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7 Quick Takes About Catholic Books, Reading the Gospel in a Year and Veiling

— 1 —

I’m discerning whether or not to wear a veil to mass. While my initial reaction was negative after reading a blog post about a project to wear veils throughout Advent, my heart truly wants to. My main drawback is that I may be drawing attention to myself by doing so, which is the opposite of what I’m trying to accomplish. But I LOVE the idea of a veil as a form of humility, adoration and submission to our Lord. Would you wear a veil to mass?

— 2 —

The winter season is here! It’s snowing  here in Indianapolis and it’s starting to feel like Christmas! The kids actually had a 2-hour delay today and got to play in the yard with their snow gear and sleds. I always love the first couple snows, then get tired of the mess. 🙂

— 3 —

I want to go to the Holy Land! I’d never had the inclination until I began reading Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J.’s “The Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage.” This book literally walks you geographically step by step, just like you were there, to all the key sites and gives wonderful insight, readings and prayers for each location. It made me realize the importance of understanding the setting where Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the apostles lived to get a more full understanding of the Gospels.

Holy Land by Father Mitch Pacwa

— 4 —

I recently finished reading “God’s Bucket List” by Teresa Tomeo, who is my favorite person to listen to on the radio in the morning and I also do some freelance PR work for her. Everyone should read it! She is so funny and in a great way gets across the point that everything we do in life should be at God’s prodding and not because of our own selfish, earthly desires. The book is really about discerning your vocation in life and putting God’s to-do list at the top of your own to-do list. 🙂 Highly recommend it.

Catholic Book by Teresa Tomeo

— 5 —

Advent… I love this season, but I have not done a very good job with doing any traditional activities aside from the Christmas tree and decorations. Last year, we did a family prayer each Sunday as we lit the Advent candles. It has been so busy around here workwise I feel like I can barely come up for air! What are your special Advent traditions?

— 6 —

Has everyone entered the Catholic Book Bonanza I’m hosting with Teresa Tomeo and Patti Armstrong? Teresa is giving away 15 different Catholic books from authors like Randy Hain, Matthew Kelley, Dan Burke, herself, Johnnette Benkovic and lots of others. Contest closes on Monday, Dec. 9.

Catholic Book Giveaway

— 7 —

Excited to begin reading the Gospels in a Year with the team over at Flocknote! Last year I got their free daily email to read the Catechism in a Year. I switched to the Gospels this year, which starts Monday. I love this service because it sits in my inbox as an email every day and I can read while waiting in line or during other down time on my phone. I think it’s a great goal for 2014 to read the entire Gospel.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

God’s Bucket List Item No. 1: Live with Stillness

In Teresa Tomeo’s new book, “God’s Bucket List,” she challenges us to forget our own to-do lists and consider what God would put on our bucket list. Essentially, she’s invoking the age-old idea of getting out of your own way and turning your life over to God. In a recent interview, she put it this way: “If God’s your co-pilot, you’d better changes seats! He should be the pilot!”

That’s certainly a path I’ve been on over the last year or two. So I wanted to stop and ponder each of the items that Teresa considers are likely on God’s Bucket List for most and see how I’m doing. No. 1 on the list? Live with stillness. She quotes from scripture, “Be still and know that I am God.” — Psalm 46:10.

I have always sought stillness and solitude in my life. I’ve never been much for noise and loudness. Since childhood, I was the quiet person — the one you could find curled up in a chair with a good book rather than out at the neighborhood party.

Growing up and into my 20’s I could find that quiet and silence when I needed it without any demands on my time except my early jobs and my boyfriend, now husband. I explored yoga and meditation and ventured down the new age path of philosophies and communion with God.

When I had my kids, my silence pretty much got flushed down the toilet! And that was a huge challenge for me — and still is. My kiddos, both boys, pretty much make noise constantly whether actual words or just “noise” and silliness. My youngest is quite the talker and since he was a baby was literally always “saying” something.

So stillness is how God “hooked” me into the Catholic church. He called me there and I went, and after I experienced the peace and solitude, I kept coming back for more and more.

I was truly surprised at how much emphasis the Catholic church puts on meditation, reflection and silence in the presence of God. It reminded me a lot of my new age experiences. I love meditation, which I had already honed in my yoga and other practices, but with the focus on Jesus and in the presence of the Eucharist, it reaches its true fulfillment. Once you truly learn how to let go of the world around you, the joy and peace that wells up inside during meditation is unmatchable.

So now I try to attend daily mass whenever I can, spend time in the Blessed Sacrament as often as possible, pray multiple times daily and do spiritual reading at home. When my body is screaming for quiet, these activities refill my tank, so I can be  noisy with my family without pulling my hair out. 🙂

“He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” — Psalm 23:2, one of my favorite verses.

If you can be still, this is where you will “hear” God. I have been called to do many things during the still times of my life that I would have missed had I not taken the time to slow down and listen.

How are you doing with bucket list item No. 1? Please share!

No 2 on Teresa’s bucket list: Live your passion. Stay tuned…

 

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