Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The value of community

I often think about a blog topic each morning as I drive in from home to work. It's a short ride, but I listen to Catholic podcasts while I go, and it will usually spur an idea. This morning, I was listening to a podcast in which the person was talking about adding in a simple morning offering prayer to his day. He is a convert, and mentioned that subleties that are second nature to cradle Catholics sometimes elude him. He hadn't heard of the traditional Catholic morning offering prayer before. I have a prayer card with the morning offering written on it in my office, but this cradle Catholic had fallen off the wagon with saying it. The offering in question is this one (or something very close to it):

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, the reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.

This morning when I got into work, I located the prayer card and taped it the side of my computer monitor. It's a happy reminder to me to say the morning offering, but I found that it also reminds me how very grateful I am for our online/technologically advanced world these days. I'm a bit of an old fashioned curmudgeon in some ways (no smart phone, no tablet) and I find that I often secretly resent it when people pull those devices out when I'm trying to have a conversation with them. We can look up an item of information *later*, right now I just want to talk to them without an electronic device coming between us.

However, that aside, I truly appreciate and feel blessed by our modern ability to connect with others whom you may never physically meet that person in this life. The Catholic blogs that I read and podcasts that I listen to (my blogroll is up to date if you are interested; I ready each of those blogs every single day)? I feel like I *know* each and every one of those people. And I treasure that.

Ravelry is another source of joy to me, for the knitters and crocheters that I meet there. We are so lucky in that way. We are not limited by physical boundaries now in reaching out to communities of people with whom we share common interests.

Relatedly, I thought I would mention a blog and a mom that I've spoken of on here before. Back when I was pregnant with Anne, I lurked over at The Bump's May 2011 board. I found a woman on there who had a due date within days of mine, but who at 20 weeks of pregnancy received a dire diagnosis for her unborn son. He had a serious congenital heart defect associated with Downs Syndrome. My heart just broke for her. The doctors told her that her baby would die prior to birth. She held on to hope and carried him to term.

That baby is nearly 2 years old now, and he's doing great. I've followed the mom's blog ever since, which is Prayers for Mason. I love being able to keep up with the family and find out how Mason is doing.  She writes today a touching post about her new pregnancy (yay!) and the emotional weight she has carried in her heart worrying that this new baby would also suffer from a heart defect. This baby is a boy (they also have a son who is older than Mason, so this is baby boy #3!) and is in perfect health. Definitely check out her post.

So, to wrap it up for today, I'm feeling very joyful and hopeful. Challenges come up in life (some of which are on my heart right now, things going on in my life and in the lives of my family and friends) but our community of friends can help us to remain strong.

1 comment:

  1. I feel like I know you too! I love following all your knitting, belly-dancing, parenting adventures.

    I think it's so annoying when people criticize online community as not "real." Without the internet, I wouldn't be out having face-to-face community ... I'd be stranded at home dying of loneliness. Like many of our mothers did for years on end! The isolation of mothers in the 50's through the 90's is nothing I want to duplicate.


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