Monday, February 29, 2016

The Sharing Hour

On the cusp of dark partitions,
like a boat that's water-laden,
oaring over waves of rims,
hurdles of the east.

The lunar climb is intimate
in the round, a festal platter held
in the face of firelight;
earth-tainted amber.

The sky behind the gravid rise
is like a cornfield stirring
in the dark: vacant and dry
and pollinizing,

in this sharing hour;
streets are breathed on, blushed for, warmly
looked on, before the stars
take their limpid pearl.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The dawn rises on all of the tribes together

Did you know that while in Mexico Pope Francis made reference to and quoted from Popol Vuh?!


This one is for you Herzog fans:

Far out! That's like so Moog man!

Cheap labour from illegal immigrants is great! Planned Parenthood is wonderful!

These Catholics who crucify Pope Francis while expressing support for Trump in a sort of, well, he sure is a damn sight better than all the other politicians default pretense - they're kind of like the crowds shouting for Barabbas, aren't they?

*Of course, I'm kidding. I'm totally cool with the Holy Father quoting Popol Vuh.
Why should it be necessary for the Congo story to be ultimately true or untrue, since nuns are vowed to celibacy and thus are not engaging in conjugal relations with a spouse?

The category "avoiding pregnancy" as applied to a nun could only and ever be under the form - ironic as it may be - of taking a pill that prevents ovulation in the case of the very real threat of being raped. For again, she is not in conjugal relations with a spouse. And her celibacy is not about avoiding pregnancy; not becoming pregnant is merely accidental to it. The category "avoiding pregnancy" as applied to married couples can only and ever be legitimately applied under the form that is termed Natural Family Planning in the case of certain contexts and circumstances.

In other words, a huge implication of Pope Francis's statement is that NFP is not in and of itself a good. For he said that "avoiding pregnancy", in contradistinction to the intrinsic evil of abortion, is not an absolute evil. Which is also to say that it is not good all of the time, or even some of the time, or even when it is lawful.

If avoiding pregnancy is termed as not necessarily an absolute evil, then it can be an evil. Indeed, it is an evil if a couple avoids pregnancy because they just don't want children when they have the means, or only want so many, or want instead to accumulate mammon, either indefinitely or for a planned period of time. This would include Natural Family Planning, the rhythm method: if it is used for the above reasons, then you are contracepting, which is an evil, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis was upholding solid Catholic teaching against the neo-Catholic belief that NFP is good no matter what.

He was also reiterating a previous statement he made about a mother who needed to avoid pregnancy, under his own admonishment, so as not to deprive her existing children of a mother. He stated that some Catholics mistakenly think that they need to breed like rabbits.

"Planned Parenthood does wonderful things, but not as it relates to abortion." --Donald Trump

Friday, February 26, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Clearly, the "powers" and "elements" which in Paul's day dominated men's minds through pagan religion or through religious legalism, today dominate us in the confusion and the ambiguity of the Babel of tongues that we call mass-society. Certainly I do not condemn everything in the mass media. But how does one stop to separate the truth from the half-truth, the event from the pseudo-event, reality from the manufactured image? It is in this confusion of images and myths, superstitions and ideologies that the "powers of the air" govern our thinking - even our thinking about religion! Where there is no critical perspective, no detached observation, no time to ask the pertinent questions, how can one avoid being deluded and confused?

Someone has to try to keep his head clear of static and preserve the interior solitude and silence that are essential for independent thought. --Thomas Merton, from an essay first published in Katallagete and then in Faith and Violence

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fenner laughed and then looked puzzled. "I don't understand one thing," he said. "If it was Wilson, how did Wynd come to have a man like that on such intimate terms? How did he come to be killed by a man he'd seen every day for years? He was famous as being a judge of men."

Father Brown thumped his umbrella on the ground with an emphasis he rarely showed.

"Yes," he said, almost fiercely. "That was how he came to be killed. He was killed for just that. He was killed for being a judge of men."

They all stared at him, but he went on almost as if they were not there.

"What is any man that he should be a judge of men?" he demanded. "These three were the tramps that once stood before him and were dismissed rapidly right and left to one place or another; as if for them there were no cloak of courtesy, no stages of intimacy, no free will in friendship. And twenty years has not exhausted the indignation born of that unfathomable insult in that moment when he dared to know them at a glance." --G.K. Chesterton, The Miracle of Moon Crescent

"If each of us would only sweep our own doorstep, the whole world would be clean." --Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"...then who am I to judge him?" --Pope Francis in press conference during flight back to Rome from Rio De Janeiro

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Peter's Craft

To go back to that blind water,
exasperation's mirror, sounded
easy enough; verdict of experience
cancelled by words of release.

To push out our fruitless vessel
from which his words went to shore
like gulls from a far wind,
the monstrous pull that conquered

boats, nets, arms and backs
strained by the flickering womb of the catch
was having our stories' margins breached
with a heft that hauls have never been like -

our trade's sails snapped and licked
by sign and gift, inundated shells -
since then, when stepping in the prow to fish
what once was trade and occupation

is rested in lake lapping,
boating to the fish source;
we're mastered in our abandon, higher duress:
when we go to net fish it is simply vacation.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

Title: Hay Bales and Heron

Medium: Oil on canvas board

Size: 14in x 13in