Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Lies of Our Times

I think one of the biggest lies that our culture has perpetrated on it's youth is the idea that:
 "You can do anything if you just want it bad enough!"
How many times, in our youth and school years, did we hear "It's only a matter of making up your mind. If you want to, you can be an astronaut, an engineer, or even the president!" OK well, considering the caliber of recent administrations, anyone probably can be president.
The question is, why are we telling children that they can do anything, and at the same time diagnosing them with every kind of learning problem, mental health issue and personality disorder we can think of? You got your label? Great! Now, tell us what you want to do with your life and we will find some way to accommodate your limitations and get you the help you need so that we can shove your square little hiney into that round hole. Why not just go find a square hole?


There are people that can run a marathon in record time. There are people that can run a marathon in a day. There are people that can run. I am not one of them. I can tell myself that I can all day long, but I can't. I have bad hips and knees.
I can't do higher math. That's OK. I get to a certain point and it starts to sound like Swahili. I think I could learn Swahili, but there is something in my brain that inhibits my ability to learn math. I don't think God is disappointed, after all, He made me this way. He obviously had a plan and higher Math wasn't a part of it.

Tim would have loved to have been a pilot. He has the aptitude and tons of desire, but he also has terrible eyesight and vertigo. Fact.
The things that we can't do don't define us, they direct us toward the things that we actually have been given, our gifts.
Telling students that they can "do anything" really doesn't mean "do anything". It leaves them feeling like they are expected to shoot for Wall street or the White House and then if that doesn't work out they can teach or become a landscaper. What if they already know that they would LOVE teaching or landscaping? Are their gifts less worthy because they didn't attempt the highest peak and shoot for the top first? What's wrong with just shooting for the best version of yourself from the beginning?

What happens in a classroom when a person with intellectual or physical limitations hears the teacher telling the class, "If you want it, you can do it!", whatever "it" is? What if you just can't? It's OK not to be that high academic achiever or athlete. What's not OK is to drive yourself for the dreams of someone else or because "it" has to be attempted before you can settle down and find where you fit. If you want it, try it. If you can't get there, try something else. Life is too short to buy into other people's ideas of what your life should look like. Follow your dreams, within the bounds of your capabilities, but don't beat yourself up because you have to modify the dream. Try, yes. Try as hard as you can, and when you feel that you have tried yourself out, try something else. And don't bring up Rudy Ruteger because he tried as hard as he could, and he did play one awesome football game, but then went out and did what he's really good at, motivating people.

We do live in a land of opportunity, but one of the most beautiful things about our country is what the old-timers called "Yankee Ingenuity". Genius is not defined by IQ, but by the ability to find, develop and use the gifts that we have been given to their true purpose. You might be a math genius and win a Nobel prize for Science. Awesome. You might be a literary genius, and write a Nobel prize-winning novel. Fantastic. What if you are a people genius? You might not win a Nobel prize, but your contribution is no less brilliant. You have to ability to motivate and move others in ways that a math genius could never figure out. We need you!

Don't get caught up in the lie that you can do anything if you just want it bad enough, because while you are trying to figure out how to achieve the impossible dream, you might miss the thing that makes you truly happy. It's not enough to want it, it has to be meant for you, and the One who made you is the One who has the perfect plan for you. Ask Him, He'll tell you!


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Cozy Day

Sure, it was raining and icky outside, but so much the better to stay in and catch up on a lot of tasks that got put off over the weekend, plus it's just nice to be able to look out at the rain and know that I can stay inside!
I got some bills paid, the laundry is caught up, school went well, I got my planning for Friday co-op done, and the email is under control!
The boys had drama at the activity center, but that's not too far to drive.

Tomorrow will be different....

9am- The contractor is coming to start the tile job in the upstairs bathroom.
11am- Brendan has Math.
1pm- John and Brendan to PE
1:30pm- Jen and Paul head up to Wilmington for GI appt.
6:30pm- Brendan and Paul have another rehearsal.

Whew!

I will post a few "before" pictures of the horrible, terrible, bathroom, before they tear into it.
So excited!



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Such a time we have had!

It's been a whirlwind Thanksgiving week, but such a nice time!
The boys were off, and so they were able to spend lots of time with friends and go skating, and sleep in and then loaf around. It's a good thing once in a while.
John hasn't had much time for loafing. Target is keeping him busy, but the paychecks make it all worth it!
Tim was off a lot of the week, but he wasn't loafing either! We have been planning to fix up the attic spaces under the eaves to make space to store things that we have to keep, but don't need to access.
Getting it done was no small job, but the first one is finished!! It was so great to finally be able to move all the school papers and other memorabilia into a clean, safe area. The old family photos, papers and archived information can be stored up there until someone needs it.

Thanksgiving was quiet but very nice. It was just our family, but we had a very nice day, with LOTS of food. We are still eating it.

Tim and I went up to Cecil College to usher for "West Side Story". It was a great production, and the two leading voices were wonderful! They are still having a bit of trouble with the sound system, but the actors overcame it and put on a great show!

Now, a quiet Sunday evening at home, before school starts again tomorrow.

So This Happened

Thanksgiving vacation!
Brendan 15

A Tale of a Tail

View from Bulle Rock

Autumn on the Susquehanna

Add caption

Thanksgiving Preparations

Apple Pie!

Hoppel Herbs for the Stuffing 

A very nice November!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Offerings


Crosses are everywhere, literally.

The form of the cross can be found in nature, in art, and in structures, whether incidentally or intentionally.

Crosses in the form of suffering are everywhere too. In the course of an average day, we bump up against any number of annoyances, injuries, worries, frustrations, and even people that are opportunities to "offer it up".

Keeping our eyes and hearts open for the crosses that bring our minds and hearts to the Cross of Christ, is a lifelong habit that we can learn to love.
Offering our sufferings for the good of others makes those burdens lighter, and gives them purpose.

When we give even our little pains to God, we are imitating our beloved Jesus like a small child looks at and copies mom or dad. Of course our little efforts don't amount to much, compared to His, but they are precious to Him.

I am going to make an effort to see both kinds of crosses as I go through my days. I will post them here occasionally.

The image above is on the outer wall of one of the buildings at Mount Saint Mary's. I thought it was a beautiful and simple outward sign.
I also had a chance to offer up a wait in line today, and it was a great time to pray my Rosary!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I'm All Alone...

This has been happening more and more lately.
Everyone is off doing one or another of the things that they do, and here I am with time to catch up on the laundry, work on dinner, correct school-work, or blog. It's weird.

We have been trying to match the time that we have with what we have to do, and prioritize things better.
Having a plethora of "rewarding" activities can be anything but rewarding.
Wanting High School to be a time of preparation for whatever life has in store, became a high-stress treadmill that no-one wanted to be on. Academics are all well and good, but there has to be a balance.

I had to make the very difficult decision to let the boys drop piano. I loved having them play, but between the finances and the extra stress on the boys to perform, it was decided. I guess we will try to find a voice coach for Paul, at a lower expense, and they are both going to start playing guitar, which really isn't the same as far as learning music for it's own sake.

The year is going much more smoothly however. Biology isn't nearly the mountain to climb that I thought it was going to be, writing is turning out to be pretty low-key, at least so far, and math, well, it's math. But with the things that we have to do being less weighty, we an actually do trips and retreats, and learn by doing.
Paul wants to take Japanese, so I need to find him a class. He is still progressing in Karate, and I am so proud of him!

John is learning about working retail. For the time being he is enjoying earning money and learning the ropes there. I don't know what's next for him, on the career front, but I know that he is well prepared for it. Very bright guy, that one. I am so proud of his initiative.

Well, my time's up! Off to pick up my drama guys.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Picture Round-up!


Brendan Climbing 8-22

Paul and Yana Climbing at Annie's Playground 8-22


Sterling 1 year 8-25

Annapolis 8-26

Capitol Dome

View From Capitol Steps


Maggie 5.5 Yr


Lighthouse At Sunset 8-29

Monday, August 3, 2015

Flowers for Mary


While we were at Camp Veritas, we stopped at a farm to pick flowers for the altar. Mary and Noleen did a beautiful job of picking and arranging the flowers that then sat at the altar all week. They were there through all the evenings of Adoration, through the Eucharistic procession, and through all the Masses. I was so glad that Mary offered me a part of the arrangement to place before our statue. 
They have been very close to Jesus, just like Our Lady.




Thursday, July 9, 2015

Time In

I have been thinking a lot, lately, about the value of time. Not just my time, but time in general. The older I get, the less there is of it, the more demand there is on it, and the more I wish that I could purchase a few extra hours a week. Of course, time is a lot like space. If you have it, you will fill it, and not necessarily with things that make life better. 

So in the interest of making life better, I am examining the ways that I am spending my time, and also the things that I do that take up time, but really aren't worth it, and don't add to the well being of my home and family. 

My focus has always been on the people in my life and the places that we inhabit. My home, my church, the lives of the people closest to me. However, how many times have I been unable to be there or to attend to the people that I care about because of things that I am trying to do that aren't going to mean anything to anyone two days from now? How many times have I passed off a chance to make a meal or have a visit with a friend, because I am attending to some business or other that really isn't important?

I wrote a while ago about how important it is to be present to someone, in a real way, every day. 
That has been wonderful! I have been making a much better effort to really see people, to ask questions, and to try to see things from where they are coming from. To smile, and mean it, when I am out shopping or having a conversation. To not always be thinking about the next place that I have to be, or the things that I have to do, but be more in the moment. 

It's not easy, and it requires discipline that I don't always have. I have been a busy person a long time. I am really enjoying the effort though!

Giving people time is really like giving them a prized possession. Maybe that's why when you do it, and mean it, they really know you care. 


Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Time With My Friend....

....was the highlight of my day.

Well, one of them. There were actually quite a few.

I have taken a bunch of the apps off my phone, to save the battery, and so when I got up I didn't reach for it to check Facebook, I just went downstairs to my prayers and treadmill. Started off the day with my usual workout, but no input from facebook, or email. That's actually really nice.

I drove John to Bel Air for an appointment, but then spent an hour reading my book. Most enjoyable!

I came home, and I was working, which is a computer based activity right now, unfortunately, but then after I stopped for the day, I came out to start dinner and my friend Christine came by with her kids! We had a very nice visit while I was cooking. It was so great to just talk about so many things. Her dad's health, our kids, our plans...just everything.

We had a nice family dinner, and we had Lilly here! She had dinner and then we read a bit of "Little House in the Big Woods". She is really excited about how many books are in the series.

Lilly and Tim took a walk with Maggie and then they built a model house!


Some really good stuff!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Disconnecting and Reconnecting

This blog has become kind of stealthy, since I took a really long break from blogging, because of the time and energy that it took. It's kind of interesting though, because I really don't have any idea who might be reading it, if anyone, but I still have a place to put thoughts, when I have them, which these days is rare.

I was thinking, earlier today, about how social media in general, and Facebook in particular, has lately become just a place to bludgeon your contacts, friends or not, with your opinions and your brand of "social commentary". Everyone is displaying their flavor; sharing articles, pictures, anecdotes and memes. Everybody is so positive that they are right, and that all that they are posting is part of a conversation. Whatever the controversy of the day may be, there is little conversing and much wailing and gnashing of teeth. It's become a tad ridiculous.

I was tempted a few times to join in and add my 2 cents, but why? No one is reading it, no one is listening, and no one really cares about the Truth. The Truth is above that particular venue, and I am thinking that maybe instead of trying to break into hearts and minds behind a screen, it's time to sit down with a few real hearts and minds, face to face. One to one. At least it is for me.

Yesterday, for instance, I took some bread that I had made, went next door to visit our elderly neighbor, and had a really nice visit. I hadn't been to see him yet, and I was so glad to be able to see him smile. Yeah, his mind comes and goes, but he seems really happy. And I enjoyed talking to his son, who has uprooted from a home and state that he really loved to come back to Maryland and be here with his dad in his last years.  And it was just a very nice visit.

I have also reconnected with a good friend who had moved away, and is now back in the area. Sitting down, and having a long visit, and talking about the kids, our homes, our school journeys, and so many other things, it just felt so real and good. We weren't getting together to accomplish anything. We didn't have an agenda. But we needed that time.

I need to be part of that world more intentionally. I need time with people. Face to Face. One to one. How can I testify to the Truth if I am always running, seeking, typing, feeding a digital habit?

I am going to make it a goal, for the rest of the Summer, to try to sit down once a day, even just for a few minutes and with a person, for no reason other than to learn something about them. What do they think? What are they struggling with? What are they celebrating?

I was always a people person. I guess technology has gotten to me, kind of pulled me in and separated me from the herd, so to speak. It's no way to live.

We'll see what I have to share along the way.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Highest Court Isn't In The Land

Last week the Supreme Court Of The United States ruled on an issue that has become a national conversation over the past couple of decades: redefining the legal terms of marriage.

The ruling was paramount to a seismic event that rocked the foundations of our culture, shifting, shaking, and reshaping the institution that is at the center of all civilized society. The aftershocks will ripple through the culture for a very long time, maybe forever.

The reaction has been about what you would expect. Facebook is divided, with profile pictures changing to support one side or another. All of the large news outlets weighing in with their "unbiased" reporting, depending on which side of the spectrum they inhabit. The Church attempting to once again instill the Truth, with letters, interviews, op-eds and Facebook posts.

It is disturbing to feel the rumbles and insecurity within our communities both in the real world and the virtual one, and it is a very serious issue with regard to the Supreme Court. Once again they have ruled on a social issue and made it the law of the land. Wrong. Not their job. Not their place.
They did it with Roe v Wade, Obamacare, and now marriage.

However concerned I am about the ramifications for our culture and the fabric of society, society is going to do what it will, because that's the nature of the human condition. It shifts and changes like the house built on sand, because our current society is now a purely human institution. We gave up national adherence to Judeo-Christian principles sometime in the 60s, and for the most part have never looked back.

The Church, for her part, has stood through the storms of war, pestilence, political upheaval, and the rising and falling of nations. She is the bride of Christ, and He has never left her to the wolves of change. Christ instituted the Sacraments, and gave them to the Church. They are of God. They exist as conduits of Grace for the Church Militant on Earth, but they are not of this world. They are of an entirely different realm and so they aren't attached to the foundation of society and culture. They can't be shaken or changed and they cannot be controlled by any power or principality.
Anyone can say words and make promises to live together in love and faithfulness. Fine. Anyone can sign a paper that states that by the law of the land they are bound to each other. OK. Anyone can indeed love whomever or whatever they please. That's the prerogative of secular humanity. People are free to choose the way they will live, and they really always have been. But the Sacraments are not functions of the culture. You can't take them up as if they are the privileges of some club or organization. You can't demand that they be given. You can even think that you have received one, and be wrong. You can't earn them or buy them. All Grace is a free gift, but it requires cooperation.

Those that are determined that marriage needs to encompass any and all combinations of people, lifestyles, methods and modes have been given the "all clear" by the SCOTUS, and so the meaning of marriage changes in the law. They may feel that their time has come, and they may sue, protest and petition themselves into every entity that deals with the issue. But even if they manage to shut down schools, parishes, and Christian institutions, even if they get pastors, priests and bishops thrown into jail or dragged into court, they will not be able to win the Grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony.
This question was settled in a much higher court, at the beginning of the world.
This isn't a question of gender, or identity. It doesn't matter who is attempting marriage, whether those who co-habit and are unrepentant, those that have been civilly married, those who have been divorced after marriage in the Church and do not seek annulment, those that stand at the altar knowing that there is an impediment, and even those that don't know.
It isn't actually a question at all.

So I am not afraid of the tremors that are shaking our foundations. I am sad, and I wish that those that stand by the Church didn't have to be seen as angry haters. I don't feel uncertain however. I am not un-moored, and I am not afraid. The love of God is for all people, and it's my part to share it until I take my last breath.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:38-39

Friday, May 1, 2015

Texas in the Spring...

We had a blast in Texas with the Cooke family, Nina and Lilly! It was such a nice week. The kids are so much fun, and it was nice to reconnect with the girls. Looking forward to the next steps! Nina back in Maryland with Lilly, and the Cooke family getting settled in Austin! Always something new!

 Paul spent a lot of time on the roof at the Cooke's. Actually all the boys did. It was a great view and nice weather!
Such a little nut!

Sweet Molly. She just always has a smile!

Always a going concern!

In a few years, Miles...

The Haircut....

Keep Going...

Oh Yeah...

All Done! Nice New Look!

Off on an Adventure!



Sweet Claire



Lu and her bunny

Lil and a baby...

Good mamas


Good-bye for now!
s

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Been There, Done That. Alleluia!!


Interesting that this was posted to Drudge on Easter Sunday.
Why anyone would want to live forever on this earth, or even 150 years, is beyond me.
I love this life, and the people in it, but there is a MUCH better existence waiting for us at the end of this one.
They are spending millions looking for ways to live forever.
Christ died and rose again to show us the way to do that for free! Forever! No more pain, no more tears, no more worry.
All we have to do is follow Him. It's not easy, but it is simple.

Tech Titans Defy Death:



Published on April 4, 2015

Seated at the head of a table for 12 with a view of the city’s soaring skyline, Peter Thiel was deep in conversation with his guests, eclectic scientists whose research was considered radical, even heretical.
It was 2004 and Thiel had recently made a tidy fortune selling PayPal, which he co-founded, to eBay. He had spent what he wanted on himself — a posh penthouse suite at the Four Seasons Hotel and a silver Ferrari — and was now soliciting ideas to do good with his money.

The Human Upgrade:
Using their ideas and their billions, the visionaries who created Silicon Valley’s biggest technology firms are trying to transform the most complicated system in existence: the human body.
Illustration by S├ębastien Thibault
Among the guests was Cynthia Kenyon, a molecular biologist and biogerontologist who had garnered attention for doubling the life span of a roundworm by disabling a single gene. Aubrey de Grey, a British computer scientist turned theoretician who prophesied that medical advances would stop aging.  And Larry Page, co-founder of an Internet search darling called Google that had big ideas to improve health through the terabytes of data it was collecting.
The chatter at the dinner party meandered from the value of chocolate in one’s diet to the toll of disease on the U.S. economy to the merits of uploading people’s memories to a computer versus cryofreezing their bodies. Yet the focus kept returning to one subject: Was death an inevitability — or a solvable problem? Read the rest HERE

Monday, February 16, 2015

From Catholic Vote....

SEXUALITIES OR SEXUALITY?


wedding-449921_640
Okay, faithful, observant Catholics—it’s quiz time!
How many different “sexualities” are there in Catholic moral teaching?
It’s a short quiz—if you guessed “one and only one,” you are exactly right.
This basic truth, of course, is something the culture has gotten exactly wrong for decades. Claiming that “sexualities” exist is the very foundation for the massively proliferating confusion and contention over sexual morality in the last several generations. And we Catholics need to be willing to stand against ideologies that promote the existence of “sexualities,” both in the Church and in culture at-large.
It may be that some readers are somewhat confused at this point—am I being serious? Isn’t this some kind of extremist misrepresentation of Church teaching? Am I really suggesting that, for example, homosexuality isn’t a “sexuality” unto itself, just like heterosexuality? Bisexuality, transsexuality, asexuality, autosexuality, pansexuality—am I saying they really don’t exist?
Well, no—these terms exist to describe attractions and experiences that are real enough. They’re just not sexualities. Rather, they are divergent paths away fromauthentically human sexuality.
Let’s let the Church interject some clear teaching at this point, right from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. First, in Paragraph 2360, we are taught that “sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman.” Then in Paragraph 2361, we receive an incredibly clarifying quote from Pope St. John Paul II (from “Familiaris Consortio,” 11):
“Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death.” [CCC Paragraph 3261]
How does one realize “sexuality” in a truly human way? One does so only if “sexuality” is an integral part of the “conjugal love of man and woman.” Sexuality, in its one-and-only existing and God-created reality, is ordered only to the love of man and woman that ultimately brings them to marriage.
This is why every other so-called “sexuality” expressed in culture today is something less than a fully human expression of human love—because it’s not properly ordered toward married love.
This belief is so utterly counter-cultural that even many Catholics have difficulty grasping it in its utter simplicity. Indeed, it’s pejoratively referred to now as “heteronormativity” and viewed as virtually discriminatory to assert this. Court cases are now being lost by those in the United States who adhere firmly to this basic principle of Catholic teaching.
The deep and abiding pushback against this teaching is so fierce precisely becauseacknowledging a singular “sexuality” fully undermines all assertions of identity based on “sexualities.”  In this context, “sexualities” is to “sexuality” as “Protestant” is to “Catholic”—to claim that my “sexuality” is different from the one ordered to conjugal love is to make a clear protest against a longstanding reality and to expect that longstanding reality to simply stop being what it is just because you’re protesting against it. But that’s just not how God’s plan for us actually works. The fact that there are “Protestants” doesn’t change the reality that the Catholic Church remains One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Similarly, the fact that people adhere to a pluraldefinition of “sexualities” does not change the awesome truth of God’s plan for creating us male and female and uniting man and woman in marriage via our sexual identity—not as “gay” or “straight”—but as male and female.
Pope St. John Paul II, in his Theology of the Body, spends much time in teaching the essential importance of self-mastery and of every human person’s responsibility to discern whether each and every experience of our “sexuality” is truly something to be willed as being in keeping with authentic purity of heart. In simpler terms, this means that every one of us must interiorly examine every sexual urge, sexual impulse, sexual feeling, sexual desire, sexual attraction —whatever one wants to call it—to determine whether it’s in keeping with authentic purity of heart. How do we determine this? We need to ask whether this or that sexual feeling, in our immediate and concrete circumstances, is or is not properly ordered toward the conjugal love of man and woman—regardless of whether we’re married or not. We can only willingly say “yes” to those sexual impulses, attractions, desires, etc., that are truly ordered toward married love. Anything other than this is an experience of “sexuality” that is not a “truly human” experience.
If I’m married and I experience a surge of sexual attraction toward someone other than my spouse, I’m called to say “no” to that experience. If unmarried, I’m called to say “yes” only to those sexual attractions that, in accord with God’s plan, are there to potentially move me closer toward fully-realized conjugal love with the very person toward whom I experience that attraction.
And let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that we can define such “sexual” attractions as merely those experiences of “desire” for something physical or “biological”—above, Pope St. John Paul II makes it clear that “sexuality” concerns the innermost being of the human person “as such” (as human!) and cannot be reduced to the biological. This means that those sexual attractions that are not directly “physical” must still be examined in our hearts to determine whether they are indeed ordered toward conjugal love, or not. In other words, “sexuality” is not reducible to “whether I want to have sexual relations with” this or that person. Sexuality is rather God’s way of drawing together a man and a woman for that uniquely permanent, exclusive, free, total, faithful, and fruitful communion of persons we call marriage. Sexuality is about that full reality, not just about the “physical” part.
So, courageous readers, how did you do on this short Catholic quiz? Let me know by leaving a comment! And be encouraged—we can stand fast, together, despite the torrents of opposition. Let’s continue to pray for the many in our culture and the many of our fellow Catholics who are still struggling to see this simple truth about “sexuality” as a beautiful shining light in God’s plan for us.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Proper Response is Not a Reaction

"Did you know that if you buy the book, you can get a coupon for 7.00 off the movie ticket?"

"No one in my family is seeing that movie."

"I hear that it's less intense than the book."

"Well, no one in my family is reading the book either. It's trash."

Uncomfortable silence.....

This was the exchange that took place yesterday evening between a young lady checking us out at Target, and myself, after someone behind me in line mentioned the book "50 Shades of Grey".
 The more I think about it, the more I wish that I could go back and do it over.
Why am I so quick to react, instead of taking a minute to think and respond instead?

I could have said any number of things.
"I haven't read it. It seems really demeaning toward women, especially young women."

I could have asked her a question.
"I don't know, do women really want men to treat them way the main character is treated? Is that what women really want from relationships?"

She probably thought that it was a safe topic. The book is all the rage. Everyone is reading it and looking forward to seeing the movie. It's become pop culture, and it has young women feeling "well read" if they can discuss it.

Crafting a response to encourage a conversation would have so much better.
I had an opportunity and I blew it.
I feel so strongly sometimes, that I just open my mouth and shut people down, but that is certainly not the way Jesus would do it.
Here I am, a few days away from Lent, trying to figure out how best to use those forty days.
I think the Holy Spirit is knocking on my heart, but I need a concrete way to pray and sacrifice that will hone my reactions into loving responses.
I will be praying a Novena before Lent, and I am praying that I will be given a formula of prayer and action that will set me on the road to better discipleship.
It's one of those things I can't do by myself.