Friday, August 30
Such everyday worries provide tiny pulpits from which Lamott can offer spiritual reflections. These philosophical nuggets, born of her strong Christian devotion, which she discussed in her nonfiction best seller "Traveling Mercies" (1999), are the real hook of this book.... Lamott wraps her philosophizing in a plot that pulls you quickly through the book. And after reading "Blue Shoe," you feel as if you had sat on the kitchen floor and talked with the author late into the night about your mothers, your bodies, your lovers and God. And that, in a nutshell, is the minor miracle of Lamott's writing.
Unfortunately, we don't get EWTN anymore, since we switched from Dish to DirectTV (hopefully, if they merge, we'll be back on track again), but we, as well as the rest of you, can listen online, if not live, then when it gets archived.
Because of the accident of having been born in a Christian country and educated by Christians, it is Christianity that gives me a window into the real world. If I had been raised among Hindus, Taoists, Jews, or Muslims, then I suppose it would have been one of those religions that provided the window. A different-shaped window, if you like — square instead of oval. These windows are manmade objects, sharing in all the imperfections of humanity. Some of them are a bit dirty; some are long overdue for a coat of paint on the frame; on some can be seen what look suspiciously like bloodstains. The world that they permit us a glimpse of, though, is beautiful, pure, and kind, a realm of perfect bliss. That's why I am always ready to give benefit of the doubt to other religions, while having no intention whatsoever of embracing any of them, or of apologizing for my own.
Well, of course, a fellow's entitled to whatever explanation of religion he chooses, but who can blame us if we're left wondering...why bother...with explanations like this. Sure, it would make sense coming from a sympathizer with Eastern religions, but from a Christian? I have to say, I can't rouse up much interest in the whole Jesus thing if it's not true from top to bottom. Christianity may certainly mean treating all as children of God, no matter what their professed religion, but it doesn't mean dumbing down the Christian claims, to just another window into the Twilight Zone. Jesus crucified and risen is more than one window among many. Much more.
If you came here because of that, and would like more along those lines, go to the home page and click on the picture of Flannery O'Connor near the top.
hat if a major television network sent out teams to search the Bronx, Compton, and the south side of Chicago looking for a large "multi-generational family" of poor black folks, who would move into a Beverly Hills mansion for a year? Cameras would follow the Negroes around, capturing their fish-out-of-water hijinks for the entertainment of millions of viewers, who will be invited to laugh as the urban rustics squirm and gawk in front of their social betters. If that were true, there would be no end to the outrage over the racist exploitation and class denigration inherent in such a morally rancid enterprise. Jesse Jackson would be all over creation, raising hell about a media corporation sponsoring a minstrel show — and for once in my life, I'd have to agree with him.In fact, this is a true story, but the hapless rubes CBS is searching out are not African Americans, but poor southern whites, the only ethnic group in the country that it is permissible to mock in polite company.
Reminds me a bit of the flap over the ESPN Tennessee-Vol ad
The commercial showed Lee Corso, one of the College GameDay analysts, waiting for an elevator. The doors open, and the elevator is filled with orange-clad Vols fans. A pig runs out, and an overweight woman holding another pig and wearing a shower cap and robe yells, "Come here, Rocky Top!" An elderly man wearing shorts and hooked up to an IV bottle is shown with a couple kissing in the back of the elevator. A sign mentioning Tennessee alumni is also visible.
My eldest son, who works with the UT Athletic Department, tells me that yes, they really were incensed (he wasn't, by the way), and shared some choice, unprintable quotes from Phil Fulmer on the subject. My father, who also lives in Knoxville, though, tells me that some time this week, a local radio show was broadcasting on locations somewhere, and was to have new UT President John Shumaker as a guest. He showed up - in a shower cap and a robe, carrying a pig. Now that's the way to deal with an objectionable commercial - take notes, Catholic League. (Although they were right in the Opie and Andy stunt, and great kudos for them for that....but sometimes...a little humor would be in order to put everything in context...)
Fr. Rob Johansen has very helpfully collated all the thoughts on "gripping and grinning" - i.e. greeting each other before Mass, and offered his own concluding thoughts.
Also, at Fr. Rob's spot, you'll find a description of the latest foray in the War of the Rose, as he calls it - a piece in the September issue of Crisis magazine about Rose's treatment of a situation at Louvain.
Catholic priests in the Bay Area and across the nation are waking up to the harsh new world of "zero tolerance," fearful that a decades-old allegation of inappropriate touching can ruin a life of service. "Some priests are scared that Monday morning they will find their names in the paper or get a letter from the bishop," said the Rev. Eugene Tungol, chairman of the Council of Priests of the San Francisco Archdiocese. "We have no peace of mind now. Who will be next? It's scary to us. All it takes is one parishioner from 10 to 15 years ago who hated us, and this can happen."
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