Hey it’s Michaelmas. Which means you can totally get away with ordering chicken wings for dinner and calling yourself a liturgical boss. (Just don’t skip on the diablo hot sauce.)
This past week felt so heavy in the news. I mentioned on Facebook on Tuesday that I’ve started taking Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays completely off of all social media platforms, and it has been awesome. Super good for the head and the heart. And it has really catapulted my book-consumption rate through the roof. This past week I devoured one of my favorite blogger’s debut offerings, Anne Bogel’s “Reading People,” along with a book Dave passed on to me, “Beneath a Scarlet Sky” (depressing but well written with a shocker at the end; a rare glimpse of WWII told from an Italian perspective), two middling modern fiction/YA offerings “Holding up the universe” and “Forever, Interrupted,” and am halfway into both “Hidden Figures” and “Today Will Be Different.” (First one is good but very statistic-y. Second is meh. I liked “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” better, by the same author.
Suffice it to say, I get a lot of reading accomplished when I’m not numbing my brain with newsfeeds and the perpetual cycle of What Is Offensive This Week. Even if none of it was particularly deep or scholarly. It was all very Josef Pieper, truth be told.
I’m getting into that home stretch (that’s a stretch) of pregnancy where suddenly decaf isn’t cutting it in the morning, and an afternoon nap is looking more and more like a daily necessity. 27 weeks but who’s counting? If I hadn’t done this four times already, I’d swear there’s no way my belly could get any bigger. And the general public would tend to agree with that assessment. Just you wait till December, helpless passersby. Things are going to get real.
While I spent a nice little chunk of time away from social media, I was still aware enough of the outside world to note the passing of cultural icon Hugh Hefner. Arguably the single greatest driving force behind the prolific spread of pornography, we should all take a moment to pray for the response of his soul. I said as much on Facebook and was a little shocked by some of the vitriolic responses from fellow Christians, who apparently missed the memo of Jesus praying to the Father “that none may be lost.” Also, color many people vv confused about Purgatory and the Spiritual Works of Mercy. I’ll have to write a whole piece on the big P one of these days. This examination of the legacy of Hefner is worth a read (and do offer a Hail Mary for his soul).
Fr. James Martin. Sigh. So much ugly electronic ink spilled on both sides of the aisle lately. His prickly responses to perceived or actual criticism of his work make it hard to root for him, and, unlike other “controversial” churchmen like Chaput or Gomez, he seems particularly unwilling to dialogue with those who hold opposing viewpoints. This interview with a baptist theologian sums up the consequences of his theological understanding of homosexuality, according to his controversial book, “Building Bridges.”
I actually burned out on HGTV after Luke’s pregnancy. By the end of my third trimester with him, I was spending hours each day, counting the gym + nightly soaks in the bathtub, consuming endless reruns of House Hunters (International and local, thankyouverymuch) and Fixer Upper, and it actually made real life house hunting really, really painful. Forget granite countertops and his and hers sinks; how about a foundation that isn’t failing, an intact roof, and a clean bill of mold free health? This piece hilariously (and a little bit disturbingly) sums up what is so addictive and so destructive about this particular genre of reality tv.
My friend Emily Stimpson Chapman wrote a beautiful and hard and brutally-honest piece exploring her foray into the world of infertility. It’s actually the best thing I’ve ever read about the heartache of hearing “no” to the question of new life.
Guys, I know it’s nearing the season of spookiness and all-things-creepy, but everyone knows that actually, um, dabbling in the demonic is utterly and irrevocably opposed to faith in Jesus Christ, right? Right? Okay, well just in case there is any residual confusion over the matter, give this a look, and remember that just because something seems innocuous or fun or even “worth it” in terms of risk taken, doesn’t make it so. Stay far, far away from the occult, from Satan, and from all his empty works and promises.
This is what real power looks like. This woman’s story beggars belief and begs the question: “what grudges am I holding on to that I have been unwilling to release?” If she can forgive the infamous Dr. Mengele of Auschwitz, what in the (literal) hell is holding me back?
And on that mind blowing and uplifting note, I bid you the happiest weekend filled with restorative, leisurely activities and authentic worship. And many hours of consecutive, uninterrupted sleep.