After a long dry spell, I’m slowly getting my writing groove back. It feels good to restart (yet again!) catholic dialogue. I look forward to continued musings and conversations on “things catholic” in the coming weeks and months.
I’ve also started a new writing project. It’s a new blog called
Love, Grammy is a collection of short letters about parenting and family life. This is how I tried to describe it on the blog site,
Who are the letters for?
Some letters will be addressed to the generation of parents who journeyed the path before me.
Some letters will be addressed to my own cohort of baby boomer parents.
Some letters will be addressed to our adult children and all the young parents who are blazing new trails today.
Finally, some letters will be addressed to the wee ones who made us grand-parents.
This blog is not an advice column. But, some advice may sneak in.
This blog is not a saccharine fairy tale of family life. But, some sappy, syrupy, lovey-dovey moments might drip in every now and then.
This blog is not a complaints box about the hardships of raising a family, but some ranting may take place. (Grammy doesn’t suffer fools gladly!)
Hubby and I are loving our “Grammy and Papa” life. We have the luxury of experiencing parenting “in the rear view mirror”, and the honour of being part of our children’s parenting journey in the here and now.
I hope you will hop over to www.lovegrammy.com and check it out. If you like it, please do subscribe and share the link with your friends. And, tell me what you think!
Sometimes the best homilies are the simplest. Truth is presented with clarity and practicality. Words are spoken from the heart. Most importantly, you remember what was said. Today was one of those homilies, given by one of my favourite priests. I hope he doesn’t mind if I paraphrase it below.
Do not be anxious!
How easy it is to worry. Life gives us solid material each day – some big, some small. If we have the good sense to take our worries to prayer, we often begin by listing off our intentions. We name our worries. We name loved ones and friends. We name crises and disasters both near and far. We give words to our fears and ask God to answer our prayers.
And our prayer is ended. But, is it?
Prayer is a conversation. Too often, we do all the talking then end our conversation with AMEN! But, did we allow God time to answer? Did we meditate?
This was, perhaps, one of the best definitions I’ve heard for meditation.
Meditation is giving God time to answer us!
We need to stop talking and sit in the stillness.
We need to Listen.
We need to be still and know that God is God, ready to speak to us in the quiet of our hearts, even if our hearts are not quiet.
Silence is even more important if our hearts are restless or screaming with anxiety and worry. I find meditation the hardest during these dark moments. I want to turn my brain off. Turn away from the worries that haunt my days, and keep me up at nights. I’m afraid of what I will face if I sit in the stillness.
Meditation is giving God time to answer us.
A simple message. Why do we make it so hard to do?
Pope Francis released a message for World Communications Day, titled,
Francis describes fake news as “spreading of disinformation on line or in traditional media.” Fake news is used to deceive and manipulate. It twists the truth. It identifies hatreds and biases, and feeds those hatreds and biases to promote its own agenda.
Truth is more than freedom from falsehood. Truth is also about relationships. Francis writes,
To discern the truth, we need to discern everything that encourages communion and promotes goodness from whatever instead tends to isolate, divide, and oppose. Truth, therefore, is not really grasped when it is imposed from without as something impersonal, but only when it flows from free relationships between persons, from listening to one another…
We can recognize the truth of statements from their fruits: whether they provoke quarrels, foment division, encourage resignation; or, on the other hand, they promote informed and mature reflection leading to constructive dialogue and fruitful results.
The evil of fake news lies in its insidious, snake-like nature. Francis turns to the book of Genesis, describing the methods of Satan in the Garden of Eden. Fake news looks like real news. It sounds like truth. But, it isn’t.
Francis calls for journalists to work harder in the service of truth, but the burden really lies with all of us. How educated are we in spotting fake news? Can we spot it in our own news feeds? Do we confirm the legitimacy of a news story or the reliability of an author before we share, retweet, or forward a story to others? Are we quick to be the first to share news before all the details have been reported? Do we respond to headlines without reading the full article?
It is possible to be emotional and rational in our writing. There is a way to seek truth in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. There is a way to promote dialogue rather than angry diatribes. Francis ends his message with a practical, inspirational guide, based on the prayer of St. Francis.
Make me an instrument of your peace…