Thursday, January 5, 2012

The 7 Quick Takes That Wasn't

1. I really wanted to publish a 7 Quick Takes post tonight. I have all kinds of thoughts in various word documents on my computer, waiting for me to organize and compile them into a summary of seven ways that technology has enhanced my spiritual life in one way or another. I want to tell you about certain apps I have on my phone and my iPad, some I use all the time, and some that I want to learn how to make better use of. I want to tell you about some websites with fancy interactive prayers and scriptural Rosaries. I want to share some of the Catholic books that I've downloaded and read on my iPad Kindle app. And I want to ponder the question, am I relying on technology too much, and is it really bringing me closer to God? And how I miss the days when I would just sit quietly with a cup of coffee, my Bible, and a Rosary.

Instead I'm giving you a few random takes about other various things and hope that post will materialize between now and next Friday.

2. I'm actually kind of excited about my New Year's Resolutions, even though I've made way too many. Last year I made only one: To go on a gluten free diet sometime during 2011. Right before the beginning of Lent, I took the plunge and I've never looked back. (Well, maybe I have looked back just a little: all the times I've opened a gluten free beer for myself and a Fat Tire for Larry, wishing I could have one of those instead; making chocolate-chip cookies for everyone else, and wishing I could have just one; when the server in a restaurant brings out steaming hot bread, and darn it, I wish I could have some...) I've also decided that if I'm going to keep any of my resolutions, I'd better not push myself to try and implement all of them at once. Like that exercising 20 minutes thee-times-a-day thing? Hasn't happened yet.

3. I went to confession last night. I'm hoping--it isn't really a New Year's Resolution, but almost--to take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation more often--once a month, ideally. I'm thinking maybe on the Wednesday before First Friday...we'll see if I can keep that one. For the first time I took my phone into the confessional with me, with my list of sins I generated with the help of the confession app. In the confessional I told Father I was trying out the app for the first time and I'm not sure if I liked it or not. Young Twenty-something Father B laughed and said he prefers the manual version, but if I wanted to use the app that was fine with him.

My take on the confession app: I have it on both my iPad and my Android phone. It's a great tool for my examination of conscience, but I think I'd have to agree with Father: I'd rather write down my sins and bring that with me rather than trying to fumble with my mobile device.

I wrote this in my journal last week:

After receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I feel more grateful to God for His gift of forgiveness, and I'm overwhelmed at how much He loves me even though I don't deserve it. I'm kinder to everyone around me.

Boy, is that the truth! Each time I go I feel just a little bit closer to Christ. I didn't want to leave the church afterward; I just wanted to sit with Jesus. And I have been kinder to everyone today, I think, including myself.

4. I wanted, in my 7 Quick Takes Post That Wasn't, tell you about my new efforts with a prayer journal and how I'm using technology (Microsoft Word and the Internet) to do that as well. A few thoughts I wrote--er, typed--down last week:

Do people know I'm a follower of Christ? They hear me talk the talk and say nice words but what do they see? Too often they don't see much of anything, I fear.

What star guides me toward the Lord? My family. My gift? My willingness to do whatever I need to in order to help them on their journey toward Him, so that they will reach Heaven.

Jesus is the Bread of Life. My Sunday School teachers used to tell me that I received the Bread of Life by reading the Bible. I know it's more than that, of course, but those times when I used to read the Bible every day (or nearly) I felt closer to God and much more at peace.

And this:

Years ago when I rationed coffee to myself (and only drank wine on the weekends, and exercised regularly) I used to pray, "Hey, Mary, I'm tired and I still have a lot to do before retiring. Could I get some extra energy to get through the rest of the day, like a second wind? Thanks." It always worked.

This week I've been saying this prayer almost every evening. And it does work, just like before.

5. Guess What!

It's still Christmas!

Happy Epiphany, and have a wonderful weekend!
And please visit Jennifer's Conversion Diary blog for more Quick Takes.

1 comment:

  1. Our parish priest has just started Friday night confession before mass. I actually suggested to Steve that we aim to go fortnightly and then if something gets in the way of it, hopefully we will get there at least monthly.


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