About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

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The Good Things about People with Opposite Traits
published 29 May 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

I am visiting the house of one of my dear Dedicated Widows. She is divesting the house to become more like me, all of whose possessions fit in one little cell at the seminary. What is hitting me between the eyes is how people like her and like everyone else in my family, who love to have wonderful colorful things of all types around them, actually enjoy life a lot more than I do. The absence of the annoyance of clutter is good, but absence of annoyance is not joy!

How do we get balance on this? Is the only choice between clutter and sterile order? Here is what I think. To have the simplicity of life recommended by our Church we need to periodically go through our whole households and give away everything that doesn’t actually give us joy. What gives us joy can be a gift of God. But, I never met anyone who actually got joy out of looking at stacks of old newspapers or bills paid ten years ago! Why would anyone save this stuff? My theory is that it is because it is more enjoyable to pursue other activities than to sort through old stuff! I recommend always thinking of the joy of the person walking into the thrift shop and finding a whole set of dishes (your 3rd set) for $5. Ask family and friends when they visit to look over your whole house and take anything they want – telling them beforehand that if it is something that still gives you joy you will be an Indian giver. Of course having a yearly thorough garage sale will also produce perhaps needed income. Even in a recession $100 for old stuff that we don’t need is $100 more than we had before.

From the other side, even though I adore simplicity of life, I don’t need to beat myself up over $1 more on an item in a restaurant that I prefer to the one that is $1 cheaper. This is just Scroogeville! I need to totally relax my old bones in my widow friend’s swimming pool without once thinking of the starving in India. God wants me to relax. There will still be starving in India even if I gave even more of my large percentage of pension and s.s. to them. But also, God wants me to swim, because being a crabby witch because I never relax is NOT His will!

Are you having fun yet reading this???

Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.