Posted by: ourbakersdozen | January 12, 2011

Rediscover Catholicism


Hugo stumbled upon a great book last weekend! “Rediscover Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly which he shared with me.

Just from one chapter  ‘Daily Prayer’ I was left with much to think about and to challenge me with.

“A few months ago I was visiting a grade school, and a child, perhaps seven years old, asked me, “Why do you pray?” …. Dozens of thoughts and answers flashed through my mind, all of which may have suited an adult or a theologian, but I couldn’t find the words to express them to a child. So I asked him a question instead of answering his. I asked him the same question he had asked me: ‘Why do you pray?’

He didn’t have to think about it. Spontaneously and casually he said,

Well, God is my friend, and friends like to know what is going on in each other’s lives.‘  ”

I loved that child’s response. So simple, so sincere and so true. Friends do stay in touch with each other, keeping each other up to date with what’s happening. So the question I am left with is how much do I treat God as a friend – better yet – my best friend. Am I keeping Him up to date with what’s happening in my life? Am I taking time out of my day to chat with Him?

I do chat with God on and off throughout the day – but am I really making time for Him, as much as I do for my earthly friends? I think nothing of jumping on Facebook and chatting for half an hour here and there through the day, or blogging for people I have never met… but when it comes to sitting down and having a real heart to heart with God…. not happening. Not often enough or regularly enough.

I know that when I reach out to someone on a regular basis only to be rejected and/or ignored after a while I get the message and I stop interrupting that person’s life with my overtures of friendship and move on. Luckily God is more persistent and patient. He is sitting there waiting on me but as we all know He will not push in where He is not invited so it’s up to me to take the time to brew a cuppa tea and sit down and spend a little time with God… every day and preferably at the same time.

So I am going to start by taking time to do some spiritual reading everyday… and get to know my best friend just a little better.  After all if I don’t really know my friends – how can I love them? And as Mathew Kelly points out later in this same chapter:

“To contemplate is to ponder something deeply. As Christians we are called to think on a deeper level and to live on a  deeper level. Daily prayer makes this possible. It is in our prayer that we move beyond the fleeting thoughts of life and begin to lead meaningful lives of contemplation.”

“Contemplation is not just for monks and nuns, In truth, we are all lead lives of contemplation, but we spend our lives contemplating very different things. What do you contemplate?”

THAT made me draw my breath in sharply… what do I contemplate daily? What thoughts do I permit to stray through my mind? Do I make an effort to control my thoughts or are my thoughts controlling me?

Kelly continues: “We are all contemplatives because we are thinking all of the time, and what you contemplate will play a very significant role in the life you live. ” …. “Is it the riches of the world? Is it every woman you pass in the street? Do you ponder the latest fashions? The local gossip? Or do you contemplate the wonders of God, the glory of His creation, and the joys of the spiritual life.”

“…what you contemplate will play a very significant role in the life you live.”

Again – this statement resonated deeply within me because I had already felt that very thought stirring in my soul the past year. What was I allowing to control my thoughts? Positive happy thoughts, or negative self destructive thoughts? Why was focusing on God becoming more difficult, rather than more easy, the past few years? The answer that was struggling through my resistance to this question was that I was not feeding my mind and soul with the right materials.  I was struggling because my spiritual diet was insufficient and deprived of the rich vitamins needed to have a healthy, vibrant life.

Mt first step to remedying this lack in my life is to finish reading this excellent book. It reads easily and without effort so it makes a great first attempt at changing a diet that has been sadly lacking in spiritual calories! I will let you know how I progress.

(This book is available here a re. Or if you are blessed, as we have been in our Parish, someone may have bought 250 and donated them to your parish for you to take for free and to share…)

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Responses

  1. My Parish has provided all families with a copy of this book which we are getting through in our Total family religious education classes. I am about 50/ 50 on the book myself. One month I read the assigned chapters and am inspired, the next month not so much. I hear that many love it and a few don’t particularly like it. Anyone else have thoughts ?

  2. I am loving this book. We all received it through our parish as well. It is changing me. 🙂

  3. I found your site by accident, and want to tell you that it is beautiful and inspiring. May God bless you and your family.

    • Thank you Michelle. It is always good to know that one’s blog has touched another person in some way! 🙂 God Bless
      Christi


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