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For those who don’t know, this summer I’m working at University Townhouses Cooperative (UTC), a subsidized housing complex where I build fences and move appliances. Today was a particularly humid day, with an official temperature in the 80s but a heat index that felt well into the 100s. Most of the day was spent taking breaks from the heat, or filling water bottles, or wondering if a breeze will pick up, or wondering if it won’t.
At long last, the inevitable thrust of the day led us inside into the much more forgiving world of air conditioning. Under the shady branches of a cool electric fan, we spread our weary selves upon the oasis of swivel chairs that was my supervisor’s office.
I have been wanting to write this post for a while. Since Vatican II there has appeared among the Catholic faithful a division between “liberal” Catholics on the “left,” “traditionalist” Catholics on the “right,” and just plain Catholic Catholics who think both sides are absurd. I consider myself in the third group. In other words, I am Catholic.
Catholics of three varieties. Left: “liberal.” Middle: “conservative.” Right: Catholic.
Our world constantly asks us to get “in touch with” ourselves. Even the old philosophers said “know thyself.” Yet, after millennia of supposedly doing just that, the human race still has no idea who/what it is.
The great thing about Christianity is it doesn’t ask the impossible of us. It asks the ironically easier task: “Know God, and let Him know you.” Yes, it is far more possible for the transcendent Divine Being to know us than for us to know even ourselves; and by Christ it is now easier – somehow, mysteriously – for us to know the Unknowable God than to know our selves. And that’s fine. In fact, it is – somehow, mysteriously – the way things should be.
I haven’t posted in a while. I tend to not get very personal in my posts – at least not explicitly – but allow me to talk about some things that are very relevant to my life and very non-theoretical. (You’ll read this post and think yeah right, this is ALL theoretical. It’s not. It’s personal).
The lesson of this last year can be summed up in one phrase: Everyone, everyone, is messedup. Continue reading →
If you want to know where a civilization is going to end up, all you have to do is look at the art that is most typical to that civilization. Our own Western commercial postmodern civilization is no different. Our art involves pop, pastiche, remix, and irony. And there is no better example of the art of NOW than the following mash-up by DJ Earworm. It perfectly expresses on every level the spirit of our times. Visuals, lyrics, message, meaning, tempo, medium, EVERYTHING is a PERFECT window into our times:
You indefatigable monster, you Shadow Brute! Let me alone! Quit your greedy hunger! I am my own person; you can’t have me! Stop chasing me, oh damnable hound of heaven. Stop your infinite movements toward my universe, oh lion-lamb. Stop! Desist! Cease your salvation!
Don’t you get it? I know you thirst, but I thirst too. I have needs, and they must be filled, and they can’t be filled by you. Can I drink of the cup, the new wine of the covenant, the gall of bitter aspect? Only you can bear it, oh Shadow Brute. I am too weak. I have my needs, and they must be filled. Let this cup pass from me and go your way. You are the Son of Heavens; let the will of heaven be done in you, and leave well enough alone in me. Continue reading →