Sorry for the quiet week here. Things have been a bit crazy between my current refocusing on good habits, trying to be a good friend, and also… Let’s talk about some links.
This piece over at Relevant was a bit of a slap upside the head for me this week.
Your call is simple: Use well the abilities that God has given you. Even for those decisions that seem big and important…your only call is to make a good decision.
Oh, right. That makes sense.
2. Another important reminder from Relevant about the lie that is thinking material/health/work/family luck is a sign of God’s favor. It’s not. They said it better than I do.
3. Insightful blog post from Justin Sengstock. I disagree with Justin on some things, but his self-reflection, discernment, and courage to boldly move where God calls him is very inspiring.
4. Ye Olde Katy Waldman whose high quality recommendations I mention constantly on this blog tweeted this piece about coffee dates.
Two things here: #13 is a constant concern for me — I jumped out of my skin because of a hose the other day. And remember I recommended asking people out on friend dates in my piece on Verily? Do it!
5. Lately, I have been mentioning Fr. Gordon Gilsdorf a lot recently — my favorite teacher. A priest, scholar, poet, runner, and so much more. Just pointing people back over to a lovely obituary that was written when he died last fall, featuring quotes from our family’s pastor, Bp. Robert Morneau. Featuring a bit of his poetry, too.
6. The most recent episode of The Moth podcast with Kate Braestrup and Pilar Siman is just amazing.
Kate’s story of the lost relationship of people with death and the natural experience of grieving really speaks to my heart. One of the most moving and holy experiences I have ever had was gathering with my extended family in my grandfather’s room, in my grandparents’ home, with his body in peaceful rest to pray the Rosary together. My dad led us in prayer, and I do think that petition to St. Joseph for a happy death was really answered in a way that blessed all of us. I had missed the chance to say goodbye because of a canceled flight the night before, but it made such a huge difference for me to be able to be with the body peacefully at home. We as a culture have really lost the natural humanity of death and grief in a lot of ways, and this story made that feeling very palpable for me. I hope I can one day die at home, and that my family will have the ability to spend time with my body to grieve.
The Pilar Siman story is funny, deeply Catholic, accessible, and has a very happy ending. I don’t want to spoil it.
7. A few quotes from a devastating New York Times piece on ISIS and religious persecution from earlier this week:
“How much longer can we flee before we and other minorities become a story in a history book?” … “We’re afraid our whole society will vanish.” … “What can I do? I have four kids, I can’t leave them here to die.” … “We ran from the war only to die in the street.”
“If we attend to minority rights only after slaughter has begun, then we have already failed,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the high commissioner for Human Rights, said.
“We’ve been here as an ethnicity for 6,000 years and as Christians for 1,700 years,” says Dr. Srood Maqdasy, a member of the Kurdish Parliament. “We have our own culture, language and tradition. If we live within other communities, all of this will be dissolved within two generations.”
“We don’t have time to wait for solutions,” said the Rev. Emanuel Youkhana, the head of Christian Aid Program Northern Iraq. “For the first time in 2,000 years, there are no church services in Mosul. The West comes up with one solution by granting visas to a few hundred people. What about a few hundred thousand?”
We have failed everyone in this region. The Christians have suffered less than Muslims. I say this not to put suffering in perspective, but to relate the scale of the horror. Yazidi, Druze, Sunni, Shia, Chaldean Catholic, Orthodox.
Speaking of persecution, let’s not forget this either.
Okay, talk soon.