April 21, 2010

Of Human Mentorage

I've always been a tad spiritually greedy, even going back to childhood days of pretending to offer Mass for my siblings and goldfish.  Sunday just wasn't enough for me. But I also remember being greedy enough for mentoring that I found secularist equivalents. (The parish priest, as it turned out, was abusing young boys so I'm glad I didn't turn to him.) Between Thoreau, Gordon, Sarton and Abbey, a lot of my early heroes were atheists or deists. What was I finding in them I didn't find in saintly mentors? Probably they tickled my ears with the music I wanted to hear.

I think it was telling now that my Confirmation name was "William", chosen after my grandfather. Of course this was 1976, I think right after the television show Roots came out, and so I was (not unlike today) into family history and tradition and liked having one of my names be from someone in my line. In retrospect that seems too "culturally Catholic," a wasted opportunity in the sense of wishing I'd formed a close relationship with a saint such that I could take their name. I like the idea of hoping to attract a saint's attention by choosing their name! But that is to ignore what I already have and treasure, including St. Thomas More whose feast day coincides with my birthday. Greedy me! Greedy I suppose, like with the original sin of Adam and Eve who wanted the assurance of care and knowledge.

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