7 Quick Takes is a blog carnival, hosted every Friday by Jen of ConversionDiary.com. See this week's 7 Quick Takes to read Jen's Takes and see links to everyone participating. The idea is to post seven blurbs, usually things which are too short to write a full blog post about, but still interesting.
I think I am going to try to post seven "Things God is doing in my life" again. Hopefully this time they will be more blurb-sized, and not as long as last week. If I keep paying attention, I might be able to make this a regular Friday feature.
John Allen's column is a regular read for me, on fairly high-end Catholic issues. Last week, he wrote that if he had $10 billion, he would hire a nurse for every parish. The idea came out of left field, as it were, at least for me, and got me thinking. When he mentioned that this could especially impact Hispanics and elderly, I immediately thought of my parish, since "Hispanic and elderly" is a perfect description of our demographics. There's a woman who I see at Mass sometimes who I know is a nurse. I like her quite a bit, but I don't get as much chance to talk to her as I'd like, because she often has to work on weekends (which means she can't come to the 10am Mass that I go to), and when she does come, she often can't stick around too long because one of her four kids has something going on. On this very Sunday, though, she was there, and she stuck around for the kermes festival the parish was having. I had the chance to discuss the article with her. It was nifty timing on God's part, and I appreciated it.
Last Saturday night I went to the church for a special prayer event after the evening Mass. I thought about attending the Mass, too, instead of going on Sunday, but decided not to since the kermes festival on Sunday is a big deal for the parish. Sunday morning, though, Ken did not want to wake up, and I started wishing I had gone to Mass the night before so that I didn't have to face the prospect of badgering my husband or else keeping on eye on four kids during a festival on a very hot sunny morning by myself. After a few minutes of trying to wake Ken up, though, I consciously stepped back and made myself stop nagging him. Five minutes later, he got up and got ready for church. I felt very blessed by God, and by my wonderful husband.
On Tuesday, I met with a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses. They're fun to debate with. In the day or two before that, I happened to be meditating on a Gospel passage where Jesus compares the kingdom of God to yeast, and the phrase "the whole loaf was leavened" really stuck out for me. The more I meditated on it, the more I was sure that Jesus was telling me to lighten up. That was a theme that had come up for me in a recent Char meeting. I felt that this message applied especially - but not exclusively - to my meeting with the Jehovah's Witnesses. So during that discussion, I made a real effort to keep myself light and joyful. And I could feel the difference from other conversations with other JWs, which had at times gone into a sort of weighty seriousness. Despite the lightness, it was intense, and I loved it. And they enjoyed my air conditioning.
Speaking of the JWs, on Tuesday, about 10:30 am, I happened to be on my computer and glanced up at the clock. The time reminded me that Dr. Ray was on the radio; I like to listen to him if I'm in the kitchen when he's on. I wasn't planning to be in the kitchen right then, though, so I went back to what I was doing. I kept feeling an urge, a pushing, to go listen to him. I eventually thought that that might be God, and went and turned the radio on. Dr. Ray was just saying that people like to say they have questions (about God or religion), but then they don't look to see if there are answers; they just give up their faith instead. This immediately struck me, especially in the context of the two JWs coming over that day, since I happened to have discovered that both of them were raised Catholic before becoming JWs. It seemed to me that God was telling me that I didn't need to get too fancy in my arguments with them; that even offering just basic answers would be enough for anyone who hadn't heard those answers before. That thought felt like a special grace from God.
Have I mentioned how hot it has been? It fell just shy (106) of the record (107), on Wednesday. Here's the long version of this story. The blurb version is that I wasn't going to go to my Moms & Tots meeting this week because of the heat. But God told me to go, verified by Bibling. I did, and I had a good time connecting with the other ladies, despite some minor inconveniences and a little van adventure on the way home.
Last Sunday, because of the kermes and because it was so hot, I did not go to Adoration as usual. I worried about that decision a little, because, as the last Sunday before the first of the next month, it is the time when I would usually focus on hearing what new habit God wants me to start next month. But I felt enough peace in my inner heart that I was reasonably sure that it was what God wanted; my only doubts came from my anxieties about how it would all work out. Then, just today I realized the significance of the 1st of August falling on a Saturday. Since some of my habits are things I only do on weekdays, the deadline I had originally set for myself to start each habit was not the 1st of the month (as I've used for the last habit or two), but rather the first weekday of the month. Which means that I can go to Adoration on Sunday the 2nd and still be on time to start the new habit on Monday, the first weekday in August. It all worked out and, as usual, there was nothing to worry about.
Today, as I was meditating on Scripture, I had a new line of thought suggested that I could use in a religious email conversation that I am having with someone. Combined with point number three, this means that both of the two times this week that I took the time to really pray the lectio divina properly, God gave me good insights. What might have happened if I had done that every day, as He told me to? (It being February's habit.) What would I have to sacrifice to make that a bigger priority?