Thursday, April 30, 2015

No, Really: Leave it in the Confessional

5th Sunday of Easter

This Sunday, the second reading will be from 1 Jn 3:18-24. Start with verse 11, just to get a little more clarity on what John is talking about.

I hope you are one of those people who has been blessed with a conscience that lets it go the moment you leave the confessional.

This is admittedly rather uncommon in Catholic circles, so if you DO suffer with a conscience that just won’t let things go (like me), then this reading is in here for you.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Most Important Thing to do in Marital Interfaith Dialogue

Daniel and I were married in the Catholic Church, but only I am Catholic. He is a Presbyterian of the PCA variety. Our marriage works, in part, because our churches’ values are the same. Even though their doctrines differ in some very significant ways, practice is nearly indistinguishable in everyday life.

Every few months, we have one of those serious religious conversations in which we each learn a great deal about what the other does (or doesn’t) believe about a given subject. They tend to be mostly about doctrine, rather than practice.

One of my posts from a few weeks ago sparked one of those conversations. I will make a post outlining that discussion and its repercussions, but this is not that post.

I want to emphasize that these are not fights. They are serious conversations. No voices are raised, and we are careful not to hurt one another’s feelings.

Some of these are more productive than others.

Friday, April 24, 2015

{7QT 7} - Baby Blogger Says What?

You know that blogger that obsessively tracks their stats? Yes. I am that blogger. I have an awesome spreadsheet with cool graphs that helps me keep track of my "real" daily stats.

Blogger and Google Analytics both do a little bit of double-counting that I do my best to remove, and there were a couple of HUGE spikes in views that I'm pretty certain were bots and not real visitors. I removed all of those. Yes. I know I'm a big nerd.

I partly do this spreadsheet stuff to help me keep track of the blog stuff, but I also do it in part to help me stay sharp on my mighty Excel mastery. You should see some of the epic spreadsheets I was responsible for when I was still working. They were pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!

Here are some things that poring over my spreadsheet has let me in on:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Incomprehensible Love

4th Sunday of Easter

This Sunday, the second reading will be from Link 1 Jn 3:1-2. I’d suggest reading 2:28-3:3, for context, and the other readings for this week. It’s lectionary #50, if you’re looking at a hard copy.

So, between all of the readings for this week, we read that Jesus is the cornerstone rejected by the builders, and the good shepherd, and that we are the children of God - he is our Father.

In seeing things about God, we are also shown things about ourselves. If Jesus is the cornerstone, then we are the stones of the building; if Jesus is the Good Shepherd, then we are the sheep; if God is our Father, then we might all be called his children.

So, we have a lot of analogies this week for who God is, and by extension who we are in relation to him.

Contemplating God and our relationship to him is an area in which we need good analogies, because the mere existence of a relationship here is hard to really wrap your head around.

Monday, April 20, 2015

National Infertility Awareness Week: The Questions You Ask Yourself

Did you know that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week?

Yeah, I got a little ambushed by it on Thursday.

The other thing that kind of snuck up on me was the “trying for one year” mark. After Pitter Patter was born, we started trying again as soon as I got my cycle back. It’s been a year now. It was 1 year last week.

We had the same kind of trouble when we were trying the first time. I got pregnant with Pitter Patter after 15 months of trying when I was put on Metformin, and after I'd watched one of my co-workers get pregnant twice.

When I found out about National Infertility Week, I just knew I had to write something about it. The more I’ve sat down and tried to write something, the more I’ve come up with a fairly extensive list of all of the things I don’t really want to be told. And those things are already on the internet. Google it.

The thing that keeps coming up is that it’s surprisingly common. If it’s so common, then how come I don’t know anybody my own age who’s had to fight this battle?

Friday, April 17, 2015

{7QT 6} - Splenda: The Lesson I Forgot I Learned

In case you weren't already aware of it, this coming week is National Infertility Week. Please remember in your prayers all couples who are struggling with fertility problems.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Trying Matters

3rd Sunday of Easter

This Sunday, the second reading will be from 1 John 2:1-5a. I would encourage you to  read from 1:5-2:11, for more context.

If we we combine last week’s reading with this week’s (both from 1 John), John has told us that obedience of God’s commandments is important to a person’s life and faith, in part because it serves as a useful diagnostic tool.

A person who is consistently disobedient of God’s commandments shows at least one of two things about themselves. Either (A) they do not know the commandments (and therefore they do not know the God who gave them), or (B) they do not love him, or possibly both.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Growing in Humility

Lately, God has put it on my heart that I am not as humble as he wants me to be. I know it sounds like false humility to say it out loud (or in writing, as the case may be), but I really think it’s true.

I have been reflecting on it a lot lately. Perhaps it is wishful thinking on my part, but I think that because humility is a virtue, it can be learned and practiced until it becomes a part of who you are, and hard to remove.

It is often easier to recognize a fault in oneself than to discover what to do about it. I have been struggling somewhat to discover how to grow in humility.

Friday, April 10, 2015

{7 QT 5} - Convalescent Super Powers and a Baby Whisperer

I've been kind of sick since Easter. Traveling is not usually nice to my system, and we did a lot of it. Something like 14 hours of driving, total, and I while I got a lot of posts for November and December written on the long car ride, I came back sick.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Love God First; Obedience Will Follow

Divine Mercy Sunday

This Sunday, the second reading will be from 1 Jn 5:1-6.

John covers a lot - and I do mean a lot - in these six verses, and there are several correct things that one could talk about, based on them.

The sentence that jumped out at me was this one: “… The love of God is this, that we keep his commandments.”

I had a professor in college who was fond of saying, “the fear of Hell is insufficient to avoid it.” (He’s Catholic.)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Saving Grace

The Resurrection of the Lord

This Sunday, the second reading will be from Colossians 3:1-4. I’d encourage you to read on a little bit, to around verse 17 to get a more full understanding of the implications Paul intends for his words here.

The introduction of Grace to a person’s life changes him. His entire outlook is modified.

Before, when there was nothing to look forward to after death, he was concerned with the affairs of this world - with the mad scramble for power and money and fame - to amass as much as possible before departing this world. To win the rat race.

Friday, April 3, 2015

{7QT 4} - Ducks in a Row


Happy Good Friday! Today is the day to begin the Divine Mercy Novena, if you plan to participate. (I've never been totally sure about that until this year!!)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

One More Announcement

Since I've been completely shaking up my posting schedule for Holy Week, I figure one more can't hurt, right?

I had my post for later today almost all ready to go, and then it occurred to me that posting about the readings for Easter before Good Friday might get in the way of people to really participate in the end of Lent.

So I'm moving today's post to Saturday at 10:15AM, local time.  Hopefully my little gremlin won't offer to "help" this time, but I'll double-check that it actually posts on time, just in case.

By the way, did you know that Marvel did a comic book about the life of Pope St. John Paul II?

Me neither. Isn't that the coolest thing you've heard in a long time?