Happy birthday Mama Mary! I made gluten free blueberry muffins from a paper packet at 9 pm last night and my kids were not disappointed. (Although by “muffin” I mean loaf of crumbly bread-shaped substance. And as the intrepid 5-year-old was quick to point out “Mommy partied already by eating half of it last night.” Touche, son.)
This week has been a whirlwind of stupid, entertaining, and inspiring. Where to begin?
How about with the always inspirational, courteous, and courageous Archbishop Chaput. I joked on Facebook this morning (over 11k followers as of this week – thanks guys!) that I was going to retire my pen and just resign myself to reposting his essays, because the man is a genius. A humble, courageous genius with a gift for public discourse and an easy, authentic manner which makes him even more enjoyable in real life than in print. This piece is worth a careful, prayerful read. Thank you, Archbishop, for continuing to inspire us to live as authentic Christian witnesses in a culture that couldn’t care less.
Spawning Yoda memes, custom t-shirts, and an entire internet’s worth of bumper sticker material, be sure to treat yourself to the video content of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Darth Vader moment during a Senate confirmation hearing for federal circuit court judicial nominee and Notre Dame law professor Amy Barrett, a mother of 7 and a practicing Catholic and apparently, an ideal candidate for Jedi training. (Try not to get too distracted/revolted when you get to Feinstein’s self-reference to her reproductive organs. Some ladies and their one-track minds.)
Bishop Tobin draws a startling and compelling contrast between immigration and abortion, highlighting a personal concern of mine: why do so many Catholics of the more “liberal” persuasion seem able to turn a blind eye to the holocaust of abortion but are so passionately engaged in advocating for the rights of children already born? And why do some further-right believers fail to recognize the humanitarian crisis facing the children of immigrants, when they would gladly stand and fight for those same babies still in the womb? We must hold ourselves as Catholics to a consistent pro-life ethic, resisting the temptation to fall along party lines on these critically important issues. (Note: I don’t agree that ending DACA is itself the problem – The previous administration’s executive overreach is precisely what landed us in this present situation. Our immigration system is broken, and it falls to our legislative branch to address the long-standing dysfunction rather than kicking the can further down the road for some future administration – and a future generation of innocent children – to deal with.)
An oldie but a goodie from First Things (h/t to Rosie for tweeting it). It’s true, and I’ve seen it becoming more and more true as I become the mother of more and more children. Moms in day-old yoga pants frequently stop me wild-eyed in Costco and pant out a disbelieving Idontknowhowyoudoit while their own 2.1 children are falling out of the double cart in the checkout aisle, wanting to know how on earth and more to the point, how on earth I can have more than a couple kids when it’s so much work. And the answer really is: economies of scale. The more kids we have, the easier it gets. And while I won’t say our grocery bill is being helped, we get a killer tuition discount at school, I don’t really buy many more clothes for 4 kids than I did for 2, and we’re still trundling along in the same old 2004, 160k mile Honda Odyssey that we paid off in 2014. Ironically, these past 3 weeks with my big boys in school all day, the 2 and 3 year old have upped their intensity to a whole new level because NATURE ABHORS A VACUUM, and I actually find myself looking longingly at the clock at 2 pm some afternoons, ready for the big brothers to come home and be entertaining and helpful. (The IKEA experience is infinitely improved with the presence of only 2 kids tho, let the record state.)
The National Catholic Register has a fascinating piece on sociologist Mark Regnerus’ newest title: Cheap Sex. This excerpt in particular struck me as very Ben-Opy, in the best way:
We keep thinking that somehow we can change this. It cannot be changed under current conditions. Rather, think about how Christian communities, families, relationships and persons ought to live in light of it. They will need the help of each other — social and financial — to thumb their nose at the culture.
Happy weekend to you and yours, and prayers to everyone on the road and battening down the hatches in the face of Irma.