05 May 2011

When Senses Fail...

Well, I did it. I made a blog. More accurately, my lovely roomlette, Allison, made it for me. (I'm not very technologically savvy, but I hope to redeem myself in the fall when I take COMP 1000).

I've been thinking about what I would write for the past few days, and even so, I find myself at a loss for words (shocking, isn't it?). I suppose I should start with the purpose for this blog's creation. As most of you know, I will soon depart from my beloved Auburn for the summer. I will be sad to leave my little apartment in the Loveliest Village on the Plains, but the Lord has called me home to Texas for the better part of the next three months. It will be great to be home, to catch up with old friends (who I, admittedly, am very bad at keeping up with), to spend time with my mom and family, and to try my best to be virtuous while away from the community that helped me to become closer to the woman God has created me to be. I want to do a better job of staying in touch with loved ones and to leave behind my "out of sight, out of mind" mentality, and this blog's purpose is to achieve that goal. I want to be a part of all of your lives, and I want you to be a part of mine as well. I also love to write letters, so if you're a letter writer, send me your address and we can communicate via "snail mail." (My apologies to Ross and CeeCee, to whom I owe long overdue letters at the moment.)

Sensuum Defectui is Latin for "when senses fail." Latin is a beautiful language that expresses sentiments that are often difficult to translate into English. I do not know it well, but I have loved to sing it since my middle school choir first performed a version of "Agnus Dei" when I was in the eighth grade. Since I've been in college, I have fallen in love with "Pange Lingua Gloriosi." The lyrics were written by Saint Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. The last two verses make up the well known Benediction hymn, "Tantum Ergo," which is typically sung as the Blessed Sacrament is reposed after Adoration. The Latin is beautiful, and when I listen to it in English, I prefer Matt Maher's version, called Adoration. This translation is slightly different from the one commonly used, but I relate best to it.

Down in adoration falling,
This great Sacrament, we hail;
Over ancient forms departing,
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble senses fail.

To the everlasting Father,
And the Son who reigns on high,
With the Spirit, blest, proceeding,
Forth from each eternally;
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.

My senses (sight, touch, sound, taste, and hearing, as well as perceptions, emotions, intellect, first impressions, et cetera) fail so often. In a recent placement questionnaire I had to take for FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) I had to write about my favorite saint. What a difficult question! There are so many holy men and women to choose from, and I am so different from most of them.

I thought back to a talk that I listened to called Second Chances, which was originally given at FOCUS Conference 2010 in Orlando. Jim Jansen (Team Director for FOCUS at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) talked about Saint Peter's life, and how he (like me) was often in need of a second chance. Jesus called Peter, an uneducated fisherman, to abandon everything follow Him. Jesus said to him, "You are Peter, the rock upon which I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) All Peter had to do was to get out of his own way, and Christ would work through him to shepherd the Church, and Peter failed so frequently!
Every time Peter did something well, his accomplishments were followed by a sin of pride, and consequently, a rebuke from Jesus. If you will remember, when Peter walked on water, he took his eyes off of Christ, failed to trust and began to sink, at which point Jesus was quick to his rescue. (This is also why I chose the image above.) Jesus told Peter that Satan wanted to sift through him like wheat, and ultimately, doesn't Satan want to do that to each of us? Satan's ultimate goal is death for every soul, but Christ "... came so that man might have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10) If I can learn to get out of my own way, Christ can work through me for the sake of His Kingdom, just like He worked through Saint Peter.

I will most likely write more about the commonalities I share with Saint Peter, but it is late and I have a Financial Markets and Institutions final in seven hours. Thank you for being patient with me as I strive to develop my blog's "voice" and to learn the ropes of blogging (and for forgiving my obnoxious parenthetical usage). I promise all posts will not be this lengthy... I guess I wasn't at a loss for words after all.

Saint Peter, Pray for us!


  1. Woohoo Brittany!! This is great, I can't wait to read your blog and stay connected with you this summer :) Love the title!