Wisdom

I’ve been curious about wisdom lately.

What is Wisdom?

We all want it. We all admire and respect it. We also know it when we see it. If someone gives you advice, you know right away whether or not it’s something that would allow you to advance to a new level of wisdom.

But what is wisdom, and how do we get it?

Contemporary Understanding of Wisdom

Nowadays, Webster defines wisdom as (2016):

  • The ability to discern inner qualities and relationships: INSIGHT
  • Generally accepted belief (Like saying “The wisdom of the ancients says that…”
  • Accumulated philosophical or scientific learning: KNOWLEDGE
  • A wise attitude, belief, or course of action
  • The teachings of the ancient wise men

What is Wisdom?

If we are going to go by the definition, that means we can talk about wisdom in terms of insight, forming ideas about things, knowledge, wise actions, and a study of people who are smarter than we are.

Oh Boy Do We Ever Need Wisdom Today

Why do we need to study wisdom, now more than ever?
Well:

-If you are studying wisdom, by definition you are forming your own ideas. Quick, take stock for a second: Are you forming your own ideas about politics, or are you getting your information from Instagram or Facebook or other social media? I’m not saying they’re wrong, only that if we want to be wise, we’ve got to be responsible for our own ideas.

-If you are studying wisdom, by definition you are also accumulating knowledge. Maybe this means getting a formal education. Maybe this means studying a trade–a very honorable path (that we need more folks to get skills in, desperately!). Maybe this means visiting an elderly home and being open to what they have to share (wisdom of the elders, right?). If we want to be wise, we must be constantly in search of new ideas.

-If you are studying wisdom, by definition you are also making discerning moves to take wise actions. Think about it: what patterns of thought are you keeping in your life that do not serve you? Are you promiscuous? Are you remaining friends with people who get you into bad situations? Are you holding on to excuses or self-sabotaging behavior? Now, you are still loved–if you’re doing any of these things, they don’t make you evil, and they don’t make YOU “bad.” But they also are never going to make you wise.

I’m gonna really drive that:

These actions are never going to be the actions that lead you to wisdom.

The Worst You Could Do

Based on this, the absolute worst thing you could do would be to assume that you are one of the ancients, one of the respected elderly who have done and seen and learned. The worst thing you could do would be to think that there’s nothing more you need to explore, or to tell yourself that you “don’t like reading.” SIDE NOTE: No one hates reading, really. There are people who may not be very good at it, but no one actually hates language–our modern brains evolved to LOVE and develop language, including written. It’s a part of how we’re made).

What would it look like if you were unwise?

Well, I think you’d look/act/smell/sound like a downright SNOB.

Yeah. Being a snob is probably the WORST thing you could do, if you were to acquire any wisdom.

So How Did You Do?

How’d you measure up in regards to your own wisdom seeking in your life? I know how I did, and let me tell you….I’ve got some good things to get to work on, pronto. And you know what? I’m looking forward to it. Mostly.

Resources

Here are some links to stuff that can help you get started on your path to wisdom. These are things I have perused or read myself, and I am including them as affiliate links. You should know that if you do happen to purchase any of these things, Amazon will send me a few cents from that sale, so I can keep writing blog posts. Thanks for your support!

THE RELIGIONS BOOK: Here are some ideas about where people around the world are going to encounter wisdom and draw their own wisdom experience from it.

THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: Here’s where I go to a lot to draw wisdom from, especially nowadays when there are more people claiming to know what I believe better than I would (I mean, honestly.).

GREAT BOOKS OF THE WESTERN WORLD: Don’t let the sticker shock get you on these. Let me tell you something: if you were to read these books well, each and every one, there would be no forum you couldn’t enter, no academic gate you couldn’t open, no person you couldn’t strike up an interesting debate with. There would be no door that could hold you back, no culture you couldn’t truly appreciate for what it is. That’s what education is SUPPOSED to give you. So, you could spend $40k on a 4-year degree, or you could spend a fraction of that on actually getting an education. A real one. And yes, I have gotten a chance to look at these books, and I swear they saved my life in a time when I was destined for nothing but changing garbage cans on nightshifts and going home to an abusive relationship. I can’t stress how wonderful and necessary books like this are.

Sources:

Mirriam-Webster, Incorporated. (2019). “Wisdom.” Retrieved from: mirriam-webster.com

Follow me here!

Deanna Marie Teresa: “Kondo-ing My Soul”

Please enjoy this guest post by Deanna from No Body But Yours

(C) 2019, Deanna Barnes. Used with permission.

 Even a clean and unoccupied room gathers dust; return after a week and you will see that it needs dusting again!

Padre Pio on Confession

KonMari has become a phenomenon worldwide, thanks to the kind wisdom of Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant. Normally, her method of organizing is applied to material things in the home, but I can see it being applied to cleaning up our souls as well. Here’s how to apply it spiritually:

Step 1: Tidy Through Examination of Conscience

Set aside some time for solitary prayer. Perhaps have a candle and a journal with you. Open yourself to God’s voice and ask for clarity to see His presence in your life and to see where you have been shutting Him out in sin. The goal is to unburden yourself onto the page. Here is a good list of questions to guide your thinking. Take note of anything that is making you unclean that you need to bring to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Step 2: Imagine Yourself Clean

While in prayer, meditate with a vision of yourself standing with Mary at the foot of the cross, where Jesus is looking down at you with love. Let Him show you how dearly He loves you and wishes to wash your soul clean with His blood. Imagine what this would feel like to be freed from everything that keeps you depressed, discouraged, and apart from Him. Imagine what it would be like to be holier, to be the self God created you to be.

Step 3: Decide What Truly “Sparks Joy”

Take an inventory of your life on a sheet of paper. Take stock of your relationships, your routines, your possessions, your habits. Examine them courageously with Jesus, asking Him to show you what is guiding you to Him and what is guiding you away. The things that bring you spiritual health are the things that will truly “spark joy.” Get rid of anything that takes you away from the person you want to be.

Step 4: Confession

Take your list from the examination of conscience and anything you noticed in your “Spark Joy” exercise and go to Confession. I know it can sound scary, but trust me, do NOT delay in receiving this Sacrament. It cleanses you in a way that makes your steps lighter, your choices smarter, your heart more receptive, your mind more still, and your soul freed indeed. It is incredibly worth it. I recommend going weekly!

Step 5: Eucharist

Once you have done a little spring cleaning in your soul with God, receive Holy Communion. Ask Jesus to dwell within you, literally, and keep you clean. Savor it!

Do This Often!

Once isn’t enough! We acquire so much “junk” and “dust” builds up faster than you realize. Doing this regularly will change your life and bring you true joy.

Follow me here!

Anne Glenn: “KonMari Your Soul”

Please enjoy this post from guest blogger Anne Glenn of Pollyannie.

(C) 2019, Anne Glenn. Used with permission.

Konmari Your Soul

I’m sure you have heard about Marie Kondo by now and her Konmari method. Well, I’m here to talk about applying her methods to tidying your soul. Chances are, if you think your soul is in a pristine state, you probably have just become used to all of the clutter.

Matthew Kelly talks about our souls being like a car that we need to clean out, as this post mentions:

“We lose our sensitivity to sin in exactly the same way because after a while, a big self-destructive behavior doesn’t look that bad amongst all those little ones, does it? That’s how it works. You go to Confession and when you come out you are sensitive about the things that have stopped you from becoming the best version of yourself, just like when you wash your car and you are sensitive about the things that make your car dirty. “

Matthew Kelly

So why should we Konmari our soul? Do we even need to? What would be the benefit of doing this? And how can we do it in an honest way?

Provide a Dwelling Place

We need to examine our souls the same way we would examine our belongings. We must ask ourselves, does this behavior spark joy in my life? If not, I need to let it go. As a Catholic, I have found there is power in going to a priest who is representing Christ and confessing your sins. When you discard all that doesn’t spark joy, you make room for the things that do like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, forgiveness, understanding, gentleness, and self-control – the fruits of the Holy Spirit. When we hold on to our junk, we grieve the Holy Spirit. We have to tidy things up on a regular basis to give the Holy Spirit a home that sparks joy.

A Long Way to Go

More and more I am realizing that the closer I get to God, the further I have to go in my spiritual life. I feel very good about myself when I am not examining my conscience. It’s very humbling when I take the time to reflect on where I have strayed. . I need God. I need His grace. One way I realize how much I need God’s grace and forgiveness is when I haven’t been to confession in a long time and the difference it makes afterward. All of the sudden my reserves of patience have been restored – whereas before I would be ready to snap with the next spill, or scream, or whatever accident life throws at me.

No Stone to Throw

We are all very good at recognizing the sins of others, amen? I think we would all benefit from examining our own shortcomings and making amends. I am reminded of these Bible verses and a quote from Leo Buscaglia:


“You hypocrite! First, remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of yourbrother’s eye. “

Matthew 7:5

“He who is without sin can cast the first stone.”

John 8:7

“Individuals are incensed when it is suggested that they could, under certain situations and circumstances, be a part of any behavior harmful toward their fellow human beings. Yet, innocently, they do so every day. They ignore antipollution laws, refuse to accept responsibility for inferior education, world hunger, the loneliness of their neighbors, the ill-treatment of children and the elderly. They are only too ready to condemn the politicians, the activists, the Communists, or anyone else rather than accept their own thoughtlessness. They are too caught up in the self to evaluate their own prejudicial, hurtful, negative attitudes. If we are perceptive we will find that either by choice or unconsciously each of us engage, almost daily, in some wrongdoing. But this does not mean that we are evil, that we lose our worth as loving human beings. One act is not sufficient reason to devalue a person.”

Leo Buscaglia

Powerful, right? Indeed we are all hypocrites because we are all human. None of us are in a position to cast any stones. This is why we need to continually tidy up our souls. Not to make us feel guilty and worthless, but for us to practice empathy and keep us humble.

Honest Konmari-ing

We can all agree how beautiful a tidy home looks…but what about a tidy soul? And how will you know if something is a sin or not? Does a specific behavior spark joy? Or does it bring about more anger, despair, grief, or destruction? It’s so easy to justify and rationalize our behavior in a way that suits us best. But how can we konmari our soul in an honest way? The good news is the Catholic Church has already done the work in regard to which behaviors do and do not spark joy and it’s called an examination of conscience, and it is not intended as a set of rules to control you, but to help you. The only way to test if abiding by these guidelines sparks joy is by trying to live them. Until you truly try, you cannot give a testimony one way or the other. That is the way spiritual truth is discovered. As G.K. Chesterton said,


“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried. “

G.K. Chesterton

Have you tried living a life of Christian virtue? I mean, really tried. Not just follow the morality that suits you, but tried living according to all of the moral teachings of the Church. Did you find that it brought more order, peace and joy in your life?

One of my favorite bloggers/authors/radio hosts said in regard to her conversion from atheism:

“When I started living my life according to Catholic teaching the proof was, as they say, in the pudding. It worked. It worked better than I could have ever guessed it would. And since I’ve been able to receive what they say is really the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, my soul, my entire life, has changed profoundly. “

Jennifer Fulwiler
Follow me here!

KonMarie Your Soul, Step 1:

Remember that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? The one that changed pop culture and contemporary vernacular forever when Willow used the word “Google” as a verb for the very first time ever?

Now we say we “Google’d” this and “Google’d” that. We’re googling all over the place.

I think something similar has happened with organization phenom Marie Kondo.

If I were to tell you I’d miss getting together on the weekend because I needed to spend some time KonMarie-ing my bedroom closet, you’d know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

Some folks are saying Americans are getting hooked on the KonMarie Method because there’s something about it that makes us admit:

We got too much stuff.

Our souls need orderliness too.

I am all for an organized closet (and I daydream often about the perfect pantry), but also I think this goes deeper. This need for peace, order, meaning, beauty…it’s deeper than an Insta-worthy pic of your underwear drawer.

At a spiritual level, we long for tranquility.
At a soul level, we long for peace.
But you know what gets in the way?

Even in our souls,
we got too much stuff.

I bet you could tell me exactly which kids gave you a hard time and/or were disliked by you in first grade. I know happy people in simple cluttered homes. I know miserable people in beautiful furnished homes. I bet you don’t remember the best thing your boss ever taught you, but I KNOW you could tell me all about the worst, most evil boss you ever had. Every breakup, every bully, every time you encountered an unruly person in a drive-thru!

I know these things because I carry them too. I struggle with them often, and if I don’t consciously get myself into a different mindset, my brain will replay stories of bad stuff happening on a constant never-ending loop.

Do you think maybe it’s possible that no matter what kind of house we live in, we really aren’t going to feel better until we

Let stuff go?

So how do we do that? Well, that’s an answer that I don’t really like.

Forgiveness.

I don’t like it because it’s tough for me, and I have to practice it, like a muscle. Sometimes I don’t wanna. Really REEEEEEAAAALLY don’t wanna.

Here’s the answer. We have to practice forgiveness.

This post is close to me because honestly, it’s written more as a reminder to me than to anyone else. Very often I need to think about things and events for a long time in order to understand them….but once I’ve gotten clarity, it’s time to take those lessons and throw the rest out the spiritual window.

My sister said something amazing recently:

You won’t have room for love until you get rid of the hate. They simply can’t exist together.

The thing is, I think we as Americans have a much different understanding of what it means when something “sparks joy” (Kondo’s qualifier for whether or not an item or routine stays a part of your life). I think we mistake sparking joy with sparking pleasure.

Joy is the job, not justice. Time to get to work.

But there is joy in forgiveness; there’s joy in letting stuff go. Yes, that means the most horrible, awful thing that has ever happened to you, the one that you didn’t deserve or ask for, the one that wasn’t at all your fault, the one that really just rocked you. That was painful enough. And again, you didn’t deserve it. Are you ever going to find pleasure in that situation? No. No, probably not ever. That situation–the one you didn’t deserve–has no pleasure in it for you. Not even if you got revenge–and you know that’s true.

So, the idea of pleasure has to be completely removed from the situation. I’m talking about joy. There is joy in freedom from the burden of having to ruminate things over and over and over…there is joy in having toxicity plucked from your life. There’s even more joy in kicking toxicity right out the door.

There is joy in being free of the responsibility of being the sole dispenser of justice. You aren’t in charge of justice. If you were, whatever hurt you wouldn’t have happened in the first place, because it wasn’t just, or fair. Whether you should be in charge of justice or not doesn’t actually matter. Because at the end of the day, you’re still not in charge of justice.

It stinks to write. It isn’t what I want to read, and I’m sure it’s tough for you to read too, depending on your situation. Just know that I struggle with this.

I love you, whoever you are.

But I also know that there is freedom waiting on the other side of hurt. There is freedom after letting go. Is it life-changing to let go of stuff? Well, yeah, I think so.

But don’t ever forget: You are so much more than “stuff” and your neuro-chemical reactions to said stuff. (Is neuro-chemical a word?) Anyway, my point is:


You have a soul. It’s yours. And it was fashioned to be uniquely yours. No one else could ever have a soul like you.

If I could hug you, I would. I don’t want either of us to suffer from keeping around baggage in our souls for too long.

I’m so sorry you were hurt. I wish that had never happened. Please think about finding your way back to joy. Not because a situation doesn’t deserve justice, oh no, I’m not saying that.

I’m saying I love you, and I see you, and you’ve suffered enough.

Do not be provoked by evildoers;
do not envy those who do you wrong.
Like grass they wither quickly;
like green plants they wilt away.

But trust in the Lord and do good
that you may dwell in the land and live secure.
Find your delight in the Lord
who will give you your heart’s desire.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will act
And make your righteousness shine like the dawn
your justice like noonday.

Psalm 37: 1-6 NAB, revised edition
Follow me here!

Tagliatelle Pasta Recipe

This post contains original copyrighted photos. Do not use without permission.

Have you ever been curious about making pasta?

I was curious lately so I thought I’d do some research and give it a try!

It turns out, pasta making ranges from complicated pastas that require lots of skill to super easy recipes (like this one) which are perfect for any beginner.

Tagliatelle is a long flat noodle that is made by rolling out pasta dough. The dough is then folded on itself and cut into thin strips. When the strips are separated and dried, you have fresh, delicious homemade tagliatelle noodles you can swirl on your fork for a mouthful of simple, rustic Italian decadence.

Homemade pasta has the advantage of rough sides which grip more sauce in each bite!

Since Mother’s Day is right around the corner, I opted to use my great grandmother’s scalloped pasta roller to cut my tagliatelle noodles. Even though my great grandmother died when Mom was 5, Mom has tons of memories going to her grandparents’ house. Italian ladies usually do all their cooking in the basement, and my great grandmother was no exception.

Mom, as a tiny girl, used to sit on the steps that went down to the basement and keep her grandmother company while she used this little roller to cut ravioli. She would give my mom a bottle of 7-Up and a straw, and Mom would watch her move like lightning across a huge sheet of rolled homemade pasta. This was a tradition every Saturday.

Nowadays, we keep this tradition on Christmas Eve by eating ravioli. I’m sure Mom still thinks about her Nonna.

I have been reading and studying all about pasta for weeks. Pasta is basically anything you can imagine. Pasta making is sentimental, creative, physical, engages all your senses, and on top of that, is an activity that is both relaxing and rewarding. No wonder so many people do it.

I’m still learning about pasta. What I know for sure, though, is that the BEST kind of pasta is:

shared.

Here is my recipe for pasta dough and the steps required to make this scalloped tagliatelle. I hope you’ll try it for lunch or dinner sometime!

Buon Appetito!

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Scalloped Tagliatelle Pasta

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time5 mins
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups einkorn wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Stir with a fork to evenly disperse salt.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. To this, add eggs, egg yolk, water, and oil.
  • Use a fork to puncture egg yolks and beat eggs. Slowly incorporate flour until shaggy dough forms.
  • Turn bowl out onto a lightly floured surface. Mix dough together to combine everything. Knead dough thoroughly for at least 10 minutes, stretching it as much as possible and using the heel of your hand to push it around.
  • After 10 minutes, dough should be silky and elastic. Form a dough ball. Place ball on wax paper or lightly floured parchment paper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 10-30 minutes.
  • After dough has rested, cut dough ball in half. Use a rolling pin to roll out a pasta sheet of desired thickness. Allow sheet to dry for 2-3 minutes. Flour the dough sheet before cutting.
  • Use a knife or a rolling cutter to cut noodles. I like to use a ruler as a guide. I used a scalloped rolling cutter, hence the name "scalloped" tagliatelle!
  • Separate noodles with your fingers and place on a floured surface, a flat drying basket, or a floured teacloth.
  • Drying options: Hang noodles to dry on a hanger or pasta drying rack, gather approx 100 grams of noodles (what you would serve as one portion) and shape into nests–let these dry on a floured or wax-papered sheet and freeze, or cook them and enjoy them right away.
  • To cook: drop pasta in plenty of salted boiling water. Keep watch! These should only take a few minutes to cook. The best way to know if pasta is done is to take out a noodle and taste it!

Notes

A pasta sheet, rolled out and placed on a cutting board (since my countertop isn’t scratchproof)
My great-grandmother’s scalloped dough cutter! This little tool helped her make ravioli every Saturday, and my mother has fond memories of this as a small girl.
Freshly cut tagliatelle noodles!
The antique wheel is pretty wobbly; a ruler helps me have a guide to make fairly straight lines of noodles .
Drying tagliatelle
Finished tagliatelle wait on a clean teacloth until it’s time to cook them for dinner!

Want More?

Here’s a playlist to help you get in the mood while you’re kneading that pasta and cutting those noodles!

Ready to Make Your Own?

Here are some links to products that can bring pasta making into your home. These are affiliate links, which means if you do happen to purchase by clicking them, Amazon will send me a penny or two so that I can continue making posts. Thank you so much for your support, and for letting me share my new pasta passion with you!

The next generation of Nonna’s pasta cutter.

This cutting board is special because it has a lip that hangs over the edge of your countertop. Perfect for kneading pasta dough, since the lip prevents the board from slipping around at all!

Ok, so maybe we can’t be like Nonna every night of the week. A pasta maker machine helps things go along with speed–plus gives jobs for kitchen helpers like spouses or children.

This doubles as a shaper for gnocchi as well!

Books

Even the covers look delicious!

Pasta Inspiration

Salty Seattle has plenty of vibrant and delicious looking how-to’s on her channel
I absolutely LOVE the Pasta Grannies channel. A lady hosts an independent documentary show where they TRAVEL AROUND ITALY AND VISIT GRANNIES WHO MAKE PASTA THE REAL WAY. Holy ravioli. Not only does that sound like a dream job, each video is so sweet and wonderful–even if you aren’t going to make pasta, these grannies are going to cheer you up on any given day.
Chef Pasquale is the whole shebang. In this video, he shows you how to make his ravioli dough, but he’s got all kinds of recipes for sauces and accompaniments for all your future pasta masterpieces.

I could go on and on in this post, but I won’t….all this talk about pasta has made me HUNGRY! I gotta go cook something.
Buon Appetito, and happy cooking!

Love,

Maggie

Follow me here!