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What action are you inspired to take as a result of studying this book over the summer?
Honestly, my first reaction is panic. I've become accustomed to the weekly jog of the soul to think beyond itself. Having spent the summer reading and digesting this book while discovering other people's interior journey via the blogosphere, I now am thinking "Now what?" and my mind goes completely blank. What am I supposed to do?
Answer: Share my faith with others through witness, through story, through research, through reason, through daily actions and look for the opportunities the Holy Spirit is presenting.
This was the tricky part. I don't know. Except I do. Today, a daughter came home and needed comforting because she witnessed to being Pro-life, and was mocked for her words. It hurt deeply. I reminded her that these were teens, they would grow and mature and deepen in knowledge and their opinions might change in time.
It still stung. So I told her the story of her own life and how as a baby, she inspired someone to not abort simply by being. I'd been at the gym working out after baby #3 and coming back to the childcare room, my youngest needed to nurse. Draped in a cloak, I knew I must look like the Earth mother with one daughter pulling on one arm, my son chatting me up on the other side, and holding an infant under my coat while nursing. I felt ridiculous. But the teen who worked at the gym kept peppering me with questions, the kind that tell you, there is more to this than mere curiosity. She was pregnant and alone. Seeing the three of my children, especially the happy baby, inspired.
We talked. The following week, she got medical attention. She got help and support from his family. She found a place she could stay. I brought her maternity clothes and an extra bassinet. She had the baby I know, but the story vanished from that point on, I didn't see her anymore despite multiple attempts to connect. The witness was not one of argument, argument would not have swayed the day. Witnessing allowed her to ask questions.
How will you put the concepts and ideas that struck you most into action?
I don't know. Part of this question deals with discernment, and I frequently find my best discernment is after the fact, after I've plunged into something. What resonated with me, was the intentional component of discipleship. I've always been organic in my faith, deciding I need to pray more or study more or do more, but it is something I would fall in and out of as the impulses dictated. Discipleship is by nature, more disciplined. I will have to Will it.
Who will you share this book and the ideas in it with? My family, my parish, my adult children, and I will reread it. Like others, I would have raced through this book absent the deliberate nature of this past summer's project, and I would have missed much. As it is, I still think I read too fast and need more time to steep in these thoughts to answer this question.
I will miss this weekly moment that kept calling me to deeper waters, because I'm afraid my tendency will be to stay in the safe shallow areas.