31 October

This crucifix has been with me for a long time. The story is that my maternal grandmother, with whom I spent the first 6 years of my life, found the crucifix while escaping from Poland at the beginning of the World War 2. It hung next to her bed until I inherited it.

I assume it was part of a monastic habit – or I hope it was. It was on the altar when I said Mass as a priest. And is now on my desk where I write. I sometimes wonder about its origin. Yet above all it is the emotional attachment that makes it special.

#ThomasMerton May 1, 1961

I have been reading “Turning towards the World”, volume 4 of Thomas Merton’s journals. I always get much out of reading Merton, especially his journals. There is something very human about it all – the minor concerns and the major discussions all in a private context.

I read the above, from the entry for 1 May 1961, yesterday and was struck by the last sentence. I am exhausted from talking. And, yes, I have build an image of myself as someone who has something to say. But mostly I am exhausted because I want to talk to people about real things and not the weather or the latest specials at the supermarket. There is so much noise in the world that likes to parade as conversation but is really just space-fillers. So rather than talk for the sake of talking, I am silent. Maybe I am just rude?!

rethink?!

I have not written in a while. No reason! But I thought a change is as good as a holiday so …

I have changed the name of the blog to my mostly anxiety driven life – or my MAD life.

I have also set up a podcast with the same name – go and follow. I think I have learned enough from the podcasts via WordPress that I can now graduate to some real hosting.

I have returned to reading Merton’s journals. They always seem to connect with me on a very basic level. They are human! Like with Kierkegaard, I wish I could have met him and had a cup of tea and a chat.

And I am sick – I have an infection that has required antibiotics. I am not a good patient.

But the biggest change is that we have gone back to the Anglican Church. We have been to the local parish for the last three weeks. It is a complete change from everything in our past but somehow it fits. The Vicar is extremely kind and loving – she remembered all our children’s names after one week! The people are “Anglican” – diverse but human. To contrast that the senior pastor at the megachurch we were attending ones got the name of a person who was dying wrong during the announcements.

Not sure if that helps anything or anyone.

cult of one

I have been rethinking the podcast (which has not been going super hot or at all). So I am rebranding it to Cult of one.

Also, I watched this video that gives a good introduction (I think) into what a modern idea of cults is:

Alone and wrestle

I have been thinking about Jacob wrestling with God. I have been struck by two things:

  1. Jacob is alone (24). He leaves behind family, position, and possession. He is alone with God, alone before God.
  2. Jacob is changed by the wrestle. The stranger touches him and changes him – physically (with his “thigh”) and spiritually (by giving him a new name). Jacob does not stand far off and reflect – he engages and physically struggles with God – sweat and pain! “The Strange” is not an object but a person.

I think the story is a great example of what it means to be a Christian in a modern context. SO …

I need to be alone before God, wrestle with God, and that will change me.

TM on SK

Pragmatism and positivism are therefore interested in the question how.  Traditional metaphysics, whether scholastic (realist) or idealist, is interested in the question what (the essence).  Existentialism wants to know who.  It is interested in the authentic use of freedom by the concrete personal subject.

The Other Side Of Despair, by Thomas Merton

I would like to “wrestle” a little more with this article but just wanted to get things started.