Thursday, August 5, 2010

Midnight Perusals

I am currently reading in "Jesus the Christ" and I was reading the section about Mary and Martha. I ran across this passage and it made me think about growing up. I grew up in a home with 5 other siblings, but only 4 bedrooms. Our house was never immaculate, but it was full of love and happy memories. I remember other houses I had been to that were museum-like clean, but people didn't seem as happy or close as I felt with my parents and siblings. Reading this in "Jesus the Christ" helped me make the connection that my parents valued strong family relationships and teaching opportunities over a pristinely kept house (and I'm glad they did). To quote a close family friend, our house was "lived in"--you knew people lived there and you knew the people who lived there enjoyed life to the fullest! Here's the excerpt:
By inattention to household duties, the little touches that make or mar the family peace, many a[n individual] has reduced [his/]her home to a comfortless house; and many another has eliminated the essential elements of home by [his/]her self-assumed and persistent drudgery, in which [he/]she denies to [his/]her dear ones the cheer of [his/]her loving companionship. One-sided service, however devoted, may become neglect. There is a time for labor inside the home as in the open; in every family time should be found for cultivating that better part, that one thing needful--true, spiritual development.
My mom is a Mary...with her focus on the more eternal aspect of spiritual development, but also keeping up with the temporal aspects of life. She says she struggles and that she probably should focus more on the temporal aspect, but I say that I am glad her forte was the spiritual aspect. Had it been the other way around, I don't think my family would have the unity and love that we all have, nor would we have the devotion and loyalty to the Church. And yes, the saying is true, at the side of every good man stands a strong woman; my dad is right there with my mom! They are great examples to me and I still have much to learn from them.

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"[Confucius] taught that the country which develops the finest music, the grandest poetry, and the noblest moral ideals--that is, the country with the most exalted culture--will always yield the greatest power in the world."

-Letters from the Jade Dragon Box by Gale Sears

"Who is such a reprobate as I! And yet it seems that even I am in Somebody's hand!'

-Mr. Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge

"...[T]he magnitude of [life] is not as to [one's] external displacements, but as to [one's] subjective experiences."

-Thomas Hardy in Tess of the d'Urbervilles

"...I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed--because 'Thou mayest.'"

-Lee in East of Eden