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Happy Saint Patrick's Day/Anniversary

"The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and and my soul was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain." - Saint Patrick








Happy Saint Patrick's day everyone. Coincidentally, this is the 1 week anniversary of this blog. Thus far, I've gotten over 250 views and a few followers...WAY MORE than I could have every imagined considering my lack of experience in the Catholic Media scene and lack of experience publicly blogging.

So why did I start now? Well, I had given up social media (Facebook, Twitter, Livejournal) and online games for Lent. I have done this for the past few years because I feel that these tools are something that I tend to take advantage of...and use far too often. Though Facebook and Twitter enabled me to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world, keeping in touch quickly turned into 1 or two sentences of needless status updates or however many characters on Twitter. Though I am pretty strong in my faith (could be stronger and am actively working on it), I wasn't necessarily doing anything about it besides partake in the occasional theological discussion with my sister...who happens to study theology.

As any other Catholic, I have had my struggles with different aspects of my own religious life throughout the years. However, instead of simply giving up on religion whenever I came across a problem of some sort (as many do, unfortunately)....I did what comes naturally to me, I sought answers. Yet, the more I came to know,  the more I realized that I know so little. There is so much to God, Catholicism, etc. than one person can ever understand on their own. Fortunately, there's help....a map of sorts.....as C.S. Lewis put so eloquently:

"In the same way, if a man has once looked at the Atlantic from the beach, and then goes and looks at a map of the Atlantic, he also will be turn­ing from some­thing real to some­thing less real: turn­ing from real waves to a bit of coloured paper. But here comes the point. The map is admit­tedly only coloured paper, but there are two things you have to remem­ber about it. In the first place, it is based on what hun­dreds and thou­sands of peo­ple have found out by sail­ing the real Atlantic. In that way it has behind it masses of expe­ri­ence just as real as the one you could have from the beach; only, while yours would be a sin­gle glimpse, the map fits all those dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ences together. In the sec­ond place, if you want to go any­where, the map is absolutely nec­es­sary. As long as you are con­tent with walks on the beach, your own glimpses are far more fun than look­ing at a map. But the map is going to be more use than walks on the beach if you want to get to America.
Now, The­ol­ogy is like the map. Merely learn­ing and think­ing about the Chris­t­ian doc­trines, if you stop there, is less real and less excit­ing than the sort of thing my friend got in the desert. Doc­trines are not God: they are only a kind of map. But that map is based on the expe­ri­ence of hun­dreds of peo­ple who really were in touch with God-experiences com­pared with which any thrills or pious feel­ings you and I are likely to get on our own are very ele­men­tary and very con­fused. And sec­ondly, if you want to get any fur­ther, you must use the map. You see, what hap­pened to that man in the desert may have been real, and was cer­tainly excit­ing, but noth­ing comes of it. It leads nowhere. There is noth­ing to do about it. In fact, that is just why a vague religion–all about feel­ing God in nature, and so on-is so attrac­tive. It is all thrills and no work; like watch­ing the waves from the beach. But you will not get to New­found­land by study­ing the Atlantic that way, and you will not get eter­nal life by sim­ply feel­ing the pres­ence of God in flow­ers or music. Nei­ther will you get any­where by look­ing at maps with­out going to sea. Nor will you be very safe if you go to sea with­out a map."
"Merely thinking" was my problem. Where was my contribution to this map? I had thought up a bunch of maps....but none of them were on paper. None of them were accessible by those who needed them most! I was merely thinking about God and not sharing anything. As far as Facebook and Twitter go, I was sharing very little about the things that truly drive me. Everything had turned into some form of attention-getting activity. Twitter became the microphone I used to tell people "Hey, I'm alive! I've made a funny/ironic observation!" Facebook had become the mirror I used to flatter myself with statuses or pictures that I felt flattered me in some way or showed me in a positive light. These sites had turned into the "Barbara Parade...." places where I could dress up like a Mummer and show the world just how highly I thought about myself. Whoah...talk about a waste of time, especially when I am trying to be more humble in my day-to-day life.
This blog, however, isn't flattering or perfect...but it's as true as I can make it. What you get here is a flawed individual sharing some of the things that make her the most vulnerable....personal experiences, unflattering reflections of who I can be, and the strengths/weaknesses in my faith. In a sense, you get the whole package here as I attempt to share just how God has touched my life and what it's like to be a Catholic Christian when you're a science geek who is doing what she can to survive her first year as a PhD student and become a better person. In this blog you see some of my prayers here. You see some of my reflections. You see some of my thoughts. In short, you see everything I don't show on Facebook or Twitter.

Pax Vobiscum

2 comments:

  1. You're right on the money about Facebook statuses. I've heard that observation from other people, but I don't take it to heart like I should. I hardly think I'm the only one, either.

    Thanks for following my blog! Yours looks cool thus far. Blogging is a rewarding thing for me, and I hope it is for you as well.

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  2. Thanks for stopping by! You're right, blogging has certainly been a great experience thus far and I've gotten more out of the internet in the past week than I have in years.

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