— 1 —

I have to admit to being a Pope Benedict XVI kinda gal.  He’s been the Pope for most of the time I’ve been paying attention.  He gave my oldest son his First Holy Communion.  He’s a writer and a thinker of thoughts.  And, like myself, he seems to have an appreciation for tradition and order and general old-timey-ness.  I love that.

So I must admit to joining in a tiny bit as the interwebs gasped in horror as Pope Francis went walking about IN REGULAR SHOES.  But, as it turns out, when you’re The Pope . . .

Yes, you get to pick your own shoes.  There is a history of Popes wearing red shoes, which is why Pope Benedict chose to do it, but JPII favored brown shoes.  Pope Francis picks black shoes.  The next guy will also Get To Pick His Own Shoes.  And it will be fine.

— 2 —

Les Misérables
comes out on DVD today and if you missed seeing it in the theaters, seriously, what is wrong with you?  

If you like redemption, or Catholicism, or movies, or the greatest ending in movie history, YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE.

And if you like really great singing, well, you should see it anyway.

Julie of Happy Catholic* gave me a welcome new perspective on the most maligned singer of the bunch:

I loved the entire thing, even Russell Crowe’s singing which works if you think of it like the character he portrays … earnestly aspiring to give God the glory in all things, even if he is wrong about just how he should do those things.

If you’re wondering if it would be appropriate for your kids to see, you can check out my review here.

— 3 —
Hey, think facebook made up this?:

Think again.  Apparently we can blame L. Frank Baum.  I found the following in the foreword to The Marvelous Land of Oz, sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

“Finally I promised one little girl, who made a long journey to see me and proffer her request,—and she is a “Dorothy,” by the way—that when a thousand little girls had written me a thousand little letters asking for the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman I would write the book. Either little Dorothy was a fairy in disguise, and waved her magic wand, or the success of the stage production of “The Wizard of OZ” made new friends for the story. For the thousand letters reached their destination long since—and many more followed them.


And now, although pleading guilty to long delay, I have kept my promise in this book.


L. FRANK BAUM.


Chicago, June, 1904”

— 4 —
In the midst of the hubbub about Pope Francis checking out of his own hotel, and declining to take a limo, I couldn’t help but think of the episode of Downton Abbey in which Matthew Crawley struggles to accept the trappings of his new found status as heir.


Mr. Crawley, of course, learns to subjugate his own desires for simplicity in order to uphold the honor and duty of his station. And perhaps something similar will happen with Pope Francis.  But perhaps not.  As with the shoes, he’s in charge.  He gets to set the tone for his papacy.  And then the next guy will be free to do something a little different.

— 5 —

The fact that my kids think that an apple that looks like this:

is all done, drives me nuts.  Apple slices are a good solution, but I still think there’s a good chunk of edible apple in that section of core.

So here’s what I do now:

Slice the apple in half, scoop out the stem and seeds with a melon baller, enjoy.  (Maybe with a slice of cheese on top?  Yum.)

— 6 —

I appreciated Fr. Z’s take on the use of royal symbols in the Catholic church:

The use of beautiful marble in the church building, precious fabrics and metals for vestments and vessels, music that requires true art and skill to perform, ritual gestures which to worldly eyes seem to be the stuff of bygone eras of royals and the like, all underscore the fact that step by step during Holy Mass the priest is being readied for the sacrifice, which – mysteriously – he himself performs.
Back when I resisted the liturgical kissing of my hand when being handed a chain, spoon or chalice, I had made the mistake of imagining myself to be more humble by that resistance.  That was a mistake.  Ironically, my resistance to those gestures turned the gestures into being about me.  Submission to the gestures, on the other hand, erases the priest’s own person and helps him to be what he needs to be in that moment: priest, victim, alter Christus.   The trappings, the rubrics, the gestures erase the priest’s poor person.  Resisting these things runs the risk of making them all about the priest again.
You can read the rest of his thoughts here (thanks Abby!).  
— 7 —


The Hooley was a blast!  For more photos, see here.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!