coffee clicks, Culture of Death, ditching my smartphone, feast days, infertility, liturgical living, Pornography, social media, technology

Coffee Clicks {September 29th}

September 29, 2017

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.

-1-

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).

-2-

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.”

-3-

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.

-4-

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.

-5-

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.

-6-

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.

3 Comments

  • Reply Lorna September 30, 2017 at 3:15 am

    As an aside to the Halloween/witches/devil/satan thing – as the 31st October looms ever closer – particularly for the 6 year old who has started getting WAY too excited when he sees anything spooky related – what do you do as a trying really hard mother to get it ‘right’ for your child. My son’s school is having a Halloween disco – he wants to go – it will make him different (again) if he doesn’t go, he also want to dress up as scarily as possible (I’ve already said no to scary) he wanted a zombie costume – I said no, he wants a skeleton costume – I don’t know what to say. Going as a cute pumpkin is not going to cut it in his 6 year old eyes this time. I don’t want scary/demon/devil stuff, he doesn’t want cutesy stuff. How do you tread the line between faith and culture with something that is rammed down his throat which he will only understand my point of view in about 20 years if ever!

  • Reply Jenny September 30, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Good question! We let our kids celebrate halloween and then make an even bigger deal out of all saints day, but of course, to them, halloween is the pinnacle of the season. We have a moratorium on satanic/occultish costumes, so no witches/demons/devils/wizards/serial killers/etc. But I think I’d be fine with a mummy or a skeleton. After all, we are focusing on death and the reality that we’re going to die one day, but then we close the weekend out with a glorious feast in honor of all the saints and the reality of eternal life beyond this one. I tell my boys they can be gory saint-themed costumes (we’ve had a St. Ignatius with a bloody cannonball protruding from the knee, and an Ignatius of Antioch with a lion attached to his back and gnawing a great big hold in his shoulder) and we point out to them that we’re not glorifying death by these costumes, but commemorating the brave way in which these holy men and women *faced* death. It’s a little nuanced, but even as little kids, they seem to get it on some level. I’m also personally fine with them being bad guys from the movies if they want to, so Darth Vader or a Storm Trooper or the Joker. Because there is good and evil.

    It’s when you get into the really dark celebration of death/occult/satanic that we draw the line. I think a skeleton costume could totally work, and be a nice nod to the day of the dead that much of the world celebrates this time of year. We’re just trying to keep the focus on what comes *after* death in our family. so emphasizing striving for eternal life versus eternal damnation.

    Every family does it differently, but I think it’s great you’re figuring out what works for yours! This piece from the archives might be helpful:https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/mamaneedscoffee/2015/10/go-ahead

  • Reply Lorna October 1, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you! That was super helpful!
    I kind of knew what I wanted to do – but sometimes I get lost in the ‘but Mum’ Conversations!
    And the link was great too!

  • Leave a Reply