Habemus Papam! It's still such a joy. Everyone is talking about it. I love it. Even Nameberry, my favorite baby name source, showed the signs. By the end of Wednesday, "Francis" and "Frances" were the most widely viewed names, according to the name cloud on their home page. Thursday morning, "Francis" was still holding for boys names, "Frances" had been replaced by "Francesca," and "Francine" was bigger than both.(My oldest has gone on the record as wanting to name a baby sister "Francesca," since I won't tell her the name we already picked.)
I would guess that our pope has a devotion to Our Lady that, though it may not be of the same character as, say, that of Blessed John Paul II's (who was probably much more, shall we say, extroverted in everything that he did than this pope looks to be) is solid, and deeply rooted in both prayer and imitation. His archdiocese's motto, "Lowly but Chosen," is reminiscent of Mary's song of praise in Luke 1. Now, I think, will be a good time for us to memorize the Magnificat as a family, right in time for May.
I think in honor of the new pope, I'm going to read my favorite Flannery O'Connor short story, "The Enduring Chill." (Here's a tiny taste.) It features two different Jesuit priests. One, spoken of mostly in expository back story, is an urbane, intellectual man who appeals to the protagonist for his sophisticated worldliness. The other is, well, an Irishman from Georgia and works to put the fear of God back in him (the protagonist). Rather entertaining, and a timely story, I think. (Not necessarily because of any similarity to our pope other than the Society of Jesus, but just one of those stories that shows O'Connor clearly has a handle on contemporary human nature.)
And now for something serious. Will you spare a prayer for my cousin and her unborn identical twins? They have been diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, and they have undergone surgery to correct the problem and are responding well so far. But they are all still in the hospital, and my cousin will be on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy (she's about 21 weeks along right now). She and her husband have three children at home, so prayers for the whole family, but especially for her and the twins.
Thank you so much.
Thank you so much.
Anybody else slacking on their garden this year? It's already halfway through March, and it doesn't feel to me as if I ought to be working on a garden yet. Here in Georgia, though, it's time for seed-starting and I've pretty much missed the pruning time for flowering shrubs. Oh, well. I can still dream. And make grand plans for "later."
And the internet is it’s own resistance machine. “Have you finished the internet yet?” my husband sometimes asks me at night, when I’ve been at it for long enough, and the end of the internet is nowhere in sight. It’s like the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” book that my kids brought home from the library, full of tattooed women and men with long fingernails. One never tires…Read the rest at Betty Duffy's blog.
All of these things, food, sleep, time, technology, are like one big sacred cow at whose bovine teats one can suckle all day long. When I come off of her I cry and ask to nurse again until I am pacified. But I am never pacified.
Father Barron has noted that if will is the problem, then will is not the solution. I want to say that I should be able to pull myself up by my own bootstraps. Quit doing the things I hate, and do the things I love instead. Combat my lack of will power, with willpower!*
The problem is I don’t really love what I ought to love yet–I still love my sacred cows. And I love the delusion that I can by my own efforts, correct every ill in my life (I love being the Sacred Cow).
Since I mentioned Pride and Prejudice the other day, I'll offer this bright little bit of joy from the Hollywood rom-com/Bollywood musical hybrid, "Bride and Prejudice." It's a fun little cross-cultural take on Jane Austen's novel. It always cheers my eyes, and who couldn't use that on a Friday in Lent? My apologies if I've showed it before—I didn't have time to check.
There's a slightly longer one here, with the end of the dance, but this one has subtitles. You're welcome.