Monthly Archives: July 2020


The other day I was looking at options for stand-up desks. I can’t go anywhere online now without seeing the same couple of stand-up desks over and over, on every site. I would love to see more options not just the same couple of options that I found unsatisfactory.

Which leads me to another subject:

Must office furniture be ugly? I use wooden dining tables for desks and a wooden chair to sit in. I can’t bear all that gray and black plastic stuff.

Speaking of dreadful workplaces full of endless gray and black plastic furniture, the call centers must have reopened today. I hadn’t had a sales call since March, and today I had three. Understanding sales callers in a foreign country is one of the final hurdles, one I have not yet overcome. The poor sound quality, background noise, specialized vocabulary and hurry make it generally impossible for me to understand anything.

I remember when I got good enough at Portuguese to understand multiple people talking around a dinner table in a noisy restaurant. That was a huge relief.


I’ve joked with friends that being an introvert in the Catholic Church is a particular challenge. Going to Church has inevitably been a very social undertaking: from the greeting rituals as one enters and leaves to navigating the shoals of the secretary’s office and other treacherous territories.

Today, thanks be to God, I was able to go to a normal Mass in a normal Church for the first time since March, and to my peace I discovered that the yellow tape obligated us to all sit several meters apart. Which utterly precluded the usual pre- and post-Mass chit-chat, as well is the in-Mass live commentaries,* besides sparing me the stress of snuggling up next to a stranger. It was an atmosphere that permitted me to actually read the readings and prayers, meditate, pray, and pay good quality attention to the sermon (a rare thing).

I even arranged to have lunch with a friend afterwards. She’s an introvert, too.

In fact, nearly every time I’ve said “I should write a book called ‘Catholicism for Introverts’ dozens of people say “Sign me up for a copy!” (Feel free to take the idea, I don’t have the time or interest to write it, but there seems to be a need.)

Any more said would probably just be complaining, and I’ve done enough of that. I’m very grateful. The Sacraments are a precious treasure.

*When the person sitting next to you makes clever or critical remarks in response to things that happen.

One of my favorite depictions of Holy Mass.

Two little lives

A brief morning stroll took a surprising turn when we arrived at the shore just as a search and rescue team brought in the bodies of two boys who had slipped off the rocks near shore and drowned yesterday afternoon. I thought of the agony of their parents, who would soon be shown the rigid, cold bodies of their once lively sons. And I thought of the fear of the kids, struggling in the cold, turbulent water.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedicta fructus ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.