Recently in Commonplace Book Category

The gift of emotion....

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Dr Greg Popcak:

"’s important to remember that your emotions are God’s gift to you, and not the people around you."

Frank Weathers, with mucho documentation and linkage, lays it out:

They were wronged is an understatement. We were wronged, and they were treated like animals. The stark realization hit me as I pondered another thought: unwritten histories lie waiting to be discovered in archives all around the country, and all throughout the world. Things known to God and to man, but forgotten by the “march of progress,” and by generations uninterested in learning the secrets of the democracy of the dead.

... As it turns out, North Carolina had the third highest number of enforced sterilizations in the country. And this sad chapter started in 1907 in the state of Indiana. The state with the most documented cases? California, which started their program in 1909 and kept it cranking up until 1963. In the Golden State, the conservative estimate is that at least 20,108 people were sterilized though, “because of the sensitive nature of sterilization records, many are difficult to access or have been altered.”

...Am I alone in thinking that this historical information is relevant in light of the HHS Mandate and the push for “preventative services” that include sterilizations, birth-control pills, and abortions to all, regardless of whether some, such as the Catholic Church, and her allied hospitals and colleges, and Catholics in their own right, object to these practices?....How is this new level of coercion by the Federal government any less ham-handed than what is being described.... above?

A commenter, whose immigrant mother was pressured (at best) into being sterilized, writes, "As tears stream down my face, I know that I will have justice someday! They took my family away…"

a nice little collection here.


Typology with Mary Poppins?

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Links about Commonplace Books

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Dr Lucia Knoles, Assumption College: Commonplace Books: "a vital tool of erudition" (and why you're going to be assigned one for my survey class)

She quotes Confucius:

If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant;
if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone;
if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate;
if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion.
Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said.
This matters above everything.

Denise at Frugal Homeschooling: Keeping a Commonplace Book

She quotes:

A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that "great wits have short memories:" and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day's reading or conversation. There you enter not only your own original thoughts, (which, a hundred to one, are few and insignificant) but such of other men as you think fit to make your own, by entering them there. For, take this for a rule, when an author is in your books, you have the same demand upon him for his wit, as a merchant has for your money, when you are in his.

--- Jonathan Swift
"A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet"


She links to a how-to-make-one article at DIY Planner.


Alan Jacobs in First Things comments on the physical act of writing versus the ol' Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V.  "Wisdom that is not frequently revisited is wisdom wasted."



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From dear Mr John Wright:

The invitation to join the “In Crowd” is always extended in terms that tell you that you are one of the chosen few, one of those capable of the “great moral and intellectual effort” needed to see things as they really are. It is the mating cry of Gnosticism....

Those of you who notice the leitmotif of the modern age, it consists of stupid and wicked people telling us that they are smarter and more virtuous than us. Now you know why. The unearned spiritual, mental, and moral claim of superiority is the passkey that lets you join the ‘In’ crowd.

from this post delivering a well-deserved thrashing to an anonymous racist illiterate crackpot

(besides "are you eating something? are you going to share it with me? are you going to drop something to eat on the floor? are you going to walk by the treat jar?")

Monsignor Pope on the mysteries of pets and the new creation:

Perhaps the mystery of our pets is that they are ambassadors for the rest of creation, a kind of early delegation set by God to prepare the way and the connections of the new and restored creation. Perhaps they are urging us on in our task to make the number of the elect complete so that all creation can sooner receive its renewal and be restored to the glory and harmony it once had. Who knows? But I see a kind of urgency in the pets I have had. They are filled with joy, enthusiasm and expectation of something great....
"You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering."

--Dr Who


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Lots and lots of linkage!

One of the signs of the genuineness of inspirations, especially extraordinary ones, is peace and tranquility of heart in those who receive them, since the Holy Spirit is indeed powerful, but with a strength that is gentle, mild and peaceful...

On the contrary, the evil spirit is turbulent, bitter and restless. Those who follow his hellish suggestions in the belief that they are heavenly inspirations can usually be recognized because they are unsettled, headstrong and haughty. Under the pretext of zeal, they silence everyone and find fault with everything...In the name of zeal for God's honor they indulge in the passion of self-love.

-- T.L.G. Book 8, Ch. 12; O. V, pp. 100-101

spotted here

William Deresiewicz:

A graduate student at the time, I was as arrogant as they come and didn't think there was much anyone could teach me about life—especially not Jane Austen, the godmother of chick-lit. Imagine my surprise when she taught me not just how to grow up, but how to be a man.

Like so many guys, I thought a good conversation meant holding forth about all the supposedly important things I knew: books, history, politics. But I wasn't just aggressively sure of myself. I was also oblivious to the feelings of the people around me, a bulldozer stuck in overdrive.

In fact, I was a lot like Emma, the heroine of that first Austen novel I read—was forced to read, actually, because I thought her fiction sounded trivial and boring.

Via Joe Carter at First Things, whose Carter's Theorem states "that all complex behavior of advanced mammals can be explained by reference to the novels of Jane Austen."


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Decadence, after all, is the belief that the undesirable is inevitable.

-- Theodore Dalrymple

The protection of culture

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Structures and restrictions safeguard the sacred. Part of the role of culture is to protect values that we cherish but that, in our daily lives, we do not experience as urgent. We recognize, for example, that exercise and solitude are important for our physical and emotional well-being, yet seldom is our sense of urgency powerful enough to induce us to honor those needs consistently. Cultures in which exercise and meditative solitude are built-in practices protect their members from that lack of motivation. As our culture erodes, the structures and rituals that protect family life and the sacredness of the parent-child -- vitally important but not urgent in our consciousness -- are also gradually eroded.

...We need some rites of attachment to safeguard the sacred, something that serves us in the long term so we don't have to be conscious of it in the short term. -- p. 205, Hold On to Your Kids, Neufield and Mate

Another great article by Monsignor Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington:

Scripture does give some answers as to God’s delay and to his “No.” And while these explanations may not always emotionally satisfy us, they do provide a teaching which can ultimately assist us in not allowing our sorrow, anger or disappointment to interact with our pride and lead us away from faith....

When God Says No

Di Fattura Caslinga: Pansy's Etsy Shop
The Sleepy Mommy Shoppe: Stuff we Like
(Disclaimer: We aren't being compensated to like this stuff.
Any loose change in referral fees goes to the Feed Pansy's Ravenous Teens Fund.)

Pansy and Peony: The Two Sleepy Mommies