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Monthly Archive for November, 2011

Footnotes: Muir

I have no idea where I got this or when. I came late to Tolkien…in the 80s…which is now considered the last gasp of the Middle Ages. “our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbor, while materialistic ‘progress’ leads only to a yawning abyss and the iron Crown of […]

Father Knows Books

The Bible in one hand and the newspaper (pc, lap top, ipad) in the other. That was Karl Barth the great Swiss Protestant theologian. Perhaps why a number of priests simply repeat the gospel is that they do not know enough about the world to say what the scriptures mean for us today. I will […]

Anal Retentive

This is a term invented by Freud to describe liturgy discussions in the Catholic Church. I have been amazed at how trivial, belligerent, misinformed, infallible, untruthful, the discussions are…mostly. It should discourage any discussion of democracy in the Church because the quality of this participation can only be matched by Congress and you see where […]

Footnotes VI

Long before I went off to Oxford to work on John Henry Newman’s Via Media, I had copied out this still valid, still prophetic…piece on the Church once described as without a spot, without a wrinkle… But in truth the whole course of Christianity from the first, when we come to examine it, is but […]

Footnotes V

Reminder: the footnotes comes from reading notebooks mostly from thirty to forty years ago. From Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography written in the late 1800s. If I open a book, even the most beautiful or touching, my heart closes at once, and I read without being able to understand; or if,  I understand, my mind is […]

Footnotes IV: We the Glory of God

What is “ordinary” about human beings…Genesis I…we are made in the image and likeness of God…you can tell that even by looking at People Magazine, but here is St Irenaeus  with an exploration of that in short pithy remarks : For the glory of the human race is God…and human beings are the receptacle of […]

Footnotes IV

From Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Act & Being: …the being of revelation “is” the being of the community of persons constituted and embraced by the person of Christ, wherein individuals finds themselves  already in new existence. p. 123 Some years ago I heard the then Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Martini,  preach the Sunday after Easter…the Doubting Thomas […]

Dreading one day at a time

Bette Midler said something tart about people who cannot take a joke. Irony, even when funny, is ironed flat into a sterile, grim moment suited for a courtroom that cannot tolerate witty banter and metaphor. So I should not use irony in the parish. Too dangerous. Too much room for backlash. I have risked saying […]

Footnotes III

In 1990 I copied out this quotation from John Henry Newman: Time clears up all errors: the untruth of today is driven out by the contrary untruth of tomorrow, and the many-coloured impressions of particular minds are all eventually absorbed by the consistent light of truth. He also said that God takes thousand years to […]

Footnotes II

This quotation was put in my book in 67-68. It is from Carlyle, Sartor Resortus, maybe Book II, vii. “To me the Universe was all void of life, of Purpose, of volition, of Hostility; it was one huge, dead, immeasurable Steam-engine, rolling on, in its dead indifference, to grind me limb from limb.” Carlyle is […]

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