Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tugging on the Reins on Facebook

It isn't because of this article on Facebook Fatigue that I've decided to pull back the reins again on my Facebook use, although I find the graphics of the article fun.

I'm pulling back on my Facebook use because I woke up from a dream seeing the little red Facebook notifications number (and if I'm gonna' dream numbers, I feel better about dreaming the algebraic equations I'm studying in college).

I'm pulling back on my Facebook use because I often get on Facebook when I'm tired, but I don't get more energy from it and then get off. For whatever reason, I often just get more tired. Perhaps I could better use that time to take a nap, and then maybe get some of my much-needed exercise.

I'm pulling back on my Facebook use because - although I don't neglect my immediate family for it - I need to pay more attention to other people I'm not connected to on my dad more often, visit my elderly neighbor, and send some thank you notes...that kind of thing, you know.

I love being connected, through Facebook, to so many of my family and friends, and I am not "leaving" Facebook, just limiting it more. I don't stop eating because I eat more than I should, and I'm not leaving social media because I spend more time on it than I should. But sometimes I have to stop and think, and get myself on a more balanced nutritional plan. And sometimes I have to stop and think, and get myself on a more balanced social plan.

How about you? How does social media fit into your life? 

Saturday, February 09, 2013

To My Friends and Family who are not Catholics

To those of my many friends and family who are not Catholics, but who “look on” (through me, through other friends, through the media’s accounts) and perhaps try to understand the Catholic Church or to understand why I am - or someone else you know is – a Catholic, I have a little something I would like to say. 

The Catholic Church has both a religious element and a human element…as do all truly religious organizations on this earth. 

To explain what I mean by saying a "religious element", we who are Catholics believe that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church (even if it didn’t initially have the name “Catholic”) and we believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church throughout the centuries in its doctrinal religious teachings. Don’t worry. I’m not asking you to agree with me on either of these two premises. I’m just letting you know that this is what we believe and this is what I’m referring to as the religious element. 

The human element consists of her members (and leadership), who are essentially subject to both sin and error. This element has been with us in this world from the beginning of time. It has been with Christianity from the time Jesus Christ walked this earth.  Judas betrayed Christ and Peter denied Him. Paul and Peter argued about how new members should be accepted into the Church. 

The Catholic Church has some authority over its members and its observances, but the Church can change, over time, in its matters of discipline (for example, how we practice penance or what languages to use in our religious services). 

The Church can change - and also lets different members have different ideas - regarding many aspects of how we live in this world. Certain principles remain, but how we deal with some of them, or apply them, might change over time or might differ among people. 

So, when you hear that a particular bishop said something that you don’t understand, or some priests did something terrible, or if you feel that this Facebook friend is always angry about something, try not to make assumptions about your Catholic neighbor based on someone else. We who are Catholic all believe - hopefully- in the same basic religious doctrines; but we are not responsible for what someone else thinks about politics. We are not responsible for how someone else applies our religious principles to the real world or how someone chooses to live.  Nor do we always agree on some of those matters. 

I, for one, did not decide I wanted to become a Catholic for any political or social reasons. I wanted to become a Catholic for what I came to believe were religious truths, and also for the beauty, for the grace, and for the peace and presence of God that I felt in Catholic churches.  And those are all still reasons why I am Catholic today. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Perfectly Pink Corvette Cake (A Tribute)

I would like to share with you this "recipe" that my son Paul sent to me some years ago. It was a tribute to me one Mother's Day, but I am sharing it as a tribute in his memory:

A special heartwarming treat, now only available in exotic locations.


1 Cup all purpose laughter

2/3 Cup finely ground wisdom

1 Cup liquid courage and willingness to give of yourself

A few capfuls of the hard work of dark molasses to relieve the boredom

1 Stick nighttime rituals of singing, praying, and "don't drink that or you'll wet the bed" (cut in thick slices)

1 fresh clove Nutmeg (imported from San Francisco)

6 ripe California Strawberries from different years (blended)

 Grease and flour five bedroom pans, until livable.  Preheat oven for 360 degrees of madness.  Stir in a husband, a daughter, and five rowdy boys.  Try not to beat too vigorously. 

Let simmer for 25 to 30 years.  Keep an eye on it as it cools.  Watch it rise until you have to insist that you are still the mother despite your lack of stature.  Sprinkle on a generous portion of unappreciated education, frazzled activities, and projects to do in your "spare time". 

Serving Suggestion: Serve constantly, trying to keep fresh throughout the day.  Serve with various other baked goods.  Teach others how to make pie crust and separate eggs so that you don't have to yourself.  Don't let the little men in the computer perform an illegal operation or they might eat all the cookies. 

If guests are under the weather, serve with a side of Jello, Seven Up, and Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup.  If all goes well, someday they will want the recipe.