1. Singing harmony a capella. Whether it be Plainchant, a pleasing Anglican Chant, a great tenor-line on a hymn or even a Shape-Note sing, I just can’t get enough of it. It is good for the soul and thrilling to the spirit. Preferably it would be done with other good singers in a room with a long reverberation. I can go for hours doing this!

Yes, yes, I remember what St. Augustine of Hippo said about harmony (I believe it was in The Confessions) and how we should only sing in unison, so as not to obscure the words. But, frankly, I’m convinced that if you could enjoy it, St. Augustine was against it. Sancte Augustine, ora pro me!

2. When attractive people, who are not – how shall we say? – the sharpest fry in the Happy Meal pretend that they’re smart on This, the Book of Faces by giving a political opinion or sharing a piece of poetry. Then, other attractive people “whose wheels are spinning, but the hamster is dead” (as it were) comment in a similar fashion but with awe. And, yes, usually their facts are wrong and they’ve horribly misquoted Robert Frost in the process.

Honestly, I mean no ill-will in this, as it just makes me privately giggle. I privately giggle a lot, by the way. And, no, I don’t correct them. That would be a jerky thing to do. I’d be like me giving you an opinion on fashion, who to recruit for your fantasy baseball team or which exercise regimen helps you loose fat the quickest. I hope if I ever did that, you would privately giggle because it would be ridiculous.

On the other hand, if you need advice on ecclesial fashion (“always brocade!”), of which Saint to ask for prayers (“don’t forget St. Sexburga!”) or how to deep-fry butter without it falling apart (“the secret is in the Crisco”), then I’m your man.

3. Recently, I was asked what my hobbies were. For a moment, I was at a loss for words. I thought, “Hm, I wonder which one of my hobbies I could share about without sounding like a complete whacko: my reading the Christan Mystics or my working knowledge of arcane and byzantine liturgical rubrics?” So, I shared that I am a dedicated foodie. They were unfamiliar with the term, so I responded, “In short, a foodie is a glutton.” I really enjoy cooking, although I’m no chef. I have been baking my own bread for sometime now, along with making and freezing my own chicken or vegetable stock for soups and such.

There is so much pleasure in a meal. Especially if you share it with friends and family. As for why, I’ll recommend you read Fr. Capon’s profoundly beautiful and spiritual book, The Supper of the Lamb. Basically, it’s a set of meditations of life under the guise of a cookbook. The whole first chapter considers the spiritual qualities of the onion. It is funny, beautiful and moving. Go, read it.

What are some things that make you happy?

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