Really Assorted Things to Save

“Instead, he beamed beatifically and loosed a soft fart.” – Hood, by Stephen Lawhead. Also a descriptor of our baby.

“The only person who dares wake up a king at 3:00 am for a glass of water is a child. We have that kind of access.” – Timothy Keller

“Even the very best instruction given by the Church, however, will not alone suffice to bring about once more conformity of marriage to the law of God; something more is needed in addition to the education of the mind, namely a steadfast determination of the will, on the part of husband and wife, to observe the sacred laws of God and of nature in regard to marriage. In fine, in spite of what others may wish to assert and spread abroad by word of mouth or in writing, let husband and wife resolve: to stand fast to the commandments of God in all things that matrimony demands; always to render to each other the assistance of mutual love; to preserve the honor of chastity; not to lay profane hands on the stable nature of the bond; to use the rights given them by marriage in a way that will be always Christian and sacred, more especially in the first years of wedlock, so that should there be need of continency afterwards, custom will have made it easier for each to preserve it. In order that they may make this firm resolution, keep it and put it into practice, an oft-repeated consideration of their state of life, and a diligent reflection on the sacrament they have received, will be of great assistance to them. Let them constantly keep in mind, that they have been sanctified and strengthened for the duties and for the dignity of their state by a special sacrament, the efficacious power of which, although it does not impress a character, is undying. To this purpose we may ponder over the words full of real comfort of holy Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, who with other well-known theologians with devout conviction thus expresses himself: “The sacrament of matrimony can be regarded in two ways: first, in the making, and then in its permanent state. For it is a sacrament like to that of the Eucharist, which not only when it is being conferred, but also whilst it remains, is a sacrament; for as long as the married parties are alive, so long is their union a sacrament of Christ and the Church.”

“Let not, then, those who are joined in matrimony neglect the grace of the sacrament which is in them; for, in applying themselves to the careful observance, however laborious, of their duties they will find the power of that grace becoming more effectual as time goes on.” – Castii Conubii

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Read in 2018

  • Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis (audio)
  • Christ the Lord Out of Egypt by Anne Rice
  • Prince Caspian by CS Lewis (audio). Yes, it’s out of order – I slept through it on our Christmas drive.
  • How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading by Susan Brookhart. First time as instructor of record!
  • Gardening from Seed by Martha Stewart
  • Silver Chair by CS Lewis (audio)
  • Horse and His Boy  by CS Lewis (audio)
  • Magician’s Nephew by CS Lewis (audio)
  • Introduction to Rubrics by Stevens and Levi
  • Last Battle by CS Lewis (audio)
  • Managing Morning Sickness by Miriam Erick. Not actually that helpful for severe morning sickness/hyperemesis gravidarum.
  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (audio). Lovely.
  • Thomas Wingfold, Curate by George MacDonald. Perhaps the first MacDonald to not instantly become my new favorite – it was very slow and not fantastical enough, but still good.
  • A Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card. I probably finished the main text last year, but just now found it again and decided not to complete the appendices.
  • Changing Diapers by Kelly Wels – on cloth diapering!
  • 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke (audio) – in which I learn a bit about digital effects on spiritual life and also that I don’t like non-fiction in audiobook format
  • Perelandra by CS Lewis
  • That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis
  • Redwall by Brian Jacques (audio)
  • Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. A train wreck of science and ethics in which each chapter is worse than the last.
  • Buried Giant by Ishiguro. Bleak.
  • Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  • Shift by Hugh Howey, audio
  • Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
  • Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne (audio). Read by Jim Dale, who makes anything awesome. Did you know it’s *not* about a hot air balloon race?
  • Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  • Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
  • Children of the Fleet by Orson Scott Card. Not my favorite addition to the Ender universe.
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting, portions
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, portions
  • Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, portions
  • Edgedancer by Brandon  Sanderson
  • Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson – babywatch
  • Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson – pumping
  • Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
  • Dust by Hugh Howey (audio)
  • Mistborn: a secret history by Brandon Sanderson
  • Your Love Story by William Turrentine
  • Foundation’s Edge by Isaac Asimov
  • Forward the Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  • Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
  • Ever by Gail Carson Levine. Have I read this before? The warki scenes are familiar. A mix of Jephthah, Gilgamesh, Disney’s Hercules, and Till We Have Faces.
  • Wonder by RJ Palacio. The movie was remarkably faithful to the book!
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson. Delightfully fun and fast read.
  • Mary: The Second Eve by John Henry Newman
  • Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov
  • Whose Body? By Dorothy Sayers
  • Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larsen. A fascinating account of the Galveston hurricane of 1900.
  • On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson. Rather harder to get into than I expected.  
  • Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen Lawhead. Rather predictable. His first novel; he got better!
  • God Has No Grandchildren by Leila Lawler and Castii Conubii by Pope Paul XI. Some wonderful sections about Christian marriage, the foundation of raising children to love Jesus
  • (out of order) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (audio)

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The Body as Gift

“This is my body given for you.”

I’ve been pondering this a lot during pregnancy, especially during the worst of hyperemesis gravidarum.
That’s theology of the body in a nutshell, isn’t it? I think in that statement Jesus is not only showing us what he’s doing on the cross, but also demonstrating a pattern that we are to follow – the body as a gift.
So the “this” in, “Do this in remembrance of me” not only references taking the bread and wine, remembering Christ’s giving, but is also a command to give our bodies for others in remembrance of him (in service, in physical suffering, in marriage, in parenting, …).
Romans makes a similar exhortation, “Therefore I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.  This is your spiritual act of worship.”

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Easter

God did not abolish the fact of evil: He transformed it. He did not stop the crucifixion: He rose from the dead.

– Dorothy Sayers

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Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
    we are glad.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
    like streams in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears
    shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    bringing his sheaves with him.

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“With that manifest knowledge
which God gave to Adam,
whereby he gave names to Eve
and to the animals,
God did not reveal the discoveries
of things that were concealed;
but in the case
of the hidden knowledge
from the stars downward,
Adam was able to pursue
enquiry into all
that is within this universe.”

Hymns on Paradise 12.16

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Read in 2017

This was a year of re-reading old favorites, mitigating my commute with audio books, and meeting some new and excellent fantasy.

  • The Son of Laughter by Frederick Buechner. I enjoyed it, though didn’t see new profundity in the stories. A little less PG than I expected.
  • On the dignity and vocation of women by John Paul II & commentary by Genevieve Kinke. Very good. Very different from most Christian women’ books. (Was reading this on election night 2016)
  • Infertility companion for Catholics by Angelique Ruhi-López, Carmen Santamaría. Extremely helpful.
  • Arabian Nights
  • We Believe by Oscar Lukefahr
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene Peterson. It was a long perseverance to finish the book! It’s a commentary on the psalms of ascent that Jews sang on the road to Jerusalem. Some of the chapters were meh for me, some were amazing.
  • The Princess and the Goblin by George Macdonald. On following when you don’t understand the way.
  • The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
  • Theology of the Body in Simple Language
  • The Two Towers by JRR Tolkein
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (audio)
  • Return of the King by JRR Tolkein. This time through I was struck by the opportunities for redemption. Characters who made a mistake did not have it held against them forever.
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (audio)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (audio)
  • The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkein
  • Race Against Time by Stephen Lewis. Recommended to me. I disagree with a lot (“big government can solve everything!”), but I learned a lot about the history of development and HIV treatment in Africa.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (audio)
  • Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Devoured this in 5 days. Most impressive world-building I’ve seen, save Tolkein.
  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (audio)
  • Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. Good, but I liked the Stormlight series better.
  • Robot Dreams by Isaac Asimov
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (audio)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (audio)
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret (audio). Lots of whiny and angry children. Movie was better, I think.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (audio)
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. SO GOOD.
  • Signs of Life by Scott Hahn
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling (audio)
  • Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
  • Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling. Mediocre HP fan fiction.
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (audio)
  • Mary Poppins by PL Travers (audio). Definitely different from the movie. I didn’t warm up to Mary as much in the book.
  • Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. I was impressively able to stretch out reading this over about a month. Very good, and I can hardly wait for four years for the next one!
  • Dead Man’s Mirror by Agatha Christie (audio)
  • Letters from Father Christmas by JRR Tolkein. Beautiful, sweet, and a little sad. Highly recommended.

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