Thursday, May 15, 2014

Three on Thursday

Yeah, I'm kind of short on time and you know I write a lot on each thing so I figured three would be more than enough for everyone. This appears to have become the "Catholic edition"

I have been picking up a lot of books lately and I have to say, the more Catholic books I look at, the less interested I am in the mind-candy nonsense that I have seemed to gravitate toward in the past. I think it's going to be a conscious choice for me - to choose something that will improve my mind instead of sending it somewhere it shouldn't be or putting odd thoughts into it. So, I loaded this onto my Kindle:

I knew nothing about Mr. Vinny Flynn so I looked him up. According to his web page, he is “the man who sings the Divine Mercy Chaplet on EWTN.” So, OK, not the Divine Mercy Chaplet that we watch but, even so, if he's on EWTN, I'm on board. He has been deeply involved in ministry for a very long time. Also, the introduction is by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC...of 33 Days to Morning Glory fame. I am becoming a Marians of the Immaculate Conception groupie. I love everything about those guys. This book has been a blessing to me. It puts so many things in a straightforward manner, beginning with the definition of "sin" and how it effects our lives.
Sin is real. We all do it. And it happens when we turn our backs on God or live as if His existence has no bearing on our lives. We need to realize that every action either strengthens our relationship with God or weakens it. (my emphasis)
Wow! I love when I "get" something so easily. Everything I do - every word I utter, every book I read or show I watch, every interaction I have...they can all bring me closer to or push me farther from my Heavenly Father. This is one of those Holy Spirit head-smacks for me. I have been so unsettled lately about some relationships (should they stay or go) and other goings-on in my life. This has helped SO much to bring about some much needed clarity.

Speaking of confession, yesterday was our family penance evening. Normally this happens at our home parish on a Thursday evening, every 6 to 8 weeks. We have decided (my DH and I) that we're in need of a bit more grace in our daily vocations so we're aiming for 4 to 6 weeks. While DH and child #1 are more than happy with our local confessor, I've found it a bit uncomfortable lately since some of my confession deals with my current struggles within the parish. So, to mollify me, DH was kind enough to take a family trip to a neighboring parish that has confession every Tuesday evening. They have confession once a month during the morning, which I could attend alone, but I kind of like the family outing. It can be trying (especially keeping Mr. Muffin quiet during Adoration) but I want the kids to see it as something we consciously chose to put on the schedule as a family every month or so. It is as or more important than anything else we do.
The pastor was hearing confession so I was happy, since I know of him and his family, and he had come highly recommended by someone at my parish. I've been struggling with something for a while now so I had to confess it again this time around. It's always interesting to me to hear what different priests have to say about the same sin. The last one suggested I leave my parish to go where I would be more supported. This time, I got some advice that I won't write down because I'm still chewing on it...I have tried a few times and nothing I write can convey the core of what he said. It was helpful to me, at least. Isn't it funny how you can hear something that speaks to your heart but you can't pass it along to someone else? I'm grateful for the opportunity of frequent confession. That way, even if I have to sit and discern the advice I've received, I can rest in the knowledge that my sins have been forgiven. That's the beauty of the sacrament. We are two imperfect people but the grace is still flowing. What an amazing blessing!
Just one more! The reading thing, well, it won't stop while I'm breathing.  I love that there are so many things out there that I have yet to see. This is especially true in my faith life. I'm excited to start the Acts of the Apostles with #1 in the Fall and in the meantime I'm trying out lots of other things. I've consciously decided to avoid the current "Catholic mommy blog" authors. I'm sure they have good things to say but since I'm so far behind in the fundamental Catholic authors, I figure I'll go back and move forward. This will sound random but did you know that post-1970, the California Achievement Tests were re-normed to a lower standard? That's kind of how I feel about Catholic writers these days, at least many of the non-ordained ones. I am thrilled at each and every non-Catholic that has a conversion story (I call several my close friends!)...but I need a little more than that to consider it a worthwhile read. We all have a story, don't we? Also, many of these writers seem to take on an almost "rock star" quality - readers talking to and about them as if they hang out and have coffee together on a regular basis. This an unfortunate side effect of our online existence. So, just to make sure I don't become another groupie (to anyone other than a bunch of priests and, really, I was mainly kidding), I'm sticking to reading dead people.
Whew. OK. I have only read two sections of this book and, as such, I can't give it an endorsement. I will say that I'm using it mainly as a feeder book to find writers I should be reading or Catholic heroes I should be investigating. The people who write about these famous Catholics are "Catholic" writers but some are clearly "Catholics" who would be delighted to see the Church modernized. So, as I said above, I stick to dead people (for the most part).
Societal rant over. It wasn't one anyway. I am so happy that there are so many different authors to meet the needs of all the different people who are at their personal stop on their religious journey. So many opportunities to grow in our faith. We are blessed!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't popped in for a while... I agree with you on #3. I like reading and keeping up with blogs but truthfully I skim many of them because who has the time to read them all? If one interest me in the first couple of lines, I'll continue reading otherwise I move on.

    As for #1, Vinny Flynn is the nicest man! I have corresponded with him personally years ago after I bought several of his family's CDs and he took the time to send me a personal email about his family. I have a couple of his other books: 7 Secrets of the Eucharist and 21 Ways to Worship (during Eucharistic Adoration). Those are also well worth reading.