Saturday, January 17, 2009
Too Many Rabbits to Chase...
One trap of homesteading is the fact that there are so many skills to pursue. One sweet couple I know wants to "do it all" at once. They want to raise sheep and goats for spinning their own wool and making cheese: to grow their own corn for feeding geese and chickens for eggs and poultry to sell; garden their own veg for canning; baking for a baking business; treadle sewing; soap making; growing and grinding their own wheat and oats ... and so on ad infinitum. All this while homeschooling their children and the husband holding down a job. They are exhausted. Burnt out some would say.
As with any endeavor, slow and steady wins. Homesteading, like any huge project, must be tackled in bits and pieces. If a couple wants to have livestock, start small with chickens and slowly add on from there. Gardening? Grow what the family likes and eats first before experimenting with new veg. Starting with the basics and slowly acquiring each skill will make it much easier and much more fulfilling instead of flagging.
The Catholic faith is much akin to beginning homesteading: so many devotions, so many worthy organizations for lay spirituality; 2000 years of scholastic writings parsing the very essence of Scripture and theology ... where does the new convert begin??? My advice from personal experience is that all of the Catholic faith boils down to the balance between Scripture and Tradition. Scripture is the source and essence and the writings of the Early Church Fathers carry through with interpretation and Traditions from the Apostles. The Catholic Catechism is based upon the Scriptures and the Early Church Fathers with scholarship expanding upon those two foundation stones. I always tell a new convert to start there. As they grow, they may find they are drawn to a charism such as Lay Carmelites or the Benedictines (two of many charisms: the Church knows that there are many personalities among its believers).
Lectio in Scripture, study in the Catechism: a sure foundation that will create a strong and able disciple who is better prepared to withstand the buffeting of the world and its enticements to sin. Like the boot camp for the soldier, these two sources will provide the knowledge and the skills to survive in the Faith.
That's me away.