Tuesday, August 05, 2008

some thoughts

These are all links from Love2Learn Mom's blog Studeo; that is probably the only connection between the topics. This will be a rambly series of thoughts and quotes; I am still getting back on track after our hiatus.

Studeo: Notes on Writing from a talk given by Father John Hardon. About the value of writing in thinking and sharing with others. A few quotes:

"Very few people understand the value of writing...

My purpose here is to help you see why writing is such a blessed asset of the spiritual life. To be convinced of the value of writing, if only a few words every day, is to have made a giant stride on the road to sanctity...

Writing disciplines the mind. Left to ourselves our thoughts are nothing less than a jungle filled with wild animals. Our most important duty in life is to master our minds, to control our thoughts...

Writing is a proved way of lowering oneself in one's own estimation. There is no way known for more surely and effectively growing in humility than by writing...

What God in His wisdom and love has shared with us, keep a record of that. Share that wisdom and love with others by writing it down."

Also Open to Correction
about reviewing charitably without surrendering to the temptation to be all-positive all the time. More difficult than it seems!

Finally, New School Year: Friendship with the Saints

As you probably know, I usually pick a saint (or sometimes two) to be a patron for that school year. And I am trying to think of ways to put more prayer "anchors" in this school year (pray for me, I've resolved to do this for several years with only minimal success). So I liked this prayer from Bishop Robert Finn:

"Ask God to give you the fervor of St. Albert the Great for science, the joy of St. Cecilia in your music, the diligence of Jerome for translating, and the clarity of St. John in writing. Run and play with St. Don Bosco, debate and persuade with St. Catherine, and fish with Peter himself.

Holy Mary, who taught our Lord...in the school of Nazareth, accompany us on our new school year. St. Joseph, headmaster and guide for the boy Jesus, lead us on a sure and safe path to Him."
Finally, something to remember as we head into the next homeschool year:

The Myth of the Picture Perfect Family

Love2Learn Mom writes:

Now I'm quite comfortable saying: We are not that family and we don't want to be.
I feel exactly the same way. Now why is this? Have I lowered my standards? I don't think so.
But picture-perfectism is a trap, it seems to me. Maybe it comes down to the difference between "picture" and "perfect", the latter of which (for human beings) is always going to be a process, the former of which is a static thing with a frame, no matter how pretty.

For some reason I think of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where the picture on the loathsome Eustace's wall suddenly becomes real and sweeps them in. The first sign is the icy salt water splashing in, a real thing with a power of its own. Much discomfort awaits but so does a much bigger and more life-changing thing than the picture itself ever was.

I feel that way when some problem comes into our life. SURE, it's uncomfortable and has a power of its own, and is often bigger than I am; you end up choking and spluttering, as often as not, and feeling like you are drowning. And yet, and yet, it is better than the sterility of "picture-perfect". A picture evokes, and that is its virtue, but it ought not to confine but rather to expand.

To come back to the "writing" theme, I think writing has some of that same power of movement. You can come to something new by way of writing, even if it is just a matter of seeing something old in a new way. I say "CAN" because it doesn't happen that way all the time. But when it does, it's great.


Anonymous said...

Writing fosters humility -- how true! :-) I loved all the other thoughts you shared on writing, too.


Anonymous said...

Thought provoking as usual, even if just a collection of oddments at this point. That post about the picture-perfect family is actually quite scary. The life of a family is in all those things that don't match the picture (falling off of chairs at the dinner table struck me in that regard for some reason).

Laura A said...

I enjoyed all of these, and I do think they are connected. Writing, constructive criticism, humility--they are all part of the same package, don't you think?