First, just a reminder: there’s only one week left to buy one of my Etsy prints to support Autism Speaks, via my sister’s NYC Marathon fund! Her fundraising deadline is August 31. Click here to see the prints!
A collection of things I’ve enjoyed reading/listening to lately:
—Caritas podcast!: A new podcast from Brigid Hogan and Elise Crawford. There are three episodes out so far, and I’m really loving the content and approach of their discussions. It highlights the experience of Catholic women navigating their way through their twenties, seeking truth and beauty within the secular world. I’m thrilled to have found a podcast with this specific focus (though I think it’s relatable to anyone, really), and the conversations are great!
—As mentioned in Caritas: Fran Dorsey’s post, How to Be Brave and Messy. I hope to write more thoughts on this later, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how a fear of saying or doing something wrong can hold us back from doing anything at all, and this post really captures that idea.
—I really loved the Fountains of Carrots episode on social media. They talk about the idea that watching the lives of others without really engaging with them breeds envy and misunderstanding, and I think that’s totally true. Social media is not bad in itself, but if we use it at all, it should be in proportion to how much we are able to make meaningful interactions with others, not just to observe their lives in a voyeuristic way. Which means that it’s healthy to take social media breaks from time to time, and to keep in mind that whatever you see on someone’s Facebook or Instagram is not a true reflection of everything that’s going on in their life—and that’s okay.
—He Leadeth Me: A gripping story with an unbelievably inspiring spiritual core. This book had been recommended to me by many people, and it is well worth the read (I am almost finished!). Perhaps the most amazing thing about it is how the lessons that Fr. Ciszek took from his experiences, living in unimaginable conditions in Soviet prison camps, are completely relatable to the everyday experience of those of us living in modern-day America. His experiences living in extreme conditions allowed these universal truths to shine through in a unique way, and he was able to open his eyes to see them instead of giving in to despair.
—“The Curious State of Notre Dame Football”: Okay, I am getting excited for football season. Just two weeks away! This article does a pretty good job of summing up the Irish’s prospects at this point, highlighting the fact that all preseason talk is just speculation:
If it feels like large swaths of the college-football-consuming population are locked in an unending struggle between This Is Notre Dame’s Year and Notre Dame Is Overrated, it’s only because that’s exactly what they’re doing, and they are tireless at it….If you’re a Fighting Irish hater, time to sharpen your fangs and howl at what you view as the perpetual glow of expectation surrounding the program, all the while bracing yourself for a potential playoff run! If you’re a Notre Dame diehard, and you’re superstitious, it’s time to get nervous, because it looks like they’re going to be a very good football team, which is where things sometimes start to get weird.
—Speaking of Notre Dame, George Weigel wrote a great article about the idea of “preferred peers” for universities and why ND should resist the pressure to conform to other schools; they should define excellence on their own terms and not by comparison with others. In light of the discussion surrounding the theology curriculum, this is especially relevant.
—Verily has been great lately, as always. If you’re not familiar, it’s worth scrolling through—there are articles that speak to women in all different stages of life, and they manage to create a collection of light reads without foregoing substance. There’s smart commentary on culture, style, and current events, plus wise advice for everyday life.