Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Swing of the Pendulum (and what I wore Sunday).

  • “The whole curse of the last century has been what is called the Swing of the Pendulum; that is, the idea that Man must go alternately from one extreme to the other. It is a shameful and even shocking fancy; it is the denial of the whole dignity of the mankind. When Man is alive he stands still. It is only when he is dead that he swings.” – The New House, Alarms and Discursions

Ain't that the truth?

How many of us struggle with moderation and temperance?  As individuals and as a society, we tend to swing between binging and abstaining. We either eat all the chocolate and chips or we forgo all sugar, carbs, meat, fat, grains and anything else that tastes good. We either let the dust bunnies pile up and the cheerios shrivel on the floor (or maybe that's just me?) or we clean like crazy, getting every last nook and cranny immaculate. We either get dressed to the nines, or we lounge about in yoga pants and t-shirts.   We work constantly, or we work not at all.  We watch all the TV or we watch none of the TV. We drink all the wine or we abstain completely. We spend excessively, or pinch pennies religiously.

Obviously, there are exceptions and some people are very good at moderation, but as humans, our general tendency is to bounce back and forth between excess and want, between everything or nothing, between black and white.   We do it in our parenting, we do it our churches, we do it in our families, we do it in our Lenten sacrifices and we do it in the way we view others.  Which may be the most tragic of all.  We see someone who looks a certain way or acts a certain way or talks a certain way and we assume we know them, we assume we know what they think and where they are coming from.   We assume the long skirt, chapel veil wearing Catholics are judging us for our uncovered hair and pants. We assume that the childless  strangers in the grocery store are looking askance at us over a pile of children.  We assume the childless Catholic couple, or the one with only 1 child must be contraceptive.  We assume these things, because we see things in the black and white.

Now obviously something are objectively, morally wrong, but many parenting practices or Catholic practices are simply a matter of preference.   Just because some one's favorite song is Gather Us In doesn't make them a liberal Catholic who believes in womyn priests (do I date admit, I like that song?)  Or, just because someone attend the Traditional Latin Mass, doesn't mean they think the Ordinary Mass is invalid.

Lent is coming up.  This Lent, I want to focus more on moderation.  In some ways it is easier to give something up completely than it is to use it in moderation.  It is easier to go all gung ho than to be prudently discern a more moderate path.  Is there any aspect of your life where you need to work on moderation?  Do you have any plans to do so this Lent?

{Linking up with Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things.  Oh, and hey, she's running a contest for the best Chesterton post this weekend.  Go there on Wednesday or Thursday and vote for me (if liked this post.  If you hated it, then go vote for someone else). But if you liked it, help me win a copy of the Father Brown Reader.  Please.


And, because it's Sunday and I'm all or nothing, I can't let a Sunday go by without linking up with FLAP for WIWS. 

 The sweater is from ThredUp. And, hey, they're running a promotion, if you buy anything through my link you get a $15 to spend and so do I!  Cool, huh!  (Normally they give you $10, but they are running Feb promotion and giving away $15).

The skirt is thrifted.  The shirt, I think might actually be from the 70's from my aunt's closet.  Seriously. The tights are from Wal-Mart and the shoes, from Payless.

Hey...I'm close to coming up on a year of What i Wore Sunday.  Look for an anniversary post from me soon..all about why I continue to link up and how taking pictures of myself every week has been a great exercise for me.

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  1. A year of WIWS! Awesome. Also, my husband finds moderation really tough, whereas I do pretty well with it. It's the absolutes (of eating, drinking, etc) that I find tough. Good food for thought from your blog today, as always. :)

  2. I like all the songs in Mass that everyone else says aren't Catholic enough. :) And I like Gather Us In! :)

    Great post!

  3. Ha, I totally grew up in a "Gather Us In" sort of parish, and I have to admit I do really looooove me some gospel and some praise and worship, just not within the context of the Mass :P

  4. Ha, I totally grew up in a "Gather Us In" sort of parish, and I have to admit I do really looooove me some gospel and some praise and worship, just not within the context of the Mass :P

  5. Thanks for the reminder that there really does need to be a balance! BTW - I highlighted you in our Top 3 post this week...let me know if you want the photo removed:

  6. I had an ex-smoker once tell me that giving up smoking was easier than dieting because when you quit smoking you get rid of the cigs adn just don't do it anymore whereas you have to eat, you can't just stop.


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