Texting with Jesus

My new iPhone 6 has been acting up a bit lately. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the phone, and yet…I’m a little hesitant to say that I think Jesus is sending me messages.

I know. I know. I just drifted into that weird place occupied by church ladies and crazed wingnuts on TV.

It isn’t like that. Really. And I don’t think I’m crazy. It’s just…I realize that God can use everything, everywhere, at his disposal to shake me up. To speak to me.

It has been my prayer, to hear what He has to say. And now that I seem to have a direct line, well…I’m kind of stepping back and discounting it.

For years I’ve heard people say how they hear the Lord speak to them. I’ve often said the same thing, not because I heard the words, but because circumstances have lined up in such a way that I was able to discern meaning from it. Perhaps that’s because I don’t really think in words, but in pictures. I tend to sense rather that see/hear communication. In fact, I’d rather have a warm hug than hear the words “I love you.” Ok, I’ll take both, but my default setting is for the hug.

So, it’s always made sense to me that God’s voice was probably not going to come on over the PA system.

And yet…I’ve told Him on more than one occasion that I’d like a memo detailing what He wants me to do. Recently, sitting before the Blessed Sacrament during a much needed break in my busy week, I realized that I could talk to Jesus, should talk to Jesus, about as often as I sent a text message in my day. Or played Words with Friends.

It was a funny thought, but I ran with it. I actually think it’s a pretty sound approach to spontaneous prayer. Why not reach out to Him with a little love note in the day. A request for an intention. A note to just say hi.

Why not indeed? I do it all the time with my friends and family. I’ll send a random note with a smile to just say hello or I’m thinking of you. I’ve sent out an S.O.S. in this way, too. Or just taken a break in my schedule to connect with someone who is far away.

So I started to do this. I started to text with Jesus.

I was not prepared to have Him respond. Literally.

Since switching over to my new phone, an app I purchased a while ago has randomly opened. What the name of the app? Words with Jesus. I kid you not. In fact, here’s today’s entry:

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That popped open in my pocket while I was walking across campus. Seriously.

Last week, on a busy day that was getting busier by the minute, I thought I heard a voice and pulled my phone out of my pocket. It was Fr. Gaitley’s voice, reciting the Rosary. I hadn’t prayed the Rosary that day.

Yesterday, my phone was sitting on my desk as I worked, and the screen opened up to reveal yesterday’s Gospel. It’s not easy for Laudate to just open to the Gospel reading. The reading blew me away a little, too.

Look. I don’t know what to make of this. It could just be a series of coincidences. I have the Words with Jesus app set to send me the entry at a specific time. I use the Marian’s Rosary app almost every day on my commute. Laudate is one of my go to apps in the morning. There’s a logical explanation, probably stemming from the fact that I never, ever, close out my apps until one of my kids grabs my phone and does it, accompanied by their judgy shaking heads. So. Technology.

But I’d rather think I’m texting with Jesus, and He texts back.

my personal reading challenge

read

There was a time in my life when I was reading 2-3 books a week. For pleasure.

That didn’t include the reading I had to do for work or school, which was often pleasurable, but not necessarily.

And then something happened, and I quit reading for pleasure. Other things required my attention, and I still had to read for work, so I kind of let that go. I’m knocking that out right now. I still have a lot of reading to do for work, some of it is good and fun, but most is very dry and academic.

I’m reclaiming my love of literature!

Right here! Right now!

I plan to read 25 books in what remains of 2015. That’s about a book every couple of weeks or so. Very do-able. In fact, some of you might think I’m low-balling based on my previous habits. Nope. I’m setting a goal I can handle, but there’s a twist. I’m going to qualify the books.

1. A totally gratuitous and vapid book that I’ll forget the moment I set it down after finishing it.
2. A biography.
3. A history book. Preferably American history because I’m weak there.
4. A book about music. The Inextinguishable Symphony by Martin Goldsmith
5. A book about an artist.
6. A book of poetry.
7. A book about prayer.
8. A science-fiction novel. Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
9. A book about Catholic theology.
10. A book about writing.
11. A classic.
12. A New York Times best-seller.
13. A book in Spanish.
14. A romance.
15. A murder mystery.
16. A book about a Saint.
17. A book BY a Saint.
18. A book by a friend.
19. A book about photography.
20. A book about science. Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century by Sean Patrick
21. A book with a pretty cover. Yes, I’m going to judge it.
22. A book with an ugly cover. I’ll stay open minded.
23. A banned book. Hey. It’s me we’re talking about here.
24. A book that’s been sitting on my bookshelf, unread, for years.
25. A book you recommend.

I’ll come back here and review the book, and cross it off the list. Let’s see how far I can get. :-)

Don’t forget to leave me recommendations in the comments. And of course, you’re invited to play along with me!

It’s #GraceofYesDay!

Yes to my students!
Yes to my students!

Here I am with Fiat, the adorable little fish on the cover of Lisa Hendey’s book, The Grace of Yes. Today, folks all over the internet are posting pictures of themselves, tagging them #graceofyes, and being witnesses to saying YES to God’s will in their lives.

Here are mine:

  • yes to my darling husband — for our love, and all the yeses that spring from his support
  • yes to my kids —  they changed my life in a beautiful way
  • yes to my career in education — I’m not going to lie, it is the biggest pain in my neck ever, and a magnificent return on the power of this yes
  • yes to my involvement in the new evangelization, first through Rosary Army and then SQPN, and all the subsequent opportunities to write and share, teach … and learn about our Lord, Jesus Christ.

To think that one fiat given 2000 years ago would have grown into all the yeses expressed today, and how those yeses continue to convert into more and more.

You can say YES in a number of ways. Here are some suggestions at Ave Maria Press’ Grace of Yes Day:

What are some ways you can say yes to God?

  • Give to a charity.
  • Being extra generous with your time.
  • Help someone in need.
  • Sharing your creativity with others.
  • Saying no so you can say yes.

What is your Yes?

more bluebirds…everywhere!

bluebirdThis is the third day of my St. Therese of Lisieux novena, and instead of roses, I’m getting bluebirds.

Everywhere.

It’s amazing.

We live in a fairly quiet community that has a good bit of wildlife. All manner of birds. Deer. Raccoons. An occasional fox. Too many bunnies and chipmunks and squirrels.

And now: bluebirds.

We’ve seen them here and there over the years, but it seemed like they never came up the hill to our backyard. Maybe it was too dense up here — too many trees. But a couple of years ago we starting clearing the back yard and doing some landscaping, and B00M! — the bluebirds came.

It’s kinda neat. We’ve been sitting on the porch enjoying the late afternoon breeze, sharing our space with the hummingbirds and the rest of the Disney characters, and now, delightfully — the little bluebirds of happiness.