Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I was astonished to see Fathers' Day promotions appear the day after Mothers' Day- and also the number of cards to Dad from the cat. It's easy enough to write off these secular days as "Hallmark (TM) holidays" but I am increasingly convinced that it is important to celebrate love in a world with so much disorder, to recognize the sacrifices of those who give so much with at least some small token. But does Dad really need another "World's Best Dad" coffee mug, tie, or tool kit?
When we were first married, my husband and I instituted The $5 Challenge for occasions such as Valentine's Day, our wedding anniversary, and the like. $5 can be a relatively easy amount to find in a budget- for our family it would mean an extra meatless meal. It's quite surprising how much quality of life can be improved with that small amount.
Here are some ideas:
*Gift certificate to a deli for a sandwich- a break from brownbagging it
*A dessert from a patisserie
*Their favorite flavor of X (jam, cheese, etc) when they normally yield to majority opinion
*A box of really nice frozen novelties or cookies
*A trip to an ice cream parlor for two
*A pound of exotic fruit or bulk snack
*A flat of annuals or herbs
*Some gadget/tool for a favorite hobby
With a little bit of advance planning, the $5 can go even further with a coupon at many national department stores, mass-market retailers, or craft stores.
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
[Lk 1, 41-42]
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
We normally associate the word “cosmetic” with the superficial and the trivial, with mere appearances, but this would be to mistake the whole thing. For to understand the cosmetic, we need to look at its root word, cosmos. ... What the term meant to the Greeks was not “everything” but the harmonious composition of parts that produced a coherent and beautiful whole. ... This cosmic beauty then extends down through each microcosm, each little part of the whole which displays its own order and beauty, and then right down to the little cosmos of a woman’s face. The need a woman has to order the world through beauty begins with the need to order her face.
From this habit of ordering herself (a habit which extends to women across all times and cultures) women move out to order the family. They take what resources they have, what gifts their men bring, what talents their children display, in what circumstances they find themselves, and try to compose all of these elements into an orderly whole. The habit of making up one’s face is practice for the task of making up the world.
Some will object that cosmetics are cheating, but this is not so (except in the extreme cases of cosmetic surgery and the like), for cosmetics will not make a plain woman into a great beauty, but they will reveal and highlight the beauty that is the birthright of every woman. Others might object that this is about appearances only, but appearances are all we have in the world. The cathedral is nothing but appearances, and we may judge whether the architect has truly captured the reality of the Church; the painting of the saint is just a bit of cosmetics on canvas, and we must discern the reality it depicts in its appearance.