Sunday, June 27, 2010

In words like some ascribed to the Blue-eyed Shogun

Reports of my arrest/tear-gassing/vandalism/robbery/inundation are greatly exaggerated. Not that anyone is likely to have invented or repeated such reports... I'm just the Belfry Bat, after all. There were some brief, amusing-to-me questions from a polite police officer.

Metropolitan University looks more-or-less as it always did.

I'd tell you more, but that would give everything away.

All is well!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm feeling paradoxical today

Dear Albert,

As you are, of course, intimately and immediately aware, there's a strange universe out there. I was recently reminded of your remark, "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it should be comprehensible". I recently had occasion for some metaphysical musing, and was struck by a strange intelectual discord among modern antitheists and so forth.

My remark arose from considering various sorts of metaphysical mythologies --- anyways, I'm going to suggest that there are, broadly, three categories of attitude to the Metaphysical Problem, and suggest that it just might be worth-while to consider each of the options, and that we can reason about which is the best.

But before that, I suppose I ought to explain what I mean by the Metaphysical Problem.

Friday, June 18, 2010

More Evidence of God's Goodness

Dear Self,

For future reference

$$ \begin{array}{rl}
\mathrm{I} &\mbox{That strawberry}\\
\mathrm{II} &\mbox{Roses that look --- and smell --- like peaches}\\
\mathrm{III} & \mbox{Whoever it was thought to breed the previous item}\\
\mathrm{IV} & \href{}{\mbox{Tchaikovsky}}\\
\mathrm{V} &\mbox{My mountain bike --- and my survival in spite of that}

That's all for now.

a grateful sinner

Monday, June 14, 2010

Questioning Words

Dear Miss Q,

In the anticipated commemoration of a lovely daydream of unrealized circumstances,

A picnic

"What is our picnic-lunch?" asked me the fair
Young lass (she far out-dazzles clear Sun-rays
In my poor eyes) "and where that magpie stays,
Marks he our place to sit, by Spanish Stair?"

"For you, dear friend, poached eggs and Camembert ---
Some millions love meringues, some Holandaise:
Most swear by devil'ds on these hot Sundays.
For you, they're poached --- wool picnic-blanket. There!"

Tall stood a shady poplar overhead,
Great lions' hand-fed vestige prowled about.
My cara's hat upon the blanket set,
Earth's turning turned 'till Sunlight her locks met;
No amber shot with gold so rich shone out!
As her's, glory is all God's, reflected.

I dare to hope you might have had as lovely a time as I surely would.
northern morpheus

W ampersand Q
Part of Word and Question

Friday, June 11, 2010

A friendly circle

Hello, all!

It seems to be about

My own circle is quite narrow; I've been reading these 'blogs for many times longer than attempting to write this one. So it's a genuine surprise to me when a friend found only through her 'blogging so far tagged me in a "pick-five" game.${}^1$

There also seem to be rules:

1) Save the image above so you can upload it on your own blog without direct linking.
2) List 5 things you absolutely love to do
3) List 5 friendly bloggers, and comment on their blogs to let them know they've received an award!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

a mysterious impromptu


Like dewy grass under sunrise
To bare feet, as infants' smiling faces,
Or a book long unread closed around traces
Of letters written long since: surprise!
God's graces startle awake sleepwalkers;
They arise and shake us, but quietly! shine;
All-deftly moved. No edge is keener, no shade too fine
God knows its tincture, directs its line
'Twixt joints and marrow while we stand like gawkers
Drunk on sweet wine: the heart was glad.
Were we mere talkers? For yet quiet as grass,
Dewy grass at morning, were God's miracles:
as leaf's budding and leaf's fall.

It was softer than I could name,
more than I could hold, all the same
in my heart too-narrow. Praise God!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Did anyone notice?

Dear 'blogger folks,

Thanks! I'm glad this is working, now!

I'm quite sure it still didn't do much about one month ago; still, it took less than a year from my first noticing. I suppose that's a good job, given all the other stuff that's going on.

an appreciative ambulator

Just what I've always wanted

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Scandals and Converts

Dear Friend,

Some thoughts, unsolicited. Let's start with the bad news we all know, and then move to something more hopeful!

Through this Year for Priests, some folks have, for reasons of their own, struggled mightily to slander the whole Priesthood of Christ, by inflating crimes committed by a tiny fraction of all priests into an imagined problem endemic to the Priesthood itself. At the same time, the people who make money by estimating phenomenon frequency (insurance companies) inform us that Catholic Priests are among the least likely to commit such crimes. There are other, related problems to deal with --- tightening up vocation discernment on the part of seminaries, episcopal discipline and response protocol, etc. And I want to emphasize that no-one is suggesting the crimes themselves to be negligible, or that anyone should be less outraged than they are; the outrage we hear is indeed just, and suggests our fallen world to be capable of redemption still! It is the direction of the outrage that dismays me, even if it does not surprise. For many folk, children and adult, Christian and pagan and heathen, have been scandalized and led to stumble, perceiving the crimes of far-too-many, though thin and scattered.

Indeed, you should know the apostasy and the despair that follow from such scandals are a deeper and more lasting wound than the scars of abuse: in the resurrection, the hurts of abuse shall be comforted and redressed; but some may have so fallen away that they cannot appeal to God's mercy, and may suffer His justice for eternity. All the more heavily will it weigh on those who did cause these to stumble.

The scandal of such evils among the Priesthood may cause some to stray from the Faith. I promised at the opening to speak of hope, and it is this: the converse is also true, the holiness of the Priesthood can convert souls. Let me repeat for you some of the story of Alec Guinness:

... Then came the film Father Brown ... and on location in Burgundy I had a small experience the memory of which always brings me pleasure. ...

Night shooting had been arranged to take place in a little hill-top village a few miles from Macon. Scaffolding, the rigging of lights and the general air of bustle caused some excitement among the villagers and children gathered from all round. A room had been put at my disposal in the little station hotel three kilometers away. By the time dusk fell I was bored and, dressed in my priestly black, I climbed the gritty winding road to the village. In the square children were squealing, having mock battles with sticks for swords and dustbin lids for shields; and in a café Peter Finch, Bernard Lee and [the director] Robert Hamer were sampling their first Pernod of the evening. I joined them for a modest Kir; then discovering I wouldn't be needed for at least four hours turned back towards the station. By now it was dark. I hadn't gone far when I heard scampering footsteps and a piping voice calling, `Mon père!' My hand was seized by a boy of seven or eight, who clutched it tightly, swing it and kept up a non-stop prattle. He was full of excitement, hops, skips and jumps, but never let go of me. I didn't dare speak in case my excruciating French should scare him. Although I was a total stranger he obviously took me for a priest and so to be trusted. Suddenly, with a `Bonsoir, mon père', and a hurried sideways sort of bow, he disappeared through a hole in a hedge. He had had a happy, reassuring walk home, and I was left with an odd calm sense of elation. Continuing my walk I reflected that a Church which could inspire such confidence in a child, making its priests, even when unknown, so easily approachable could not be as scheming and creepy as so often made out. I began to shake off my long-taught, long-absorbed prejudices.${}^1$

Think about that.

When it is clear that Christ's Priests are trusty folk, little Catholic children can convert strangers, melting their "long-absorbed prejudices."

your friend in hope

${}^1$ Blessings in Disguise Alec Guinness 1985, Hamish Hamilton London