Random Thoughts, Volume 7: St. Maximilian Kolbe Edition

Today is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe.  He is a favorite of mine.

St. Maximilian KolbeWhen I used to have a family blog (that I discontinued when I started writing this one), bloggers commonly had pseudonyms for their children, and my youngest was Max, partially because of Max from Where the Wild Things Are, and partially because of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

I loved that he wanted to use the latest technology to spread the Good News.  He would undoubtedly be online if he were alive today.

The National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe in Libertyville, Illinois– Marytown  has a retreat center and beautiful chapel, and in the lower level, a small but very moving museum/experience of St. Max’s life.  Not to be missed. Strange random fact about me: the second time I visited it was just after I completed my first marathon (it finished near Marytown).  I went back to my hotel, cleaned up, and headed over to Marytown for a mini-pilgrimage.

Can I be honest here? It has been very difficult to write for me lately.  For a long time, very difficult.  This has been a hard year for many reasons.  But especially lately,  there has been so much bad news in the world and our country, it seems impossible to write well about anything.

I have found it somewhat restorative to make photo/quotes like the one above.  I took the quote from tomorrow’s second reading in The Office of Readings–it’s a letter of St. Max.

The teens tell me that when they are not meant to be humorous, they are not called memes, but edits.  So I have been making a lot of edits lately.  It’s very soothing arranging the words of others, play around with photo editing, and make it look reasonably good.

Some random links:

*”Ann Coulter to Jesus: Fix Bethlehem First!”  Simcha Fisher on Patheos. I was having a discussion with my older teen about who actually agrees or believes with ridiculous “commentators” like her.  I do not know a single soul in real life who agrees with the vitriol and drama of her writing (and I know a lot of sincere people who are very conservative)!.  I don’t even pay attention to famous people like this, but appreciate Simcha’s take on this.

*“Before They Go to School, Have this Conversation” — Lysa TerKeurst.   Love this exploration of the concept of “pre-deciding” how to act.  I’ve been doing a sugar-free (mostly) August along with a group of Facebook friends, and love the support.  After a July of more ice cream and desserts than I dare admit  (including a wonderful, but nearly softball-sized, portion of chocolate mousse in NYC), I’m ready for the re-set.

“Pre-deciding” is great in a lot of areas, but I’ve found it really helpful this month with food.  The notion of deciding  mostly what I’m going to cook and eat, and do, before the day begins, takes a lot of the willpower out of it. (But oh, chocolate, I miss you so).

*”Finding it Hard to Change a Habit? Maybe This Explains Why”–Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project.

“Often, habits can’t change until identity changes. For instance, a person identifies as the fun one, the one who says “yes” to everything — but also wants to cut back on drinking. A person identifies as a workaholic, but then wants to work reasonable hours. The identity is incompatible with the change in habits.

I don’t really want to give up my identity as a dark chocolate lover, so I know I will go back to this  after August, but a month off will help me moderate my consumption, at least for a while.

Finally, I finally purchased this song and have been listening to it very often in recent days.

I love the lead singer’s voice, the melody, and the message.

If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it
And if I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can You help me find it?

What have you found compelling or inspiring online recently?