Anyone still out there?
I missed you!
I thought I'd jump back in by telling you what I learned on my Advent vacation (and other random thoughts), in no particular order:
1) I really enjoyed the time off, and I realized I can live without the blog quite happily. But at the same time, I truly missed what we do here, and I'm excited to be back in action!!
2) Okay, actually, I didn't take time off in quite the way I should have: For a couple of weeks I simply moved all the debates over to my (and others') facebook pages! Ack! When will I learn? I need to be able to walk away from contention sometimes. "Leila, put the controversy down on the ground, raise your hands in the air, and slowly back away. Do that, and no one will get hurt."
3) I discovered that I use the Bubble as a way to avoid repeating myself. The same old stuff (atheist and Protestant objections to the Church; challenges to the moral law; misunderstandings of Church teaching, etc.) comes up on facebook and everywhere else on the web, and I like that I can just link 'em to something I've already written. Do they read what I link? Eh, probably not. But I'm lazy and it saves me time. Besides, who knows? Maybe the detractors (or some lurkers) will providentially take a peak and start to think a little deeper about these things.
4) I have learned that I need to be more disciplined in
every area of my life contributing to the comments on my own blog. I love engaging in fruitful discussions, especially for the lurkers, but it's crucial that I learn to identify those rabbit trails that need not be followed. Many of you have commented on my "patience" in going over and over certain ideas, but I don't think it's been patience at all. I think it's been a combination of incredulity ("Wait, does he/she really believe that?!") and my own stubborn pride (I'm like a dog with a bone). I do wish I had a minder who could keep me away from fruitless discussions and rabbit trails, but since I don't, I will try to be strong and disciplined on my own.
5) I have to chuckle when I think of how desperately some atheists want to rid public places of Nativity scenes. I mean, think about it: Christmas is a government holiday. The Nativity depicts the first Christmas. The Nativity is the historical event behind the very Christmas that we celebrate as a federal holiday (yes, I am being redundant). So, it's bizarre that atheists want Nativity scenes banished, but they don't seem to be lobbying for a revocation of the actual federal holiday that is called Christmas, which is commemorating the Nativity. Do you get how silly that is?
6) I occasionally add new "Bloggers' Faith Stories" at the top of my blog. The newest ones are at the end of the list. Check 'em out!
7) A few days ago I was shocked to learn that a dear friend had passed away. She and I had never met in person (much like the great blogger friends I have made in the past two years), but we had a special friendship nonetheless, which spanned almost ten years. She hadn't let me know that she was fighting cancer for the past year and a half. I will keep her name anonymous, but you all can read her words (in blue) in this Bubble post about scrupulosity. May God rest her soul. She was a dear woman with a deep love for Christ who leaves behind a grieving family. Thank you for your prayers.
8) During Advent and Christmas I put a metallic "Keep Christ in Christmas" decal on the back of my Suburban. However, I like what I read on Brent Stubb's Almost Not Catholic blog even better:
Keep "Mass" in Christ-mas
Christmas is, literally, the Christ's Mass. It is the Mass that commemorates the Nativity of the Lord. Anyone celebrating this holy day (i.e., "holiday") is celebrating a Feast Day of the Catholic Church, and the Church is so pleased that they do! The Lord Jesus came to save everyone, and it is right and just that all Christians -- and all humanity, frankly -- would celebrate His birth. But Christ and the Mass go together, so don't take one without the other. ;)
9) Just a reminder that although most of the world believes that the Christmas Season is now over, the reality is quite different: The Advent Season -- our time of waiting, penance and preparation -- has just ended, and finally Christmas begins!
10) And on that note, the Millers are not at all late in wishing you a very merry Christmas!
|Why yes, it does look like the baby is giving a Papal blessing! Future Pontiff, perhaps?|