Friday, January 28, 2011

Musings from the Mailbox

"That's all a blog is, really.  Writing one big, long letter to yourself," observed my mother.

"And then sharing it for the whole world to read," quipped my sister.

      We had come back from a walk in the rain to the mailbox which had anticlimactically produced some junk mail and a poultry magazine for my brother.  My sister had complained that no one sends her letters; my mother had attempted to remedy her sorrow by suggesting she write one to herself.

     It's a good point, about the blog.  Who's it for, really?  The blogger.  But that's ok.  If no one ever reads this big, long letter to myself except for me, at least I'm having fun writing it, and no doubt I will find in myself a flatteringly attentive cybercorrespondent.

     That said, blogging, emailing, anything computery will never hold the place in my heart of good old pen-and-ink, and a full inbox or new blog post to myself will never charm me like braving a misty January morning to walk to the mailbox and discover a letter.

     I love letters.  I love the smoky, waxy smell of my room after I've sealed a letter.  I love being able to say I have sealing wax.  Who has sealing wax?  It's really, really cool to have sealing wax.  And I love actually using a fancy letter opener.

One of the coolest letters I ever got was scented with rosewater.  I thought that only happened in nineteenth-century novels.  It was so great.  I'll have to try that sometime.

Sorry for the random rant, self.

That's ok.  I liked it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Feast of Saints Timothy and Titus!

        The feast brings to mind inspiring words of St. Paul to St. Timothy:

Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
- 1 Tim 4:12

     This is as relevant today for a young and aspiring follower of Christ as it was nearly 2000 years ago.  I am reminded of a few things each time I read this verse.
     Firstly, that I cannot allow the societal stereotype of youth and young adulthood to discourage me from pursuing holiness and being the best I can be.  (I recommend a refreshingly against-the-current book on this topic, Do Hard Things: a Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris).

     Also, that my earthly journey isn't just about getting me to heaven.  We're all in it together as the Mystical Body, and in my behavior I'm accountable not only for the damage I may do myself, but for the influence I have on others.
     This concept applies to everyone, with the possible exceptions of the hermit or the recluse.  But the schoolchild, college student, parent, professional, and religious, each has his own audience for whom they are responsible to set an example.  Mine mostly comes in the form of my four younger siblings.
     This affords me a very tangible and immediate reminder of the importance of setting a godly example; it's a real wake-up call when one of the little ones begins a bad habit that looks just like mine.  And what I reward it is when they exhibit a virtue which I have tried to model for them!
     I hope that, with God's grace, I will use the opportunity of setting examples for my siblings to the best of my ability, and so be in practice when I go out into the big, wide world and am accountable for a much larger, scarier, tougher audience to my behavior.         

    Why "Convictions"?

    I first had the idea to have a blog entitled "Convictions" because the word summarizes the things I would write about - my passions, resolutions, beliefs and aspirations. 

    Then my sister showed me Hebrews 11:1 and I thought, "Hey, that's perfect!"  I have many Convictions about life, some trivial, others profound, but all are bound within the context of the great Conviction "of things unseen": my Faith.

    So here I am, blogging about my Convictions.

    Some of these may not seem directly linked to the Faith, but I hope that even through relating anecdotes about my life, musing on the latest novel I've read, or sharing a new recipe I've invented I will will glorify God, Who has blest me with the interests and abilities to find joy in these things. 

    God bless.