Friday, 24 October 2014

7QT: Links and Funny Stories

---1---

A few days ago I had the fun opportunity of talking to 14 year olds about sexual morality. I LOVE doing talks like that, because I know how unusual it is for kids to hear about sex in such a frank and unembarrassed way. Plus there are always unexpected moments of hilarity.

Me: Today we're going to talk about sex! Do you know what that is?
One kid's hand shoots up: Yes! 
Me (really surprised)
Kid: It's whether you're a boy or or a girl!
Me: Yeah, but you know the other meaning too? That's the other one we're talking about.

Me: Is sex good or bad?
Kids: Umm...
Me: Who created our sexual desires? Where did they come from? God or the devil?
Kids: The devil!
Me: Really?????

In the small group QnA with just the girls, we asked them to write questions on slips of paper. After one very specific question, 
Me: You all DO know what sex is, right?
Some girls look unsure, half nod, half shake their heads.
Me: Wait, y'all are 14! Y'all must have done this in school, right? Right?
Girls: Um, maybe we'll do it in the 10th standard?
Me: So you really don't know what sex is?
Girl: We think we know, but we're not sure if it is what we think it is.
Me: So you want me to explain?
Girls: Yes.
Me: Oh my goodness.
Girls who DO know what sex is buried their faces in their hands. Lol.
I thought I was past getting embarrassed, but apparently not. Biological explanation of sex followed.

---2---

Okay, on to links.


Apart from the phrase 'Your Man' I liked this article. Living with two other girls means that PMS is a real and relevant aspect of our lives, and hey, it's good to think and talk about what that means.

---3---


I though it would be a stupid list like 'get a career' and 'stop drinking so much', but it was surprisingly though-provoking (maybe slightly guilt-producing?)

P.S. Less than a year a half to 30 for me!

---4---



I love the Myers Briggs personality types! And then there was this:


Perfect! I loled!

---5---

Are you struggling with making a decision for your life? Do you desire to do God's will, but are not sure what that is? This is one of my favourite articles on discernment:


Something useful I've been reflecting on is that the most important things is 'goodwill' or the will or desire to do God's will, and if you have that, abandonment and trust are all God calls you to. Something hard for this INTJ who likes to predict and control all possible outcomes.

---6---

I'm not a mom, or a 13 year old who spends hours doing hairstyles with her friends, but I thought his was fun:


In both the Philippines and the US I was struck by simple ways that girls and women prettied themselves, something that many Indian women either don't think about much or know much about. A pretty hairstyle takes a few minutes, and can be so pleasant on the eyes. Nowadays I've seen a lot more teenagers try stuff like this out though.


This was my favourite hairstyle for the past six months, especially in the summer

---7---

I'm out of links and funny stories, so here are some pictures of unusual cakes. I made the first one, my mum made the second. Yes, she IS very talented.



More QT at Jen's. #6 cracked me up.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Flash Mobs

You all know how I feel about flash mobs, right? Or do you?

Here you go... I love 'em! I could waste hours on Youtube watching them. (But don't, I promise.) When I first heard of them back.in.the.day, my friends and I organized Pune's first ever flash mob in our junior college (well, that's what we like to believe anyway). Okay, it was not the most impressive thing ever, but we had so much fun! A bunch of us 17 year olds gathered in the main hanging out area of the college, silently set our bags down, pulled a handful of small change from our pockets, and silently and solemnly started counting money, while bemused college students looked on. 2 minutes later, we all walked away. Yeah, there was no real point.


One of my favourites.

Anyway, moving on.

A couple days ago, some of my friends organized a flash mob in a mall in my city. The cool thing about it (apart from the fact that it was a FLASH MOB!!) was that they did it along with a bunch of trash pickers, and social workers, and just friends, and were promoting a 'Clean India' message, which is our new prime minister's movement. They used buckets, djembes, lejhims, and basically seemed to have a great time creating some music (do you still call it music if it's just percussion?)


I've always been outraged by how mindlessly educated people in my city throw trash EVERYWHERE. How do they not get the connection between the fact that our streets are dirty, and the fact that they keep THROWING TRASH THERE? Stupidest response I've ever heard when I asked someone why they were throwing trash was "There are people who are supposed to clean it up. I'm just letting them do their job." Aaargghh. The trash pickers have the worst job, are looked down on, often considered 'dirty', and we only make it worse. For years I've been surprising people by saving trash in my bag when there's no dustbins around. Getting people conscious about their part keeping our city clean is something I'm kinda interested in. Hopefully this flash mob made them think for a moment about the people who clean up THEIR messes?

So yeah, here it is.



P.S. Although a percussion flash mob is a cool idea, I like singing better, and dance flash mobs are the best. Speaking of which, stay tuned for an exciting event in a few weeks ;-)

Sunday, 5 October 2014

You Thought 7QT Was Random?

Jennifer Fulwiler created Seven Quick Takes Friday for bloggers to pull together a blog post out of seven thoughts/ideas/stories which they didn't have the energy or desire to expand into full blown posts. A kinda cheat blog post. I regularly post those, mostly because it requires less effort than thinking through one idea and making it readable.

Today I feel the urge to blog, have the time, but NO attention span worth speaking of...


Of course, the smarter option would be to get off the Internet, take a nap, and wait to blog when I have something coherent to say... but then I'd never blog.

So here you go. 12 Random Not Even Authentically Bloggable Tidbits.

----1----

Who says only Humans of New York can capture candid meaningful moments and expressions?


"We all wear masks."

----2----

I love catching hidden (or not so hidden) meanings and analogies in the Lord of the Rings... every time I read it, I'm like "Ah ha! Another Catholic analogy!" So of course I was excited to read a blog post called 'Éowyn & St Thérèse: The Story of Two Flowers.'

---3---

This is cool: (via Unequally Yoked)


---4---

Something I've been thinking about: what's the happy medium between constant self-justification and constant self-accusation? Both are real temptations, when anything goes wrong. "Everybody else was wrong, but me." Or "In some way, it was really my fault." How to be free from false guilt, but honest about real weakness and shortcomings? How to be conciliating and seek peace when someone's mad at you, while accepting the truth of your own sin, but rejecting anything which is NOT true?

---5---

Kinda related to that is this snippet from Leticia at Ramblings of a Crazy Face:

The one thing that I am learning how to do is how to set boundaries. How to say no and how to not feel like what someone else thinks or feels is something that I can control. I can’t. I can only control myself and do what I have to do to take care of myself and how they feel or what they think is on them. That is so hard for me because I have always heard that thinking of yourself is selfish. I’m still not sure how it isn’t selfish, but I know that God wants us to take care of ourselves.

Yeah, so how does setting boundaries work alongside sacrificial love that gives all? So confusing.

---6---

Also, here's another balance question:

What's the balance between 'keeping it real' and complaining all the time?

Person A: How are you doing?
Average person: Fine, how about you?
Me: Horrible! I couldn't sleep last night because it felt like I was coughing for hours, and every time I swallowed my throat HURT...

Yeah, TMI is the name of MY game.

---7---

On a completely unrelated note, (I did say random, so why do I need to explain?) riding in my city has gotten scarier in recent months due to an outbreak of crazy suicidal dogs over running the streets. I used to think city stray dogs must be street smart. No more do I think it. They stumble around in the middle of crazy traffic, shoot out into the street at unexpected moments, draw out all the bad language my mind is trying to forget, and keeps my guardian angel on his toes. My brother had a road accident a few days ago with a dog shooting out in front of him.

Although I am neither a dog-lover nor a dog-hater, I have seen too many limping or mangled dog bodies for my peace of mind.

Only in my city: First horror and then relief when you realize the mangled corpse on the road is just a piece of brown sacking.

---8---

Funny conversations while hanging out with our parish RCIA team at a wedding reception.
Me: Hey C, what about YOUR wedding?
C: Me? Why me?
Me: You're 25, you must be thinking of it! Does your family do arranged marriages?
C: No...
Me: Ooh, then can WE arrange something?
C: (Embarrassed!)
Aunty* 1: Yes! You're looking? I know someone!
Aunty 2: I also know someone! (Pulling at her purse) I have a photo!

I love our Indian culture where everyone takes a strong and active interest in everyone else's future marriages. Well, I only love it when I'm not at the receiving end.

Aunty 1: What about you, Sue? Can we look for someone for you?
Me: (piously) Only God is my matchmaker.
Aunty 1 (very seriously): We are all God's instruments.

---9---

I heard the cutest love story the other day. Paraphrased: They were for different states and communities, which in India is a no-no for marriages. They were working in the same area and saw each other, and started talking. They fell in love, but her family forbade her from marrying him. they even beat her, to try to change her mind, but she told them, "I will marry only him." Finally she ran away with him, with only the clothes she was wearing.

She said for the first year of her marriage she only had one pot to cook with. So she would cook the rice, serve it, clean the pot and then reuse it to make the dal. It was only after the first child was born that their families began to speak to them again, and all was forgiven. She told me, "He is such a good husband, he doesn't tell me that I'm not allowed to go anywhere, he likes me to wear jeans, he doesn't mind if I leave my hair loose." It said so much to me about most Indian marriages, that her husband is an exception.

---10---

I discovered yet another Time-Sucker. Facebook was bad enough. But have you played 2048? I looked it up out of curiosity when my sister posted her high score on FB and everyone seemed to know what she was talking about. I looked it up... and came back to real life four days later. Okay, not four days, but there have definitely been some hours sucked away through this game.

Here's the reason (I think): It gives me space to think. I love mindless repetitive tasks for exactly that reason.  There's always so much going on in my brain and in my life that there doesn't seem to be space to process it all. That also may be why I have such an active dream life. My brain is frantically trying to figure it all out, fit it into patterns, draw conclusions, put pieces together. When I play games like 2048, my brain feels free to do so peacefully.

---11---

Here's one of the reasons my brain gets tired easily. Whenever I'm giving a talk, or listening to a talk or a homily, I'm not just listening to it. I am switching between different perspectives as I listen. First, there's me... what am I personally getting from this? Then there's Truth-Scanner, where my brain is constantly comparing what I hear with authentic Catholic teaching that I'v read or heard. There's so often heresy taught so naturally that my brain is always on alert. Syncretism alert! Prosperity gospel alert! Etc.

Then my brain keeps switching to different people in the audience. What is THAT person hearing? Are they getting what they need to hear? This is too simple for that cynical person. This is too high-falutin' for that simple person. This is too Catholic-sounding. This is not Catholic-sounding enough.

Phew. No wonder my brain hurts.

---12---

Something I was going to write about at some point... I've had some anxiety struggles in the past year. I've tried a lot of different ways of dealing with it, but the most successful one was this book:



And then a good friend dropped by a few days ago with an 'anti-anxiety package', with solutions that she looked up online. It included chamomile tea, a scented candle, lavender soap, probiotic yogurt and hot chocolate because tea and coffee make my anxiety worse. It was so special. I can only wish I was so thoughtful.



Okay, goodbye.

*Aunty doesn't mean blood relation, it's just a generic term for any woman in India over the age of... 40?

Friday, 3 October 2014

7QT: 7 Lessons Learned from Taking 55 Slum Kids for a Picnic



So my team and our Christian professionals group got together on Saturday to accomplish the exciting but somewhat scary mission of taking 55 kids from the slum for a picnic to a nearby garden. Most of the kids were from the tuition class I teach at, but some were just kids who live on the street where we teach who hang out with on Saturdays. (Funny aside, kids in India DRESS UP for picnics- they all came in their best clothes with heels and earrings and even lipstick! I guess it's quite the event for them.) This is what I learned:

---1---

Having a child to volunteer ratio of 4:1 is a very good idea. About 20 adults turned up to help. Dividing them up, about 4 kids to a volunteer an even better idea. Instead of 20 people herding a wild mob of 55 kids, each of the didis (big sisters) and bhaiyas (brothers) were holding the hands of their little mischief makers, which probably reduced the chaos a zillion fold. Plus we had enough extra adults for food distributors, emergency bathroom break guides, and law enforcement officers.




---2---

Forbidding 55 kids from dipping their feet in the VERY tempting stream was a BAD idea. It's like dangling candy in front of them and then repeating "No candy! No candy for you!" But, once the rule was made... consistency and discipline demanded that it be followed.

---3---

Kids can think of very creative ways around rules they don't like. The footballs they were playing with very conveniently kept falling into the stream. "Oh no" they helplessly gestured to me, "I guess I'll make the supreme sacrifice of jumping in the water and getting it out." I didn't think so. I started confiscating the ball.


So innocent. Not.

Next I see kids with little plastic cups, practically inside the stream. "No, Miss, we're not playing in the water... We're just catching fish!" Later there was some 'miscommunication' and a couple of the more rowdy ones landed up in the stream (when I wasn't around of course)... with no clothes on except their underwear. Yeah.

---4---

A little Hindi goes a long way when it comes to controlling children. I had a few handy phrases which worked wonderfully. "What did I say?" was the top used line, "Don't fight", "If you don't listen, I'm taking you straight home." "Come here", "Do NOT throw trash on the ground!" Actually, hanging out with kids is a great way to learn the basics of a language... it's very simple sentence structures, and there's usually a sense of urgency. Sometimes you just NEED to know how to scream "DO NOT DO THAT!" in another language.

---5---

A mixture of not feeling well, kids not obeying rules, and the need to control the chaos turns me into Dragon Lady.
I played the Bad Cop and all the other volunteers played Good Cop. I sat by the stream and scared kids away, while the others volunteers laughed and played and ran around with the kids. Hmm, who sounds like they chose the better part?


When I say Dragon Lady, this is what I mean. Yikes.

----6----

Kids don't hold a grudge. Even though I played the role of Foiler of Fun Plans, they still seemed to be happy to be with me. I think in India, the 'Discipliner' is a recognized and not unduly resented role, as long as one is not unfair or mean.

---7---

Picnics are fun! Even though I think Don Bosco was probably a little disappointed in me (he believed in the preventive method of discipline, not the repressive system , by using 'reason, religion and loving kindness' with children), I think the picnic was a blessing for the kids, and for us. We got to hang out, outside of the little classroom in the dirty slum. We got to be surrounded by God's beautiful creation. And we got to hold hands, push swings, and listen to them chatter about everything.

Plus there's always next time.

More QT at Jen's.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

7QT: Horrifying Insects, Scrabble Tips and Links


---1---

So I had a creepy deja vu of the Spider incident a couple of days ago. I was in the living room on my laptop one night, when  my room mate BA was in the bedroom. "Hey guys, I think there's a praying mantis in here." "Mm hmm?" I responded. "Well, I think it's a praying mantis." "Maybe it's a grasshopper?" I lazily responded without moving. She didn't seem too freaked out by this potential praying mantis/ grasshopper in the bedroom, so there was no reason why I should be.

A little while later she called out, "Sue! There might be a bug on your bed." She sleeps on the upper half of our bunk bed, and I on the lower. "Okay, I'll be sure to check when I get in." Then a little later "Somebody put on the light! The insect's on my bed!"

I finally felt like I might need to be doing something more supportive than making non commital responses from the next room, so I got up and switched the light on. I peered on to her bed...

and saw THIS:


Okay, not this exact one, because I didn't take pictures, but proceeded to helpfully start freaking out. "Ohmygosh, it's huge!"

Then we both simultaneously started yelling, "EWWW, WHAT is it DOING?"

The Insect was moving in an odd manner and then started SPEWING SOME DARK LIQUID OUT OF ITS MOUTH AND ON TO HER BED RAILING!!! Okay, maybe not spewing, but dripping in a steady and disgusting manner. "Is that BLOOD??" "Sick!"

By this time, our third room mate decided it was time to join us, while I started running around our room looking for a weapon. There didn't seem to be anything big enough to kill it. Plus BA felt like there would be guts everywhere if we smashed it. "What do we do? What do we do?" "Watch out, it can fly!" "Come, Holy Spirit!"

"Get me a plastic dabba (tupperware)" BA finally decided. I did. That must have been the most helpful thing I did all evening. The Insect evaded her, and began to crawl down to my bed. She lunged at it and half missed, while all three of us proceeded to scream loudly (I might have started it.). Past 11 pm in a crowded apartment building. Whatever did our neighbours think we were upto?

Anyway. She caught it. And left it trapped under a plastic dabba on our kitchen floor for the next day, until our guy friends came and rescued either its dead body or its semi conscious body.

---2---

It turns out to be a 'katydid', or a bush cricket. It seems that I am not the only person in whom katydids inspire fear, as I found out as I typed in 'Can katydids...' in Google search, and found these options:


I was also fascinated to read that some species of katydids are 'exclusively predatory, feeding on other insects, snails or even small vertebrates such as snakes and lizards.'

YES KATYDIDS CAN HURT YOU.

Nightmares.

---3---

Moving on.

So two of my guy team mates took me out on brother sister date the other day. They showed me that they knew me well, by pulling out a Scrabble board at the restaurant (much to the bemusement of passersby who have never seen such a thing).


When I was a kid playing Scrabble with my parents used to be so frustrating because my dad always got the 7 letter words, and would be hundreds of points ahead of us every time. But then some years ago I started playing an online game that transformed my seven letter word making abilities and made me a Scrabble master (comparatively):

This game: Eight which just makes you start looking at letters differently as you search for the big word hidden in them.

You're welcome.

---4---

So you know who I'm always thinking of the mechanics and logistics of people finding the right person to marry... I just read this article where Leah Libresco talks about the same thing!

If Someone Put Me in Charge of Yenta-ing You All

Matchmaker, matchmaker...

The funny thing is, I already work in an organization which involves young people working together on service and evangelistic projects. Not surprisingly, there have been several matches that have come out of it.

On the other hand, doing a service project or joining a service-oriented organization that has a large number of young people of the same faith JUST to find someone seems like a bad idea... because then it seems purely self-serving. Or desperate. NOT an attractive quality in a potential life partner, OR a fulfilling way to live your life.

I guess a good balance is to be open to the possibilities without that being your focus.

---5---

Nothing more to say, and almost bed time, so here's a cute song (stolen from Conversion Diary a few weeks ago)



---6----

And here's a WONDERFUL post that made me laugh out loud several time:

The Arm in my Driveway

Heather is always so funny and real.


Plus, that is EXACTLY me every time something goes wrong "Why ME, Lord? Don't you love me? Why is this happening???? Please nooo!!!" Yeah, Super Mature Christian am I.

---7---

Um, I got nothing. Bedtime.

"Discipline is remembering what you want."

More Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Friday, 19 September 2014

7QT: Courtship, Wars and Links

I haven't written for my blog in too long.

It's a busy life.

Anyway, down to business.

---1---

New favourite website: What If?

You know how sometimes your mind just gets caught wondering about an impossible situations? Have no fear, your questions may be answered. No matter how ridiculous.

If you call a random phone number and say “God bless you”, what are the chances that the person who answers just sneezed?

(Don't click if you're supposed to be working, and not wasting time on the Internet.)

---2---

I have often been annoyed when people say 'God loves me' when things go their way. (Even though I do it sometimes too.) Or if they get a parking spot and they say "It was all the Lord." So if you HADN'T found a parking spot, it was the devil? Who controls these things?

Things sometimes work out the way you hope they will, and sometimes they don't, and that happens to those who know and love God, and those who profess no faith at all. And yet I DO believe that God answers prayers, God shows us His love in practical and tangible ways very often. I've experienced it myself, too often for it to be coincidence.

So when Simcha Fisher addressed this, I knew I wanted to share her article:

Why I Don't Say "I'm Blessed"

(Although I DO say I'm blessed... even when I don't like my 'blessings'. It's all out of love.)

---3---

I'm kind of freaking out that I knew almost nothing about the Indo-Pakistan war of 1972 until last night. Well, I knew vaguely that India and Pakistan had fought, but had never thought of when and why. Then a few months ago I read Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, which is about the period after India's Independence... and whoah! I read about Pakistan (then West Pakistan) invading (now) Bangladesh, about the rape and murder, the genocide, and I thought 'Could this be fiction?'



Then last night I looked it up: Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. And it's all true! It all happened! Pakistan tore apart Bangladesh, and India stepped in to help. The international community turned a blind eye.

General Tikka Khan earned the nickname 'Butcher of Bengal' due to the widespread atrocities he committed. General Niazi commenting on his actions noted 'On the night between 25/26 March 1971 General Tikka struck. Peaceful night was turned into a time of wailing, crying and burning. General Tikka let loose everything at his disposal as if raiding an enemy, not dealing with his own misguided and misled people. The military action was a display of stark cruelty more merciless than the massacres at Bukhara and Baghdad by Chengiz Khan and Halaku Khan... General Tikka... resorted to the killing of civilians and a scorched earth policy. His orders to his troops were: 'I want the land not the people...' Major General Farman had written in his table diary, "Green land of East Pakistan will be painted red". It was painted red by Bengali blood.'

Millions of refugees poured into India. When I visited Kolkata, I saw how poor and underdeveloped the city was. Part of the reason was the thousands of penniless refugees who flooded the country at that time. My great uncle who was a priest then and Mother Teresa worked with the refugees.

Did I not learn this in school? Was it not said in a way that I understood? This is a part of India's recent history! I should have known!

---4---

Someone recently emailed me this article:

Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed

She sent it to me because I am pro-courtship, and she wanted my opinion. I started reading it somewhat defensively, like anyone would while preparing for a pet idea to be attacked. But by the time I reached the end, I realized we were on the same side, we just use different labels for the same ideas.

Basically the theory of courtship that I believe does not exclude 'low-stakes dating'. That means, go ahead and go out for coffee with guys who ask you out on a date. (We call it the acquaintance stage.) It doesn't mean you have just promised to grow old with them. Go out for coffee with multiple guys!


BUT I am still against long-term intense dating relationships with one person... which are not headed towards marriage (preferably sooner than later.) Those seem to play at marriage without the long term commitment, which has so many potential negative consequences.

I think that the 'courtship' that the author refers to is something very different than we understand it, and starts a lot earlier. That's probably why the parents are so heavily involved. My theory is 'If marriage is not something realistic for years to come, don't date yet.'

Of course all this is just theoretical, because India's still caught between arranged marriage and love marriages (which usually seem to follow long-term intense dating relationships), and no one's talking about courtship OR low stakes dating yet.

Leah Libresco writes more about it in her article 'Why is it easier to ask out strangers than friends'.

---5---

Remember how this was supposed to be 'quick' takes? Oops, sorry.

Here's a recipe that I just made, and loved, so I want to make it every day! (But won't because who has time to cook everyday?)

Cauliflower Dum Masala

2 cauliflowers (broken into pieces and par-boiled)
2 pureed onions
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
4 chopped tomatoes
turmeric powder
chilli powder
curd
chopped fresh coriander
sliced boiled eggs
sugar
salt

Fry the onions, ginger garlic paste and spices well, then add the tomato, and then the cauliflower. Mix with curd (seasoned with sugar and salt), and garnish with eggs and corinader.

Yum!

(If only I had taken a picture. Oh well, next time.)

---6---

(Am I only on 6??)

For married couples.. I liked this:

5 Things We are Getting Right in our Marriage

---7---

It was teachers' day in India a few weeks ago. At the programme the kids organized in our tuition room in the slum, one of my twelve year old students read this speech she had written.

Good evening one and all,

Today at teachers day I, Karuna from Std VIIth want to say few words.

First of all I want to wish all the teachers a very happy teachers day. Till ow which-ever tution changed I did not get a tution and teachers like you all. In my school also there is no teacher like you all who encourges us, appreciate us in little-little things.

As you all know that I am a newcomer in this tution so I wanted to give you this surprise and I hope that you will like it.

You all teachers are the bestest teacher that I have ever seen, who never beat children, who never scold children, the talk polielty with us. I want to say thank you for your all encorages. Once again a Happy Teachers Day to all the teachers. Thank you.

Makes it all worth it, right, teachers?

More quick takes at Jen's.


Monday, 18 August 2014

7QT:Catholic-Protestant Interactions and Thoughts

Aren't you so excited that I'm going to touch such a sensitive topic? Well, it's one that I think about a lot, so you just get to get into my head a little today. Something that people around me LOVE to do. (Not.)

----1----

I very rarely find a balanced approach to ecumenism in the Catholic world. Either it's the obsessed  crazy focused Catholics who are so convicted of the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith that they can't believe that there's anything good outside of it, who seem defensive, or offensive when anything 'Christian, not Catholic' is mentioned, who see the Protestant as 'the other'. Or it's the people who aren't too jazzed about the Catholic faith itself, or don't know that much, who are all like 'Nothing matters, in the end we should all do the best we can, there's no real difference between Catholic and Protestant belief', etc. Even though I leaned toward the first half for many years, I've reached a place where I KNOW that neither extreme reflects the truth or the beauty of God's love and plan for His people.

And so I feel sad when I hear of a prominent Catholic speaker who comes to speak at my parish and does some Protestant- bashing. Or when Catholics take offence at the phrase 'personal relationship with Jesus' because it sounds too Protestant'. What?

----2----

I know that one of the problems is that people's opinions are so much influenced by their personal experiences and interactions. If you've constantly been mocked by Protestants for being Catholic, I can understand being defensive about it. And if you've been put down in Catholic school for being Protestant, well, duh. And of you've never discovered the truth and beauty of Church teaching, of course you feel 'What's the big deal?'

Here's one of the truest and loving-est lines about ecumenism I've heard- 'There's far more that unites us than divides us.'

Ah ha. Quite the shocker for Catholics and non-Catholic Christians, both.

----3----

Pope Francis seems to be quite the example of how to relate to Protestants, in so many different instances:

\


---4---

In my own experiences, I have been getting many opportunities to work at Christian unity.

For example, a few days ago, I preached at a Protestant church.

!!!!!

Yeah, that probably sounds cooler than it was. We actually spoke to the youth of the church for an event on Indian Independence Day, but several pastors were present. I was surprised at their openness to having my team (as Catholics) speak, since many Protestants too have misconceptions about Catholics, and find it hard to believe that we are 'real' Christians. But it was so cool- I spoke on 'Freedom in Christ', and quoted JP2, and we were completely united on everything I shared! There were quite a few 'Amens' during the talk, not something I hear often when I speak to Catholics. :-)

----5----

Growing up with the charismatic renewal has definitely helped with being comfortable with Protestants. I can imagine many Catholics stiff with discomfort at the vocal praise, the music style, the preaching. But for me, it felt like a prayer meeting (which is not surprising since the Charismatic renewal started in Protestant churches), which made it easier to relate to them as brothers and sisters.

I remember one of my friends telling me after I attended a charismatic prayer meeting, something to the effect of "It's more Catholic to pray silently in Adoration, more like Mary." And I retorted "How many times does it say in the psalms 'Shout to the Lord'?" There are so many instances where the Jewish people sang and danced and shouted to God. How often do we Catholics do that? And let's not get into Acts 2 and 'tongues' which I'm sure most Catholics would be happy to vote out of the bible, which thankfully Catholics don't do. (You see how I'm digging at both Catholics and Protestants? Now that's the spirit of ecumenism. Not really.)

----6----

Favourite person to hear talking about ecumenism is Dr. Peter Kreeft. Some 'Ouch/aha' quotes from him:

Why should God let Protestants become Catholics when many Protestants, perhaps most, already know Christ more intimately and personally than many Catholics, perhaps most! How can God lead Protestants home to the fullness of faith in the Catholic Church until the Catholic Church becomes that fullness that they knew as Protestants plus more, not any less! 

When Catholics know Christ better than Protestants do, when Catholics are better Protestants than Protestants, then Protestants will become Catholics in order to become better Protestants! When Catholics are evangelized, Protestants will be sacramentalized. But not before! Evangelizing comes first.

Read the rest of the article/transcript:  Ecumenism without Compromise by Dr. Peter Kreeft or listen to the audio. (P.s. He's really easy to listen to.)

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And just because memes make great addition to blog posts, here you go:



Over to Jen's for more quick takes.

(Oops, looks like posting Seven Quick Takes Friday on a Monday is not acceptable, link up closed. Guess I'll just link it next Friday.)