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13 August 2009 @ 09:55 pm
7 Quick Takes  

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.  My theme for the blurbs is answers to the question "What is God doing in my life recently?"


On Saturday, I went to Confession, because I had felt like God wanted me to.  I can really see why people sometimes call it cleaning house.  When my house is a mess, I really dread the work of cleaning it, and usually put it off some.  But afterward, everything is so CLEAN, and it's a huge mood-lifter.  In the same way, I dread the process of looking at all my sins, feeling guilt and sorrow for them, and confessing them out loud to the priest.  But afterward... afterward I'm so light in my spirit, I could float to the clouds. :)  (And, like cleaning house, there would probably be less dread if I did it more often.) 


Shortly after confession last Saturday, I happened across a comment and I really, really wanted to reply to it.  It's a potentially emotional issue, and I tried to be careful to get an approving sense from God first.  But, no matter how nicely and lightly I phrased my comment, I felt God leading me to say nothing at all.  I just couldn't be fully at peace with posting anything.  So I didn't.  That's progress from last week.  I suspect the strengthening graces of confession had something to do with it.


I had more or less decided that my new habit of having the kids do dishes with me should be something I do even on Sundays.  It wasn't really hard to have the kids wash the four plates and four forks after breakfast.  I left Adoration in the evening determined that we would wash the big pile of dishes that had accumulated from Ken's cooking various things throughout the day.  And then, somehow, from the time I got home, it did not *once* occur to me to do dishes until after the kids had already gotten in bed.  Such is life.  Maybe next week I'll remember.


 On Tuesday, the Jehovah's Witnesses failed to show up for our scheduled 2 pm meeting.  Just before 6 pm, two Mormons showed up and scheduled a time with me to come back and talk. 

I was reading something about St. Charles de Foucauld, and came across the quote:
"Foucauld's originality lay in recognizing that it is not necessary to teach others, to cure them, or to improve them; it is only necessary to live among them, sharing the human condition and being present to them in love."
This bothered me quite a bit, since I think that teaching people about Christ and the faith is very important.  A healing ministry is also very important to me, and I really don't like the suggestion that it's "not necessary".  But I felt God sort of gently chide me, telling me to value His saint and his particular mission, even if that mission isn't quite the same path as God has in mind for me.


On Wednesday, I was praying, and an image came to mind.  It kept coming back, and I got a very distinct sense that it was for a friend of mine, and a sense of what it meant.  I've never had that happen to me before.  I've had other people in my Charismatic group get images before - some of them even for me.  But I've never gotten one for someone else before.  I thought that was very cool.


Since I don't have any more particular stories for this week, I'm going to share one from last week that I didn't get to.  There's an older lady at church (M) who I've been in a sort of Bible study with.  But that group hasn't met in awhile, due to health concerns of several members.  I wanted to see M, but I'm not comfortable with inviting myself over to other people's places, and I knew she wasn't available to come over to my place.  On my Charismatic meeting on Monday the 3rd, another lady (T) who has also been in the Bible study with us asked me if I'd seen M recently and then basically said we should go see her, to which I agreed.  So T arranged for that, and we went to see M on Wednesday morning.  It was great for me to see M, and clearly M was thrilled to have me (and baby Gabe - who is the darling of many at my parish) over, too.  Seeing how well it went, I think maybe I should be a little bit more forward about inviting myself over to see people.  Especially all my somewhat older friends at the parish, who might be thinking that I wouldn't want to bother with that, when really, I would

krissack on August 14th, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
Very, very good sharing, Anna, as usual. Without alot of time to spend commenting, I particularly like #7 and encourage you to continue! I've done quite a bit of that and it is very rewarding--and a delightful blessing for the one being visited.
(Anonymous) on August 14th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
I happened across a comment and I really, really wanted to reply to it. It's a potentially emotional issue, and I tried to be careful to get an approving sense from God first. But, no matter how nicely and lightly I phrased my comment, I felt God leading me to say nothing at all. I just couldn't be fully at peace with posting anything. So I didn't.

I wish I were better at doing that! Your 7 quick takes is very thoughtfully done:-)
annafirtree on August 15th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
It's hard, isn't it? Thanks. :)
(Anonymous) on August 14th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
I agree, that was a very thoughtful Quick Takes. I agree with your #1 (among other of your numbers!)

annafirtree on August 15th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)
(Anonymous) on August 15th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
I love to help my children do dishes with me it is great practice for them and allows us time to share our thoughts about the day
annafirtree on August 15th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
It *is* great practice for them. Today, for the first time, one of my kids finally rinsed some of the dishes with water that wasn't turned as cold as possible... ;)

Although, sharing our thoughts about the day doesn't happen much. Maybe that's because they're so young, and don't really have all that many thoughts about the day. Or maybe it's because our conversation goes more like, "Stop playing in the water and wash that cup now, please... hand me that plate... I have no idea what you're trying to say to me, Savi... good job on being careful with the knife." :)
(Anonymous) on August 15th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)

I am a servant of God on www.prophecyfilm.com and wish to beg you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to please link to this wonderful site which has glorious Prophecies & Revelations of Jesus and Mary from Saint Bridget in many languages!

We also have free videos for download on various catholic topics, and maybe hoped that you could tell your visitors! They are a bit further down on the page and are quite interesting. You are free to copy all our videos on our site www.prophecyfilm.com to your site if you like them. This can draw lots of brothers and sisters to your site. We know by experience. We hope you also read the revelations and watch our videos personally!

Peace and God bless!


Saint Bridget was canonized by Pope Boniface IX in the year 1391 and confirmed by Pope Martin V in the Council of Constance in the year 1415.

The Revelations of Saint Bridget were accorded an exceptionally high degree of authenticity, authority and importance from an early date. Pope Gregory XI (1370-78) approved and confirmed them and judged them highly favorably, as did Boniface IX (1389-1404) in the papal Bull Ab origine mundi, par. 39 (7 Oct 1391). They were later examined at the Council of Constance (1414-18) and at the Council of Basel (1431-49), both judging them to be in conformity with the Catholic faith; The Revelations were also strongly defended by numerous highly regarded theologians, including Jean Gerson (1363-1429), Chancellor of the University of Paris and Cardinal Juan de Torquemada (1388-1468)
annafirtree on August 15th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Hi
To be honest, I'm not impressed by any website that suggests people tell others about it "to save their soul". There is probably much that is good on the site, but that kind of spiritual blackmail bothers me.
(Anonymous) on August 15th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
There is less dread with more frequent confession, but also less feeling of lightness (at least in my experience).

annafirtree on August 15th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
Hmm. You know, I think I've noticed that before too. I suppose that is analogous to house-cleaning, too; cleaning a mostly-clean house doesn't produce as much of a difference as cleaning a very dirty house.
ext_203744 on August 16th, 2009 02:04 am (UTC)
On Not Commenting
Your remark re feeling that you should not comment and your responding to it in obedience leads me to conclude that you are much more sensitive than I am. I once wrote a rather nasty note to our priest -- something he did that I thought was quite wrong. Twice, as I got ready to mail it, I got the strong feeling that I should not send it, and twice I made it shorter and gentler. Then, someone who was supposed to be out of town and who did not know the priest but who is very sensitive spiritually showed up in my office and, not knowing what was going on at all, said he had no idea what he was talking about but that I should not send the letter to the priest because the priest was too weak. So, I cut it down to a very gentle one paragraph. (See, I don't listen very well.) Then, as soon as this person had left my office. It was our priest, telling me that he was not going to be able to do something and asking me to do it for him and then telling me the reason was because he had just discovered he had cancer and needed to go to San Francisco for diagnosis for surgery. So, I find it interesting that you could know with nary a word, but I had to be hit over the head!
annafirtree on August 16th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
Re: On Not Commenting
Well, to be sure, it did take repeated senses that I shouldn't write anything at all; I did that same thing you describe, where I just kept re-writing it instead of stopping. :) But eventually I decided I wasn't going to be able to write in any better, so when God said not to send it, he must mean not to send it at all.

That's a really neat story you got there, though. People who are spiritually sensitive enough to hear God (and brave enough to act on it) even when they don't know what's going on, make for good stories. :) I think I aspire to be that person in other people's stories.
ext_201519 on August 17th, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
I can't tell you how many times I run into a random Bible quote and it's about keeping my mouth shut. It's my biggest fault. Sometimes I think I should take some version of a vow of silence. Very impressed with your diligence, and I love the commenter's story about the letter to the priest -- I'm also guilty of thinking I can just make a few changes here and there and then it's o.k., right?

I find it very interesting that some saints and religious "schedule" confession -- take confession every two weeks, for example. There's something about that juxtaposition of leaving the confessional after a firm amendment to sin no more but also with a firm conviction that I need to be back there soon. I suppose this would seem a contradiction to some people, but there's something I love about it.

I get in trouble for being too formal about visits and for being too informal. It's funny how different people can be about that. When I do a spontaneous visit I try to be really sensitive about whether it's a bad time to drop by and beg off if it seems to be, but at the same time scheduling visits can be irritating to some folks and seem too regimented and unfriendly. I wonder if age and where you come from has a lot to do with it?
annafirtree on August 18th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
That keeping my mouth shut thing is driving me crazy this week. :S :)

There is something funny about resolving not to sin, but knowing you're going to anyhow. I think, though, that it's really about humility, and the honest acknowledgment of our own weakness. Thinking that we can be good (as in, good enough, on our own) is one of the great temptations of life.

I don't think I know any people (at the moment) who are irritated by scheduling visits. I think that, when I had more young single friends, some of them weren't always into scheduling visits. But now most of my friends are either elderly or have young kids, both of which seem to lend themselves towards scheduling. But calling someone up and saying, "Hey, can I come over sometime?" is almost completely foreign to my nature, no matter how much I want to. :)
(Anonymous) on August 19th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
I have a friend who is so good at that. I don't know how she does it. We had a weekly playdate for, like, five years, and it was almost always her inviting herself over to our house. Thing is, that was what worked best for us, I dreaded having to pack up everything and try to get across town to her place. So I don't know to this day whether she did that for her sake or mine or both, but I'm grateful she had the guts!

annafirtree on August 19th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
I've done that kind of thing, where I met weekly with a friend, at her house. But it came about when I felt comfortable enough to just up and ask my friend if she wanted to meet with me every week, same time. Getting up the courage every week to invite myself over... egads. :)