The overall message is: here, readers, we have discovered a whole new mysterious island filled with these strange savages, previously unexplored. You wouldn’t believe what they’re doing out there! So now we’ll count them for you (can you believe there are so many of them?) and tell you their savage, uncivilized ways. Because we’re scientists.
Criticizing the ministry-industrial complex does not mean professional resources have no place in ministry. It is not so much their use as their guiding role in congregational life that prevents churches from prioritizing deeper formation. Information and inspiration are good, but congregations must recognize their insufficiency to foster deep and sustained transformation—and must not confuse tools meant to inform and inspire with formation itself.
It is, I realized, handy to have a proper template handy, ready to use, should my fears come true, and I discover that I really did forget to answer an email for a few months, and then need to send a very thorough and sincere apology. In fact, it is possible that such an email is buried somewhere in one of my three inboxes right now, awaiting this very reply.
Mr. McNabb recognizes the central passion of Fr. Vincent: his deep love for Christ, expressed through a severe asceticism, a total devotion to traditional Catholic doctrine and social teaching, a commitment to love and serve the poor, a tireless effort to preach and teach the Gospel—all aimed at personal holiness in pursuit of heaven.
Repeatedly, some of the best students I have taught have been homeschooled. What set them apart was precisely the spirit of bold curiosity that I see in my own kids: that bright light in their eyes, an interest in asking questions and in pursuing rabbit trails independently.
Do real things together. Celebrate. Take delight in the world—together. Don’t feel compelled to broadcast your views about the dangers of technology. Let your life speak, but be prepared to give an account of why you’re living the way you are.
One easy solution is the crockpot. Why? You can throw in some basic ingredients in the morning before work or school, and then when you get home in the evening, you have a hot meal waiting. Bonus: the house will smell really good when you walk in. What’s not to love?
It is profoundly strange to suggest (as Shiny Happy People implicitly does) that there is something strange and nefarious about people who believe in their principles wanting to see them become a reality in the public square.
As evening arrives, you put on warmer clothes and make a campfire, arguing over which is the best design method, the teepee or the log cabin. Once it gets going, you sit with your loved ones in a circle around the fire and just stare at it uncontrollably. You are mesmerized and instantly calm.
In a perfect world, our children would romp out the door after completing their chores and their schoolwork (we homeschool) and knock politely at their best friend’s door, who lived just around the corner in our quiet, speeding-car-free neighborhood, and spend a couple of hours engaged in free creative play, or a massive self-directed building project, or an epic game of Scrabble. How I sometimes wish we lived in that world!