Monday, May 23, 2011

My 100th blogiversary!!!

What day is today?
It's my blog's birthday!
What a day for a birthday!
Let's all have some cake.
And you smell like one, too! Hah!

No, I'm not talking about the date. I mean this is my 100th blog post! Bizarre... I sure was angsty back then.
And now, in the interest of getting back to my blog roots, let's have some emotional self-reflection!!!

An odd thing has occurred over the weekend, but in order to explain it, I have to make an admission to the lot of you: My prayer life hasn't exactly been stellar lately. Ok, calm down, it's not like I'm losing my faith, or don't believe in the power of prayer(if anything, my lack of praying has made me MORE aware of just how powerful it is). It's just that I, quite suddenly, have a wife and a full-time job, two things that I've never had before. I know, two things in one year isn't that big a deal, but it's weird suddenly having responsibility, commitment, and a self-inflicted bedtime. Not things I've exactly ever associated myself with before. Anyway, as a result, I've been more forgetful and/or lazy about my daily prayers, because I'm trying to remember all the things I need for the day. I'm not giving excuses, BTW - just reasons.
Anyway, on Friday, Leah and I were emailing back and forth, and she said something that struck me. She said, if Saturday really HAD been the end of the world, "I don’t feel like I’d be worthy of heaven. I don’t like that feeling. I really need to start living my life as if each day were the end."
It occurred to me that I felt the same way. I fell into the dreaded comfort zone of thinking "Eh, this is enough Catholicism". I know we've all felt that from time to time. So, Leah and I resolved to improve out prayer life together.

Great! But not the end of the story.

Friday rolls around, and we're on the plane. We're about an hour into our flight, Leah's fast asleep, and I'm trying to decide what to do: listen to music, play Nintendo DS, read a book, or say the Rosary. I'll be honest - I was leaning away from Rosary. Why? Not really sure. I think I was trying to convince myself I would fall asleep if I tried(weak, Joe. Really weak). Anyway, while pondering my options, I happened to glance over at the guy across the isle. He was dressed in a button-up shirt, slacks, brown leather shoes, and had his face buried in his hands. He seemed to be acting oddly - it was almost like he was trying to sleep without trying to get comfortable. Then I started to recognize the signs - the subtly counting on his fingers, the clasped hands, the covered eyes... This man was saying a Rosary. I actually reached into the bag for my Rosary to give to him, so he didn't have to count on his fingers, when it occured to me that I needed to be holding the Rosary more than he did. After all - he was doing quite well, and I was the one avoided praying. Not a nice realization. So, I took the hint, and said a Rosary of my own - for him.
Incidentally, I'd like to thank you, Flight 1330, seat 18F. Public prayer is a powerful thing - don't try to hide it so much. You never know who's watching, and who needs to see. I'll continue to try to pray for you half as hard as you were praying for whatever your intentions were. And next time, I'll have a spare Rosary for you.

Now, a neat story, but not really in spooky territory. Fast forward to our return flight - we got to the airport, and I realized that I no longer had my phone on me. Turns out, I left it on the rental car, which was quickly rented out to a foreign man with no contact number and the car until June 16th.


So, we're sitting in our gate, and I'm searching through my duffel bag yet again for my precious instrument of distraction. I looked in a hidden side pocket that I had forgotten about and found, not my phone, but my Grandmother's Rosary, blessed by two Popes, then I had lost several months prior, and had all but given up on finding.

I literally just stared at it for a moment. I continued looking in another pocket, and found a single-decade set of Rosary beads. At that point, I came to realize two things:

One: God is pounding on my head, shouting: "SAY. THE. ROSARY. MORE!!!"

Two: I need to be much, MUCH better about unpacking.

Two things that I absolutely WILL from now on.

I have to leave it at that... My *cough* work day is up. Keep it real.



Anonymous Bebop said...

So cool! I remember being on a train in Germany with Sarah Berger sometime in that awesome spring of '07. We decided to break out the rosary beads. Some cute old couple that were sitting across from us joined in, even though they didn't speak English. The woman was noticeably touched, in tears in fact. Public prayer is indeed a powerful thing.

6:50 PM  
Blogger AJay said...

As per our conversation, I just wanted to remind you of the books I told you about.

The Faith Explained by Leo Trese
There is a Kindle version, as I had thought.

An Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Frances de Sales.

I didn't read the Faith Explained in order. I just went to whichever topic interested me (and ended up going through the whole book), and reread certain sections over and over again. I hope you like it.

I started off reading An Introduction... in order, but then I started skipping around and found different parts inspirational at different parts of my life. St. Frances is AMAZING!

Enjoy. Hope you find them helpful.

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