To Read: Articles
There is No Wealth but Life: Rootedness in an Orphaned World // Jake Meador // “In his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, which is Latin for “love in truth,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explains how it is that truth, by which he does not mean a personally defined “inner truth” but a given truth defined by God, can coexist with love.
The encyclical is Benedict’s attempt to instruct Christians in how it is that their love, a virtue to which all Christians are called, can be grounded in truth, whereby it is made fruitful and effective, conducive to the flourishing of one’s self, one’s neighbor, and one’s place.”
Justifying Life // Ramesh Ponnuru // “Once the availability of death makes a justification for staying alive necessary, moreover, that justification may be inherently hard to come by.
Once told to choose, many dependent persons may (perhaps spurred on by rising resentment in their caregivers) find it hard to deny that the good they are doing for themselves and others is no longer worth the cost and imposition.”
Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains // Alanna Ketler // “They also noted that both technology and urban noise are incredibly disruptive, constantly demanding our attention and preventing us from focusing, all of which can be taxing to our cognitive functions. A nice long hike, sans technology, can reduce mental fatigue, soothe the mind, and boost creative thinking.”
An End to “Realistic” Love // Aarik Danielsen // “Too often we love in general, with kind abstractions, because we can’t, or won’t, or are too self-occupied to love particularly.
And that just won’t do—because when the world hurts, it hurts specifically. ”
Book Review: Kids These Days by Malcom Harris // Jake Meador // “The person, endowed with the divine image, is a creature that exists within a complex web of mutual love and whose health depends upon the preservation of that web. When it is broken, the person is stranded and isolated.
The task before us today is chiefly one of finding our way back home.”
Want to Get Into the Christmas Spirit? Face the Darkness // Tish Harrison Warren // “To practice Advent is to lean into an almost cosmic ache: our deep, wordless desire for things to be made right and the incompleteness we find in the meantime. We dwell in a world still racked with conflict, violence, suffering, darkness. Advent holds space for our grief, and it reminds us that all of us, in one way or another, are not only wounded by the evil in the world but are also wielders of it…
Our response to the wrongness of the world (and of ourselves) can often be an unhealthy escapism, and we can turn to the holidays as anesthesia from pain as much as anything else. We need collective space, as a society, to grieve — to look long and hard at what is cracked and fractured in our world and in our lives. Only then can celebration become deep, rich and resonant, not as a saccharine act of delusion but as a defiant act of hope.”
To Read: Books
On Living // Kerry Egan // Audiobook // In the spirit of having death in sight — as it was this past week — I listened to this short book of stories told by a hospital chaplain. Life is so full of joy, so full of difficulty, and so very, very fragile.
Bridget Teyler — Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum // I’m in that time before the baby’s due date where I’m nesting in the home, preparing for the hospital, and brushing up on things I need know about labor. This lady’s information channel has been so helpful.
To Listen: Music
John Lucas — You Are My Christmas (single) // Why is this so lovely, bordering on heartbreaking?
John Lucas — Family X EP // Gorgeous, as always.
CeCe Winans — His Gift // We’ve had this physical cd for years, and it’s one of my dad’s absolute favorites. We all still love it.
Sara Groves — Joy of Every Longing Heart // New tunes for Advent and Christmas from our reliable Sara.
To Listen: Audio
Orthodoxy and Sexual Ethics // Mere Fidelity // A thoughtful and engaging conversation, as always. Jakob and I really appreciate these guys and their musings (which often go above our heads.)
We Wonder: Advent // Sarah Dahl // Daily contemplative storytelling for children. This podcast has a new release each day of Advent. (And I don’t think having children is necessary to listen, at all.)
Cream Cheese Pecan Pie // Jakob was quite proud of this thing he made entirely from scratch. We even drove like half an hour into the Twin Cities to obtain these pecan halves.
All The Other Thanksgiving Week Food // In addition to the usual holiday meal, I love that my parents always plan to make grilled salmon when I’m home. And always have gluten free treats.
Appreciating Farmers // Jakob and I had a small window of time to see my brother and sister-in-law the week of Thanksgiving (outside of the funeral in Fargo last weekend). So, we made the trip to them, where they’re currently living on her grandfather’s dairy farm with him and her brother.
It was refreshing to see them, spend time exploring the farm, feeding some calves, learning how the milk production works, saying hello to the horses, other cows, and farm dog, seeing all the wood my brother has chopped over the months for heating the house, and eating a couple meals together. It’s hard work, having a self-sustaining farm. Our appreciation greatly increased for the practical, physical aspects of it, beyond the romanticized idea of such a life. Regardless, it was a worthwhile visit — simply because they’re family and we love them.
Family Time // It’s an interesting thing to start off a holiday week by attending your grandpa’s visitation, memorial, and funeral together. Life seems more precious, family more vital, and legacy more tangible.
Grateful to have people in this life for the long haul — to grieve and laugh and eat and cry and converse and explore with. To have as a “complex web of mutual love” to contribute to and draw from.