"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 17, 2014

My Slow Takes (Vol. 129)

1. My Word Today: Decrease

From Saturday’s Gospel.

“No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven.  You yourselves can testify that I said that I am not the Christ, but that I was sent before him.  The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice.  So this joy of mine has been made complete.  He must increase; I must decrease.”  John 3:27-30

From Saturday's Your Daily Tripod.

John the Baptist shows us how to deal with the tug of war.  Rather than getting wrapped up in his ministry and his interests, John was on guard against his own ego getting too big.  We must have that same awareness.  We must decrease.  Our thoughts, wants, needs, desires must decrease.  That is the only way to make room for what the bridegroom asks of us.”

John's Gospel was one of those that just reached out at me. I thought about some things to decrease and added a short reflection for each one.

Decrease from being angry with others …
People are not “out to get you.”
Decrease from being selfish …
Listen and open your heart to others.
Decrease from being lazy or complacent …
Get involved with others, make changes in your life.
Decrease from excessive self-esteem …
Change your outlook on life …  (Paradigm shift.) 
Decrease from extravagance …
Don’t lust after those things you think you must have.
Decrease from being resentful of others …
Be grateful.
Decrease from being greedy …
Share with others, do good.

2. One of my favorite Paul Simon videos. “You Can Call Me Al,” with Chevy Chase.

3. Our Monday night men’s group has been reading about Saint Augustine and Saint Benedict the last couple of weeks. During our discussions the question came up of how many different religious orders are there. I found there are over 100 for men and over 90 for women.

      Religious Orders for Men.               Religious Orders for Women.

4. Shopping at Costco’s provides an opportunity to sample different food and drinks that they are promoting. Our last visit there we tried some organic coffee. It was delicious. On our way out I stopped for another sample and a bag of the coffee. Later, at home I opened the bag to fill the coffee container and discovered coffee beans, duh! I never looked at the package, just assumed that it was regular ground coffee. So off I went back to Costco’s. I learned that I can ground the beans there. Another lesson in life.

5. January 17, 1781 the Battle of Cowpens took place in South Carolina. Banastre Tarleton led the British troops and the Americans had Daniel Morgan in command. The victory by Morgan was deemed as the turning point of the Southern Campaign for the American revolution. More details here at Wikipedia.

Battle of Cowpens by Charles McBarron
6. Thursday morning we had some unexpected snow in Richmond, Virginia. I love the early morning snow as it falls. It's peaceful. Watching it slowly cover the trees and lawn is like having God dressing the earth for a winter day.

7. “Let us pray for peace, and let us bring it about, starting in our own family.”   Pope Francis

I like this quote and can’t help think that the word “family” includes our own families as well as church, community, work and political families. However, we need to start with love and peace in our own family. This is a challenge but does create a foundation from which to build. I find that our family still has it’s issues but most families do. We are all “work in progress.”

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.


  1. #3: My favorite priests and ex-Catholic priests are Jesuits (or former Jesuits). Seriously. I know a number of former Jesuits who are now pastors in the Episcopal Church and ELCA.

    #4: I love Costco. :)

    1. I'm sure that if I go back through my family history, I would find some French-Canadian Jesuits. I think they are in my blood. :0)

      Hopefully you handle the coffee beans better than I did.