Monday, August 29, 2011

I would put the whole thing up in my header if it would fit

Specifically the quoted saying of the Desert Fathers, which expounds on the title of the post, which coincidentally is my adopted tagline for this blog. But it's all good.

Because You Lord, only You have secured my hope.

Read and reflect.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Prayer to St. Joseph for Employment

I recently found this prayer and thought it would be helpful in this time of economic uncertainty, or for anyone discerning God's will for their life's work.

A Prayer to Saint Joseph the Worker for Employment

God our Father and our Creator, You bestow on us gifts and talents to develop and use in accord with Your will.

Grant to me*, through the intercession of St. Joseph the worker, as model and guide, employment and work, that I may, with dignity, provide for those who depend on me for care and support.

Grant me the opportunities to use my energy and my talents and abilities for the good of all, and the glory of Your name.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

*One may pray for another individual by inserting his or her name, and then changing the subsequent pronouns.

Source: Daily Prayers, Priests of the Sacred Heart.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Video: Local talent and a Concert

Meant to post this a week ago. This song was written by Roch Gillmore, a young man in our local homeschool group.

Roch will sing in a concert this Friday, August 26th, at 7-8:30 pm at Sacred Heart Church in Warner Robins. Any donations to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Assocation are welcome. God bless your event and efforts, Roch!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Link--review of "Crazy, Stupid, Love"

From Steven Greydanus, a review that shows why I love Decent Films:
As the movie unfolds, crisscrossing lines emerge connecting these characters to one another in polyvalent, sometimes surprising ways. Pretty much everyone involved does gravely immoral things, and while Crazy, Stupid, Love has quite a bit of good stuff to say about its characters’ bad behavior, some immoral actions are depicted in an indulgent or otherwise problematic light.

In spite of these problems, I’m struck by the movie’s generosity and empathy toward all its characters, and by its frank, countercultural clarity that acts such as adultery, divorce, casual sex and promiscuity — however understandable they may sometimes be, and however seemingly rewarding they may feel at the time — not only don’t lead to lasting happiness, not only are obstacles to true happiness, but ultimately bring a great deal of unhappiness, not only for oneself and one’s loved ones, but also to other people as well that another movie might not consider at all.

This kind of morally sound, humanistic, nuanced analysis is why I check just about every movie I want to see, or have seen and thought about, against the reviews at Decent Films, just to see what he has to say about them. Reading about movies like this, which are more adult-fare (as opposed to his reviews of family films such as Pixar and Dreamworks releases, which are also valuable), I get to indulge in something like a thoughtful, mature, and faith-filled discussion about the wheat and the chaff in today's film entertainment.

Just a disclaimer: I have not seen this movie yet. The problematic content referred to is evident in the trailer, so I was wondering if it would be worthwhile. We've seen plenty of movies that aren't. Once I called my mom on the phone in the middle of a movie night she, my dad, and my younger sister Katie were having. I asked what they were watching, and she said Katie wouldn't let her tell me! I presume that because of its "problematic content," they were joking that it was best they not corrupt--me? my opinion of them?--by admitting to watching it. Turns out, I'd already seen it.

Films reflect the culture that creates them, and I find that they are an effective means of engaging both me (inasmuch as I consider myself part of "the faithful") and the society I am "in" but not "of." I'm grateful for movies that both portray that culture realistically and explore the more profound principles that are written on the human heart. It sounds as though Crazy, Stupid, Love at least partially succeeds in this. I hope to see it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quick Takes Friday--Links

Or, "Why posting has been even lighter than usual"


So we've had strep throat around here. We didn't confirm what it was until about two weeks in, when we finally got throat swabs and antibiotics for the majority of the household. And now we're apparently adding another family player to the roster for amoxicillin allergies. And my husband has worked 18-hour days all week. And did I mention we have a four-week-old baby?

So, if I haven't been able to do it one-handed, quickly, it's probably not high on the priority list. Clicking and reading, though, fit those criteria. I thought I'd share a few things I've been filling my brain with.


Like this guy. (No, actually, not the one in the frame.) I won't expound on why I was searching "Greek dancing" on YouTube--something to do with the Wiggles and an inconsolable toddler at 2 a.m.--but it turned up this funny:

Hope it's good for a laugh! But if not that's ok; I showed my husband the other night while he ate dinner. He watched with raised eyebrows, and at the end of it, with a smile more for me than the ad, and said, "Well, I'm glad you're amused."


Which reminds me of another funny I need to show him.


Hat tip to Mark Shea for this post by John C. Wright, source of this gem, the best distillation of the power and beauty of fairy stories I have ever read:

No other form of story save myths and epics and fairy tales have the form and dignity and conventions needed to weave the chain made of women’s beards and fishes’ breath and mountain roots and nine other impossible things needed to capture the moonbeam of this mystic insight all healthy men know lurks at the heart of fairy: the supernatural must break into the natural and set things right when all human hope is lost.
(Mr. Wright clearly sides with those who find something of value in the Harry Potter stories, but has come to a sober respect for those who see it as something dangerous. I'm there with him on that.)


Earlier this month I meant to share with you this prayer I found on Catholic Mom in Hawaii's blog. In one of our recent talks, my mom and I touched on some end-of-life scenarios, which I think is why some of these beautiful lines particularly struck me:

Help me especially at my last hour;
and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason,
then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me,
and fight for me against the enemy.
Make in my name a profession of faith;
favor me with a testimony of my salvation,
and never let me despair of the mercy of God.
There's also a beautiful novena prayer for brothers and sisters here.


Hmm.. seems like there was something else.

Oh. Here. I know a bunch of you have already seen it, but I wanted to make sure one particular reader gets it. Pretty awesome.


That's it. I'm going to go feed the baby and look at Twitter now. Honestly, it feels like I'm walking around a huge, loud party trying to find someone I know in there, but I'm addicted to the links. Go figure.

Go see Jen for more Quick Takes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Classic "Kids Say"

Jude: Be quiet, because my foot's asleep.

I know my kid's not the only one with some version of that one! Anyone?

Monday, August 1, 2011

How I Am Reading This Book

For a long time, I have meant to read Mortimer Adler's How to Read a Book. (I just put it on hold at my library a few days ago.) For some reason, I always think of this book when I hear people's allusions to the notes they make (or find) in a book they are reading. Until I heard of this book (in an article about something like, oh, how one should read books) the idea of marking up a book was alien to me. Write in a book? Maybe a school textbook, but my precious other books, which I value so much I buy my own copy instead of borrowing them from the library? Ruinous! But if a textbook, then why not other books? Especially the ones you want to process more deeply, the ones you know you will revisit, the ones you want to keep learning from? I began to acknowledge the value of interacting with a book in a more tangible manner.

And so--into the shallows--my first experiment with book-marking (my yet-to-occur date with Mortimer Adler notwithstanding) is 10 Habits of Happy Mothers.

I intended to read this book from the library first and buy it later, maybe. But I got impatient with the ILL rules and just bought it so I could have it for Elizabeth's ongoing study. And gradually, as I read the first chapter and found this or that passage jumping out to say something to me, I began to think, "Well, you bought it to study. Why not?" I got a sharp pencil and, very lightly, started underlining things.


Thursdays are Elizabeth's 10 Habits for Happy Mothers days. The first Thursday I was already behind. Thursday after that I was having a baby. Last Thursday I was still too busy to play catch up, so I think that now, rather than try to discuss a whole chapter in a post, (although do drop in at Elizabeth's and join the conversation,) I'd share with you some of the pieces I underlined. That all by itself can reveal something of a person's mind, don't you think? Sort of like a favorite poem or proverb or song.

If you are reading the book, or have read it, what is a part of Habit 1 that spoke to you?


And believe it or not, they need to see us do the menial, boring chores for them because, while these feel trite to us, they communicate to our kids that when it comes to caring for them, no task is unimportant. Our value to our kids is that they need us--to do the big stuff for them and the small stuff, too. (p. 5)


I have literally read the value that you hold in your kids' lives, allover their faces and through their body language. When you walk into a room, your son changes immediately... Your mood changes his world a bit. If you are in a good mood, he can relax and play with his trucks. If you are upset with him, he wants to make up (he may not show it, but he does) because you are the center of his small world. He needs you to like him again. You. No one else. Because once you are happy with him, he can go about his business and life will feel good again. He can focus at school, get his homework done, and pay attention during his basketball game. That is the power that you have and that power comes from the fact that in this one child's life--your child's life--who you are matters as much as life itself. You are loved. (p. 6)


Why even wonder what we're good at when we don't have time to do what's expected of us already? Isn't this an exercise in frustration? No, because each of our gifts doesn't need to be used at this moment... We lose sight of of deeper purpose in life--to raise good kids and use our strengths to better the lives of others, over the course of our lifetimes. (p. 12)


"[My mother] said that her number one job was being a good mom. And because she wanted to be a good mom, she felt that she needed to teach us how to make a difference in someone's life. She taught us by living it out. And that changed me." (p. 17)


"I believe that when you love the life you're supposed to be living and you happen on fulfilling the deep meaning of your life, it works. The energy comes, you get bolder, and you live less fearfully. I have friends back home who tell me I'm crazy. I'm too old. or I'll have a heart attack. I feel sorry for them because they don't really get what life's all about." (p. 18)


We mothers are indispensable to our kids because no one can teach them how to love, empathize, nurture, or value others like we can. No one. And when it comes to teaching them how to love and value themselves, we are the ones with the greatest power to impart these profound and necessary truths to them. (p. 18)

A Thought for Your Monday

I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to him for help. And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning.

--Saint Thomas More


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