Hallie Lord is sharing more excerpts from Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things That Really Matter (and yes, I can finally write out the entire title without having to go back and fix the capitalization).
I’m putting all the excerpts here, but you will still want to go to Hallie’s blog, Betty Beguiles, because she is giving away a Kindle Touch!
Also, don’t forget to enter my drawing for a copy of the book autographed by the whole crowd, pictured below:
Danielle Bean on Marriage:
I can’t write the marriage chapter. I have no business writing the marriage chapter.
My husband and I are just coming off a twenty-four-hour stint of avoiding eye contact and communicating through the children because… well, I kind of forget why. Something about whose job it was to pay the phone bill that didn’t get paid. And he was such a jerk you would not have believed it. Really, he was. I’m sure you understand.
In the throes of this recent cold war, I texted a complaint to a friend.
“Is it really so terrible of me to notice and care that I am always the one who tries to make up first after a fight?”
“I’ve done that,” she replied. “It gets pretty lonely up there on that hill with only your principles to keep you warm.”
Figures she’d go and get all reasonable on me. Not ready to grow up and quit complaining just yet, I called my sister instead.
Simcha Fisher on Motherhood:
O modern woman, does the idea of receptivity make you a little itchy? You’re all in favor of the motherly virtues of strength and wisdom, good council and courage—all very valiant, very Joan of Arc. But receptivity? Isn’t that kind of…passive? Don’t you just imagine a reclining reed of a woman, her tentative profile framed in lace, trembling among the potted ferns as she waits for Life to happen to her?
I know: That’s not you. Even if such an image appeals to your romantic side, a soft fantasy like this comes rapidly unstuffed the first time you’re up all night wrestling among milky sheets with a baby who is as hungry as three frantic wolves, but somehow can’t figure out, after all this time, how to find the nipple. And when the sun rises on your sleepless face, you’re still supposed to get up and do stuff. *Poof* go the last feathery rags of that gentle mist of motherhood, and “Howdy!” barks the harsh, daylight reality of your new life as Mom.
In truth, there is very little that is passive about a mother’s life. We’re all about action, from the relentless cyclical progress inside us month after month to the anxious, sympathetic pushing we unconsciously perform beside our full-grown daughters as they strain to give birth to the first grandchild: Motherhood is all about the push, push, push.
Barbara Nicolosi on Engaging the Culture:
Serious Christians need to experience the cultural arena not as fans but as apostles. We should be brooding over today’s art and stories as signs of the times, not simply absorbing them like sponges. We have to fortify ourselves spiritually, philosophically, and ethically, so that we can enter into the cultural climate the way a doctor enters into a hospital. If we shun the hospital because there is some sickness there, it means that some of the souls entrusted to us will die.
But here’s the real rub: If we avoid the hospital, we will also die, because we aren’t just doctors to the times, we are also patients. We need the divinely inspired prophecy that all the modern popes have assured us comes through the arts. Just as much as our pagan neighbors, we need stories to lead us to wonder, hope, and compunction. If, in an effort to be safe from the corruption of modernity, we cut today’s stories out of our lives, we cut out the normal channel in which God helps human beings grow in psychological, emotional, moral, and intellectual depth and sensitivity.