THE LIFE-CHANGING ART OF TIDYING UP is all about beauty. The ordinary beauty we make for ourselves in our homes. Yet in a culture that devalues beauty, attempts to define it down to function, and links the value of everything to the money it can produce, our lives are filled with clutter and ugliness. Returning to my original discussion of the loss of beauty in our culture see how wrong the culture has this entire concept? “What is beauty?” is a question that this culture is as ill-equipt to answer as Pilate was to answer his own, “What is Truth?” … Continue reading

Everyday Beauty V: Tidiness is a result of aesthetics

An empty desk is functional but is it beautiful? A cup holding pens is functional, but a pen cup made from cut glass in a metal frame is beautiful beyond its function. So it is with all things pertaining to beauty including the art of tidying. Marie Kondo, in her book, THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP, writes of taking an object into one’s hands and asking, “Does this object bring me joy?”  That action is about aesthetics, not about function.  An object may be beautiful due to its function but what causes you joy is not merely function–it is aesthetics. … Continue reading

Everyday Beauty III: Dreams of Beauty

I spent a fascinating hour discussing the function and definition of beauty with someone who is a philosophical follower of Ayn Rand. Now, I am an admirer of but no follower of Ayn Rand on the subject of Beauty, being that I am of the philosophy of Dietrich von Hildebrand, Saint Josemaria Escriva and Saint John Paul II.  I see beauty as the reflection of the creator, thus as a higher good. Ayn Rand’s is a view that true beauty has no aesthetic beyond the mechanical function; I argue that beauty is more than but includes that function. My parents have a … Continue reading

Everyday Beauty II

People in our culture are starving for beauty.  I remember when Trudy Krise, a wonderful woman, would bring her deserts to class for the snack.  Those days we had standing room only! People stood around the table exclaiming over the beauty of her deserts. They were indeed a work of art, and what is more, they tasted BETTER than they looked! People are so starved for beauty that knowing her art would be at the next class was all it took to get standing room only. Why the popularity of the Extraordinary form of the Mass? We often call it … Continue reading

Beauty Of the Everyday Kind

Beauty is missing from our culture. Oh, there are still a few beautiful buildings put up, and you can buy pretty things, and you can find artists making art, but the everyday making of beauty is missing.  We have devalued it until it has almost completely vanished. The mentality that if your work is not producing a paycheck then your work has no value is killing off everyday beauty. Home making is both work and an art form that is almost dead from neglect because it does not bring in a paycheck. Few are those who knit or crochet beautiful … Continue reading

Giving: A Result of Gratitude

Having chosen by an act of will to be grateful for our many blessings and having chosen to pray for God to correct our emotions to bring them into line with the fact of our gratitude. We next should consider an appropriate response to this new attitude.  What action should we take? I suggest we look at our blessings, note how we have enough, we have what we need, and can recognize how blessed we are in this. From here we should turn out eyes outward, to the news we hear and read, the Christian martyrs in Syria and surrounding … Continue reading

How to Impress a Toddler #2

We were sitting in my office and the Little Crow climbed into my lap and pointed to the rain falling on the skylight and outside the window. I was snuggling him because the weather turned colder and the office was chilly. That, and I love any chance I get to cuddle my kids. I also love to sing to them. This is what I found myself singing to the little one: The Rain Came Down The rain came down the water went up into the sky the temperature dropped oh my oh my! the clouds are quickly blowing by the … Continue reading

THE WAY a movie about living

THE WAY, “Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, THE WAY was filmed entirely in France and Spain along The Way of St. James, also known as “El Camino de Santiago.” ” [from the back of the DVD case], stars Martin Sheen, father of the director/writer Emelio Estevez.  Its a family affiar of a film including cameos of several members of Martin Sheen’s family. I LOVED this movie about a grieving father, a fallen away Catholic, who walks the Way for his son.  The movie included some interesting people, each struggling with their own pain, who join the main character along … Continue reading

Sometimes the midafternoon sucks

Yeah, my title is crude. I’m at my desk unable to work because the Little Tiger, who is almost three, is throwing a temper tantrum over being forbidden to bring the outside slide into the house. I should get a prize for patience this afternoon. I ought to get a prize for parenting too! What a loud tantrum the Little Tiger throws. It began with a small rebellion. I told my child “No, the outside slide must stay out here.” The child did not like this and said so. Daddy said he could watch while he worked nearby. I repeated, … Continue reading

Bishop Jenky’s Incredible Homily

This is an INCREDIBLE HOMILY. I love the witness to the Truth of our Catholic Faith with which he begins: The disciples never expected the resurrection. The unanimous testimony of all four Gospels is that the terrible death of Jesus on the cross entirely dashed all their hopes about Jesus and about his message. He was dead, and that was the end of it. They looked for nothing more, and they expected nothing more…. And they were clearly terrified that his awful fate, at the hands of the Sanhedrin and the Romans, could easily become their awful fate. So they … Continue reading