Anyway, for a while now Jen has been hosting a fantastic tradition called "Seven Quick Takes Friday" in which we all list seven tidbits, not substantial enough for their own complete posts, but should be out there anyway. Given, also, that I've become really, really lax at regular writing on this thing, it might be a good way to make sure I blog about *something* at least on Fridays. We'll see. But for now, here we go!
--1--In the past month or so I've gone on an intense health food kick, mostly a response to reading Michael Pollan's fantastic book, In Defense of Food. His thesis: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." I feel about 150% better physically and emotionally when I eat well, so there's really no downside. Appropriate for Lent, too, as any sort of processed, sugary anything is certainly not what Mr. Pollan classifies as "food," but he instead calls an "edible food-like substance." It's far easier to ignore the recently-delivered boxes of Girl Scout cookies in my pantry when I remember that they are "edible food-like substances."
I'm getting more and more excited -- and more and more nervous -- for our 9th and 10th grade classes' Living Stations of the Cross performance, coming up in a mere three weeks. Because this is a new thing at the parish, the kids are understandably hesitant, especially since it involves 18 of them wearing costumes and saying a memorized monologue in front of perhaps 200+ people. However, I'm going to try to stay calm about it. After all, every other time I've directed/costumed/acted/been somehow involved in a Living Stations, things are horribly stressful until right before showtime... and then they usually go off without a hitch. Deep breaths. Jesus, I trust in you!
My sister has been accepted to two colleges so far. Neither is her first choice, but it's good to know she has options. I'm still hoping she'll be going to the conservatory 40 minutes from my house.... but we won't know all the admissions decisions for about three more weeks. Gah, I remember that awful time of limbo, waiting to hear from schools.... is there any better way to to torture a seventeen year old?
--4--Yesterday at the store, I silently grumbled that the price of blueberries had risen from $3.99 a pint to $3.29 for half a pint in the last week. However, such a dramatic price change didn't affect my ability to buy the berries, and I realized what a luxury it is that I can buy whatever I want to eat, shop at a grocery store full of fresh produce, drive home in my nice car, and store them all in my refridgerator. It's a damn tragedy that 85% of the world (and a sizeable percentage of Americans,even) doesn't have the same privilege. Like Elton John sings, "Times have changed and now the poor get fat..." The vast majority of people can't afford to feed their children fresh fruits or vegetables, and instead must resort to processed, sugary, fast-food like meals composed of "edible food-like substances." I don't know the solution, but it makes me very angry.
This morning Larry D over at Acts of the Apostasy posted a truly disgusting story about a British scientist who wants to use the organs and tissues of aborted babies. It's a horrible story,but needs to be read and shared. God have mercy on us all.
So far I'm loving St. Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle. It's also helpful that two friends are reading it along with me, so we keep one another accountable to our reading pace and get to discuss. St. Teresa's humility is striking; practically every page contains a vehement plea that she's not worthy to write this or that no one could possibly find it helpful or fruitful. Beautiful.
Lately I've been wrestling a lot with the need for social justice **and** personal spirituality in one's life as a Christian, especially a Catholic Christian. In my parish personal spirituality is a very unpopular thing; devotions are almost unheard of, and prior to this liturgical year we didn't even have Adoration with any regularity. However, there's a thriving social justice component. I'm trying to figure out how to get these two crucial aspects of our Faith in better balance, especially with my students.