A few months ago, I resurrected a craft that makes use of recycled greeting cards. I had bought a couple ornaments at a crafts fair and had taken them apart to figure out how to make them myself. I have added some extra decorations and personal touches to what I now call “categornaments,” and have really gotten into making them again. Each ornament has a particular category—for example, deer, birds, Nativity scenes, children, and dogs. Needless to say, I am limited by the subject matter of the cards I happen to have. Each ornament requires 20 circular pictures.
I was taught brainstorming in high school as an aid to answering essay questions on exams or assignments requiring creative writing. It is a very useful problem-solving tool. We just storm our brains to list items on a certain topic and then work from there.
Of course, one thought led me to another, and I started considering just how much we all categorize things, sometimes unintentionally. When we are faced with challenging situations, our brains start going up and down the list of possible solutions.
Brainstorming for certain categories can be helpful in our spiritual life, too. Certainly, it helps with examining our conscience at the end of the day so that we can humbly tell our Lord any sins we may have committed. On the positive side, we can also categorize all the little daily blessings we have enjoyed and thank him for them, one by one.
If we decide to pray with litanies that list the titles and attributes of the Lord, we are reminded of just how praise-worthy our Savior is. You might try looking at A Litany of Praise from the Catholic Charismatic Renewal website: https://www.car.org.au/. I am quoting just a few titles of the Lord on this list:
King of Creation, King of Glory, the Bread of Life, Our Fortress, Our Salvation, the Great I Am, the Great High Priest, the Alpha and Omega, Our Joy.
In Psalm 136, we see how the author has categorized many attributes of God: goodness, worker of wonders, his understanding in creation, his many-faceted role in the history of the Israelites. And with all of that,
for his steadfast love endures forever. (In every verse of the psalm)
So as we proceed into the long, hot summer, we might make a categorical list of things to do to stay cool and to enjoy warm-weather activities. We can also pray for people in areas of the world that are experiencing drought or heat-induced crime or effects of climate change. We can pray for the safety of vacationers and travelers and for people who work outside in the hot sunshine.
It certainly seems that even in the very warm days of summer, at least I will never be listless. How about you?
Photo by Sharon Krause
The Scripture passage is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.