good we're doing is to benefit others or ourselves seperates our good from theirs. That's not to say that we should go around trying to get as much out of all the good we do, but we're one church. All people are part of the body of Christ or potentially part of the body of Christ and therefore anything good that happens to them is good for us too, like getting a good foot massage can indirectly lower stress and benefit the brain...