Saturday, November 16, 2013

Seven (No, Eight) Quick Links for a Saturday

I've caught up on Feedly!  That hardly ever happens.  I thought I would share some links I especially liked this week.  I'm doing well so far at this daily blogging in November!


First, editing to add an especially  cool one that came in after I wrote this.  Sarah from Amongst Lovely Things is blogging at Circe Institute!  On Teaching from a State of Rest.-- beautiful reflection.

We choose anxiety as our guide, instead of humbly submitting to God and letting Him guide us. But God is good! He isn't going to let us pour out our hearts for our students only to be left choking on the dust of our mistakes. God doesn't call us to this work and then turn away to tend to other, more important matters. He promises to stay with us. To lead us. To carry us. He assures us that if we rely on Him alone, then He will provide all that we need.

Laziness and Liturgical Living from Riparaians at the Gate.  This is pretty much my kind of Advent Prep.  I like the idea of "Waffle House Day", "Gingerbread House Day", etc.    Maybe I'll actually be able to hold some kind of Advent this year, historically a difficult thing for me (I do it fine in my heart, but the outward expressions have often defeated me).


Our Quiet Nature Walk:  Opening Your Senses.  At Handbook of Nature Study.    I feel so out of touch with what's happening outdoors in my favorite season of the year.  I want to do this.


CS Lewis on Books and Reading.  At Circe Institute.    Several good quotes -- here's one:

“Those who have greatly cared for any book whatever may possibly come to care, some day, for good books. The organs of appreciation exist in them. They are not impotent. And even if this particular boy is never going to like anything severer than science-fiction, even so,
 'The child whose love is here, at least doth reap One precious gain, that he forgets himself.’”


 Be Like Little Children:  How Not to Lose Wonder.  Did you know Mitchell Kalpagkian was a regular columnist at Seton's blog?   I didn't, until quite recently.   I love everything he writes.

As the freshness of childhood and the exuberance of youth fade, and life assumes a regularity and familiarity, it is all too easy to become jaded and blasé. Instead of seeing the world with the child’s eyes of wonder—as full of goodness, beauty, and love—or as an adventure always filled with surprises and hope, the world appears déjà vu—the same old thing.

The art of living keeps alive the vision of the child and resists the tendency to look upon life as a dreary monotony full of disappointment. No matter a person’s age or experience, he can be childlike, fun-loving, and see with clarity and amazement the enchantment and magic of the real world. .......Instead of seeing the drama of man’s life as a series of sad disappointments or anti-climaxes, the adult who has retained his childlike nature sees the chapters of the human journey as adventures with surprises that await him with each new age.


Sketched from Life at Starry Sky Ranch.    About little St Therese's home schoolroom.  Short quote, but beautiful.   And Kim's photos are always a contemplation in themselves.


Homeschooling for the Disorganized.   Another from Seton Magazine.    This article is from a father's perspective and it is not about how to get organized.   Rather, it says:
....homeschooling is not only for the systematized, any more than Christianity is only for clergy. Homeschooling is for the disorganized as well. Being “organized” is a talent. But if I had to list the most important elements of effective homeschooling, it isn’t even near the top of my list. Instead, it would include things like charity, faith, hope, perseverance, prudence, fortitude, and wisdom.....  Don’t get me wrong: organization is on my list—but so are good erasers.

November 13 was Mother Frances Cabrini's feast day.   She was the first American citizen to be canonized as a saint.  She was a foundress of schools, and I read in Stratford Caldecott's Beauty in the Word about her idea of "education of the heart."  Sounded like something I would be interested in, so I dug online and found this PDF:  To Educate the Heart.      It is good reading if you are interested -- reminds me of John Bosco's Preventive Discipline, and a lot of what Circe says.

Here is a long quote from Beauty in the Word, but since it's the last part of this post, I don't feel too guilty leaving you with it:

The Philokalia sums up the ancient Biblical and Patristic tradition. The ‘heart’ for Biblical Christianity, say the English editors of this classic anthology of spiritual writings, is not simply the physical organ but the spiritual center of man’s being, man as made in the image of God, his deepest and truest self, or the inner shrine, to be entered only through sacrifice or death, in which the mystery of the union between the divine and the human is consummated.
 ‘I called with my whole heart,’ says the Psalmist—that is, with body, soul, and spirit.7 The ‘innermost aspect’ of this heart they identify with the organ of contemplation, the intellect or nous, which knows the truth through direct experience or intuition, unlike the lower reason or dianoia which operates on the basis of abstract concepts and deductions. In Scholastic terms it is the synderesis or ‘spark’ of conscience, where the knowledge of good and evil are ‘written on our hearts’ (Jer. 31:33; Rom. 2:15).
This is the inner chamber into which our Lord asks us to withdraw in order to pray, so that ‘your Father who sees in secret will reward you’ (Matt. 6:6). It is the inner precinct, the ‘Holy of Holies’ in the Garden of Eden where the Tree of Life springs up. Mother Cabrini, with her devotion to the Sacred Heart, would have known all of this quite well. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is not simply the physical organ but the whole Person of Jesus gathered into one and given in love


  1. Willa, I have really been enjoying your posts this month. I'm so glad you decided to try blogging more frequently in November!


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