Friday, June 17, 2011

Quick Takes are getting sorta fun!!

Ever since I got Evernote (thanks for the suggestion, Jen!), Quick Takes have been fun and easy: I just jot down ideas on Evernote whenever they come up!

1. I am so thrilled to recommend a new book by my friend and fellow blogger, Devin Rose. The former atheist turned Protestant turned Catholic has a fresh new approach to discussing the Protestant/Catholic divide. If you like big-picture logic as I do, you'll love If Protestantism is True. (The Kindle version is only 2.99, by the way!)

2. Speaking of books (and you know how I love to give them away and mail them around) if anyone has not had a chance to read Abby Johnson's Unplanned yet, please email me and I will have the "traveling copy" sent to you.

3. I just really like this quote from Pope Benedict XVI, given on the Feast of Pentecost:
From the beginning, the Church is one, catholic and apostolic... The Church does not derive from human will, from reflection, from man’s ability and organizational capacity, and if that were so it would have become extinct a long time ago, like all human things. 

Any non-Catholics have any earthly explanation for why the Church and the Papacy are still around and going strong? It's unprecedented, you know.

4. Headline at Yahoo: 

Excerpt from the article:
"When in God's name are the conversations going to begin?" asked {notorious dissenter} Joan Chittister
Is it wrong that I laughed?

I mean, really? Do they still not know that the Church does not change doctrine? Do they really not know what the Church is?

5. I love Elisabeth Leseur. She and her husband Felix were upper-class Parisians who were deeply in love. However, Felix was a devout atheist who openly hated his beloved wife's Catholic Faith. 

Elisabeth and Felix Leseur, 1910

Elisabeth did not let their differences poison and destroy their marriage. She stayed quiet and simply loved Felix and prayed for him, keeping a diary of her thoughts, pains and hopes. She offered her many sufferings and untimely death for his conversion. After she died, he discovered her diary, the contents of which led to his conversion. Felix ultimately was ordained a Catholic priest. It's a love story like nothing you have ever read, and Elisabeth's cause for canonization has been opened.

Of interest to the IF bloggers: Elisabeth and her husband suffered the great heartache of infertility, and she was never able to conceive.

If you have never read their story, you should consider it: The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur: The Woman Whose Goodness Changed Her Husband from Atheist to Priest.

6. I totally forgot that the reason I launched into a discussion of Elisabeth Leseur is because I love this quote from her:

Those who seem to be spiritually dead are not always those least accessible to the divine Word; when wood is dead, it needs only a spark to set it afire. 

7. In the "What a Welcome Return to Common Sense!" department, Catholic University is going back to single sex dorms. I will refrain from asking what bozo decided coed dorms were a good idea (or more likely, what committee), and just praise God for this decision. Sometimes progress requires making a U-turn.

(Can I throw in a #8? Don't tell anyone!)

8. The comments on the last post (about excuses for sin) were positively amazing. Anyone who hasn't read them, please don't miss out. Lots of honesty, lots of wisdom.

Have a great weekend, and thanks to Jen for hosting!


  1. Leila, I also have a copy of Unplanned I'm willing to lend out, so if you get a lot of demand, let me know. :)

  2. Elisabeth Leseur is my patron saint for this year. :)

  3. I am so excited about that book on Elisabeth Leseur. i will have to get that. Unplanned is on my list, too. I have a lot of reading to do.

    Have you read "Fatherless"? I just started it last night. It's fiction, but it's amazing (so far) I have a feeling after I gobble it up, I'll grab "Motherless" and the owner of our Catholic Bookstore told me that "Childless" is due out this summer!

  4. Thanks Leila! A copy of the book is winging its way to you (slowly) via media mail.

    Unplanned is a great book, so powerful. I could barely read the section at the beginning where she describes the ultrasound-guided abortion. Brought home the horror and sadness of it.

  5. Looks, great, Devin! And good takes, Leila!

  6. Love Elisabeth and Felix Leseur! Great reading... reads kind of like a devotional. What an amazing couple.

    Looking forward to reading "If Protestantism is True" too!

  7. Evernote is amazing and I use it because of Jen too, lol! I use it mainly for my recipes. Totally love it.

    I'm sending you an email about the book! I really really want to read that one!

    Love your quick takes, they're great.

  8. I love the quote by Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing! Amazing Life

  9. I love Elisabeth Leseur as well!!! She is such an inspiration and her diary is awesome. Thank you for mentioning her!!

  10. Oh, thanks for the book recommendations, especially Elisabeth Leseur. Never heard of her, but I got chills reading your description. Can't wait to add that one to my list. Also, regarding #7 about CUA dorms...the hubs and I met in a CUA dorm, haha! The co-ed dorms were single sex by floor so it wasn't totally crazy (I've heard at some public colleges boys and girls live next to each other and share bathrooms). Anyway, we are super happy CUA made the change and hope other Catholic colleges will follow.

  11. I've been following the saints since I was eleven years old and sort of became a fanatic...St.Maria Goretti was the first I read about and quickly connected to her because she died at age 11 and here I was at 11 years old and reading about her. And now you mention this Elisabeth Leseur whom I have never heard about! I will be definitely buying that book!

  12. Thanks for the tip on the If Protestantism is True Kindle edition - got it! :)

  13. Great list, will definitely look for the Leseur book.

  14. "When in God's name are the conversations going to begin?" asked {notorious dissenter} Joan Chittister

    Response: Never. The Catholic Church will never "in God's name" go against His name, against His will, or against His word to pacify you.

    The use of "in God's name" in this quote is what? ironic?, humorous?, it is something but I just can't quite put my finger on it. Also, can anybody explain to me why in this day and age, when there are a million churches to pick from, these people stick around and try to "change" the Catholic Church? Why do they have such a pressing need for the Catholic Church to agree with them? It makes me question whether their true intent is to destroy, otherwise, wouldn't they just move on? I know the reasons I would never "move on" including the Eucharist, but is it possible to appreciate that gift while fighting the church on everything else?

  15. Anon, great point. I think I've concluded that a) they want to destroy the "evil, patriarchal" church from within (or "fundamentally transform it, as Obama has said of his intent for America), and b) they want to keep their power as media darlings. There is no power and glory left for them if they become episcopalians.

  16. This is similar to some advice I was recently given, "She stayed quiet and simply loved Felix and prayed for him".

    The comments from your last post were phenomenal and breath-taking. It seems the Holy Spirit poured out a whole of fortitude on those that read and comment on your blog because even though you gave the ok to anon post away, many, many did not. They owned their testimony. I am sure I was not the only Mom that was hoping I could pick up enough wisdom to help my own kids out.

  17. The use of God's name struck me too. Two sins in just one sentence!

    Thanks for telling us about the new potential saint!

  18. This is anonymous, I finally figured out how to post a comment with my name :)Kinda long too as I have been holding this all in for weeks!

    I find these "reformers" to be like my choleric teen that believes if we just talk it through for the billionth time we will finally see that he was right all along. Never occurred to him that he was just plain wrong.

    Also, as I have read your blog the past few weeks one thing is blatantly clear. Some of the most basic and unquestionable beliefs I hold, are completely opposed and disregarded by others. I have always just known that men and women are different, that "man" is valuatively different from "animal", and consent and lack of harm of others is not the primary guage of morality.

    It's no wonder why so many people are unhappy, they are in the world with no idea why they are here, where they came from, or where they are going. Life is enough of a roller coaster, I appreciate that with my faith I at least know that if I am following the track I will someday get to my destination.

  19. I have about 15 tabs open all from clicking on links in your quick takes! I love that quote by St. Elisabeth Leseur!

  20. Jan, welcome from the shadows of anonymity, ha ha! You are exactly right about the choleric teen. "conversation" means, "give me my way, and until you do the conversation won't end!".

    As to the rest of what you said, I agree. It's like Professor B wrote: You can't prove the obvious. And that is what we have come to. Sigh.

    Michelle, yes, I have. My daughter read Fatherless!

  21. I first heard about Elizabeth and Felix Leseur in Bishop Sheen's "Life is Worth Living!" A fascinating story of love. Apparently Bishop Sheen had the opportunity to meet her husband (After he became a priest!)

  22. I really like the quotes in my Magnificat by Elisabeth Leseur, she is really amazing, I wish I had just a small bit of her perserverence.

    Unplanned was an amazing read. I highly recommend it!

    That article from yahoo is really funny actually as are the comments under the article, seems like by all Catholics! That is great!

  23. That article is too much! I love Jan's comparison to her teenager! I used to argue with my parents that way and I felt so strongly that they just didn't understand--I didn't see that they had actually been there, done that, and I wasn't as smart as I thought I was...

    I can't wait until my kids are teenagers! Yikes!

  24. I have never heard of Elisabeth Leseur! Definitely adding it to my summer reading list.

  25. Love Elizabeth Leseur. We need great models of married Catholic women who live their feminine genius as she did.
    And as to your #7... you can imagine the collective sigh of relief from all of us youth workers that finally, finally there's something sensible in the next step for our kids. Though so MANY are left to follow! Still, a start...

  26. I do have to say (from my raised-Protestant perspective), Catholicism doesn't have many married role models at all. While a life as a priest or nun is commendable, it's definitely not everyone's calling; otherwise none of us would be here!

    Also, as a college student who lived in a co-ed dorm, there is little worse than having guys roaming around the halls and checking to see if doors are unlocked when you really just want to be able to study in peace in your pajamas (a few guys on the floor thought that this surprise brand of sexual harassment was "cool," and my tiny female RA didn't have the force to stop them). As soon as I could move out I found an apartment with some nice female roommates who agreed with me on a no-guys-after-10-pm-barring-total-emergency rule.

  27. In defense of CUA (graduate of 2009!), the dorms are coed by floor, so it's not like bathrooms were coed or anything like that. I was never uncomfortable with the set up and didn't see guys on my floor often. I think it is a smart move for the University to have single sex housing but am unsure of how much difference it will make in the grand scheme of things. At least the University will know that it did its best.

  28. not a minx, I'm just grateful that there might be a bit of a discussion about this in other Catholic schools. One small step at a time… :)

    Ru, you are right, and JPII was very happy to look for holy married couples to hold up as models of sanctity, since most saints had been priests and sister and religious brothers. St. Terese's parents, Louis and Zelie Martin are up for canonization, and of course the wonderful St. Gianna was a married doctor, in a beautiful love relationship with her husband (who only recently died). And the Leseurs. I believe there are others? At least I hope so! :)

  29. I probably should have put this in with the first comment, but it didn't occur to me until now, so here it goes:

    I think the people who want talks with the Vatican are confusing the Church-the-Body-of-Christ with the church-the-institution (by which I mean the body of priests, cardinals, popes, etc. whose sole responsibility in life is to guide the people according to the will of God). People who are involved in running the church have certainly done some crazy things that have later been recanted. I doubt that Catholics now would say that Johann Tetzel-style hawking of indulgences (and consequent gross misrepresentation what they do for the already-departed) are something that should have continued today, which to these "liberal Catholics" might seem like a recanting of doctrine. However, one can see that there is a clear incentive to change a modus operandi that has been found to misrepresent doctrine and confuse those who have not had the benefit of a full education in the Church. Someone in the church was wrong; that doesn't mean the Church was wrong too.

  30. Ru, you are right and those are good points. And for the average Catholic in the pew, I can understand the confusion about what the Magisterium is. But these professional dissenters (like Sr. Joan Chittister) have been around for decades, have read everything, have been corrected and their positions rebutted for 30 to 40 years, so it's harder to see their confusion as other than obstinence. It's sad.


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