Rebecca Nixon

Thoughts, Musings, & Ramblings of a Catholic Housewife

G.K. Chesterton Quotables

Some of my favorite Chesterton quotes…

G.K. Chesterton Orthodoxy  “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.  Children already know that dragons exist.  Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

Orthodoxy  “Seriousness is not a virtue. It would be a heresy, but a much more sensible heresy, to say that seriousness is a vice. It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. It is much easier to write a good TIMES leading article than a good joke in PUNCH. For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.”

 Orthodoxy  “WHAT we are looking at is not the boyhood of free thought: it is the old age and ultimate dissolution of free thought. It is vain for bishops and pious big wigs to discuss what things will happen if wild scepticism runs its course. It has run its course. It is vain for eloquent atheists to talk of the great truths that will be revealed if once we see free thought begin. We have seen it end. It has no more questions to ask; it has questioned itself. You cannot call up any wilder vision than a city in which men ask themselves if they have any selves. You cannot fancy a more sceptical world than that in which men doubt if there is a world.”

‘Daily News,’ Sept. 14, 1907  “ALL wars arise from love or lust: the good man loves his country, the bad man lusts after someone else’s country.”

The Defendant  “The essential rectitude of our view of children lies in the fact that we feel them and their ways to be supernatural while, for some mysterious reason, we do not feel ourselves or our own ways to be supernatural. The very smallness of children makes it possible to regard them as marvels; we seem to be dealing with a new race, only to be seen through a microscope. I doubt if anyone of any tenderness or imagination can see the hand of a child and not be a little frightened of it. It is awful to think of the essential human energy moving so tiny a thing; it is like imagining that human nature could live in the wing of a butterfly or the leaf of a tree. When we look upon lives so human and yet so small, we feel as if we ourselves were enlarged to an embarrassing bigness of stature. We feel the same kind of obligation to these creatures that a deity might feel if he had created something that he could not understand.”

The Everlasting Man  “You cannot visit the child without visiting the mother; you cannot in common human life approach the child except through the mother. If we are to think of Christ in this aspect at all, the other idea follows as it is followed in history. We must either leave Christ out of Christmas, or Christmas out of Christ, or we must admit, if only as we admit it in an old picture, that those holy heads are too near together for the haloes not to mingle and cross.”

Tremendous Trifles  “Fairy Tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear.”

The Common Man  “THE heretic (who is also the fanatic) is not a man who loves truth too much; no man can love truth too much. The heretic is a man who loves his truth more than truth itself. He prefers the half-truth that he has found to the whole truth which humanity has found. He does not like to see his own precious little paradox merely bound up with twenty truisms into the bundle of the wisdom of the world.”

A Night of Trash…

So today has been a day.  You know when something happens that just kind of throws a wrench into your whole day?  Well, this wasn’t just a wrench – it was a full on sledge hammer.  Everything seems to have been worked out (for now) but throwing a sledge hammer at a pregnant woman, who has less than 5 weeks to d-day, while basically shrugging your shoulders and saying “sorry” is just a real jerk thing to do.  Oh, how I love insurance poo.  I had big plans for today.  I had a to-do list of things that needed to be done to further prepare for the big D-day and a few things I wanted to do, because I could.  🙂  I was planning on baking chocolate chip cookies to both eat and also share with a friend who just gave birth to a GORGEOUS baby boy.  I was planning on cleaning up and further organizing our room.  I was planning on being a domestic diva, getting lots of laundry done & put away along with starting the LONG process of washing, cleaning, and organizing baby stuff.  I also had a few insurance phone calls to make – both about claims we need to file and double checking on coverage for baby and I.  I got through one and half items on my list and then came the hammer.  While I may have dodged it, that stupid sledge hammer basically shattered the rest of my list…well, everything except that baking cookies part.  I’ve really been craving chocolate chip cookies & they are in the oven now.  I spent a good deal of time crying, shaking, trying to catch my breath & STOP hyperventilating, praying, trying to remember to be thankful for that stupid hammer (after all you can’t have a headache without a head), playing mindless games on Facebook, enjoying my baby’s hiccups, and hoping I didn’t stress myself into labor.  Did I mention that my husband is out of town ALL WEEK?  He is.  He and the band are working on their 3rd album so I can’t even (easily) get a hold of him to vent to about sledge hammers and such.  (I was also told that I look like I’ve lost weight, which I took as I look skinnier at 8 months pregnant than I did pre-pregnancy, but that’s another blog post.)

So, what did all of this lead to…a night of total trash.  Trash food, trash tv, and trash talking (or thinking).  I have totally given my night over to the trashier things in life.  I had fried chicken, mac n’cheese, and chocolate chip cookies for dinner and when looking for some mindless trash on tv to watch, I settled on the Miss Universe Pageant (after first checking to see what was on Bravo).  Oh my.  I could blame part of tonight’s trash on my husband being gone because, if he was here, while we may have enjoyed a trashy dinner, there is no way in the world Miss Universe would have lasted more than 10 seconds on our tv.  I must admit that he would’ve been right, too.  As I watched these young women, some of whom are already crazy accomplished and wicked smart, parade around in skimpy clothes that leave little or nothing to the imagination (who knew a sequined swimsuit & chiffon sarong passed for evening wear?!?) I just felt bloated and sad.  I felt so bloated and sad that I enjoyed a couple more chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk.  What I found was that the more I exposed myself to trash, the more I started to feel like trash.  Trashy food, while very tasty, has left me feeling bloated, sluggish, and like a really bad mother.  Here baby, have a butt load of bad fats, sugar, & carbs!!  That’s a great start and will surly help your development!!  Trashy tv, while mindless, has left me feeling sarcastic, sad, & more than a little flabbergasted.  To be totally honest, it also left me feeling kind of witty at some of the cracks I was coming up with (:cough: see above about evening wear) but then again, I also felt kind of bad.  They were talking about how the ladies brought their National Costumes with them and paraded around on stage in them.  My first thought was “What in the world is the national costume of the USA…a stripper nurse?”.  Then, as they were showing images of some of the costumes, it seemed that “stripper…” was the national costume of many countries.  They described one of the girl’s evening gowns as “Blue is the color of royalty and she really looks regal..” and I thought “she looks like a regal hooker!”  I also thought the descriptor “This is quite an exotic dress” was a nice way of saying she looked like an anorexic Christmas tree.  Funny stuff, huh?  (I got a chuckle anyway.)  Maybe funny but also sad.  I’m better than this.  I’m a better person and worth more than simply spewing snarky & trashy (my initial thoughts were trashier but censored for blogging) comments.  More than that, these girls…these LADIES are worth more than to be viewed as “regal hookers” or “anorexic Christmas trees”.  They are somebody’s daughter, sister, and friend.  They might be somebody’s wife or mother one day.  They deserve to be viewed with dignity and respect.  They deserve more than to be thought of simple beauty queens.  They are more than a pretty face, tan body, and perky breasts.  So, why then, is it so easy for so many of us to view something like the Miss Universe Pageant and a) immediately consider it trash in and of itself and b) speak about these ladies in a manner that is less than dignified?  I can’t really defend the Miss Universe Pageant…I really can’t.  I’ve tried to think of what else it is besides glorifying physical beauty and sex, but I can’t.  I’m writing it off.  It’s trash.  However, just because I think that it is trash, that doesn’t mean that the ladies participating in it are trash or deserve to be talked about as if they are less than any of us.

We all fall into trash from time to time.  Sometimes by our own choosing with full knowledge (ahem…my choices tonight would be exhibit A for that one) and sometimes we don’t realize what is happening until we are already ankle, knee, waist, or shoulder deep in the trash heap.  Sometimes we are thrown into trashy situations by no choice or fault of our own.  Circumstances and choices do not dictate the value, dignity, or worth of a person.  We all make bad choices.  We all wind up in less than ideal circumstances.  It is just part of living in this fallen world.  The more I think about this, the more I wonder why we are so attracted to the darker & trashier side of life.  Why do we watch, or want to/choose to participate in, things like the Miss Universe Pageant, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, and reality tv (in general)?  Why are shows like Criminal Minds (I’m a big CM fan, btw), NCIS, and Law & Order so popular?  You could argue that the tv shows display the struggle of good vs. evil and good usually wins.  But why, when our world is already so dark and fallen, do we choose escape in something so realistic?  It’s like saying I looked out the front window, instead of sitting on the front porch, to get a break from reality.  If we want to see the struggle of good vs. evil why aren’t we at least allowing our imaginations to wonder into the world of the fantastic?  Why aren’t we indulging in fairy tales and fantasy?  If we are going to escape something about the reality of our broken world, then lets escape the REAL BROKENNESS of it!  G.K. Chesterton, in Orthodoxy, says “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.  Children already know that dragons exist.  Fairy tales tell children the dragon can be killed.”  Think about it – where else would do you see that, no matter what struggles and sufferings the hero & heroine must face, no matter their trials – in the end they triumph.  They win.  There is always hope, faith even, and it is rewarded.  They see their “Happily Ever After”.

Fairy tales, to me, illustrate the struggle of Christians in our broken world.  We will stumble, we will suffer, we will fall.  This is a given.  Evil exists and it wants to destroy and devour us.  Sometimes it is as insidious as the spindle of a spinning wheel and sometimes as obvious as a fire breathing dragon.  We must be brave and stand up to whatever evil we are faced with.  We must remember that dragons can be killed and that EVERY story ends with the faithful finding their happily ever after.  So, why aren’t we not only indulging in the fantastic fairy tales of our childhood, but why aren’t we also immersing ourselves in the fairy tale & love story that God has given us?  Why is it so easy for us to turn away from the light?  Why do we feel compelled to wallow in trash and hide in the shadows?  Is it because we don’t want others to notice just how trashy and dirty we’ve allowed ourselves to become?  Is it because we are trying to hide our brokenness from others, from ourselves?  Who are we trying to fool?  Or is it that living in the light, choosing God’s will for our lives, and choosing to rise & trying to live a holy & saintly life is just too hard?  We are lazy, in this world of instant gratification.  We don’t like to work for things.  We don’t enjoy mighty quests with the long journeys and perilous tasks.  It is much easier to wallow in the muck – there is usually far more company in the muck, too.

Today I fell.  I fell hard.  I allowed circumstances that were beyond my control to manipulate my emotions and instead of running to my heavenly Father, instead of immersing myself in light; I chose to dive into the trash.  Now, I am going to get a bath and clean myself up.  I am going to fall on my knees, thankful to have survived today, thankful for all of the crazy blessings in my life, and pray to see tomorrow.  I am going to love my husband and my baby.  I am going to (try) to be far gentler and kinder to my mother in law than I was earlier today.  I am sorry for indulging in so much junk food at one meal.  I am sorry for having such harsh and judgmental thoughts about my sisters in Christ.  I am sorry for choosing the trash.  I’ve been playing in the dumpster all day, instead of enjoying the warmth, peace, and joy of my Father’s house.  I posted on my Facebook page earlier tonight that sometimes you need a little trash in your life.  I was wrong.  You never need trash – it’s unhealthy for every part of our being.  (A little “junk”, you know the stuff that isn’t NEEDED to survive but it’s nice to have from time to time (like dessert or fresh baked cookies!!), is fine – trash is not.  “Junk” is the stuff that I consider, in moderation, adds a little extra something to life – sweetness, spice, spirit.)  So, next time I must dodge a sledge hammer and it happens to smash my plans for the day into trash at my feet, I will clean up the mess, thank God it wasn’t worse, and go play in the light.  I invite you to do the same.  ♥  (I just may also enjoy a little junk, like some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies or some 80’s/90’s pop/rock, while playing in the light. 😉 )

 

{Thanks for stopping by and reading!  Please, if you feel so called, leave a comment or two.  As this is my blog, I reserve the right to refuse to publish any comments that are rude, vulgar, or distasteful (regardless of if I agree with you or not).  Trolling & nasty don’t look good on anyone.}

Responding to Tragedy

My family started exchanging emails, expressing their feelings over the tragedy in CT.  One family member immediately started talking about how this tragedy was a prime example of why we need far stricter gun laws, or even to outlaw private ownership of guns completely.  I come from a VERY opinionated family, most of whom heartily disagree with this particular family member, and at times my family is not the best about expressing themselves with charity, grace, and mercy.  Below is my reply to my family regarding the gun control debate that was happening and the tragedy of our fallen nature & world.  (By they way, as you can probably tell from reading below, I’m not in favor of stricter gun laws.)  Thanks for stopping by and reading!  Please, if you feel so called, leave a comment or two.  As this is my blog, I reserve the right to refuse to publish any comments that are rude, vulgar, or distasteful (regardless of if I agree with you or not).  Trolling & nasty don’t look good on anyone.

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An object is neither good nor evil.  It is just an object.  A person chooses to use it for something good or evil.  If this man didn’t have a gun and he really wanted to kill these children and adults, he would’ve found another way.  We have free will and no law can stop or hinder that.  Everyone starts talking/debating about gun control after tragedies like this.  We feel helpless.  We feel scared.  We feel angry.  We want to take action.  Doing things, like trying to get stricter gun laws on the books, makes people feel better but it doesn’t help.  If the U.S. was to make it illegal for private citizens to own guns, what will the battle cry be when something like this happens again?  Think about this – what if all teachers & staff were screened, trained, & allowed (their discretion) to keep a gun in their classroom/on their person?  Would that have kept this man out?  Maybe not, but it might have given him pause if he knew that there was the possibility that someone would be able to do more against him than run and hide.  Maybe it would’ve saved some innocent lives.

Ultimately, we need to pray.  Evil is real.  We all choose evil, even in little ways, at some (or multiple) point(s) in our lives.  We choose evil when we sin, and when we sin we harm ourselves and others (even when the sin seems immediately harmless).  We live in a fallen world and there is a battle going on for each of our eternal souls.  That battle will rage on until that hour that no man knows.  We can (and should) take great hope in knowing how the whole things ends.  In the battle of good vs. evil, we know who wins.  No matter how dark it gets, how many innocents are lost, how hopeless we feel – we know who wins.  This is not the end.  We must pray unceasingly, choose good, and when we fail to choose good – when we fall, we must repent and choose to rise.  We must not forget that these battles for our souls are raging daily all around us- invisible as they usually are.  We KNOW who wins.  We’ve been allowed to read the last page.  We must remember, we must hold onto faith & hope, and we must love each other through it all.

I am so thankful that our family is safe tonight.  I pray that, no matter what battles we are faced with in this life, no matter what sin we are touched by, that we will stay strong as a family – as a family in Christ and in blood.  I pray for our souls and as these souls are welcomed into Heaven, as they are welcomed by the warmth and love of Our Blessed Mother, and as they bask in the awesome glory of God – I pray that these new saints will also pray for all of us.
Love you all.
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Satan fears Mary

One of my friends shared this quote with me and I LOVE it!!  It just spoke to my heart – as a woman, a mother, and a Catholic.

icon“The Devil fears the Virgin Mary more, not only than men and angels but, in a certain sense, than God himself. It is not that the wrath, the power and the hatred of God are not infinitely greater than those of the Blessed Virgin, since Mary’s perfections are limited: it is because, in the first place, Satan, being proud, suffers infinitely more from being overcome and punished by the little, humble servant of God, her humility humiliating him more than the divine power; and secondly, because God has given Mary such great power over devils that, as they have often been obliged to admit, in spite of themselves, through the mouths of possessed persons, they are more afraid of one of her sighs of grief over some poor soul, than of the prayers of the saints, and more daunted by a single threat from her than by all their other torments.” (Monsignor Leon Cristiani)