Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Few Things

  • This Lent, I'm focusing on the d-word, archaically known as detachment. The saints know all about it. My more clinical, modern version of it would be disinterested. But I really like my vernacular version: don't care. To explain it simply, in all things non-essential, I will not fret, I will not calculate, and I will not care. 

  • In his book Catholicism, Fr. Barron translates one of the beatitudes "Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted," into "how lucky you are if you are not addicted to good feelings." This has stuck with me. It applies, almost daily, to the circumstances I find myself in, as those around me. I see this "addiction" especially in some of my young students, who are dependent on constant affirmation. I try to be thoughtful in meting out compliments, mainly to wean a person from this "addiction." At the same time I also take care not to be a scrooge in encouragement. The problem isn't that we savor the sweetness of compliment, but rather that when compliments are not forthcoming, we still have the will to go on. This freedom from the chains of good feelings truly sets us free. 

  • I am sick and tired of cooking.

  • KDM is reading Mark Levin's Ameritopia, which is having a strange effect on our dinner table conversations: we find ourselves discussing Plato's Republic and Sir Thomas More's Utopia. He is now on the chapter on Thomas Hobbs, which means he's very close to coming to Karl Marx. By virtue of all this, I feel the pressure of getting educated on the linage of Utopianism. 

  • My poor niece Mimi just took the dreaded TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) Test yesterday. She signed up taking the test without telling anybody because if the result is disastrous, nobody would find out. She told me only because she needed my prayers, and swore me to secrecy. I asked the Dear Lord to please humor this poor girl. She wants to study in the U.S.. TOEFL is a big hoop to jump through.

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