Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Okay, just one more post, but you'll understand why....

Kairos on blogging. He was apparently peeking over my shoulder.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

As much as I regret to do it, I am going to take a hiatus from blogging for an extended period of time to tend to some important matters at home and work (no crises, just setting my piorities straight). I had hoped to be able to engage in blogging and keep up with my other obligations, but I don't seem to be able to do blogging the kind of justice I want to and keep up with home, work and scholarship, so, until I can get my act together, I'll see you in the comments boxes! If and when I come back I'll let you know. Thanks to you loyal readers, the faithful 40 and thanks to you who have linked to my site. It was fun.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Structural Change
John Mallon asks Can someone please explain to me what is meant by "working for structural change within the Church"? My answer:

Okay, I don't like VOTF for about the same reason that John doesn't, but I do have a question: One of the reasons why this got out of hand was because appropriate canon law was not enforced by the bishops and their minions. The evidence that it wasn't JUST malicious malfeasance or dissent, but perhaps structural as well is that the problem is so widespread in diocese that are known to be all over the board theologically.

Question: is there some nonconstituative structural change one could make in the diocese that would compell the bishops or their underlings to be accountable, to actually use the canons we have? This wouldn't require change in Church doctrine or constitutive change in the structure of the Church. See what I mean? And I don't mean the Dallas protocol. That is structural change with a sledgehammer.

I'm no canon lawyer, and so have no proposals of a just solution to this question.
Ambient noise
I know I've mentioned this before here and here, but one of the things that sets our age apart from the past is the technological noise that we continuously hear 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even at the retreat house you couldn't get away from it. There are all kinds of electrical hums, motor noises, engines, fans, etc. that keep our technological paradise running, but I'm convinced also keep us more on edge and more distracted than, what was I saying? Oh, yeah, that keep us more on edge and more distracted than we would be if we were actually able to experience real quiet or natural noises with no mechanical or electrical background noise. My body almost aches for this kind of peaceful, quiet experience.

By the way, Pippin survived the weekend thanks to the able help of Joey Vasquez, our sixteen-year old neighbor.
Modern Art
I spent the weekend at St. Joseph's Retreat Center in Bailey's Harbour on the Door peninsula of Wisconsin. It is a beautiful location, which is further enhanced by the beautiful artwork throughout the buildings. I was especially struck by a series of paintings of Jesus and Mary painted as American Indians. Sometimes this kind of thing can be irritating, but these paintings were beautiful and had a depth that some modern art is devoid of. I especially liked one of Mary with Jesus in a papoos at her feet. There was also one of Jesus breaking a loaf of bread and one of Jesus the Teacher. Somehow the stoic expressions on the reminds me of Byzantine icons.

There is also on display a serious of large bas relief wood carving by Fr. Herman Faulk, S.C.J. which were modern in style, but quite moving. Most of them were biblical narratives, such as the creation of Eve from Adam's rib, but there were two that depicted events of 9/11.

Finally, more evidence that my artistic tastes are not always simply classical, there is a small chapel there on the second floor that is built in an old cement silo. It is a wonderful meditative place. The altar is one of those bailing wire spools with a flat board on top. At the center is an open Bible. In front of the bible is a little log with the tetragrammaton engraved in it. To the left is an unusual tabernacle which is a kind of 2 foot high glass "hut" with a ceramic pyx in it. On the right is a burning sanctuary light. There are hurricane lamps handing from wooden beams that separate the chapel from the top part of the silo. Depite its lack of classical motifs and artistic style, I find this place to be very moving and can experience the presence of the Triune Mystery by sitting Indian style in front of the tabernacle and Bible.