Day 1

Happy New Year everyone.

I'm not one for New Year's resolutions.  If I think I need to make a change, I do so.  I don't need January 1 to prompt me to do so.  On my wife's advice, I've been reading Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly.  It's a good read whether you're Catholic or not.  He basically calls people to greater sprituality and a closer relationship with God.  While I haven't finished the book yet, one of his 7 pillars of faith is prayer.  He calls on people to pray just 10 minutes a day.  Doesn't sound like much but it can be powerful.

There have been a lot of things weighing on my mind lately.  I've been praying about them but I'm going to try and strengthen my prayer life.  What Kelly has written reinforces what I've found in my own life.  Giving your problems to God makes them much easier to solve.

I decided to start chronicling my thoughts here just to have a place to put them down.  I've got three big things weighing on my right now.  At the start of Advent a new translation of the Mass was instituted.  And to be honest, I don't like it.  I don't know if it's the translation itself or how our parish is doing it.  But I feel like a spectator now instead of a participant.  I don't know how much is because its different and how much is because I don't like all the chanting we're now doing.  But what I'm struggling with is whether I'm making it all about me or all about God.  I got very deep spiritual meaning out of the way we did it before.  And now I don't.  So I'm praying about that.

The second thing is my band.  I'm questioning if we're fullfilling our ministry the right way.  I'm dissatisfied with a few things, particularly how we're so limited in our music selections.  We should be doing music that engages and uplifts the congregation.  And we get great feedback whenever we play.  Again, am I making this about me?

The third thing that weighs on my mind is the dynamic in our house and my relationship with the kids.  Nobody ever said being a parent was easy.  I did get a ride in today and my route took me past our parish.  Kelly recommends praying in a church whenever possible so after my ride, I headed over for some quiet time.  As I knelt before the Blessed Sacrament, I first thought to myself it would be hard to pray for 10 minutes.  That can seem like an awefully long time when you're just kneeling quietly.  I prayed for what I thought was about 5 minutes and decided to get up a sit for a while.  I checked my watch and 12 minutes had gone by!  I was astounded and amazed.  Just goes to show, I suppose, that even time with the Lord goes by faster than you think it does.

I intend to keep trying and to praise God for all the little things as they happen.  As a Christian, we supposed to put Christ at the center of our lives.  It takes practice and dedication, both of which I think I can do.


Jude said…
I may have already told you this, I'm not so much "religious" as I am (extremely) "spiritual", but there isn't that much difference really. I know what you mean about praying as I do that too, and whether I'm in prayer or just spending time with Him in meditation what seems like a few minutes has turned into 20 minutes magically. It is always uplifting, and always calming. I have gotten away from doing it daily, I need to get back to it more often than I have been lately.

As change is not always easy, I'm hoping that the new Mass will be something that you will grow to enjoy and not be a permanent unhappiness for you. What was the reason for the change?

Giving our problems to God does make them easier to cope with, I am in 100% agreement with you!

Happy New Year to you and yours Vince!
sydwynd said…
Jude: Happy New Year to you as well. The long and short of it is that the changes came about because our current Pope thought we should use a more literal translation from the Latin. A pretty stupid reason, if you ask me, and that's what's causing some of the struggle. Our parish is also chanting all the responses and I find that very distracting and less meaningful. Not sure what can be done about that.

I've never subscribed to following "the rules" just because they're the rules. They need to make sense. My other big fear is to many Catholics (especially those "in charge") are more concerned with "the rules" than the true spiritual growth of congregations. I could go on and on about that.

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