June 27, 2005

In Our DNA

There’s nothing that seems quite as silly as believing cultural characteristics lurk in our DNA. Such as thinking that we of Irish heritage like the sound of the Irish language because our ancestors spoke it generations ago. Or that the smell of burning peat dug from Irish bogs awakens some distant ancestral memory. Yet writers like Pete McCarthy and Tom Hayden and others written of it and I think its kind of cool.

I think that desire is interesting, this odd hope that our ancestors left not just their physical characteristics but in some vague sense part of their soul. It’s is a very Catholic sensibility, since we have been given the great gift of Jesus, Body and Soul, in the Eucharist. The boundaries of time and substance are not fixed, the impossible made possible.

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