Friday, November 6, 2015

What's On Your Catholic Bucket List?

Bucket lists.  You know what I'm talking about right?  Bucket lists are those wish lists that we have tucked away in the back of our minds of all the crazy things we want to accomplish before we die.  Things like climbing Mount Everest, winning the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest, and going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Anyone out there have those items on their short list?   Don't worry -  I don't want to do any of those things either. 

To be honest, most of my bucket list items are pretty simple - making memories with my family and friends and living a life worthy enough to earn me the heavenly welcome of "Well done, good and faithful servant" when I die. (Mt 25:21)

I do however, have a pretty specific Catholic bucket list that I would like to do and experience before I die. 

I am blessed to have already checked off a few items on my Catholic bucket list - including a ten day trip to Rome which resulted in my conversion during the Jubilee Year of 2000 at a Mass celebrated by Saint John Paul II (really doesn't get much better than that).  More recently, my husband and I had the privilege of venerating the relics of my favorite saint, St. Maria Goretti on the  tour of her major relics to the United States.  Seeing her relics had been a dream of mine for many years!


1. Read the scriptures and the catechism. Oh sure, I have read most of the Scriptures and the catechism over the years, but I have never read them both straight through - end to end.  Maybe it's just my slightly over-organized personality, but I really like finishing books from beginning to end.  Of all the things on my bucket list, this is the one that is most easily achievable (I think).
  
2. Learn Latin. I'm not talking about memorizing the Salve Regina in Latin - I'm talking about learning enough Latin to go back and read ancient church documents that are only written in Latin. (Can anyone say Catholic geek?) Ah well, tempus fugit, and this is going to take a lot more time than #1. 
  
3. Pray a daily Rosary. This sounds almost too easy to be on a bucket list, but honestly, it is something I can't seem to ever get off the ground on a regular basis.  I so want to be a daily rosary prayer, but know that I need God's help in sustaining this most worthy habit. 
  
4. Take a Pilgrimage to Mexico. Of all the Marian apparitions, the one of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego has captured both my mind and heart.  Having been involved in parish and diocesan evangelization work for over a dozen years, I am awed by how Our Lady's appearances led to the conversion of millions of pagan Aztecs - something that the Franciscan missionaries had been unsuccessfully toiling at for many years prior. 
I love the tenderness and compassion which our Lady showed to Juan Diego and I especially love how the image on the miraculous tilma depicts her as pregnant with the Son of God.  The fact that she is Patroness of the Americas and that I LOVE Mexican food makes this bucket list item a win all around! 
  
5. Go on a week long silent retreat. Parenthood, teaching, writing, studying - my daily activities leave me little time for silence - both mentally and physically.  For years now I have longed to go on a week long silent retreat, with no speaking (and no noisy internet), except the responses at Daily Mass and the Rosary. Honestly, I'm sure that entering into that degree of silence would be a shock to my frentic-paced mind, but I believe that after a few hours (ok, maybe days) of adjustment it would be a welcome relief.  
  
6. Take a JPII Pilgrimage. Saint John Paul II holds a special place in my heart - he was instrumental in my conversion and his writings continue to be a source of spiritual nourishment for my soul.  I would love to visit the town where he was born, the convent where he prayed for hours, prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament, upon being told he was made a Bishop, and the universities where he studied and taught at.  However, the highlight of walking in the footsteps of our beloved Papa, would be to return to Rome and venerate his tomb. 

 7.Walk the Camino,  I first learned about about the 500 mile pilgrim walk known as the Camino del Santiago, in Spain, at a conference during which I heard Father Dave Pivonka share the story of his own walk (Hiking the Camino: 500 Miles With Jesus).  I was moved by the spiritual lessons Father Dave recounted from his journey and the whole idea of undertaking such an intense physical and prayerful pilgrimage has intrigued me ever since.  Honestly, this item on my bucket list is probably the furthest out of my reach, but hey, that is what bucket lists are for! 
What's on your Catholic bucket list? 

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15 comments:

  1. I never thought about it in those terms, but I want to go to Rome for sure, and I would like to go back to Lourdes with my husband.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Leslie! Rome is amazing - and Lourdes - I might add that to mine too!

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  2. Go to Rome, attend a papal mass, become a Diecon, do a silent retreat, do a marriage retreat,
    Go to Lourdes.

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    1. Great list! I will pray for your vocation to become a Deacon!

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  3. I agree with all these things but I'd also like to go to Rome and go to a papal Mass. I'd love to get lost in the art, music, architecture, and food! Thanks for asking a pondering question.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Lexie! Rome is a very special city - I have treasured memories of our time there and highly recommend it to anyone to jump on a trip of the opportunity presents itself. For me, it was totally life-changing. (and the food was amazing too!)

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  4. I love your bucket list! Number one and two are on my list too! Like you, I' expectations read the Bile and Catechism, but I'm looking to read them straight through.

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    1. Thanks for visiting Kalley. As I wrote # 1 I thought I should probably just get started!! Then I could hope to cross one off! God bless!

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  5. Oprah just did a "Belief" series and we followed a man on a Camino Pilgrim walk - it took him five weeks to do it but he did have the spiritual healing he was seeking - would love to have the time and physical endurance (and better walking shoes than he had)!!

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    1. Hi Elaine - thanks for commenting! Time and physical endurance (and $$) are definitely an obstacle for me too. But it is something to pray for!!

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  6. Have you seen "The Way"? It's about the Camino Del Santiago. It has totally inspired me to go on it. You have a great bucket list. I would love to do most of those things. As well.

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    1. Hi Amy! I did not know the movie The Way was about the Camino! Definitely have to watch it! Thanks for letting me know!

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  7. What a great thought for a post. I've never really thought of it, but now that you've got me thinking, I would have your numbers 1, 2, 5, 7 in my bucket list too. In addition I would love to spend a week in Rome and a week in Jerusalem going to each of the holy sites, preferably alone so I could really focus on the spirituality of it without interruption.

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  8. Go to the Holy Land on pilgrimage......I was blessed to do this ... TWICE...when I was younger. AMAZING!!! Thanks for bringing a whole new perspective to the "bucket list"

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    1. That sounds amazing too! Thanks for sharing! Have a blessed Christmas!

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