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

My Reading Challenge Pick for… “a Catholic memoir or autobiography”

We are two thirds of our way through the year already! How is your 2018 Catholic Reading Challenge going? I am continuing to share what I am reading for the challenge with you. This pick paired wonderfully with my pick for a biography of a prominent Catholic

Category: “a Catholic’s memoir or autobiography”

My Pick: The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day

I wanted to read two books about Dorothy Day this year, because she was someone about whom I previously knew very little. Toward the beginning of the year I read Jim Forest’s biography of Day, Love is the Measure. You can read my take on that book here. I finally got around to Day’s own words about her life and work. It is really interesting to read a biography and autobiography of someone in close succession. There was much repeated history of her life, but Forest’s account was certainly a more detailed history. Day doesn’t overshare when it comes to places that her story intersects with the stories of others, that are not hers to tell, as she puts it.

Her autobiography focuses on what drew her to the Catholic Church and what drew her to the work of her life; and most of the book is really an account of what that work was like and what relationships animated it and inspired it. One person who greatly influenced Dorothy’s perspective and worked along side of her was Peter Maurin. She spends much of the last third of the book recounting how his philosophies helped form her own and the direction of the The Catholic Worker, the paper she edited.

One thing I quite respect about Day is that she is a figure who can’t be put in a box. She is an enigma. It would be hard for any group — except Catholics — to “claim” her. And then, she is unlike most Catholics I know. She is unlike most people, I would say. She really was someone who lived a radical expression of her faith, and all of her work centered around acts of charity. Since before her conversion, she was drawn to those in poverty; she felt one with them. There is an element of Christ’s gospel message about the “poor in spirit” that Day seemed to be especially endowed with the grace to identify and live out authentically. Continue reading “My Reading Challenge Pick for… “a Catholic memoir or autobiography””