Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Paradox

A paradox, a paradox, a most peculiar paradox - Gilbert & Sullivan, The Pirates of Penzance.

Life is sometimes paradoxical.

Parodoxical in the sense of exhibiting inexplicable or contradictory aspects.

Or maybe it is just me who exhibits these contradictory aspects.

I wrote a bit about this in a post last year, the irony of blogging.

And in the comments of a recent post ~ I write something, and it inadvertantly sounds like I have it all together. Which, as anyone who knows me can attest, I don't ...Then, I usually find something happens that proves my writing wrong, anyway.I write about learning all the time - the kids then veg out. I write about helping others - then think something uncharitable. I write about happy marriage then argue with dh.It is the paradox of blogging - one writes and then the converse happens, the converse of that of which you have written...I got off the computer yesterday, after writing of self gift, and had a fit over a child's grumpiness and complaining - we had a big argument. Totally not giving of self.

Another paradox I exhibit? In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I admit to swearing more often than I should. I listen to counsel. Only to have trouble opening the door on my way out and saying Oh sh** under my breath.

I was reading about Dorothy Day and the Catholic Workers Movement. Apparently some of her life and actions have been considered paradoxical .

Dorothy Day died in 1980, at the age of 83. She was one of the greatest religious figures of the century, and one of the most paradoxical. She was a Catholic and she was an anarchist. She condemned poverty and she advocated it. She founded the Catholic Worker, a loose aggregation of ''houses of hospitality,'' communal farms, newspapers and round-table discussions for ''further clarification of thought'' -- and called her memoirs ''The Long Loneliness.'' The movement was wary of authority, yet revered her as its leader. She humbled herself before God and sat for a portrait by Richard Avedon.

''Don't call me a saint -- I don't want to be dismissed that easily,'' she once said, to no avail. A year ago, to mark what would have been her 100th birthday (today would have been her 101st), John Cardinal O'Connor of New York, a lifelong admirer, announced that he would take up the cause for her canonization. ''If anybody in our time can be called a saint, she can,'' he said. It was an honor, and it was another paradox. The Patron Saint of Paradox ~ The New York Times

Of course, the paradoxical life of Ms Day portrays the paradox of living life as a follower of Christ. The balance between seemingly warring ideas.
My paradoxical behaviour, however, shows lack of self control.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says ~ 1830 The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David

They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations. Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God . . . If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ

1832 The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity."

Ah, don't you love unschooling? My lack of self control can become a family discussion, something I can work on during Advent with the help of my kids and something I can use to inspire conversation on living as a Christian.


molly said...

I love this, so true! I did a post on this a long time ago. Though I called it contradictions. We all have them, yet some of us see them, and pray to be able to remember ours and show mercy to others. You do this Leonie, your humility is very refreshing.

Leonie said...

Molly, so glad you understand. And thank you, too - you always show mercy and understanding.