Authorities I trust, from Wendell Berry to Sri Ramakrishna, all remind me that the particular is the only means we have for touching the universal. We arrive at what is true for all by committing ourselves to particular beliefs, tasks, persons, and places that are true for us.
Garret Keizer, A Dresser of Sycamore Trees: The Finding of a Ministry
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
What the Fathers Sought most of all was their own true self, in Christ. And in order to do this, they had to reject completely the false, formal self, fabricated under social compulsion 'in the world.' They sought a way to God that was uncharted and freely chosen, not inherited from others who had it mapped out beforehand. They sought out a God whom they alone could find, not one who was 'given' in a set, stereotyped form by somebody else.
Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Here is a taste:
Ash Wednesday beckons us to cross over the threshold into a season that’s all about working through the chaos to discover what is essential. The ashes that lead us into this season remind us where we have come from. They beckon us to consider what is most basic to us, what is elemental, what survives after all that is extraneous is burned away. With its images of ashes and wilderness, Lent challenges us to ponder what we have filled our lives with: habits, practices, possessions, ways of being that have accumulated, encroached, invaded, accreted, layer upon layer, becoming a pattern of chaos that threatens to insulate us and dull us to the presence of God.
You can read the rest here.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I did have a moment though when I wanted to check something on the internet and was jerked by the realization that I didn't have internet access. I had a picture in my head of me sneaking into the office to 'borrow' their computer and then I breathed deep and let the impulse go. The funny thing is that now I can't even remember what seemed so important that I had to check it right then.
When I got back a friend had posted this link on facebook. I think that there is real truth to this story on the impact of internet access:
So please don't confuse what I have to say for that tired Luddite screed about how technology is ruining us. It isn't.
Except it just might.
Because of technology, we never have to be alone anymore. And that's the problem.So for all sorts of reasons I'm grateful to the Sisters of St. Martha for their charism of hospitality and their gift of silence.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The Wrestler is a movie all about redemptive suffering, as we see the central role that dramatized violence plays in the Ram's life. At a couple points this is made perhaps too clear, as in an early scene where Randy shows Cassidy the scars his career has left him with. She responds by quoting Isaiah 53:5 by way of The Passion of the Christ's opening epigraph: "He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; by His wounds we are healed." She makes the connection even more clear moments later, dubbing Randy "the sacrificial Ram," and later in the film we see a tattoo in the center of his back of Jesus crowned with thorns. Clearly, the film wants us to view wrestling as a spectacle of redemptive suffering.
Read the rest here.
There is a fascinating review of the movie The Wrestler looking at the religious symbolism and the religious ideas published yesterday. Here is a little taste of it.
Cassidy and Randy each work double lives, between their bodies as commodities and their bodies that have to pay the rent and support their children. Somewhere in all the meat are identities, struggling for birth. Each carries multiple names: Cassidy is “Pam,” while Randy “The Ram” Robinson is actually “Robin Raminski”—his character’s complexity unveils at least three names, as The Ram, Randy, and Robin. Yet, as with religion itself, and multitudes of other social structures, the crux of the matter of identity is the human body in all its aged protuberances, its scarified flesh, its rotund, risqué, and otherwise resolute features.
Read the rest here.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Here is an exerpt:
Here we see the domestic Jesus, the intimate Jesus. Crossing from the house of worship into the home of Simon, standing at the bed of a woman whose body has been disordered by illness, Jesus conveys with his outstretched hand that there is no sphere that he does not control, no suffering that is beneath him to heal, no place where he does not desire wholeness and peace. He makes clear that his power is present in every realm, the home no less than the synagogue. He extends his healing to all, the woman in the grip of a fever no less than the man in the clutch of an unclean spirit.
There is no place, no person, unworthy of a miracle.
Read the rest here.