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Saturday 18 September |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Daudi Okelo and Bl. Jildo Irwa

Seven quick, gratifying reads

Simcha Fisher - published on 04/04/14

–1–

Okay, so this

Pope Francis waving

is not exactly this

Agentinian Pirate guy

but if you want to understand someone, it’s always helpful to learn a bit about the culture they come from. From Matadornetwork.com (huh!): 15 differences between a normal friend and an Argentinean friend. Cute.

–2–

A quick and insightful post from Clare Short, The Mantilla Blues, which is not really about veiling, per se, but about how we think we can hide from God by doing God stuff, and God is like, “Stop it, silly. I can see you.”  Short, sweet, smart.

 –3–

A longer but just as insightful piece from Jessica Griffith (yay, I found a great new author! New to me, I mean): “Against Gratitude.

[I]t seems it’s no longer enough to endure or even embrace the endless Sisyphean chores of parenting and life. We Christian parents must enjoy them, and our children must enjoy them, and the key to obtaining this joy—and the measure of our faith—is our gratitude for it all. We mean well, but our current obsession with gratitude is just another indication that we’ve lost our heads in a race to make the mundane glorious. We aren’t shocked to find God hiding beneath the salt cellar, as the art critic John Berger once put it—we fully expect him there. We’ve already Instagrammed the saltshaker and tagged it blessed. This no longer strikes me as worshipping a God of small things, the little way of St. Therese or Brother Lawrence, but as making gods of small things, holding up the trivial and the banal and calling it transcendent.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I think she’s getting at something that I wanted to drive home when I was respondingto the claims that you can so guarantee fidelity in marriage, because grace. Griffith says,

It is good to be mindful of [the presence of God making good out of all things]—of course it is—but the moment we think we can trace his movements through our days is the moment we deny the mystery of those movements. “Truth is not something that can be possessed like a tea-cosy,” Caryll Houselander wrote. Or, as her publisher Frank Sheed put it, “Really seeing it includes seeing why we cannot see more of it.”

Yes.  Many critics groaned that I was  overemphasizing the pain and suffering that are possible or even likely in marriage. In fact, I was rebelling against the taming of marriage. Love doesn’t fit inside a goody bad marked “grace” that you get at really nicely planned weddings. It’s heavier than that, but in many cases, it’s much, much,ever so much bigger and better than that.  I was talking with Fr. Dwight Longenecker about this yesterday, when we recorded a radio interview (to be broadcast later):  we need to stop expecting love to be like Disneyland — and we need to stop wishing that love will be like Disneyland. Not because it’s too much to expect, but because it’s too little.

–4–

So, Jennifer Fulwiler’s memoir, Something Other Than God, is coming out soon. I read it. On my treadmill. I stayed on my treadmill longer so I could finish reading it. That’s how good it is.  And how good is Jen Fulwiler? She is offering a free ebook to anyone who pre-orders her book.

Details here. The ebook is called The Family-First Creative:  47 Tips for Following Your Dreams While Putting Family First.  Nice!

–5–

Remember the wonderful photos of Pope Francis hugging that hugely joyful little boy named Dominic?

PIC Francis embracing Dominic

Well, his family recently did a fundraiser to buy one of these brilliant new devices, which allows disabled children to walk along with their parents.

I didn’t even hear about the fundraiser until it was over — because the project was fully funded in five hours. See, there are good things in the world and even on the internet!

–6–

And not even a read, but definitely gratifying. Or, not gratifying, but, look, if you like this kind of thing, it’s exactly the kind of thing you’ll like:  Celebrities that Look Like Mattresses.  For instance, Mickey Rourke and his doppelmattress:

PIC Mickey Rourke and mattress
It was hard to pick one photo that would give you an idea of what this feature is about, because I really don’t understand what it is about.

–7–

And finally, either the most or least gratifying thing you will read all week:  my son’s 4th grade teacher sent me this artifact from his recent classroom political campaign:

Okay, so he doesn’t even know how to spell his own middle name, but that’s actually not a bad life plan: Think hard, try to do what is right, and then just walk away.

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