7 Quick Takes – Volume 16 (Grace)

— 1 —

In the online world I have changed my avatar on twitter and other social media sites.

frabz-Buddy-Christ-approves-93d035

So, why the Buddy Christ?

  • I feel the need to be more anonymous. I do blog about personal topics and I don’t want my online life bleeding into my real life.
  • As a reminder not to take myself too seriously.
  • As a reminder for others not to take me too seriously. I am not the magisterium, I am just a guy with a blog.

— 2 —

I still haven’t felt much of a call to blog other than 7QT. I have no shortage of ideas, but it’s turning ideas into a blog post that’s the problem.

— 3 —

Last week’s 7QT featured questions for Jennifer Knapp, one of the few Christian musicians I actually like.

Rachel Held Evans posted Jennifer’s responses this week.

The most interesting thing was why Contemporary Christian Music is so limited. It’s a product, sold to an audience, with a specific purpose. This limits the range of artistic expression. So even a very talented artist like Jennifer can’t do much more than sing about Jesus.

On the other hand, secular music isn’t comfortable with expressions of faith (unless you’re Bono).

— 4 —

Sheila Gregoire of To Love Honor And Vaccuum had a great post up about “Board Games to Play With Your Spouse.” These are some great Phase 2 ideas for couples trying to find something fun to do and still manage to keep their clothes on.

Gregoire is not Catholic, although she is supportive of NFP/FAM and has some very “Catholic” ideas about sexuality. I wish there were some better practical advice like this on Catholic blogs.

— 5 —

Here is a really good article on young people and confession.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is such a beautiful sacrament, but one I don’t think has been fully appreciated or understood.

Older Catholics raised before Vatican II often had a very legalistic understanding of the sacrament. List your sins, do your penance, get your absolution. The confessionals were small and dark and confession was often (incorrectly) seen in a negative, shameful light. Many people went out of fear that they broke the rules more than true contrition or desire to be reconciled to God.

So after Vatican II, all of that changed. Confession became more like therapy. Out with the old, scary, confessional. In with the bright, airy, reconciliation room. A more personal and less legalistic understanding of sin led to a de-emphasis of the sacrament. Mortal sin is a matter of deliberately turning against God, not simply breaking a rule, so if you haven’t turned deliberately turned against God, you’re OK, right?

So people catechized this way didn’t know much about confession or why it’s necessary.

But people still sin and still have a deep need to be unburdened and reconciled to God. Confession isn’t about avoiding punishment, it’s about righting your relationship with God. Going to confession is not a negative, shameful sign that you are a sinner, but an act of forgiveness and mercy.

Pope Francis is a big fan of the sacrament and I hope to see a bigger emphasis on it.

— 6 —

I have recently started making a habit of going to Daily Mass.

I started going once a week during Lent and kept up the habit. Last weekend, I was cleaning up and found a copy of The Catholic Miscellany that I hadn’t read. I looked through it briefly and read an article by Alison Griswold about going to daily mass.

Alison talked about the sacrifices she made to get up early and get to mass. Even though she’s not a morning person, it’s well worth it.

As for me, the daily mass at our parish is in the evening. So all I have to do is leave work on time and not stay late. If she can get up early, I can leave work on time.

I’ll make the sacrifice.

— 7 —

I’ve read a several stories about families who gave up TV, or at least gave up cable.

For the most part, K and I don’t watch TV. But it is a godsend as an electronic babysitter. (Yes, we’re bad parents.) Basic cable comes with our internet service (I don’t think our cable company can block it) so it’s not an additional cost to us.

For those of you who have given up TV, how do you make that work in your family? Has it been worth it? Or have you substituted other forms of electronic entertainment (Netflix, Hulu, Video games, etc.) instead?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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