(Sooo... I started writing these quick takes last Friday, after three weeks away. But then I got busy, and I thought, I'll just write them on Saturday morning, taking advantage of the fact that it would still be Friday in the Texas, where Jennifer hosts Seven Quick Takes. And then... The. Internet. Died. For a week. Some kind of Internet service provider turf wars, according to my dad. It only came back last night. (Cue shocked, but happy tears) So anyway... it's been more than a month since my poor blog got any attention. Anyway, to jump back on the blogging bandwagon, pumparumparum- seven quick takes!)
Wow, three weeks without blogging is too long. I found myself writing blog posts in my head at random moments... like when I was about to fall asleep after a looong tiring day, or at Adoration, or during my personal prayer time. I guess it has become my way of processing my thoughts. But when blogging replaces prayer, we know we have a problem. Like when instead of going "Lord, here's what happened... what are You saying?", I'm sitting apparently deep in prayer, going 'Blog post title... Why Adoration is Awesome...'
I promise, I'm working on it. Anyway, my life had gotten so busy that I'm not going to have the time to blog as much as I used to, so problem solved. Kind of.
So last night I dreamed I was at WYD, hanging out in an apartment with Pope Benedict (Pope Francis hadn't happened in my dream) with a bunch of specially chosen youth. I gave him some Indian food to try, and we chatted a good bit. He was very casual and happy to hang out with us. Just at the end of our day with him, I was all like "We need a picture or no one will believe it happened!" but by then he had to be escorted out by his security people, and the moment had passed. Sigh.
In the absence of a photo of me hanging out with Papa Beni, I guess you'll have to make do with this:
Yup, me hanging out with Mother Teresa (well, at her tomb, anyway).
Speaking of Popes, someone mailed me this awesome quote that Pope Francis said at WYD:
"We need saints without cassocks, without veils.
We need saints with jeans and tennis shoes.
We need saints that go to the movies, that listen to music, that hang out with friends.
We need saints who put God in first place, ahead of succeeding in any career.
We need saints who look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity, and all good things.
We need saints, Saints of the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time.
We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change.
We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it.
We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods.
We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends.
We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theater.
We need saints that are open, sociable, normal, happy companions.
We need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane.
We need saints."
–Pope Francis, World Youth Day 2013, Rio
I was so excited to read this very easily relatable and yet ringing with truth quote, that I immediately emailed it to a bunch of friends. I then liked a friend's status that had the same quote, and hit 'Share'... when suddenly I heard the voice of reason shout in my ear: "ALWAYS CHECK YOUR SOURCES!"
So I did. And found this- Did the Pope Really Say That?
In short, Pope Francis didn't say it. He may have quoted it, but it was a poem either attributed to or inspired by Pope John Paul II. I was disappointed. Not because it wasn't an awesome quote. It was a great quote. It made sense, and brought out an important truth- that lay people are called to be saints, that it is possible to be a saint wherever you are, whatever your state of life, and that being a saint can look pretty different from the way most people expect it to look.
But here’s the thing, because it was misattributed to Pope Francis, as soon as you find out that it was not in fact said by him, you start questioning the whole thing. ‘Maybe that’s not how the Church feels. Maybe everything about Pope Francis is a great publicity stunt.’ A little lie can poison the whole truth. Okay, I know I’m making a big deal out of nothing.
Bottom line: As the great Padre Pio said “Check your sources, or risk causing greater harm than good by the quotes you post on the Internet.”
Okay, that was far from a quick take. Whatever, I've got a month’s worth of blog material bubbling inside me. And not enough time to write a blog a day. Did you hear about Jen's 7 for 7 challenge? I was soo sad that she did it during one of my busiest ever weeks. That sounds exactly like something I would want to be a part of, because a) I love writing, and an excuse to write every day and b) I’m competitive, and only get things done if there’s a little competition or rivalry involved. Someday, though, I will do it.
Funny Indian news article: The local government’s method of getting tax defaulters to pay their dues? They send a brass band to play outside their home. I’m not even kidding. Apparently either the shame or the noise works.
I was sosososoexcited to read ‘Style, Sex and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter’. All my favourite bloggers wrote different chapters for this book, and it was on my wishlist for a while. Then a dear friend from the US sent it to me a few weeks ago! I read it on the long train journey going to Kolkata, and I loved it! (I did get a few strange glances from fellow-passengers who saw the word ‘Sex’ in the title.) As soon as I finished reading it, my sister, J and my friend, R read it too. Yes, it was a long train journey. I really want to write a review/all my thoughts about it, but I may have to wait for a lull in my life to re-read it, underline things, and write the blog post. Let it suffice to say that I have been making a long list of lucky women who I’m planning to lend it to. And they don’t even know it yet.
And what do you know? The Internet died again. Well, obviously by the time you read this, it will have returned. But as I write this, I have no idea when that will be. I’m done.
How was the last month, regular readers?