For years, I’ve thought that opossums — or possums, as most people call them — receive a bad rap because they’re not as cute and cuddly as, say squirrels or raccoons. I’ve known of people killing them just because they don’t like possums.The Imperfect Gardener has a good piece about how possums rid your property of pests and other facts you might not know about them. I never minded them but once I discovered that they enjoy eating cockroaches, I gave them carte blanche to help themselves! (Via Hannah on Facebook)
THE CONTRADICTIONS THAT MAKE UP OUR LIVES
I’m confronted by a great deal of grand and worthy ambition from this student body. You want to be a politician, a social worker. You want to be an artist. Your body’s ambition: Mulch. Your body wants to make some babies and then go in the ground and fertilize things. That’s it. And that seems like a bit of a contradiction. It doesn’t seem fair. For one thing, we’re telling you, “Go out into the world!” exactly when your body is saying, “Hey, let’s bring it down a notch. Let’s take it down.”A fascinating commencement address from Joss Whedon. I believe it says much about why he is a good storyteller. (Via Scott Danielson.)
And it is a contradiction. And that’s actually what I’d like to talk to you about. The contradiction between your body and your mind, between your mind and itself. I believe these contradictions and these tensions are the greatest gift that we have, and hopefully, I can explain that.
I talk about this contradiction, and this tension, there’s two things I want to say about it. One, it never goes away. And if you think that achieving something, if you think that solving something, if you think a career or a relationship will quiet that voice, it will not. If you think that happiness means total peace, you will never be happy. Peace comes from the acceptance of the part of you that can never be at peace. It will always be in conflict. If you accept that, everything gets a lot better.
SHUNNING CULTURAL CATHOLICS ... AND ... TWO ATHEISTS WHO CHANGED THEIR MINDS
I have a friend who left the Church because once a priest told her in an unfriendly way that she could not be Catholic and pro-choice. Not, mind you, that she couldn’t receive communion, but that she wasn’t Catholic. This is the problem. The message my friend received wasn’t, hey you know the Church’s teaching on life is beautiful, you should come and learn more about why she teaches this. It was, get out, you aren’t welcome. Now I wasn’t there and I didn’t hear the exact words the priest used, but whatever was said, the effect wasn’t one of evangelization, you know?Melanie Bettinelli at The Wine Dark Sea has an interesting post considering the way some Catholics can look down their noses at others. She links this with a couple of recent testimonials from atheists who were surprised to find themselves engaged in civil, thoughtful conversation with Catholics.
When I came to this subreddit to post the question, I expected some insightful answers but also some nasty comments. What I got instead was insightful and patient answers to my questions as well as an outpouring of a highly intelligent, well thought-out theological discussion/debate amongst Catholics whom I was surprised to find out did not share a monolithic view of Catholicism. It was so much more than I had hoped.My overall comment is this: it comes down to good manners.
If we are able to keep candid comments to ourselves and politely try to address things we don't agree with, the world becomes a better place. Certainly our efforts are be better received than if we lash out.
What is the point of winning if others are left with such bad feelings that they will never listen again? The truth is, then we have actually lost.
I often think of my grandparents as I try to moderate my own ill-mannered ways. They were always polite, always cheerful, and if they disagreed with something they just went ahead and addressed it in a practical fashion as best they could. All without causing a lifetime of hurt feelings. No wonder everyone loved them.
They are my role models.
I was already coming to this conclusion and then I read How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice by Austen Ivereigh.
I'll review this next week.
Here's the short version.
Every Catholic should read this book. Period.
And if we did what this book says, there would be fewer surprised atheists and more Catholics who've been attracted to live their faith in a deeper, more meaningful way.