Friday is my day to talk with Diana von Glahn on The Faithful Traveler radio show – this week, we talk about our visit to Assisi in 2012 – the interviews coordinate with saints’ days and feasts of that week, so since Clare was this week, Assisi it was. Next week, we’ll be talking about St. Bernard, and specifically Ave Maria Grotto right up the road from me, Mary, Queen of the Universe and the importance of attending Mass during vacation (in addition to the whole “obligation” part) and then the following week, several sites we have visited related to St. Augustine, from Florida to Milan to Pavia.
The Assumption is tomorrow – a free book on Mary would be great, wouldn’t it?!
We should not look back wistfully on the twentieth century, nor should we be uncritical about the so-called achievement of the modern world.
One of the lessons we might learn from all this is that what we call civilization is a rather thin veneer, and what lies beneath this surface is a terrifying heart of darkness. Christians, who are called to live in the truth, must be realists about this and cannot afford to be naive.
It was in the heart of civlized Europe, among the fading remains of Christian culture, that the death camps were built and millions of innocent men, women and children were put to death for no other reason than that their very existence challenged the ideological conceits of their oppressors.
In the midst of the world’s darkeness, we are called by our Baptism to be a light in the shadows of this fallen world. Saint Maximilian is one such light, his life and death stands as a testimony to Christ, the eternal light, whom the darkness cannot overcome.
High school has begun, and seems to be going well. Son has only been subjected to a couple of Mom-Rants in response to procedures and process. But it’s still only Week One.
Good online reading:
The blog “An Eccentric Culinary History” is really good – longish form blog posts exploring various aspects of food history. “The Great Sushi Craze of 1905” is how I found it. Not that I like sushi, but the whole topic of hidden, forgotten history and overthrowing contemporary assumptions never fails to interest me.
“Homeschooling in the City” in City Journal is really good – and should be read by all Catholic pastors and school administrators. It lays out, better than most articles, the reasons parents homeschool, centered on: “You are wasting my child and my family’s time.” And, “No, I don’t want to shelter my kids. I want to expose them to more than what your pedagogy-o-the-month and ideology permits.”
As lousy as the public schools often are, urban parochial schools don’t always measure up, either. Ottavia Egan grew up in Italy, the daughter of an American mother and an Italian father. Today, she lives on 72nd Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with her husband, Patrick, and their four kids. The Egans’ middle school–aged daughter had attended a local parochial school, where the books assigned tended toward “junky” literature, paranormal horror stories, and vampire-themed fiction. “These were the only kinds of books my daughter would read willingly. I had to plead with her to give the classics a try,” she says.
Ottavia admits that the thought of detaching from the traditional school model terrified her. She worried that, as a homeschooler, she would have to do everything herself. But she soon sensed that she had made the right choice. “My daughter is the type of kid who needs to ask a lot of questions. On the first day, she had 12 questions for me in the first hour. She never would have had those questions answered at school.”
Mother of the Year entry for today:
A couple of weeks ago, the 10-year old complained about an achy place on the back of his head. “Is there a bump?” I asked. “I think so.” I felt it (his hair is longish and thick, btw). Yeah, a little bump. Well, you must have hurt yourself somehow. It will go away! Wait it out!
A few days after that conversation, he got up in the morning and said, “Mom, it really hurts, and it’s getting bigger.” I parted his hair and took a quick glance at what looked to me like a fleshy protrusion. Ew. It looked to me like a weird skin tag. Ew! I looked it up – hmmm…skin tags can grow quickly on children, caused by virus, similar to warts, picked up in swimming pools (where we have spent a lot of time the past month). That must be it! I called the doctor and we’d go in later in the afternoon.
We arrived, the nurse took us in, parted his hair, and visible started and jumped back a little. “That’s big!” She said.
(You probably already know what’s coming.)
She looked closer, and then looked at me. “It’s a tick. Didn’t you see the legs?”
So, yes, it was one of those gross white dog tick things that can get huge, and that’s what the poor child had been harboring on his head for a week.
(You ask..didn’t he wash his hair? Not in those last couple of days when it had really grown, I guess. When you go to the pool every day in the summer late in the afternoon, and you’re ten…you don’t really feel the need.)
Several nurses streamed in to behold the site, the doctor came in, braced herself for the tug of war, and after a bit of struggle, got it out. His head was sore for a few days.
As I said, Mother of the Year.
(And as for tick-borne diseases – she checked his lymph nodes – fine – and told me what to look for. She said that’s not as much a problem in the South as it is in other parts of the country)
For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!