Monthly Archives: June, 2016

7 Quick Takes on Event-Filled Weeks and Jeopardy!

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

I am about halfway through another big swing of events. I had a couple of Skype and phone dates filling up my weeknights. I was up early and out until mid-afternoon yesterday, then I did chores until I went back out again. An old friend came into town this weekend, so a group met up for dinner after church. This coming week, I will have another friend date, stop by the summer church history study at my parish, go to a work social event, and make a day-long retreat. All of this activity is crazy, but it is a blessing to have so many friends and to not be bored!

— 2 —

I was up early on Saturday for the saddest reason. Some dear friends of mine lost their son to stillbirth last week. They buried him this weekend. It was the most beautiful and terrible experience. It was beautiful because the Mass is always beautiful (heaven touches Earth!) and because it was at the same church where they were married about a year and a half ago. The church was about as full both times, which is a testament to the community they have built. It was terrible because the death of a child is always terrible. I could only express my sorrow and assure them of my prayers.

— 3 —

I’m still working through my Life Plan. It’s supposed to be a living document, so I’m doing my best to keep it fresh without giving in to my tendency to revise endlessly. I came across a quotation that I hope will help me focus my efforts:

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” —Peter Drucker

— 4 —

Also a Church Word: It's defined as a coherent, typically large body of matter with no definite shape. What is matter?

J!6 has so many Lindsay-friendly clues! As I said before, I am hoping that some of these kinds of clues actually make it to the show if I, too, make it to the show.

— 5 —

Whose What?: Dumbledore's Army is a fictional organization that held meetings in this school. What is Hogwarts?

Seriously.

— 6 —

International Days of the Week: Of dies mercurii, dies solis, or dies martis, it's Wednesday in Latin. What is dies mercurii?

Mr. Man works with Latin, so I was especially proud to share that one with him. I only know church Latin and what I can make out from my knowledge of Spanish. For this clue, I used the latter.

— 7 —

Mr. Man himself sent me this one, perhaps suggesting that this would be a worthy pastime if I become independently wealthy:

If you watch Jeopardy! backwards, it's a show about rich people paying money for answers to questions.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Sunday Style: Summertime!

In my effort to make the most of my Sundays, I got at least one thing done that I didn’t mean to do and failed to do something I totally thought I would be able to do. Neither of those things was dressing appropriately for church; here is the evidence:

Sunday Style for June 12

Top: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Fergie (yes, that one; I really wanted white lace flats)
Necklace: Target
Earrings: gift from when I was like twelve
Ring: Maryland Renaissance Festival (same one I always wear)
Watch: Timex (same one I always wear)
Sunnies: Ray-Ban (same ones I always wear)

I am so excited to have my summer clothes back! I have some winter-only items, but not many. And I can layer well enough to turn almost any summer item into something warm enough for Austin’s version of winter. It also helps that I don’t care a lot about “summer colors” versus “winter colors.” Still, I was very glad to be able to wear this outfit again. White skirts and white flats scream summer.

I’m also pleased at my ability to get every one of my accessories in one photo there. I somehow spent the whole day thinking it was Father’s Day, so I was later than usual getting home (since I called my dad from the church parking lot after Mass) and not in the mood to take more photos. On the up side, I got in a bonus call to both parents, which exceeds my goals from my Life Plan. Farther on the up side, my card definitely got to my dad on time. On the down side, I realized why Fr. Associate Pastor and Deacon R were so confused by my Father’s Day wishes. Oh, well. There are much more embarrassing things I could have done, and I didn’t do any of those. #winning

I think Deacon R is re-retiring, so this might be the last homily of his I hear. He started by sharing that the story of the sinful woman anointing Jesus appears in all four gospels. It’s usually just before the Resurrection, though, so it represents the anointing of his body after the Crucifixion. In Luke’s Gospel, though, the anointing appears very early in the narrative, representing Jesus’ mercy and compassion. I’m pretty familiar with Luke and with the other versions of this story, but I had not noticed the timeline before.

He continued on to share that anointing usually sets apart someone or something for a sacred purpose. Jesus’ first anointing was by the Holy Spirit at his baptism. For us fully-initiated Catholics, we also received our first anointings then: the pre-baptism anointing with the oil of catechumens and the post-baptism and Confirmation anointings with chrism. I realized that priests also receive anointing at their ordinations with chrism, and altars at the dedication of a new church are anointed with chrism, but the image doesn’t work quite as neatly with the Anointing of the Sick. That’s a shame; “anointing” is right there in the name.

Other notes I took after Mass are that the woman might have been considered sinful due to being a Gentile (inherently sinful) or sick (physically stricken due to moral failings), and that some people might think that the woman earns her forgiveness by her obvious penitence and love for Jesus, but the reading from St. Paul clarifies that for us in advance.

In a fortuitous twist, I was ready about 10 minutes early, so I opted to spend some time writing in my spiritual journal in the church before Mass. (I sit right near the choir pit, but I’m decent at tuning them out.) The Holy Spirit led me to reflect on my last Confession from a few weeks ago. Between pre-reading before Mass and hearing the readings proclaimed, I had completely forgotten that the theme of the day was repentance.

So it was a day full of surprises, but a good day all the same.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Recommended Reads: 23/2016

I’ve gone back to regular Quick Takes this week (last week?), but don’t think I’d forgotten about Recommended Reads. It’s not like I stopped reading! My goal is to make this a weekly feature. I’ve got a repeating task in Wunderlist to read some posts in Pocket every Thursday, so I’m bound to find some gems, and I made myself a template for these posts, so that should help. I didn’t exactly read all of these last week (week 23 of 2016), but these are the ones I picked out then. My blog, my feature, my rules.

— 1 —

Title: The Frivolity of Evil
Source: City Journal via CERC

There is something to be said here about the word “depression,” which has almost entirely eliminated the word and even the concept of unhappiness from modern life. Of the thousands of patients I have seen, only two or three have ever claimed to be unhappy: all the rest have said that they were depressed. This semantic shift is deeply significant, for it implies that dissatisfaction with life is itself pathological, a medical condition, which it is the responsibility of the doctor to alleviate by medical means. Everyone has a right to health; depression is unhealthy; therefore everyone has a right to be happy (the opposite of being depressed). This idea in turn implies that one’s state of mind, or one’s mood, is or should be independent of the way that one lives one’s life, a belief that must deprive human existence of all meaning, radically disconnecting reward from conduct.

I think about this sometimes, and because of it, I’m very careful about ever claiming to be “depressed.”

While my patients know in their hearts that what they are doing is wrong, and worse than wrong, they are encouraged nevertheless to do it by the strong belief that they have the right to do it, because everything is merely a matter of choice.

Somehow it’s not okay to say that sometimes people make bad choices.

— 2 —

Title: Personal Love and the Call to Chastity
Source: The Public Discourse

Fulton Sheen aptly diagnosed the modern sexual situation: “Sex is thought about as a medium of pleasure to such a degree that it has become an obsession.” Even in our sex-saturated culture, student organizations like the Love and Fidelity Network have formed in reaction to the college culture, which masks sexual libertinism in Slut Walks and speech against “slut-shaming”—efforts that often only lead to “chastity shaming” instead. Even women well versed in feminist theory find pop culture’s presentation of feminism unsatisfying, with its insistence on the bifurcation of the self—dividing the physical from the personal and the emotional from the sexual. One paradigmatic example can be found in the lyrics of the popular Lady Gaga song, “Do What U Want”: “You can’t have my heart and you won’t use my mind, but do what you want with my body.” This false, dualistic dichotomy is the malady of the modern age.

— 3 —

Title: The Impossibility of Secular Society
Source: First Things

Advocates of secularism assume they are proposing a novel possibility, which is that moral precepts can be known without any particular revelation by God. Yet this is precisely what Christianity has taught, explicitly since Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and, implicitly, since Jesus himself. This was lost sight of in the modern era, when many Christians defended religion against skeptical and rationalist attacks by arguing that it is necessary for ensuring the moral basis of society. Men without religion, it was argued, could not be trusted to behave in an upright fashion. So advocates of secularism were drawn into the false debate.

Not the article I was expecting, but good from here until the switch to the second argument.

— 4 —

Title: The Limits of Consent
Source: The Public Discourse

The value of consent lies not in the ability to make our own decisions, but in making the right decisions.

Sounds a lot like the difference between license and freedom, now that I think about it. The broader culture demands the former; the Truth lies in the latter.

— 5 —

Title: Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest
Source: The New York Times

As Dr. Kimmel masterfully deflected an outpouring of protests, the atmosphere grew palpably tense. A young man wearing fraternity letters stood up. “What you don’t get right is that girls are into hooking up as much as we are; they come on to us, too,” he said. Dr. Kimmel shook his head, which left the student clearly rattled.

His voice quavering, the young man stammered something unexpected from a frat brother, about how women can be as insensitive and hurtful as guys. He sounded like a victim himself. But afterward, when I asked him if he had reached out to any of his guy friends for advice or solace, he stared at me, incredulous, his irises two small blue islands amid a sea of sclera. “Nah, I’ve got this,” he said.

— 6 —

Title: Why the Rich Don’t Give to Charity
Source: The Atlantic

If you scanned the press releases, or drove past the many university buildings, symphony halls, institutes, and stadiums named for their benefactors, or for that matter read the histories of grand giving by the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Stanfords, and Dukes, you would be forgiven for thinking that the story of charity in this country is a story of epic generosity on the part of the American rich.

It is not. One of the most surprising, and perhaps confounding, facts of charity in America is that the people who can least afford to give are the ones who donate the greatest percentage of their income. In 2011, the wealthiest Americans—those with earnings in the top 20 percent—contributed on average 1.3 percent of their income to charity. By comparison, Americans at the base of the income pyramid—those in the bottom 20 percent—donated 3.2 percent of their income.

I think about this whenever I consider parish stewardship. I have a plan for myself, but the reality is that the bystander effect (“someone else will help”) is strong.

— 7 —

Title: How to Beat Loneliness
Source: TED

If you feel socially disconnected, go through your phone and email address books, and your social media contacts, and make a list of people you haven’t seen or spoken to for a while. If you feel emotionally disconnected, make a list of five people you’ve been close to in the past. Reach out to them and suggest getting together and catching up. Yes, it will feel scary to do so, and yes, you will worry about it being awkward or uncomfortable. That is why it is also important to….

Don’t just wallow or complain. Do something about it!

7 Quick Takes on Why I Don’t Have a Favelog and My Trip to Chicago

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

I’m back to normal Quick Takes this week, although I have plenty of recommended reads in the queue for tomorrow and the future. (I’ve already drafted tomorrow’s post, so I’m cautiously confident about my ability to actually post it then.)

I realized this week how much I enjoy reading nonfiction. It’s mostly self-help type nonfiction (productivity, personal finance, books about writing), but I like it. I’m not a biography person, but one of the things I like to do with my time is reading, so that helps eliminate some of the potential paradox of reading about productivity instead of actually being productive. I feel like I’m doing both!

— 2 —

Recommended Reads is my current implementation of a favelog. This is a term coined (as far as I can tell) by Ari Bader-Natal. He was searching for a way to aggregate his likes, favorites, etc. from various social media sites into one place as a personal archive, independent of the original sites and easily sortable and searchable.

I like the idea of a favelog, but I haven’t currently created one for a couple of reasons. (There’s a method to my madness, I swear.)

— 3 —

I want my blog to be the hub of my personal brand. I don’t want a sub-blog. If you want to follow me on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, Pocket, or Pinterest, you can follow me there. (Links are in the sidebar below my photo.) You know what kind of info you’ll find in each place. I like that division.

I’m not sure there’s a use for “show me everything Lindsay has shared everywhere” unless you are Mr. Man, and he seems to like his current workflow just fine. I tried to suggest that he use an RSS reader, but he was not into it. Then again, he does not read dozens of blogs like I do.

— 4 —

When I share something on one of my social media profiles, I really only want to share it there. When I read something rec-worthy in Pocket, though, I usually want to offer commentary beyond “you should read this; it is good stuff.” IFTTT won’t pick up anything from Pocket Recommendations automatically. I love the fast, easy way to add commentary and pick a custom excerpt using Pocket Recommendations, so I’m going to keep using that Pocket feature. I will just have to share them to non-Pocket users by hand, i.e. through regular posts here at Lindsay Loves.

— 5 —

I have a decent decision tree for what I share to each profile. When I share something on Facebook, I invite interaction from my Facebook friends. I don’t care if non-Facebook friends never see it. When I retweet something, I don’t care if people who don’t follow me on Twitter don’t see it.

I generally don’t cross-post the same info to more than one profile; when I do, it’s deliberate. I sometimes blog about posts I’ve also shared to Facebook, but not often. I sometimes share Instagram posts to Twitter or Facebook, but that’s rare.

I do automatically share my Goodreads progress updates and links to new Lindsay Loves blog posts on Twitter, but that’s because Twitter is ideal for “right this second” updates. It’s fun to say “I am on this page of this book right now” and “I published a new blog post right now.” If you follow me on the original sites, though, you can also get “not right this second” updates: “How far along is Lindsay in 168 Hours?” and “Is there anything new at Lindsay Loves?”

— 6 —

Enough about that. I spent last weekend in Chicago with my BFF and my BF. It was a whirlwind trip, and there was regular wind blowing through the city, but it was absolutely worth all the trouble. The Internet is amazing for building and maintaining relationships of all kinds, but there is nothing quite like being close enough to touch someone. Separation is hard.

— 7 —

I got a bunch of reading done on my flights to and from Chicago (and in the airport, since I had to get there stupidly early). I think that’s my new strategy for airplane productivity: bring a real book (so my phone battery doesn’t get worn down too quickly; iPhones have amazing battery life when you’re only playing stored music) and just read. Plane naps are never even refreshing. On my flight back to Austin, I reached up to turn on the light and nothing happened. I was very upset at having to potentially read in dim light, but then it came on as mysteriously as it had failed to moments before. Hooray!


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Not Alone Series: Online Community

notaloneseries

This week, we begin our summer series, which features a once-a-month link-up instead of once per week. The Not Alone Series has been around for three years now, so we’re returning to our roots a little bit. Co-founder Jen of Jumping in Puddles is hosting.

In honor of the Not Alone Series’s recent third birthday, we thought it would be fun to talk about online community. What role has it played in your life? Have you made lasting relationships from your online world? What do you love most?

I met my boyfriend through my blog! It was my NAS post about pursuit that encouraged him to ask me out in the first place, so that is definitely my favorite thing. I think he would agree.

Apart from Mr. Man, my favorite thing about NAS is that it gives me the freedom to express myself. I wrote last year about my gratitude for connecting online with other single women who are seeking spouses. Writing those posts on my own would just feel like complaining. No one wants to hang out with a grumpus, let alone date one. But a whole bunch of single women writing on the same topic is a discussion. Somehow, when I can read other people’s perspectives on the same topics, I don’t feel quite so alone.

I also credit the Internet with basically my entire social life in Austin. When Christmas rolled around that first year I lived here, I realized that I had no friends. When I came back after vacation, I Googled some keywords and found a non-parish-specific Catholic young adult group. That which was perfect because I worked in campus ministry, so I didn’t belong to a parish. Crashing a parish group would have felt strange. I also met some great non-Catholic people through Meetup, which I highly recommend. I love Meetup’s premise: using the Internet to get off the Internet.

That’s the point, really. Online communities are best when they lead to in-person interaction. They encourage us to establish connections that serendipity could never bring about. But even God had to become flesh eventually. We need that meeting of soul and body to really show the love of God to our neighbor.


Next month’s topic: Wedding Fun

We will be linking up with our other co-founder, Morgan, at Follow and Believe. Join us on July 5!

View past and upcoming topics here or like our Facebook Page for regular alerts.

Link up with Jen at Jumping in Puddles!

Sunday Style: In the Windy City with Mr. Man

As mentioned in my last post, which was last week’s Sunday Style, I let the week slip away from me. I prioritized other things ahead of publishing that post, to be honest. My highest priority for the week was getting ready for a trip to Chicago to see my BFF Sarah and… Mr. Man!

Sunday Style for June 5

Dress: Ann Taylor Loft
Bolero jacket (barely visible in headshot) and leggings: Target
Shoes: Old Navy
Earrings: high school graduation pearls
Necklace: holy medals
Man: my boyfriend, who only dresses like this for church because I ask him to

Those are not my best photos, but I was not really focused on picture-taking either time. In the selfie, it was super windy (is “Windy City” really just a metaphor?), and in the full-length and detail, I had just arrived home from the airport and was rushing to get to bed ASAP.

I picked this dress partly because it travels well and partly because I was so happy to see it after tucking it away for the winter. It’s hard to mix and match with this one, so I can really only wear it like this (or with white pieces instead of black), but it’s great quality, so it lasts from year to year. I guess if I had a neutral button-down, I could try tying that over this and wearing the dress like a skirt. I’ll keep that in mind as I do my summer shopping; I am currently tired of every top I own.

Sarah, Mr. Man, and I went to Mass with her family on Sunday. She and I stayed with her parents and an assortment of other people overnight, so we all went together. She has five younger brothers, so everyone rode in the giant family van and met up with Mr. Man at the family’s parish. Her mom introduced us all to the priest as we arrived. In retrospect, that was probably a touch ridiculous:

“Good morning, Father! Let’s see, today we have my son and his college roommate; he’s staying with us this summer. And this is my niece and her boyfriend; and my daughter, Sarah; and her friend; and her boyfriend.”

We took up a whole pew! Sarah’s mom read aloud a reflection on the Gospel as we drove to church, which was absolutely the most adorable Catholic family thing I have ever experienced. And her dad dropped us all off at the door before he went to park the van, which was very helpful since I was running behind, making us all run behind. My family doesn’t go to church, so I have no experience of Catholic family life or even family church attendance. I want that for my own family someday, God willing. Sharing in Sarah’s family’s experience this weekend confirmed that desire. It was beautiful.

The homily, however, got a little strange, which was interesting considering how awesome it was the last time I was at a different, random Chicago parish. The priest noted that many earthly phenomena have both positive and negative aspects: rain nourishes plants and humans but can also cause floods; earthquakes are a response to the natural movement of tectonic plates but cause structural and topographical damage. He also went on a weird tangent about how even diseases are just trying to fulfill their purpose of multiplication, although they harm and kill humans. I can’t remember how any of it related to the readings, but I remember there being a connection somewhere. We stood during the consecration, so maybe that is just the spirit of that parish. I did enjoy getting to sing the Mass of Renewal, though; it’s been a while.

My favorite point from the homily was that, in each reading, God’s messenger (Elijah, then Jesus) brings him into new, closer contact with the Earth and with people on the Earth. Death is bad, but it leads us to encounter the living God. I also noticed that in both cases of raising the dead, the prophet returns the son to his mother. The son doesn’t just go back; he is sent back. I’m not sure how that is significant, but no detail in the Bible is a mistake.

It was so good to see Mr. Man in person again. I’m very glad to have him in my life, and I’m even more glad to have him beside me in the pew.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Sunday Style: Last Week

My week got away from me! I had this post written last week, but I didn’t get to share it until today for a reason that will become clear in my next post. I’ve left all the time references in for expedience in publishing.


I only switched around my seasonal wardrobes yesterday, so I was stuck with the winter + transitional pieces this past Sunday. I was so happy to see the things I’d tucked away when it got cold that I wore one of my warm-weather skirts to work today!

But here’s what I came up with for Sunday:

Sunday Style for May 29

Shirt, skirt, and necklace: Target
Shoes: Old Navy
Earrings: Maryland Renaissance Festival
Watch: Timex Weekender (I wear it all the time)

Our dryer is broken. The original plan was to do one week’s worth of laundry on Saturday so that I wouldn’t be left short after I am out of town this Saturday (on my usual laundry day). That plan failed, but it did mean that the dryer broke after just one load had been washed, and it was a smaller load than usual. It also hopefully means that the dryer will be fixed by the time I need to do laundry two Saturdays from now.

I love my systems and routines. I do not love when they fail.

The revised plan was the laundromat. (I tried a nearby friend, but she was at the spa for Memorial Day Weekend.) That meant getting up early for church, coming home for lunch, and then straight to the laundromat. This outfit was nice enough for church and comfortable (and cool!) enough for laundry. I felt like St. Martha.

Early church generally means going to a different parish than usual. I was back at the one with the agonizingly long pre-Mass announcements. I glanced at my watch after the Gloria, though, and we were only 10 minutes in, so I guess it wasn’t that long. Noticeably shorter than last time, but still. That encourages people to be late so they “won’t miss anything.”

A deacon whose name I don’t know preached the homily. He happened to be visiting Montreal with his wife one year on Corpus Christi. In Canada, the feast is on a Thursday, the day customarily dedicated to the Eucharist. (Think “Holy Thursday.”). They were stunned to find the cathedral packed, and they joined a procession of thousands after Mass, walking behind a giant monstrance on a flatbed truck through the streets of Montreal. Now that is public piety!

Deacon What’s-His-Name also mentioned that Corpus Christi’s inclusion in the calendar was inspired by the vision of a sister who saw the moon brightly shining except for one shadowy area. The shadow was a feast missing from the calendar, one which would honor the Body of Christ. Done.

Finally, he said that tabernacles (a.k.a. the gold boxes where Jesus lives; my definition, not his) started as cupboards used to reserve the Eucharistic bread between Sunday Masses. They evolved into tabernacles more like today’s, which stored Communion to be taken to the homebound. After Vatican II, adoration chapels were encouraged, and many sprang up. Am I the only one who did not know Vatican II encouraged Eucharistic adoration? I have felt encouraged in that devotion as long as I’ve been going to church, but I would have chalked that up to my generation, not the previous one. Hmm.

Ironically, I was sitting just too far back in the church, so I did not actually get to receive the Blood of Christ. I usually wouldn’t mind, but this seemed like a bad day for that to happen. Oh, well. Maybe next week!


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

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