Week Four Challenge: Beyond Fasting

Laetare Sunday means we’re 2/3 of the way there! The Church invites us to grow in holiness during Lent through three practices: Fasting, Prayer, and Almsgiving. We began the #SmartFreedom Challenge focusing on fasting: intermittent detachment from our phones—some forms of detachment more painful than others. Last week we added intentional prayer into our routine. Week 4 brings us a new challenge--a look at almsgiving. In order to better detach ourselves from our phones, we wa

Week Three Challenge: Facing Our Identity Crisis

The 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent are a special time for prayer and repentance for catechumens as they prepare to be baptized at the Easter VIgil. While we normally read from the Gospel of Luke during Year C, certain masses read from Year A (John 4--the Woman at the Well), a more fitting gospel for the first of the Scrutinies. The Scrutinies invite the catechumens to leave behind their lives of sin and deepen their commitment to Christ and better understand their identity

Week Two Challenge: Face to Face

It is good that we are here! This week we take a cue from Sunday's Gospel and explore how #SmartFreedom can revolutionize our relationships. We will maintain last week's rules & and one more this week: No Phones while in conversation with other people. We'll take a look at this rule a little more closely following our Scripture Reflection below! Be Dazzling, Aunt Katie Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in

Week One Challenge: Facing Temptation

Whew--is it still Lent? Don't worry, this is about to get fun! Let's go back over what we've learned so far. #SmartFreedom Challenge Checklist: No phone while driving. No phone during meals. No phone in the bathroom. This week we will add Three Additional Practices (these are big challenges--don't freak out.): No phone as an alarm for waking up in the morning (Review that post here!). No phone one hour before bedtime. No phone for one hour after you wake up. Wait... whaaaaat?

#SmartFreedom Ground Rules

Without further ado… here is your First Challenge: the Ground Rules! This first challenge lasts for ALL of Lent! So as each week progresses

Smartphones and the Seven Deadly Sins

I was once asked the following question: Which is your favorite deadly sin? The very dusty juris doctor portion of my brain had about 1000 follow up lawyer questions... What do you mean by favorite? Favorite as in I find myself committing that one the most? I suppose that makes it my least favorite because as St. Paul would say, why do I do the things I hate? Favorite as in, it is my least often committed--one I've felt victory over? Where the struggle is no longer real? Or t

Day 21: The Final Challenge

After 21 Days of ups and downs... successes and failures... silence and swipes, it's time for one final challenge! Are you up for it? Aunt Katie Day 21 Challenge: Turn phone off for 21 minutes... spend those 21 minutes in prayer focusing on the Father's love for you. Not your to do list, not your rosary, not some spiritual reading, not your list of intentions, not your hopes and dreams. Only let your mind wander around the reality of the Father's love for you. If distractions

Day 20: #SmartFreedom, the Next Generation

We will take a minute today to look to the future... #SmartFreedom is good for our souls, but what effect can it have on the future generations? What are our children learning from our example? Let’s be the change, Aunt Katie Day 20: Challenge the youth. (1) How does my smartphone usage affect my family? (2) What good #SmartFreedom habits can I teach young people in my life? (3) What good #SmartFreedom habits will I carry forward after Day 21? Bonus Challenge: Turn your phone

Day 19: What are we missing?

With only three days remaining, let's reflect on what it is we're actually missing when we're glued to our phones. Today we'll look at one of my favorite Bible passages and how letting go can bring us what we're inevitably looking for (and not finding) on our phones... CONNECTION & PEACE! Off to the Well, Aunt Katie P.S. Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places was originally published on AskAuntKatie.com on March 3, 2018. One of my favorite encounters in the Gospel of John i

Day 18: Using Our Phones for Good

As we race to the finish of our 21-Day Challenge, we'll turn to some positive aspects of Smartphone usage--including a look at some of my favorite apps. Today's App Recommendation is Reimagining the Examen! Imagine That, Aunt Katie Day 18 Challenge: Download apps that add goodness to your life. While we are all seeking Freedom from our Smartphones, the reality is that they are not going away! One app that has been a great addition to my prayer life is Reimagining the Examen,

It is the final countdown...

Two weeks down, one to go. Today’s Challenge will be a tough one—but we can do it! That’s how we scroll, Aunt Katie P.S. Previous rules still apply! Day 15 Challenge: No Scrolling for 24 Hours. YOU: Wait, what do you mean no scrolling. ME: Exactly that. YOU: I don’t understand. ME: No Scrolling. YOU: But how will I know what my friends are doing? What about all the grams and stories I’ll miss? How will my thumbs get their cardio? ME: You can look up your individual friends on