Monday, April 25, 2016

An April Miscellany

Church Militant
While Mr. Grump has no particular opinion on the unfolding drama of the Wigged Warrior coming out about his sordid past, he does admit to having binge watched the bulk of RCTV’s free videos back when he discovered them. I realized even then that the St. Michael’s Media-produced videos were basically vlogs with a modest budget, but their fairly solid content was appreciated. It would not be at all surprising if the man’s claims about the NY archdiocese are true, although for the sake of the Church I hope they are not. Voris has made many enemies over the years, many of them unnecessarily. Maybe he does not know who his real friends are, and maybe this crisis will make him reconsider some of his policies.

St. Mark
Today is the feast of the Evangelist Mark, the little-known disciple and companion of St. Peter. He is believed to have founded the Church in Alexandria, and to have written the second Gospel under the direction of Peter himself. This Gospel has been endlessly deconstructed and reconstruction by biblical scholars for over a century, but it remains potent in its brevity and directness. Tradition says he was martyred by being dragged through the streets of Alexandria. Allegorically he is depicted as a winged lion in sacred art.

City of God
My reading of Augustine’s City of God continues steadily if slowly. I wish I were the sort of writer who could comment on it as I go, but I cannot do much more than admire the building of Augustine’s literary edifice as he puts it together brick-by-brick. Between the City of God and the Confessions, it is easy to see why his was considered the standard style for spiritual writing in the West for so many centuries. One wishes that style would make a return in earnest.

On Preaching
It was disappointing that the feast of St. George last Saturday was commemorated by a sermon about the Holy Family, rather than a sermon about the great dragon killer. (Did you know that Joseph and Mary didn’t have any children together after Jesus was born? Thank goodness we finally cleared that up.) This is especially surprising since Mr. Grump’s parish hosts a boy’s group dedicated to St. George as their patron. The Sunday sermon also featured a sermon about Mary, originally meant for the month of May, but given early because the priest in question was going out of town for a while. Is it really so impossible to preach on the current feast or season?

Et in Arcadia Ego
There is a Japanese Garden attached to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. During the annual Spring Festival it becomes uncomfortably crowded and noisy, but I have no doubt it would feel calm and cozy at normal times. The garden features structures built in traditional Japanese style, a pond inhabited with large ethnic fish, a narrowly winding walking path, and a small bamboo forest that clicks pleasantly in the wind. Places like these serve as reminders that man was made originally to live in a garden.

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