7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 168)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 168)

— 1 —

I have a Malcolm update for you, and it’s awesome: This family has committed to adopt him! The money you have donated will help them in this process, so THANK YOU for your generosity. You can see a breakdown here of the overwhelming financial burden they still face, so please keep them in your prayers, and, if you feel moved, drop them a few buck through their PayPal button on their sidebar. Again: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

— 2 —

When I wrote about fasting from artificial light in the Register a while back, I got a ton of interesting responses. One of my favorites was from a dad who told me about this family tradition that they’ve been doing for 30 years:

We turn off the light when we leave for Holy Thursday Mass and don’t turn them on again until we return from the Saturday Easter Vigil at around midnight on Saturday.

We got the idea when our parish turned off the lights and had us exit in silence on Holy Thursday. And we entered at the Easter Vigil in darkness which continued until the Gloria. And, of course, Good Friday services were held during the daytime so lighting was not a main focus. So we got the idea to practically “live” this period when Jesus the “light of the world” was taken away from us.

I think we might try this this year. Anyone else going to give it a shot?

— 3 —

So, uhh, yeah. Holy Week next week. Wow. As I’ve mentioned, this hasn’t been the most powerful Lent I’ve ever experienced. I set the bar embarrassingly low in terms of the sacrifices I would make and the practices I would undertake…and still managed not to hit it. But! The good news is that it’s never too late to let God transform you. Besides, there’s still Holy Week! I’m hoping to set everything else aside and just focus on the Lord next Thursday and Friday. If you could say a prayer for that intention (i.e. that “focusing on the Lord” doesn’t turn into “focusing on the Lord…after I check email, and, hey, look at all this funny stuff on Twitter!”) I’d appreciate it.

— 4 —

Lately I’ve been oddly intrigued by a medieval devotion called The Fifteen Oes, a.k.a. the Fifteen Prayers of St. Bridget. The story I heard (which I am not sure is correct) is that St. Bridget was praying about our Lord’s passion, and she was told in a vision that he received 5,475 injuries to his body. The idea behind the 15 Oes is that if you pray them daily for a year, you’ll have honored every one of the wounds of Christ (15 x 365 = 5,475).

Again, I don’t know if that story is accurate. However, I love the prayers, in that each time you go through them you meditate on 15 different aspects of Christ’s sufferings. I’ve read comments from around the internet from folks who said that they found it to be powerful to commit to praying the 15 Oes every day for a certain length of time, even if it wasn’t for a whole year. I think I may include this in my Holy Week devotions.

— 5 —

A while back I went through a long phase of reading nonfiction adventure stories (a la Over the Edge of the World and Skeletons in the Zahara), and that got me interesting in the subject of castaways. You would not believe all the crazy castaway stories that are out there! Here’s a fascinating article about wayward ships drifting from Japan to the U.S. back in the 19th Century, and here is a Wikipedia roundup of famous castaway stories. This one is one of my favorites:

In June 1722, [Philip] Ashton was captured by pirates while fishing near the coast of Nova Scotia…He managed to escape in March 1723 when the pirates landed at Roatán Island in the Bay Islands of Honduras, hiding in the jungle until the pirates decided to depart without him. He survived for 16 months, in spite of many insects, tropical heat and alligators. In the beginning he seems to have eaten only fruit, because he only had his hands to collect food; he could not kill any animal. He had no equipment at all until he met another castaway, an Englishman. A few days later the Englishman “went out but he never returned.” The Englishman left behind a knife, gunpowder, tobacco and more. Ashton could now kill tortoises and crayfish and make fires to have hot meals. Ashton was finally rescued by the Diamond, a ship from Salem, Massachusetts.

Whoa, whoa, WHOA. Wait. While he was a castaway in what was then remote jungles at the edge of the civilized world…he happened to run into another Englishman?! How crazy is that? How did the other Englishman get there? How did they begin that conversation when they first ran into each other? I’m going to need someone to please write a compelling historical nonfiction epic about this. Thanks.

— 6 —

Tomorrow (Saturday, March 31) I’m speaking in Houston at a women’s retreat for St. Cecilia parish. I’m going to be talking about how how fear prevents us from living our lives to the fullest — a subject with which I have plenty of personal experience. Can’t wait!

— 7 —

Simcha recently posted her favorite songs for Lent. I’m not educated enough to have multiple suggestions; after about two I’d start digging into power ballads from the 1980s. But I will say that no Lent is complete without listening to Dum Transisset Sabbatum, sung by the Tallis Scholars, at least once.


Apologies to Beth Anne, Jen, Priest’s Wife, Genny, Ann-Marie, Barbara, Katie, Kaylene, Ana, and Blair, who were the first 10 to link up but whose links got deleted due to a technical glitch. Sorry about that!

New here? Come say hi on Twitter at @jenfulwiler!

Enter the Conversation...

41 Responses to “7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 168)”
  1. jen says:

    None of the links seem to be showing up.
    jen recently posted..7 Quick Takes — IEP’s, School Lunch Quandries, and Rain

  2. I can’t believe Easter is almost here- faster Lent EVER!
    priest’s wife (@byzcathwife) recently posted..Good Films for 12-year old Girls – 7QuickTakes

  3. Genny Heikka says:

    It has been a while since I’ve joined in, but I subscribe to your blog and always enjoy reading your posts! Have fun at your speaking engagement; what a great topic. I have definitely been held back by fear before, but in the last couple of years–due to a variety of reasons–my whole perspective has changed. Now, if my knees are knocking in fear, I get excited because I know God is going to show up in a big way and I can’t wait to see what He will do!
    Genny Heikka recently posted..Children’s book news, The Mom Initiative, courage and some great blogs

  4. I attempted St. Brigid’s prayers once with my husband. We made it about 3 months. Wish would could have done the whole year but it was still super powerful. We actually picked our wedding date based on her feast day! (Although if I remember correctly she’s the patroness of widows though ;-))
    Katie@NFP and Me recently posted..7 Quick Takes #30

  5. Jennifer – I was thinking of you the other day, when I was thinking of how long my husband and I have been Catholic. I remembered that you were received into the church on the same day that we were. Then I realized – it will be five years this year! Wow!

    So, with Holy Week coming up, I’m going to wish you a happy fifth anniversary early. :)
    Angie @ Many Little Blessings recently posted..7 Quick Takes: March 30, 2012 (Vol. 118)

  6. Let there be links!

    And I love the idea of keeping the lights off during Triduum. Thanks!
    Ana @ Time Flies recently posted..7 Quick Takes – "Bad Mother of 2012" Edition

  7. The no-artificial light idea sounds attractive. I’m not sure I’m up for doing it this year, but . . . but now I’m going to be thinking about it.
    Jessica Snell recently posted..7 Quick Takes

  8. Kara says:

    This has been the best lent ever for me. Truly amazing…

    1. I had my marriage convalidated, finally…
    2. I’ve helped advocate for orphans on Reece’s Rainbow and never cried so much in my life.
    3. My husband will be baptized at Easter!
    4. I finished the consecration!
    5. My husband’s job situation worked out!

    And I can’t even remember the rest. But it’s been amazing. God is so good. Thank you so much for helping spread the word about Malcolm. The Smiths are amazing people and I am so excited to be able to meet Malcolm when he comes home!
    Kara recently posted..7 Quick Takes

  9. I’m going to try to keep the lights out from Holy Thursday until the Easter vigil. Such a neat and visual idea!
    And I’m so glad Malcolm is going home!!!
    Ciska @ This Journey of my Life recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday

  10. Leila says:

    Yay for your amazing advocacy for Malcolm! You were a huge part of getting him to the point where a family could commit!

    I like the lights out concept. Wow. May have to try that one.
    Leila recently posted..Quick Takes, and my second blog…

  11. Hurray, a family for Malcom!!! God is GOOD!
    Mary @ St Henry II recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday – Easter Countdown

  12. Louise says:

    Thank God that Malcom has a home!! Awesome news!
    I’m praying that you have a good Holy Week! I’ve felt a bit lax this Lent in terms of being prayerful and making sacrifices. I’m thinking of giving up meat entirely next Monday-Friday, going to Daily Mass as much as I can, going to confession, and possibly going to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (which I have *never* done, and I’m a cradle Catholic).
    Louise recently posted..40 Things #33: The Way of the Cross

  13. Michael says:

    So with Holy Week coming up, I am curious what happens when Palm Sunday falls on April Fools Day. 😉
    Michael recently posted..Who’s Your Editor?

  14. The news about Malcolm’s adoption is so awesome! And incredible! And wonderful! And yay!
    Dwija {House Unseen} recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday: St. Joseph is not a Leprechaun and More

  15. Katharine says:

    I’m thinking the other englishman in the castaway story was possibly an angel. Either way seems just as miraculous.

  16. GeekLady says:

    Fasting from artificial light is something I had never considered, but I think it will fit in well in our home. We have started burning a vigil lamp in our oratory, which we plan to put out on Good Friday and then bring home some of the new fire from the Easter Vigil to relight it.

    Oof, which just reminds me I have candle molds and candles and a candle holder to make this weekend. I want to do Matins and Lauds as Tenebrae during the Triduum.

  17. Cathleen says:

    I just had to shed some light on your castaway-meeting-up-with-a-Brit mystery. I live in Belize, and the Roatan islands are very close to the Belizean coast. The British came to this area starting in the mid-1600’s to log, so it is quite possible that someone might have run into a Brit wandering the jungle.
    So there you go!

  18. Ashley says:

    So, I have three unsolicited book recommendations for you. They’re all non-fiction too! :)

    First, is “Left to Tell” by Immaculee Ilibagiza. It’s her account of surviving the Rwandan genocide by hiding in this tiny bathroom with a bunch of other women. It’s amazing because this happened within our lifetime, but also because her faith is amazing. She has other books, but I’d recommend starting with this one.

    The next two books are by Michael Pollan – “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food” (I’d read them in that order too). “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” starts off slow, but it gets interesting as he traces the origins of three meals – fast food, organic, and wild. “In Defense of Food” is refreshing in its honesty and simplicity. After writing “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” he was left with the question, “what should I eat?” and this is what he came up with. While most food/nutrition books have an agenda to advance, he doesn’t and he gives a fair treatment to the information he uncovers.

    So, you didn’t ask about books, but I thought I’d share anyway. Have a great weekend.
    Ashley recently posted..Quick Takes V. 11

  19. Sara in D.C. says:

    Hi Jen,

    If you like cast away stories read “The Perfect Storm” by Sebastian Junger. It is thoroughly researched and impeccably written. You would most definitely enjoy it.


  20. I love the idea of doing the Fifteen Oes for Holy Week! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Victoria @ Mommy Marginalia recently posted..7 Quick Takes – Never Stop Learning

  21. Sarahlcc says:

    Hey, yeah, I’ve heard of the 15 Oes, didn’t know they were called that. I have the Pieta Prayer book (if you don’t have it, Get It! It’s great!) and they have those prayers in it. I’m drawn toward the St. Briget prayers, but was more strongly drawn toward the chaplet of the wounds which is shortly after ST. Bridget’s prayers. It’s very simple and goes a lot faster!
    Sarahlcc recently posted..A new Coop

  22. vitabenedicta says:

    I had a nonfiction adventure phase too. Some good ones: In the Heart of the Sea, Into Thin Air, Shadow Divers, Into the Wild. I’ve also heard positive things about West with the Night.

  23. Gwenny says:

    I LOVE the idea of fasting from artificial light. We didn’t do it through Lent, but maybe we can make it for Holy Thursday on… it would def. be interesting. Thanks for the idea!
    Gwenny recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday

  24. Jean Wise says:

    I always learn something new from your blog. thanks so much!
    Jean Wise recently posted..10 Provisions for Your Spiritual Journey

  25. That is such an awesome story about Malcolm and the family who’s going to adopt him! Praise God for people who truly care about the wellbeing of children and are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure their needs are met. Fasting from artificial light sounds like a very interesting idea. I’d have to get my husband onboard for us to do that, but it does sound like another way to observe the world in darkness with the Son of God as our Light. May you and your fam have a blessed holy week!
    Trisha Niermeyer Potter @ Prints of Grace recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 44)

  26. Vicky says:

    Hi Jen,

    I did the St. Bridget prayers for a year, after my conversion. I remember being quite anxious about getting through them but, by the grace of God, I finished – I surprised me! During that year, I felt really focused and uplifted, so I thought it was definitely worth the effort.

    Um, I’ve just realised that I’ve posted 2 links to my blog – oops! I thought the iPad wasn’t working properly so I switched to the laptop and, guess what? They both went through:-P Silly me. It looks like shameless self-promotion LOL

    Hope you have a great Palm Sunday:)

  27. KC says:

    Where and what time are you speaking at St. Cecelia’s today? The church is around the corner from me and i would love to come hear you.

  28. Rhonda says:

    Interesting about castaways – my great, great grandfather was a castaway. Grandfather was twelve years old, down at the docks in Copenhagen, admiring the ships. A man said, “Would you like to look onboard?” Oh, boy! Yes, he would! He followed the man onto the ship and never saw Denmark again.

    The first place he could escape was Galveston, TX.

    My great-great grandmother also had an interesting ship story. She emmigrated from Hamburg to Galveston, TX in 1900, during the famous 1900 Galveston Hurricane. She and a friend were on a ship in the middle of the hurricane, and “the waves were as high as mountains!” The crew had the lock the two of them in their cabin because they kept coming on deck to see the storm.

    And these two met and married and here we all are.
    Rhonda recently posted..7 Quick Takes, Holy Week Ados and Adieus

  29. Rhonda says:

    Interesting about castaways – my great, great grandfather was a castaway. Grandfather was twelve years old, down at the docks in Copenhagen, admiring the ships. A man said, “Would you like to look onboard?” Oh, boy! Yes, he would! He followed the man onto the ship and never saw Denmark again. (He was kidnapped.)

    The first place he could escape was Galveston, TX.

    My great-great grandmother also had an interesting ship story. She emmigrated from Hamburg to Galveston, TX in 1900, during the famous 1900 Galveston Hurricane. She and a friend were on a ship in the middle of the hurricane, and “the waves were as high as mountains!” The crew had the lock the two of them in their cabin because they kept coming on deck to see the storm.

    And these two met and married and here we all are.
    Rhonda recently posted..7 Quick Takes, Holy Week Ados and Adieus

  30. Balthasar says:

    Here are a few lovely choral pieces to help you reflect.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6McIK8ULrk (James MacMillan)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3GIkeJReYk (Jonathan Dove)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTH0pcu_t_8 (Sergei Rachmaninoff)

    I also can’t resist posting James MacMillan’s great Tu Est Petrus for the Pope’s entrance into Westminster Catherdal in 2010.


    Enjoy! :)

  31. Sheryl says:

    Hi, I’m a former protestant coming into the church at Easter. I’m wondering about the wounds of Jesus lately, because I sometimes say the “prayer before a crucifix” when I first kneel in church. Why do Catholics honor the wounds of Jesus?

    • Joe Magarac says:

      “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1.

      We honor the wounds of Christ as a way of appreciating and honoring the perfect sacrifice that he made of himself for us.

  32. Liz says:

    Dum Transisset Sabbatum, great video.I’ve always learned new things reading your blog.
    Liz recently posted..Hcg diet reviews

  33. Shanel says:

    The 7 quick takes Friday is awesome. Thanks for the great view.
    Shanel recently posted..low carb diet plans for men

  34. tinafreysd says:

    I really enjoy reading your great post, and this video inspired me so much… Very impressive creation…
    tinafreysd recently posted..What Is A Panic Disorder?

  35. Jacqueline says:

    Just wanted to second the recommendation of “In the Heart of the Sea” by Nathaniel Philbrick. It’s a non-fiction castaway/survival story of a whaling ship sunk by a whale. The event inspired Melville to write Moby Dick. It got me fascinated by maratime history, of all things, as well as being a fascinating look into survival psychology.