"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Slow Takes (Vol. 83)

1. The Baltimore Ravens will be challenging the San Francisco Forty-niners on Sunday evening, February 3. I would like to see Baltimore win but it is not my team. The enjoyment is the gathering of friends and spending the time sharing what God has provided. There are also the interesting commercials that always get more internet traffic than the game itself.
We put together a football pool and everyone gets involved. Each of the couples provide delicious food and various drinks. What are your Super Bowl plans?

2. Today, Wednesday, the temperature was 17 degrees at 7AM. This is a bit unusual for Richmond, Virginia but still not like Chazy, New York which is -14 degrees this morning. Chazy is my Dad’s birth place. The sun is shinning in both places which makes it seem warmer than it really is. 

3. I finished reading Joseph Pearce’s new book, “Bilbo’s Journey, Discovering the Hidden Meaning of The Hobbit.” It is an excellent book and explains the connection of J. R. R. Tolkien’s writings to Roman Catholicism. If you enjoy any of Tolkien’s writings or any good “fairy tale,” take the time to read this.

Trisha Potter’s review of the book provides an in-depth explanation of luck and providence as well as greed and humility. 

“No one is completely immune to the “dragon sickness” of selfishness and pride, but those who respond to “luck” as it is called in The Hobbit are given all they need to overcome each encounter with it.  Pearce’s close examination of the special set of circumstances required for Elrond to even be able to see the letters on the map shows that the mere “chance” of this happening is highly improbable.  To chalk so much up to chance would be absurd.  Providence and grace are at work.    

A “Divine Will” involved as a higher order is the only reasonable explanation for things coming together perfectly, literally down to the last second. The pitfalls of pride, the dangers of materialism, and the necessity of self-sacrifice in order to love and forge true friendships are seen more clearly through the eyes of this Tolkien scholar.  The virtues and values that matter most don’t change.  The pursuit of power, pleasure, and promoting lies leads to destruction, despair, and death for those in the human realm as well as those in fairy tales.”

4. Our sons Eric and Todd are taking me to see “The Hobbit” on Saturday. The youngest son, Stephen isn’t a Tolkien fan. I guess “two out of three ain’t bad.”

5. I am an Apple user who started with the Apple llc back in 1986. Our son Eric was in sixth grade. We both enjoyed the computer and soon I bought a second one, used, along with a used Apple ImageWriter printer. Back then I was in sales and used the computer for printing proposals, customer databases, letters and hobby stuff. The technology for Apple and the computer market has been changing rapidly. Buy something today and in three months there will be a newer version. I don’t think this is a negative thing but sometimes our expectations exceed what the manufacturers produce. It seems that nothing is “fast enough.” We would like nanoseconds instead of seconds. Soon we will have that, it just requires some patience.   

6. Thursday is the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, 1567-1622 AD, my patron saint. I have read “Introduction to the Devout Life” which has enhanced my spiritual journey. Saint Francis writes in a simple straight forward way. He is easy to understand and I marvel at the devotion he had toward God. I have much to learn.

“Why I am busy with little things, I am not required to do greater things.”

7. Today is my sixty-sixth birthday. God has been kind to me and has blessed me with a wonderful soulmate, three sons and six grandchildren. I have many close friends, a great church community and I retire next month. My health is excellent. There are no regrets and I look forward to my next journey.  

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.


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  2. I am looking forward to the movie and a visit to the Capital Ale House afterwords.

    As for your Patron Saint - he was quite the evangelist. He is credited with the conversions of many reformists in the 16th century - also- in the early 17th century as Bishop he instituted catechetical instructions for the faithful (Pernin, R. 1909).

    Two prominent areas of the faith that we are called to continue to focus on today!

    Pernin, R. (1909). St. Francis de Sales. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 25, 2013 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06220a.htm

    1. Tomorrow will be a great day sharing our time together.

      You can learn more about St. Francis by reading "Introduction to the Devout Life."