Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Sharing ~ Quotes, books, trust, blogs

An engaging quote for a Sunday afternoon.

Earlier that evening, after the gynecologist appointment, when I was standing in the Korean deli staring at produce, I'd been thinking, "I'm twenty-nine, Im never going to have kids or a real job, my husband will leave me and I'll die alone in an outer-borough hovel with twenty cats and it'll take two weeks for the stench to reach the hall. " But now, three bowls of potato soup later, I was, to my relief, thinking of nothing much at all. Julia Child's soup had made me vulnerable. Julie and Julia

Now, isn't that the truth? You go from one emotion to the next, sometimes in the space of an afternoon..or an evening.

Food can do that. Hanging out with people can change how one feels.

So can a text. Or an email. A book. A movie. Prayer.

Or for me, this morning, a workout and a homily.

I did a three and one half kilometre walk/run before Mass today. Cardio makes me so happy, makes me shout woo hoo inside. (Okay, I also gave way to an occasional audible woo hoo).

Then a thinking homily about detachment.. drew us all into a discussion about loving God first and foremost..about too much attachment to other things, other areas, other thoughts.

So, now I am happy and thinking.

Thinking about detachment brought me, brought us, to C.S. Lewis' book The Great Divorce. Another elegant Sunday quote.

I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) was precisely nothing: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in "the High Countries." Preface, ibid

One of the people from the book, on Lewis' bus, between heaven and earth, can't, won't, simply won't, get off the bus to get to heaven. My son needs me she wails. I can't leave my son. And we see her choosing earth, choosing her son, over heaven.

Now, we are not really asked to do this in life, are we? It is not often an either/or situation for a Christian. But the point is made. Are we so attached to earthly loves that we forget about God? Shouldn't love for Our Lord be foremost, shouldn 't we trust that by loving, and following, Him , that other things will work out. Eventually. Even if we can't see it right now..

And, to be frank, love for Our Lord deepens our love for others..we love more deeply when we truly see and experience that God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion..Catechism of the Catholic Church 2331

In loving, we trust.

It is this trust that St Therese of the Child Jesus talked about, in her Little Way.

Trusting in God and His Church. Trusting in love.

Homeschooling can be seen to be completely about this trust. Not about intense methods of teaching, documenting, curriculum. Education and discipline within that sense of trust.

Another riveting (?) Sunday quote to share..

The element of unschooling that I would love to see all families embrace is the virtue of trust. I think the heart of unschooling is the trust that grows between parent and child. The parent embarks on a cycle of trusting the child to learn, seeing that the child does learn, and thus having that trust increased. The child’s assurance of the parent’s love and confidence in him grows as well. Perhaps most important of all, the parent and child grow in their trust in God – His plan for their lives, His patience, His eternal Merciful Love. ... And He does not expect us to manufacture our children’s success and salvation on our own. He has provided for all these things; we need to learn to trust Him.

...I would have to refer to the deep anxiety that so many of us experience as we try to help our children along the path to Heaven. I think that St. Therese is one of God’s antidotes to this anxiety. In my own life, St. Therese has been a wonderful role model in littleness, and has shown me a glimpse of God’s great love. She has taught me that “Jesus does not demand great actions from us, but simply surrender and gratitude.” I think she is trying to help me realize that even if all my worst fears are true, and I am not a good enough parent (wife, friend, Catholic), God loves me even more for this, and knew all about me when He entrusted my family to my care. He trusts me, and so I can trust Him. But most of all, St. Therese has helped me see that I am not a failure, that as I learn to accept my weaknesses and disappointments I will also learn to see myself as God sees me: as His beautiful and beloved child. Learning from St. Therese how to become gentle with myself, I am also learning how to be gentle with my husband and children, and I see this gentleness as a precious gift. Suzie Andres author, Homeschooling With Gentleness
I am not very gentle. With myself in particular.

Will you still like me if I admit to being, many times, the antithesis of gentle with my family? That I am the kind of mum who (today) swore, in anger, crossly, under her breath of course, at her child in church?..I don't even like myself for that....

This Sunday blogging, Sunday quoting..Why do I go there? Why do I blog? And blog private things, like that thing above..Though even I have limits. There are definitely some things that even I won't blog about. Or will blog about euphemistically...

When you read, a lot, and write a lot, you find writing to be part of your life, who you are.

I read, I write, I blog. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes very little.

Blogging started as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends, as we move around.

Became a vehicle for sharing the joy of homeschooling and the joys of the Catholic Faith with others.

Helped me meet new friends.

Formed my thoughts, my ideas, by the act of writing. (Almost) superseded journalling.

Or diary writing. Like that diary of Samuel Pepys. The one we studied in English Lit at high school.

Pepys gave us a picture of life in England in the 1600s. Maybe we armchair, boring bloggers, not the exciting bloggers of travellers and terrorists, or the loony bloggers of conspiracy theorists, but we everyday bloggers..perhaps we are scribbling a small, defective, often ill written but personal archive of life now.

My final Sunday eccentric quote? From my current novel, Julie and Julia, again, but this time not about food. About blogging (Julie Powell began her book as a blog..) and about Samuel Pepys.

What I think is that Sam Pepys wrote down all the details of his life for nine years because the very act of writing them down made them important, ar at least singular. Overseeing the painters doing his upstairs rooms was rather dull, but writing about it made overseeing the painters doing his upstairs rooms at least seem interesting. Threatening to kill his wife's dog for pissing on the new rug might have made him feel a bit sheepish and mean, but write it down and you have a hilarious domestic anecdote for the centuries..

Will blogs be the the fodder for those anecdotes of the furture? Tongue-in-cheek here of course... - I mean, aren't our blogs so sociologically, anthropologically fascinating ? The medium, the attraction of writing and reading blogs could be the dream answer to how life was lived in the postmodern age, to the anthropologists of the future...

Sunday sharing of blog quotes, fifty years hence?

Or of Facebook statuses? And Facebook quizzes...What would a future historian have to say about we Facebookers who do Facebook quizzes back to back, quizzes like What Religious Order Would You Join and Who is Your Lover of the Day?


Chris said...

In twenty years we will have to sit back looking over your blog enjoying a margarita and have a good laugh and cry and laugh again. Although will we have the time????? i'm sure we can make time even though we will be very busy.

Leonie said...

We will still be young in twenty years..won't we? And how trivial will my blog posts seem then..Oh, Chris, you really have to get back to blogging. Even anonymously. Your phrases are whimsical, are great.."enjoying a margarita and have a good laugh and cry and laugh again"..for sure..its a date!

Cindy said...

Ditto what Chris said... I will still be reading in 20 years.. :)

Hopewell said...

Ha! I highlighted that quote from Julie/Julia as I was reading it!! Great minds think alike I guess!

Leonie said...

For sure, Lisa GMTA!..Which quote btw? The first or the second?..Are you enjoying the book? I know some of my friends have criticised it because of language ( and other things! lol!) but I like her turn of phrase, her honesty, the whole project, the blog....She was searching, found something, is still searching in a way, for fulfilment..and yet we find it ultimately in God, don't we?..Makes me want to cook, to bury myself in a good cookbook...

LLMom said...

Blogging is a way to think/communicate on screen just like writing is thinking/communicating on paper. I absolutely love to blog. Thanks for sharing.