Weekend Links: July 22-23

It seems I cannot get enough of this topic. This article from First Things compares books to screens. In my opinion, nothing beats the real, tactile, “existed before you and could exist after you” feel of a real book. Of course, children’s books in my house do not last that long. We try.

My time off Facebook has been positive. I go on in the morning to scan for news and stay involved my the “meaningful groups.” Glad to know I am fulfilling Mark Zuckerberg’s vision, except for the staying off Facebook part. Now that I have time away when I do go on, the whole thing feels like a lot of visual noise. Between the Newsfeed, the adds and the menus, it is all too much. If I can find a way to keep up with my favorite sources, and a way to maintain online groups without Facebook, I would be up for that! Any suggestions?

As I was citing sources for an article, I thought some readers might be interested in knowing more about where my views on the human person come from. We cannot know man only through science, or faith without science, or faith without philosophy. A view of man that brings all this together is the Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person (CCMMP). This model was foundational in my graduate education on considering the whole person in psychological practice.

The model accounts for our need for relationships are our inclination to sin (and possibility redemption). Here is a good piece from Verily pointing out some red flags in relationships. These can be taken and generalized to identify any toxic relationship, and personality types that are generally good to avoid. The desire to save a person through relationship is as old as time. We love people while still protecting ourselves by maintaining space.

In this encyclical,  Pope Pius predicted three outcomes from widespread contraception use. He predicted increased infidelity and lowering of moral standards (check), increased disregard on the part of men towards women and their bodies, reducing women to an object for his own desire (check), the third was public officials attempting to coerce contraception on individuals. This is very clear in China, and here it is in the US. Worth noting, I think.

Politically, it is hard to keep up with the real news because the media has not yet recovered from its Trump meltdown. I grew up with a sensitivity to the evils of Communism because my grandmother is Chinese and the stories I heard about what happened to her family members who were left behind. In school, we learned a smidgeon of bad regarding the USSR. That fell, but there is much to be concerned about in Russia. I always appreciate a piece from George Weigel on Eastern Europe and Russian news. I hope you do as well. As a birthday present, he will be speaking at Star of the Sea parish in San Francisco on July 27. I will be there.

If you avoid the downtown, San Francisco is a breathtaking city (downtown will also take your breath away because of the smell). On the topic of beauty, Two great pieces from Aleteia this week on why angels are portrayed with wings and why we have stained glass windows in Catholic Churches. In the Medieval days, these windows were instrumental in teaching illiterate Church-goers the faith.




Words matter. Ask my husband who often has to spend the next 15 minutes telling me what he really meant because there was an accidental error in his choice of words. N.M. Gwynne, authors of Gwynne’s Grammer convinced me with his logic of the greatness of grammar. This article is an example of that work at play.

I do not care to dwell on the conversation about the status of the university system. I follow it but cannot verify it. That said, one section in this article makes a good case for the power of words. Chronic exposure to hostile speech increases stress which can lead to adverse physical effects (this would fall under verbal abuse). Short term exposure to hostile speech can strengthen us, leading to all kind of cognitive and emotional benefits like resilience.

Earlier in the week, my reflection on the meaning of on The Giving Tree was shared by a former graduate school classmate. Check out her blog. For me, her writing is just stunning: peaceful, clear, paced to be a great companion.

Those are my thoughts. I would love to hear yours in the comment section!