Sunday, May 26, 2013

Somewhere between boorishness and buffoonery

My week has been a week of highs and lows.  The highs were a little harder to find, a little fewer and farther between, but there nonetheless.  So, instead of focusing on the stresses of homeownership, severed phone lines, my work "mom" quitting, yardwork, working my least favorite shift, a double-back at work on two hours of sleep, two STM school Masses this week, and a complete lack of exercise, I'm going to focus on the good.

Eutrapelia: once again, my week is blessed with Catholic Stuff You Should Know.  It's making my commute super tolerable.  I just wish that when I went to explain it, I could remember half of what I listened to.  So instead of saying, "there's three...things...that are part of everything...they're called the three...I don't remember," I could intelligently discuss the three transcendentals of beauty, good, and truth.  One of the more obscure topics this week (I'm listening all out of order, so this was this week in listener land, not in podcast recording time) was eutrapelia- essentially wittiness and good humor.  I also really enjoyed the Christological Constellations, although I wasn't going to even try to explain that one to someone.

Girls Night In: I am so grateful for the reminder of the wonderful women of God that grace my life, even though I routinely forget about them when I'm wallowing in self-pity about my work schedule.  They are friends for life because the friendship is founded in something deeper than a weekly happy hour, and I know that these are women who care about my soul, my true happiness.  It didn't hurt to have fabulous food, gorgeous weather, s'mores around the fire pit, or some significant good-natured ribbing.  But the overwhelming feeling that has stayed with me is that I still do have a Catholic community surrounding me, ready to bail me out when I get bogged down with the stress of life.

Beer With A Priest: Despite the horrific traffic and the craziness of the rest of the day, I did get to have a beer with Fr. John at the Avery Tap Room in Boulder.  We caught up a little, mostly talked about Kilimanjaro, and I got on the schedule for the next 14er Mass.  YES!!!  It only took about 6 hours of scheming and four or five detours in my plans before I found someone to trade shifts with me so I can go.  I'm also grateful for a friend at work whose question was, "Will your life be worse if you don't get to do this?" and then agreed to the trade when I said yes.

Almost to another "weekend": I'm exhausted and therefore closing out the blog early.  A final bright spot in my week is that it's almost over.  I have two days coming up to catch up on sleep, laundry, sunshine, new food spots, friends, and more of that good Catholic community.  And then eight more days of work before a whole bunch more bright spots: Hootie at Red Rocks, Laura's graduation, football playoffs, etc.  I'm ready for bed just thinking about it.  Here's to finding the good in life and holding on to it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I've been leading a small faith-sharing group called a Virtue Challenge Team.  I volunteered to host the group and therefore got appointed the de facto leader.  Not sure I'm qualified to lead a group in discussing and cultivating virtue, but it's been good to get back into a fellowship setting.  There are definitely a lot of challenges, mostly revolving around everyone in the group being strangers and at completely different points intellectually, spiritually, and vocationally.  With no unifying event to forge a bond (retreat, mission trip, etc), we are revealing bits of ourselves by degrees.  Fitting, then, that our first virtue to discuss was patience.

It's a virtue that I struggle with.  I'm the person praying, "God give me patience and give it to me now."  I've always associated patience with tolerance of a trying situation.  But the chapter from DeMarco's The Heart of Virtue that we read had some interesting thoughts on looking at patience in a way that is much more in tune with my own natural inclinations.

"If something appears without fanfare, patience will take the time to find its inner glory.  When the moment seems unpromising, patience will discover some surprising benefaction."

I can work with that understanding of patience.  It's about a search for the three transcendentals--beauty, goodness, and truth--in the midst of everyday life.  Any object, person, event, or situation has some element of these three things.  Patience takes the time to find them.

"Patience gives us the flexibility we need so that we can find worthwhile pursuits when other opportunities have been taken from us."

This seems to hold a lot of relevance in my life recently.  With my work schedule the way it is, I feel like a lot of opportunities have been taken from me.  I haven't had the patience to find other worthwhile pursuits, hobbies, passions, missions.  They would bring me fulfillment and reveal the goodness, truth, and beauty in my current situation.

So, while I still lose my temper at the drop of a hat, maybe cultivating patience in this new light will allow me to grow in virtue in a way that seems to be more freeing and less restricting.  The next virtue is meekness and I'm not sure I'm ready for that one either.
I reserve the right to make this blog as worthless to read as I feel like, and also to write as infrequently as I deem necessary. Just thought I'd let you know since I finally decided to share my blog.