Valentine’s Quadruple Link Up

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Here goes one of those mega link-up posts in honor of a very busy week.

1. Theme Thursday: Heart

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Marie’s valentine for us this morning. 🙂

2. What We’re Reading: I finished 1984.  I thought I’d read it in high school but couldn’t remember anything except the very last line.  I must have skipped large parts of it back then, which I think was all for the best.  Yikes.

Now I’ve started The Dyslexic Advantage on Jessica’s recommendation.  I’ve just read the first couple chapters, but it is fascinating.

The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain

Despite having devoured fiction from the day I started reading all the way through college, I pretty much stopped reading it after having children.  It’s so much easier for me to focus on nonfiction now–I think it’s that my emotional energy is pretty sapped by my kids, and nonfiction allows me to just think and not feel so much!  I do enjoy children’s fiction, though–I think that’s because of the usually happy endings. 🙂

Anyway, I joined a book club to get me reading good fiction again, because I’m usually glad I read a good novel once I finish it (am I glad I read 1984?  I think so, but it was very bleak), but it was such a relief to open up a book that likely won’t take up much emotional energy.

3. What I’m reading with the kids this week:

Our favorite St. Valentine book

Saint Valentine

We’re listening to Kenneth Branaugh read The Magician’s Nephew in the car.

An excellent local theater is putting on a production of this story next month, and I hope we’ll get to go see it.

4. Now my contribution to Micaela’s monthly link up on favorite saints.. here are 3 on my mind today.

Pope John XXIII, who will be canonized this spring.

I don’t know too much about him, except that he started the Second Vatican Council, is reportedly an inspiration to our current pope, and wrote this beautiful prayer that I think is perfect for moms.

5. Dorothy Day–she’s not yet declared a saint, but it’s in the works.  Her two books, The Long Loneliness and On Pilgrimage, are some of my favorite spiritual books.  I think she is the only major Catholic spiritual writer who was a mother (correct me if I’m wrong?).

A single mother who started a movement to house and feed the poor during the Great Depression and beyond, she was definitely considered a saint during her own lifetime.  Her response to all that was, “Don’t call me a saint.  I don’t want to be dismissed so easily.”  And when asked if she experienced mystical visions she replied, “Only of unpaid bills!”

At the same time, one of her favorite quotes was from author Leon Bloy, “There is only one tragedy, not to become a saint.”  She has always been a big inspiration for me.

6. St. Therese of Lisieux–I’m going to join with Micaela on this one.  Once you read her writings, it’s pretty much impossible not to love her.  She was a nun who died of tuberculosis at the age of 21, and yet during her few short years in the convent, she wrote a spiritual classic that apparently inspired the spirituality of Mother Teresa, St. Josemaria Escriva (founder of Opus Dei), and (I think) Dorothy Day too. Pope after pope has called her the “greatest saint of modern times,” and she is considered a “Doctor of the Church,” right alongside the likes of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas.

Her basic message is that the path to Jesus consists not in doing the greatest things, but in doing the smallest things with the greatest love.  And she is a patron saint for people who get distracted while praying.  Those things definitely qualify her as a perfect saint for moms!

7.  And, the Edel Gathering…I’m bummed I can’t go this year.  I hemmed and hawed (until they sold out!), wondering if Teddy will still be nursing at that point.  While it’s a breeze to bring a nursing infant along to those kinds of things, it’s not so much fun with a nursing toddler.  I’m going to hope for next year!

Check out more pictures at Cari’s, more book reviews at Jessica’s, more saints at Micaela’s, and more quick takes at Jen’s.  Thank you, ladies, for leaving these link-ups up for days for all of us latecomers!

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes about epic novels, sold out conferences, book cover photos, and the horror of realizing youre my neighbor

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2 thoughts on “Valentine’s Quadruple Link Up

  1. Hi Catherine! What a sweet Valentine!

    So sorry it has taken me so long to visit. I must have screwed up my link as I was expecting emails when people linked up. But no dice!

    Anyway, I love your saints. I don’t know much about John XXIII either. I should read up on him before his canonization. And Dorothy Day seems like such a cool lady. I don’t know enough about her either.

    Thanks for linking!

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