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Weekend Reading: People I Know

February 24, 2012

Here are some posts about real life from people I know in real life. Give them some love in their comments. 🙂

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ReFOCUS by Katie at The Mighty Paxsons: My sister-in-law made a big change to her life this week, and I love that she did what she knew she needed to do for herself and her family.

Do we remember the days where we didn’t have Internet?! Everything is done online now…people have conversations, arguments, debates,etc via Facebook or email. What happened to the phone? or seeing someone face to face? I miss those days. 

The same day Katie wrote this post, I read this quote during liturgy:

“The hunger for God can only be satisfied by a love that is face to face, person to person. It is only in the eyes of another that we can find the Icon of Christ. We must make the other person aware we love him. If we do, he will know that God loves him. He will never hunger again.” – Catherine de Hueck Doherty, founder of the Madonna House community

I had to read the quote a few times and and then re-read Katie’s post. I love that they are the same message through two voices, two sisters — a sister-in-law and a heavenly sister. It is a message God clearly wanted me to hear.

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unsolvable problems by Becky at beckam: College roommate, fellow-writing-grad, friend, and current housemate, Becky is as true as they come. This week, she gave 120 words to the awfulness of cancer.

And so I can’t as easily shake off my bafflement that cancer is the seemingly arbitrary, but terrible, demon it is. 

Almost one year after my Gramma Sharon’s diagnosis of and death from cancer, I am repeating that phrase we’ve all said over and over, “Cancer sucks.”

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It’s Not Religion; It’s Relationship by Addie at How to Talk Evangelical: Addie and I were both writing majors, products of the varied influences of Black, Sommers, Hougen. I stumbled into her blog this week via someone else’s blog and have really enjoyed the familiarity of her writing.

At our church we said things like, “It’s not about religion, it’s about relationship,” and Catholicism was quintessentially religious with its liturgies and sacraments and saints. […] 

But how was I to know? This Jesus thing is all bliss and journaling and worship ballads until you put a little Depression on it. And then, it’s like a wall and an ending, and you who used to raise your arms high above your head in worship can barely lift them from your sides.

It used to feel like chains, keeping me from touching God. But now I realize it’s about anchors and beacons and something to hold onto in the waves. As Lent begins, I am opening my hands to release guilt, unrealistic expectations, and self-serving sacrifices, all while  clasping my hands in liturgical prayer and holding onto the tradition of Lenten sacrifice to keep me from floating away.

“The noonday devil of the Christian life is the temptation to lose the inner self while preserving the shell of edifying behavior. Suddenly I discover that I am ministering to AIDS victims to enhance my resume. I find I renounced ice cream for Lent to lose five excess pounds… I have fallen victim to what T.S. Eliot calls the greatest sin: to do the right thing for the wrong reason.” -Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

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