Archive for February, 2010

Lay Dominican news

February 14, 2010

I was interviewed by the council of the Lay Dominican fraternity this morning, and was told that I will be received as a novice in April. Please keep me in your prayers.

ETA: Rosamundi has an excellent post about what Lay Dominicans actually are. She is making her final promises in April.


In which a Christian aspie expresses mild concern about ‘Autism Sunday’

February 13, 2010

Well, I suppose the hearts of those who have organised this are in the right place. As one of the people churchgoers are going to be made aware of this Sunday, I have two concerns, one more theological than the other.

To get that one over with first: I dislike ‘special Sundays’ designed by the well-meaning to make the plebs sancti dei aware of social issues. Don’t get me wrong – they should be aware of those issues. At heart I am a hippy who warms to ‘the Catholic who is not a revolutionary is living in mortal sin’. But there is a ‘but’. But we do not, or we ought not, need themed Sundays to make us aware. Every celebration of the eucharist is a gathering of the baptised People of God, for whom there is no Jew or Gentile, man or woman, slave or free. Inclusivity does not need to be imported to the Church’s liturgy as an add-on extra. It is already there at the heart of the gospel and at the core of our liturgical practice. If we do not understand that, then we do not understand ourselves. And of course there is the danger that being aware of racial discrimination, autism, homelessness, or whatever, becomes something for one Sunday a year.

Secondly, this has a horrible feel of something that is being done for autistic people. The suggestion is that today the churches praying for people on the spectrum, as though we weren’t ourselves part of the Church. The Lord in his infinite wisdom has called people who are not afflicted with neurotypicality to labour in his vineyard, and that needs to be acknowledged. Because that is where the real work in this area needs to be done by churches. Far too often it is assumed that people are all the same. People want ‘warm welcomes’ at the church door (translates: people want random strangers to throw their arms around them). People want the pattern of worship to change regularly. People want forms of prayer that are imaginative rather than intellectual (I was once told off by an Anglican retreat director for ‘giving a discursus on the atonement’ in response to a Bible passage I’d been given to meditate on). To which, dear reader, my considered response is, ‘do we heck’. The truth is – and it is one with ramifications way beyond neurodiversity – that the Body of Christ is gloriously diverse. So let’s not have the hands making the feet feel like they don’t belong.

Hymn for the Sunday before Lent

February 13, 2010

Courtesey of the Oremus hymnal

Alleluia, song of sweetness,
voice of joy that cannot die;
alleluia is the anthem
ever raised by choirs on high;
in the house of God abiding
thus they sing eternally.

Alleluia thou resoundest,
true Jerusalem and free;
alleluia, joyful mother,
all thy children sing with thee;
but by Babylon’s sad waters
mourning exiles now are we.

Alleluia cannot always
be our song while here below;
alleluia our transgressions
make us for awhile forgo;
fort the solemn time is coming
when our tears for sin must flow.

Therefore in our hymns we pray thee,
grant us, blessed Trinity,
at the last to keep thine Easter,
in our home beyond the sky,
there to thee for ever singing
alleluia joyfully.

Te es pustula in corpore Christi

February 11, 2010

Note to self. Do not spend idle moments surfing the Catholic blogosphere when you are feeling sensitive.

The phenomenon of a Catholic ultra-Right amongst young people is generally just weird. Occasionally, it ascends from weirdness to being reprehensible. That we got from the Sermon on the Mount to Christian support for Franco’s African army murdering and raping its way across Spain is testimony to the deep-rootedness of original sin. That tweedy types from ancient universities can smooch pietistically about fascism is, on the other hand, simply testimony to human stupidity.

Here endeth the rant..