See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Normal, good people...


They really do exist.
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I drove out to Stillwater, Minnesota yesterday to advise a friend on the set up of a gift shop within his bookstore.  He and another fellow own a rather prestigious antiquarian book-selling company, and at their separate facility which happens to be their theological bookstore, they want to begin selling fine Catholic gifts and art.  They are off to a good start - I'll write about the shop another day however.
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What impressed me about these fellows, my friend in particular, is how solid and steady they are; in faith, in business, in family, in morals, and so on.  My friend is very well educated and learned, a devout Catholic, a husband and father of 3.  He is very well balanced and open, in fact I think he is one of the most humble, easy going guys I have ever met, as is his wife.  I could never begin to say enough good about them.  His business partner, staff and coworkers obviously respect him, as he surely does them, and everyone works together very well.  The business operates in an atmosphere of peace and joy and genuine good will.
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I comment on this because such ordinary good lives appear to have become truly extraordinary in our day - at least in my experience.  Now that I am older and fortunate enough to capture a glimpse into the lives of people such as these folks, I'm able to appreciate what a normal, good life is:  The living out of God's will and purpose for His beloved, the fecundity and happiness of family life as it is meant to be, the mutual charity, friendship and fraternity between business associates, coworkers and employees, and so on.
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This post may sound strange, but I didn't come from such a good, much less stable background.  For most of my life I wasn't ever certain what normal was, and believe it or not, I was kind of scared of it when I saw it.  Now that I'm older and less affected by trend and social expectations and fear of not fitting in, I have a deeper appreciation for what I once considered ordinary and uninteresting.  The new normals in contemporary culture has forced me to recognize the greatness of ordinary life - the real normal.  Indeed, I'm deeply edified and consoled such goodness prospers and continues to exist.
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Now days I hope and pray even more for families, that they remain untainted and undisturbed by the contagion of the world's slow stain:  I pray for an increase of good, moral, faithful - especially Catholic - moms and dads and children.  These are the foundation of civilization, and must be defended, protected and supported.  The family is THE common good. 
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Art:  Peter Paul Rubens - Holy Family With Saints

8 comments:

  1. I can relate to your upbringing & fear of normal Terry..

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  2. Are you talking about your friends at Loome Theological Bookstore?

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  3. Terry: I absolutely ditto your post.
    This is what we are attempting in our new association with the membership of consecrated laity, diocesan priests and monastics. We want to be thoroughly Catholic and a "leaven in the midst of the world". There is such a temptation to be marginalized and sometimes we are considered to be be "weirdos" but we really try to be balanced and faithful to the tradition in the imitation of the Holy Family...the home of Nazareth.
    No small thing; but I believe this is the answer to the craziness we see on both sides of the spectrum.
    To love Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the Church, in the Holy Tradition in charity, truth and compassion.
    Thanks for this post.

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  4. Fr. Gary - yes - that is the place.

    Thanks Nazareth priest! :)

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  5. Terry, I know this is somewhat off of your main point, but as a fellow artist (you had some of my prints of a Eucharist still-life over at your former place of employment)do you know if they will be a venue for prints and originals?

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  6. Jean - I remember you well - you had the stunning chalice painting and print. Yes - by all means - they would most likely be interested in your work. Please call Andrew Poole tomorrow at Loome's and let him know I recommend your art for his shop. Their opening is next week - forgot the date - but a couple of other artists will be showing their work as well. I'm sorry I didn't think of you earlier. God bless - it would be a good venue for you I think.

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  7. Terry, thank you so much! I will call tomorow. Sometime, by the way, you and I will have to get together and talk about art. Though, I have to say, my experience has been that when artists get together they tend to talk shop -- the business ends of things. Maybe the conversation between two Catholic artists would be more elevated!

    About the main point of your post: I wanted to shout out loud, "YES!!" I understand what you are saying. I too had a somewhat, ummm, less-than-ideal upbringing, and faced the same difficulty in figuring out what "normal" is. (This was usually on a more personal level, such as reacting to various situations.) What a delight it is to see so many beautiful families at our parish and elsewhere: good, decent, loving families.

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  8. Great post! Maybe they'll hire you as a consultant. Then, I'd have to go to Stillwater and surprise you.

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