Sunday, March 31, 2013

I've been looking for this quote for five years

Alleluia! Do you know how you read something once but can't find it again on command, feeling almost physical anguish as you vividly recall the placement on its original page, knowing a second glance may slip through your mental fingers forever? For those who have moments with the written word that rival (surpass) human interactions, I'm hoping my hysterics will not be wasted. Too much hype? I don't think so!

This I adore, this I strive to answer with full assent, and this opens my heart. Precisely this is my sense of Pope Francis' clarion call, his urgency and clarity of mission. He knows who we are, and his own holiness feels intertwined with -- at the service of, even -- our messiness.

Tolkien said in his collected letters:
“I can recommend this as an exercise: make your Communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children — from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn — open necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to Communion with them (and pray for them). It will be just the same as a Mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people. (It could not be worse than the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand — after which our Lord propounded the feeding that was to come.”)


  1. I sort of wish I hadn't read this...
    (Thank you!)

  2. well, I give special attention to the fact that he says it's recommended as an 'exercise', not a 'practice'. Eh? A key word, considering...