Friday, 7 September, 2012 Quick Takes

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Like our lovely hostess, I am an introvert. This week I spent Sunday through Tuesday entertaining my sister (on Monday one of her friends, as well), I spent Tuesday and Wednesday evening with one of my housemates, last night I made dinner for my housemate and a friend, aaand I have plans to see friends Saturday and Sunday.  I already feel wrung out. Next week you may find me hiding in my room.

2.I fear being recognized as a creepy stalker revealing publicly how many blogs I read and how avidly, but, really, I love the Catholic blogo-sphere. Even though it sometimes serves to deepen and emphasize the various arguments and resentments among Catholics, more often it teems with the life of the Catholic mind, to wit (ha ha): blogging help and “tech-y” stuff, literary analysis, drink-spewing-out-the-nostrils humor, perspective from a linguist and an engineer, pop culture, serious considerations on living out the Catholic faith in many circumstances – none of it cloying or uniform and all of it at a level of writing I wish I could half-way achieve.

This is why I don’t buy print magazines anymore.

3. In the garden:

First (and likely last) fruits

A squirrel (I suspect) stole the larger one before I got around to picking it. Sadness is an untasted tomato.

4. Apparently the place to grow Italian parsley is not in a sunny garden bed.

Parsley in the ground – rock for scale.

It appears to prefer the garage roof.

Parsley on the roof.

5. I really need to order kale seeds for the fall.

6.  There’s a post kicking around in my brain, and maybe if I write out the beginnings now, I’ll put it in full-length form some day.

Speaking of the dark side of the Catho-sphere, I realized in chatting with my housemate yesterday evening (what to wear to a wedding rehearsal dinner) that the word “modesty” now automatically makes me cringe. This is not just because I intemperately read intemperate posts on the subject – I’ve encountered my fair share of the (invariably female) Catholic “modesty police” in person.

However, I don’t want to discuss modesty (here’s a great post if you need one), but rather to explore why the scorched earth wars knife fights discussions amongst Catholics on this particular virtue get so “internet-fighty”  (as the husband of a friend of mine says) so quickly. And whether such discussions in their present form are necessary/good at all. Briefly:

Modesty as a virtue is not restricted to a dress-code or “modesty in dress.”

When discussing matters of dress with fellow Catholics, I think it is unhelpful, unfair, uncharitable, and unrealistic to assume that those fellow-Catholics don’t or haven’t given thought to how they live and feel no need to resist conforming to this world. I don’t think it’s just to assume that your co-religionists blithely consult current culture (especially Cosmo magazine!) for guidance on these matters. It’s possible some do – but I think it is more fair, charitable, helpful and realistic to start by giving people the benefit of the doubt.

It is also problematic to assume that there’s only one correct way of setting oneself aside from the destructive elements of this world.

In my experience, the Catholics I encounter – in person and on the interwebs – even those whose catechesis has been lacking, do have a sense of responsibility to be “in this world but not of it.” Rather than harp on and on about pants, or skirts, or cleavage, or headcoverings, or swimsuits, why not discuss how we (as individuals guided by the Church) manage to be in the world but not of it and how we might encourage our children and those we meet to do the same.

And maybe this does not need a full-length post.

7.  I should incur some sort of blog penalty for writing on modesty and not contributing much that is positive, but at least I’ve avoided ranting about politics!  However, I have many, many bad blogger habits and so I hereby resolve that next week,  I will not only put up Quick Takes, but go and comment on other blogs too.

More Quick Takes at Conversion Diary


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