Intending (and Attending) to Delight


delight: “a high degree of gratification or pleasure: joy.”


Do you delight? Would you say that the moments in your home are marked with “a high degree of gratification or pleasure”? Is it a joy-filled atmosphere? Maybe that’s an overwhelming question.

I find myself plugging along in family life sometimes without often enough taking stock of the overall atmosphere, how well we are doing at keeping the big picture in the foreground. But if you are like me, when we do stop to consider a question like this, we get in over our heads. We mentally sort through the plans we have in place. But it is so much simpler to ask: how was yesterday?

So let’s just take yesterday. Did your family experience delight yesterday? If so (or if not), was yesterday a “typical” day in the life of your family? I think asking these two questions can give us a lot of clarity on the atmosphere of our domestic churches and help us live with more intention. Yesterday can help us determine how intentionally we are living.

So if we find that our yesterdays haven’t been what they should be, then we have the gift of today. In fact, if we find that our mornings haven’t been what they should be, then we have the gift of the afternoons. We don’t yet have the gift of tomorrow or next week. We cannot live those days with intention until they are given us. Remember that we have only been given this day so far, and it is the present day alone that we are able to live with intention. The thing I like about only thinking about today is that its not so hard, not such an overwhelming task. I’m simply purposing to be faithful with the time I have in this moment and to make this small bit of time filled with delight.

How can we intentionally create an atmosphere of delight in our homes today? Perhaps the following verses from the Psalms give us some inspiration and the key to being people who delight: Continue reading “Intending (and Attending) to Delight”

Wonder & Whimsy: delight and knowledge

A weekly curation of quotations I come across in my reading life (or on random condiment jars) — from the inspirational to the miscellaneous. Perhaps one inspires you or catches your fancy too…

delight and attention…

“The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.”
Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

wonder and knowledge…

“Wise men all ways of knowledge past,

To th’shepherds wonder come at last:

To know, can only wonder breed,

And not to know, is wonder’s seed.

— from “Hymn” by Sidney Godolphin

You can’t stop this…

“So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these mean and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” — Gamaliel, a Jewish Pharisee (Acts 5:38-39)

respecting the mind of a child…

“Ms. Glaser reminds us that we should always assume that more is going on in a child’s mind than she is able to express.” — Karen Glass, The Art of Narration

Wonder & Whimsy: Dorothy Day

This week I have been powering through Dorothy Day’s autobiography, The Long Loneliness, and there are so many good passages in it…so this week’s curation of quotes is all her.

Her response in encountering Francis Thompson’s famous poem…

“The idea of this pursuit by the Hound of Heaven fascinated me. The recurrence of it, the inevitableness of the outcome made me feel that sooner or later I would have to pause in the mad rush of living and remember my first beginning and my last end” (p.84).

On loving God…

“‘Thou wouldst not seek Him if thou hadst not already found Him,’ Pascal says, and it is true too that you love God if you want to love Him. One of the disconcerting facts about the spiritual life is that God takes you at your word. Sooner or later one is given a chance to prove his love” (p. 139).

On worship being communal…

“I had heard many say that they wanted to worship God in their own way and did not need a Church in which to praise Him, nor a body of people with whom to associate themselves. But I did not agree to this. My very experience as a radical, my whole make-up, led me to want to associate myself with others, with the masses, in loving and praising God” (p. 139).

Referencing her friend Peter Maurin on works of charity…

“But the fact remained, he always reminded me, no matter what people’s preferences, that we are our brother’s keeper, and that the unit of society is the family; that we must have a sense of personal responsibility to take care of our own, and our neighbor, at a personal sacrifice” (p. 179).

On fighting class conflict…

“And the weapons of journalism! My whole life had been in journalism and I saw the world in terms of class conflict. I did not look upon class war as something to be stirred up, as the Marxist did. I did not want to increase what was already there but to mitigate it” (p. 181).

On the importance of ritual…

“Ritual, how could we do without it! Though it may seem to be gibberish and irreverence, thought the Mass is offered up in such haste that the sacred sentence, “hoc est corpus meus” was abbreviated into “hocus-pocus” by the bitter protestor and has come down into our language meaning trickery, nevertheless there is a sureness and a conviction there. And just as a husband may embrace his wife casually as he leaves for work in the morning, and kiss her absent-mindedly in his coming and goings, still that kiss on occasion turns to rapture, a burning fire of tenderness and love. And with this to stay her she demands the “ritual” of affection shown. The little altar boy kissing the cruet of water as he hands it to the priest is performing a rite. We have too little ritual in our lives” (p. 199).