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31 March 2003 @ 01:22 pm
Birthday Reflections  
Yes, my birthday is just behind me. (Last weekend.) Another good time for personal reflection, I find.

Interesting -- isn't it? -- how we celebrate our birthdays?

Personally, I'm always hopeful we celebrate at least partly with attention to the One who allowed us to be born into this world -- and experience so much here. (Though I suspect most people find the day as another excuse for self-indulgence. Probably I'm no exception, though I try not to go there with too much extravagance. But to believe I don't fall into this folly is being self-deluding. At least I don't think I'm at fault there.)

Of course (of course?) I gave myself a (hopefully small) reprieve from serious Lenten practice on the Saturday before my birthday -- seeing as the actual day came on a Sunday this year.

I had (oops -- several) drinks with friends that day. Called and spoke to others close to me. Missed some who could not be reached via phone or internet. (In the past I served in areas that simply don't use the phone to any degree -- even in this modern age, amazing as that might seem to some.)

I spent part of Sunday in silent meditation. And even wrote a list of the ways I felt I'd changed in the past year. (A practice I try to keep on every birthday.)

My list wasn't long this year. I'm not sure if that's because I'm more settled now in my life role -- or possibly a sign that I didn't make quite enough effort for self-improvement between the ages of 37 and 38.

I do feel that growth is always possible -- and by this I mean positive change. But some years we grow less than others, I suppose. (God grant I grew as much as I truly needed to, anyway.)

In all honesty, I realized while making my list that I've been neglectful of my online friendships this past year. I've even let some lapse -- possibly past repair -- which is undoubtedly bad of me.

But in all honesty I do somethimes think that I've yet to quite get the feel of cyber relationships. It needs work, I guess.

I really do love the potential to know so many people I'd never encounter face to face. And to 'fine tune' my (written) words in a way that might not offend others -- while still managing to make myself clear about my personal thoughts and feelings.

Online communication is a struggle -- I freely admit it.

I find it's easy to confuse someone as to your intent. Or simple to hurt (or even anger) someone without meaning to.

I'm not suggesting that I don't have a pretty good temper myself when it's aroused (a flaw of my own character that is thankfully improving over the years -- with much effort). But I've been quite surprised in the past at how quickly some people I encounter online are spurred to outbursts of what appears to be actual fury. Yes, this does digress a bit -- but I sometimes have a tendency to ramble when I'm writing. Hopefully it's clear enough what I'm trying to express!

Of course, it's one thing to work at monitoring my actions so as not to offend or hurt. Yet I do have to use caution not to compromise my beliefs while being friendly and inoffensive. And more than my personal beliefs, I have to be careful not to compromise the Church. (That is far more of a challenge at times...)

I enjoy the process of aging. I know many people don't. But I do sense some small amount of wisdom creeping in along with the years (and random gray hairs). Each year has newly found delights. Actually, when I'm looking hard enough, this is true for each day.

I was delighted by how many of my friends (including online friends) were kind enough to take time to contact me on regarding my birthday, by the way. Thanks to each one of you! You bless me with your thoughtfulness and love.

I started this entry last week. You can see how time slides away from me. I need to work on that, I know.

During Lent I've found that prayer and meditation are the main reasons I've been neglectful. So I can hardly feel too bad about that. Still, I want to reach out to all who are close to me. And some can only be reached this way.

As I face another year of life, I look forward to the succor of my friends and the growth of my vocation.
Mood: goodblessed
Czar Nikky: true joynk_seashore on April 1st, 2003 12:34 am (UTC)
Belated Happy Birthday, Father! Sorry I missed it last weekend...

Hope you had a great day. (Sounds like you spend it the way we all should. LOL.)

Glad to see you posting here!

``Czar Nikky
ajh_dacajh_dac on March 23rd, 2004 05:52 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday - Again
Best wishes to you on your birthday.

Looking forward to this years reflections.

Angilla: CFRangilla on August 25th, 2004 03:43 am (UTC)
I don't know how I found your journal... I tend to do that, float through journals reading and commenting... lol anyway... one thing I've learned about online conversations is that there are some people who you will always offend, no matter how "nicely" you phrase something. Some people come online expecting to be offended, or looking to find a fight or instigate one.

And the topic of the Catholic Church tends to be a hot one online, because of subject areas like homosexual marriage... I was actually chased off of an online horse simulation game because some kids started discussing it, bashed the Church's stance on it, I corrected what they said wrong about the Church, and I got labeled as a racist.

Okay I ramble too. Sorry. ;) I hope you get the extra time someday to update your journal more often. If it's God's will, of course.
~*~Lisa~*~thisisme1736 on March 30th, 2005 11:50 pm (UTC)
I am so glad that I found your journal...I am just disappointed that you haven't up-dated recently. Are you still on LJ?? I had to write & add you to my friends list...becamuse you are a priest & also our birthday's are close...I was born March 28, 1966. If you are still around...add me back, please! I don't know of any priest that are close to our age. I am friends with a lot but they are older or younger.

ajh_dacajh_dac on March 31st, 2006 06:52 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday - 2006
Sorry to have been off of LJ for some time and to have missed noting your birthday.

Many changes for you in one year. Hope all you wish for comes in 2006.