Thirsty Hart

That wounded body

In a moment of sunshine-induced euphoria I decided today to walk up a shop and buy some socks. In a moment of sock-buying-induced euphoria, I decided to just go up and around that other block on the way home, to make the way more interesting. And, I later realized, in an instinctive desire to avoid downhills. However, around the other block lay the inevitable downhill, and about half-way down the muscle in my knee that has a tendency to spasm lately started cramping up. I paused a bit here and there, resting, wiggling my toes. By three-quarters of the way down it was really not working very well. I was stopping every five or six hobbles to rest, let the pain subside, and then hobble a bit more. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fun with Little Thérèse!

image_TH_22_ltYou know Little Saint Thérèse loved to paint and write poetry and letters. You can actually see these things. The convent where she lived has a huge online archive of fun stuff. For example, here is a notebook of her doodles. And here is a detailed look at the kind of habit she wore (it has lots of parts!). And here a collection of decorated holy cards she made (example in the image included in this post).

All of the site is in French, and a large part of it is also translated into English and some of it into other languages.

Here’s the English language link.

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French haircuts

El corte de cabello Vicente Palmaroli

For most of my life I understood haircut method to be something like this: make hair very wet and flat. Use a comb to measure out sections. Carefully cut them to be very even. Check evenness frequently by holding out symmetrical sections of hair or combing everything flat and standing back to look like a painter eyeing a work in progress. Triple check that everything’s very even. Blow-dry.

Then I encountered what my sister and I later began to call “French” haircuts. I had had a bad haircut at a new salon and asked a friend for a reference to fix it. I went to the suggested guy. What followed was 45 terrifying minutes of whirling scissors and flying hands. I thought I was going to lose an eye. It turned out to be a great haircut, but I was so traumatized I never went back. I told my sister about it and she broke up laughing, remembering a similar incident. She had been so terrified she left mid-cut, unable to imagine anything good coming out of such a storm of flipping and snipping. For reasons I now longer recall we began to refer to this as “the French method.”

This morning, while needing a haircut on vacation, it happened again. Slightly unnerving experience. Conscious decision to sit it out and trust that the lady probably knew what she was doing and all would be well in the end. And it was.

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Keeping ones peace

From Little St. Thérèse of Lisieux, on “being judged”:

“I feel utterly indifferent to all accusations because I have learned the hollowness of human judgment.”

She added further: “When misunderstood and judged unfavourably, what benefit do we derive from defending ourselves? Leave things as they are, and say nothing. It is so sweet to allow ourselves to be judged anyhow, rightly or wrongly.”

“Blessed silence which giveth such peace to the soul!”

(From Story of a Soul, available here, among other places.)

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A few donkeys short of a herd

I bought a Missal recently and have taken up the habit of reading the readings for the day as soon as I get up (I keep it on the night stand). That way even if I don’t go to Mass until evening the readings are in my heart all day. This week’s stories of conversions are fascinating me. Here’s Samuel, trying to take a nap, and God keeps waking him up. Here’s Saul, out looking for some lost donkeys, and next thing you know he’s anointed King of the Israelites. Meanwhile Jesus, doctor of men, is healing lepers, casting out demons and inviting people to dinner.

Codex Aureus - Healing Of The Paralytic

Jesus heals a paralyzed man who is lowered down through the roof, as the crowd was too thick to get to the door.

The dinner table as a place of conversion? The bed makes more sense. One is in bed when sick or incapacitated, in need of healing. In bed, one is fragile, weak, humbled, closer to death’s realm. How many healed by Christ are found in bed. (Or even in the grave!!) One is also in bed when sleeping. Night is still, mysterious. Here angels, demons and our dear Creator can get a word in edgewise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Crazy people


I love the Bamberg Apocalypse, an old manuscript with particularly endearing illustrations.

A friend, still well-saturated with a modern secular view of things, pointed out that religious people are, as a rule, crazy. It makes being religious a bit shameful. One can try covering it up by being ‘spiritual but not religious’ or muddling around in vaguely non-religious religiosity, but those explanations don’t hold up to actually becoming Christian. “Hey, off to Mass…I’m just spiritual, not religious…but, you know, um…Sunday…um..mumble, mumble…I mean, I think I’ll just run to Starbucks…” [bolts out the door].

I would defend Christians as not crazy, but I don’t think it’s true. There’s a beautiful lady at Mass every morning who waves her rosary in the air like a thurible, increasing the intensity of the waving in union with the intensity of the ceremony. During the Consecration she’s zinging that rosary back and forth like a skilled altar boy, and it makes that nice clanking sound the altar boys practice so hard to get just right. She may be crazy. But you know what? If you get to heaven you’ll surely find her right there at the throne of God: Read the rest of this entry »

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Thirsty Hart


Unto the end, understanding for the sons of Core.

As the hart panteth after the fountains of water; so my soul panteth after thee, O God.  My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? My tears have been my bread day and night, whilst it is said to me daily: Where is thy God?

These things I remembered, and poured out my soul in me: for I shall go over into the place of the wonderful tabernacle, even to the house of God: With the voice of joy and praise; the noise of one feasting.

Why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou trouble me? Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, And my God. My soul is troubled within myself: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan and Hermoniim, from the little hill. Deep calleth on deep, at the noise of thy flood-gates. All thy heights and thy billows have passed over me.

In the daytime the Lord hath commanded his mercy; and a canticle to him in the night. With me is prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God: Thou art my support. Why hast thou forgotten me? and why go I mourning, whilst my enemy afflicteth me? Whilst my bones are broken, my enemies who trouble me have reproached me; Whilst they say to me day by day: Where is thy God?

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me?

Hope thou in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.

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