Monday, April 20, 2009

Today's assignment ...

Many thanks to our friends at The Art of Manliness for their  recent article on the art of letter writing.

In the days of cell phones, email, and text messages, letter writing can seem hopelessly outdated. But it’s an art worth bringing back, and not because of  some misplaced sense of nostalgia either. The writing and reception of letters will always offer an experience that modern technology cannot touch. Twitter is effective for broadcasting what you’re eating for lunch, and email is fantastic for quick exchanges on the most pertinent pieces of information. But when it comes to sharing one’s true thoughts, sincere sympathies, ardent love, and deepest gratitude, words traveling along an invisible superhighway will never suffice. Why?

Because sending a letter is the next best thing to showing up personally at someone’s door. Ink from your pen touches the stationary, your fingers touch the paper, your saliva seals the envelope. Something tangible from your world travels through machines and hands, and deposits itself in another’s mailbox. Your letter is then carried inside as an invited guest. The paper that was sitting on your desk, now sits on another’s. The recipient handles the paper that you handled. Letters create a connection that modern, impersonal forms of communication will never approach.

The Church Ladies are most enthusiastically in agreement with such wisdom and suggest the following as your assignment for the day:
  1. Read the post for inspiration, links to supplies, and other practical advice.
  2. Write a letter to at least one person this week.  (And at least one next week, and every week until it becomes a habit.)
Of course, love letters should be at the top of this list, but of equal value are letters encouraging others in their faith, and letters of appreciation to all those who make your life a little nicer in some way.   As so often happens, there is a great Catholic tradition of patrons to encourage us in this endeavor and it would be particularly appropriate to ask the intercession of the beloved Epistle writer, Saint Paul, in this year where we are celebrating his life.

Go!  Get off the computer and pick up your pen!
Image Credit: Gerard Terborch, Woman Writing a Letter found at the Web Gallery of Art

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