Friday, November 13, 2015

7QT: Seven Quick Takes (Volume XXXII)

I'm linking up with This Ain't the Lyceum to bring you seven quick takes from my world this week.  


Modern Dinner Party.

I posted outside of my normal Friday 7QT earlier this week to tell a story about a recent dinner party we attended.  Political affiliations and salaries were discussed.  Awkward?  Yes.  As the days continue to pass, it's still on my mind, so I know it must have bothered me.  It only recently occurred to me that perhaps I had differing political views from everyone else because I am in a different tax bracket/economic status.  Le sigh.

What do you think?  Is every topic of discussion fair game these days?


Introvert Offices.  

I'm a introvert who loves people.  (Hello, fellow INFJs.)  One of the frustrations of my job is that I don't interact with others as much as I'd like.  On other hand, working in a cubicle that has no door and is "exposed" to passersby 100% of the time is also draining to me as an introvert, not to mention that there is absolutely no ambiance.  I realized that my "alone time" at works comes...during my bathroom breaks.  Even though it's not a private bathroom (i.e., there are stalls), having a DOOR to close and not be bothered or seen by anyone else is a relief.

Here's the glorious view out my cubicle doorway.  No view of the outside world, but 100% view of me anytime anyone walks by.  I can't take a lunch break without interruption, so I usually leave for lunch.  I can't speak with anyone in the cubicle without everyone overhearing me.  This is bothersome to me.  It doesn't seem to bother my coworkers, who have discussed everything from their child's divorce to their cat's special food to their own prescriptions within earshot of others in our cubicle world.  (True stories.)  Study after study has proven that open concept office spaces are not as effective, not just for introverts, but for all employees.  But, they do seem to prevail in our modern day workplaces.

Oh well.  I shall survive.    

FYI - For Your Inspiration Information



As part of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis sent Saint Maria Goretti on a voyage around the world. We were fortunate enough to see the relic in person last week.  I had never heard of her before, but the story is amazing.  She not only forgave her attempted rapist and murderer, but her mother then adopted him.  The mother forgave him too.  He had a vision of St. Maria Goretti forgiving him, which led him to repent and turn his life around (up until then, he had been a violent inmate and claimed innocence in the crime.)  He then forgave himself.    

Here is a video which details some of the same information I learned that night.

I have to say, as a Catholic convert, this kind of thing really rubs against my natural sensibilities.  I can see how those who do not understand think that we are being superstitious or taking away from God's glory or being pagan.  I was thrilled that so many thousands of people would take the time to pay respects to a saint, but I felt like one of those "crazy Catholics."  I do believe in the communion of saints, and I think St. Maria Goretti's story is very powerful.  I feel sometimes like immigrants must feel in their adopted homelands.  I doesn't come naturally to do things like this, but I believe it's true. Amid the huge crowd, the hours in line, the loud people speaking English and Spanish and Vietnamese (which was distracting from the atmosphere of prayer, to be sure), I still know God was there.

Yes, Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.   

St. Maria Goretti - pray for us!

I have a new favorite for my personal litany of saints, the Little Saint of Great Mercy.



When God speaks to me, He has to be very clear, or I just don't get it.

It wasn't until earlier this year that I realized the voice of self-hatred and condemnation, even if it's your own inner voice, is not of God.  If it's not from God, then who is it from?  The enemy.  Plain and simple as that.  I learned this from Fr. Timothy Gallagher and from Deacon James Keating as I read and listened to talks about spiritual discernment and marriage.  It was a powerful revelation.  My "self-talk" has always been extremely negative.  I would never speak to anyone else out loud the way I am accustomed to inner self-talk.

Well, within 10 days, I have gotten three separate messages about self-hatred being of the enemy. The first was Fr. Robert Barron's series about The Mystery of God.  In discussing the Trinity, he talks about the idea that as God knows Himself in the Son, the only proper response is to love, which is the Spirit.  (This is originally from Aquinas or Augustine, I believe.)  In a similar way, as we learn who we truly are, in Christ, the only natural response is to love ourselves (in a healthy, balanced way).

Next, our priest gave an excellent homily on All Saints Day.  While the focus of the homily was not self-love, he made a remark in passing that struck me.  To end up in hell is to end up in self-hatred. In other words, when you end up in hell, it is because you have disobeyed God.  One of the primary ways we do that is to reject his divine design, the goodness we are created for and to live according to our own designs.  It's idolatry, essentially.  And, as the good priest said, in not following God's design, you aren't your truest self.  And hell is the culmination of such self-hatred.

Finally, the homily at the mass surrounding the viewing of the relics of St. Maria Goretti... The priest instructed us on how to pray when we venerated the relic.  This is a saint of great mercy and forgiveness.  He told us to pray something like, "Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of St. Maria Goretti and in your name, I forgive (so and so) for doing (such and such) to me."  But, then he made an excellent point.  St. Maria Goretti's murderer and attempted rapist had a vision of her forgiveness.  He had a vision of God's forgiveness.  But, had he not also forgiven himself, he could have never lived the rest of his life in peace.  So, we were also instructed to pray, "Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of St. Maria Goretti and in your name, I forgive myself for doing (everything you are most ashamed of)."  This piece of the forgiveness puzzle is absolutely crucial.

It was the third confirmation within 10 days that God does not want me to hate myself.  My husband squeezed my hand when the priest said that, knowing the journey I'm on.  And a tear fell from my eye.  I knew it was a message for me.

Let us all be free.  Let us all forgive others and ourselves.  Lay it down at the foot of the cross and leave it there.


Old Friends.

I've had an old friend in town this week.  It's been great to catch up.  Funny how it's easier to pick up where you left off with some people than it is with other people.  I'm grateful to know such interesting and brilliant people.  This friend of mine is an English professor. We ate lunch together. Then after work, we went to an amazing art exhibit with my husband and then dinner all together.  I miss being able to talk about society, the arts, and ideas with people the way I can with this friend of mine.  He's a deep thinker and very insightful.  He also said that he wished he had friends like myself and my husband back home.  I guess the feeling is mutual.  



This is not a metaphor of any kind...there was a snake in our office yesterday morning.  This is not a drill.  I repeat: a snake in the office.  

It's gone now.  It was caught and taken outside, but my-oh-my, I could not concentrate until it was removed.  EEK!!!!!!

As Jim Gaffigan says, "I'm what you call...indoors-y."

I found this hilarious image on Etsy


Happy feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, who said:
"Love and God will take care of the rest."  

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Have a great weekend!


  1. We went to venerate St. Maria Goretti too. It was a powerful experience for all of us. I think the communion of saints was one of the most lovely gifts we received when we converted as a family.

    1. Also, welcome home! I'm a convert too. It's the best decision I ever made.

  2. We went to venerate St. Maria Goretti too. It was a powerful experience for all of us. I think the communion of saints was one of the most lovely gifts we received when we converted as a family.

    1. Isn't the communion of saints wonderful? It's so sad to me that so many who misunderstand and fight against our understanding of the Communion of Saints are just missing out on a gift. I'm told the St. Maria Goretti relics are a very unusual thing to see. I was grateful to go.


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