November 10, 2009

Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts

Deb has the last line of Dante's Inferno tattooed around her wrist. "And then we went out and saw once more the stars. ["E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle."] - Dylan of "dark speech upon the harp"

Learn the heart of God from the word of God. - St. Gregory the Great via McNamara's Blog

I teach a catechism class for adults at my Parish, and I’d been dreading it all week. What incredible over-confidence, to think I have something to teach these people. All week I have felt helpless about the poverty in the third world. I don’t know how to make the government operate how I want it to operate. I don’t know how to make my kids behave how I want them to behave. I don’t know how to be happy with all that I have. I have no answers, nothing to teach, no easy solutions....Except for the Holy Spirit...This happens sometimes, that I just feel ineffective in my positions. I’m no kind of mother, no teacher, no writer. Even striving to be Holy feels like an act of self-indulgence—because who can sit around examining their conscience when there are such abominable things happening in the world?

Last week discussing the Beatitudes with Pedge and Irene, I felt incredibly sad with its message. Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, those who hunger for righteousness. I was none of the above. I was just about to comment on my ineptitude at living the Gospel when Pedge said, “I really am all of these things at one time or another. Sometimes I’m a peacemaker. Sometimes, I’m poor of spirit. Sometimes I hunger and thirst for righteousness.” This keeps happening to us, that we can both read the same Gospel passage and glean from it the exact opposite. Today we read about the widow putting her last two coins in the basket, and I felt sad thinking that I haven’t given enough. And Pedge felt glad, because she interpreted the two coins as love for God and love for neighbor, and she felt that God had positioned her life so that she could give just those two things. Driving in my car tonight the Veni Creator Spiritus reminds me that there is room for all of these different interpretations. There is room to find the cup half empty, or half full, because the Holy Spirit is going to speak to each one of us as individuals. The Holy Spirit is going to inspire Pedge to remark, “What gives God more Glory, to beat ourselves up because we have been given so much, or to be glad and spread what joy we have because it has been given to us by God?” Teaching my class, I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me...It’s the only solution I have, because I have nothing else to offer.
- Betty Duffy

There is an evil tendency underlying all our technology - the tendency to do what is reasonable even when it isn't any good. - Robert Pirsig

Talking about spiritual matters to a secular audience is like doing card tricks on the radio. - Mark Karr

A conversation just held at the monastery:
Fr. Jack: So Thursday is the absolute latest the World Series can end?

Me: Unless there's rain.

Fr. Joe: Or an earthquake.

Me: Or the rapture. In which case only the Yankees will be around to play.
- Michael of "Psalm 46:11"

Surely the most benign drunk in the history of letters was Charles Lamb. Serious drinkers unpredictably alternate nastiness and charm – think of Berryman and Cheever...It’s said that if alcohol were discovered for the first time today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wouldn’t approve it. - Patrick of "Anecdotal Evidence"

“It is autumn. Chestnuts-boughs clash their inflamed
leaves. The garden festers for attention: telluric
cultures, enriched with shards, corms, nodules, the
sunk solids of gravity. I have raked up a golden
and stinking blaze.” - Geoffrey Hill quoted by Pat of "Anecdotal Evidence"

"You, Lord, are my refuge.” My refuge is not the grocery store, or a wild-stallion daydream, or a cigarette, or sweet food, or the internet, or my book, or my writing. Here, with the incense, the golden sunburst around the Eucharist, the red and white satin vestments, the candle smoke, the elderly parishioners—my fellow children, here, is safety, peace, a refuge for my troubles. - Betty Duffy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re the great "card tricks" quote. It's by Mary Karr (not Mark), and should read "talking about spiritual activity" (not "matters") -- at least so Google teacheth me: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kuer/.artsmain/article/5/1338/1573983/Books/Mary.Karr..Remembering.The.Years.She.Spent.%27Lit%27