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Monday, December 08, 2003

Who needs the Word of God when you have the Word of Dick?

St. Joan of Arc "Catholic" Church in Minneapolis is a warmly-affirming place. So warmly affirming, in fact, that the poetry of parishioners can replace that expired first reading from the Lectionary every week.

St. Joan to the Old Testament: "Naaah. Too Jewish."

Meanwhile, somewhere in Hell, Marcion is giggling and looking forward to company.

This week's supercession involves the poetic stylings of one Roger Dick. No, it's not from a lost Abbott and Costello routine, "Affirmative Toe."

No, no. Why do you ask?

No, instead think something that gives Vogon poetry a run for its money. Needless to say, it's worth some analysis.

O God, You are

Not responsible for the Old Testament? Not capable of being described with masculine pronouns?

Unbridled Imagination,

Grant in thy mercy that we see a glimmer of same in the next 160-odd words. Fiat voluntas tua.

Incandescent Energy,

Actually, the Lord's more environmentally-conscious than that and would prefer to be known as "Fluorescent Energy," thank you very much.

Inexhaustible Love,

Infinite patience....

Breathtaking Beauty,

Like that which can be found in Coleridge, Housman, Bryant, Frost, Owen, Geisel and other non-Minneapolis-based liturgical poets.

Irrepressible Joy!

Which I share: The first line is done!

Out of these you fashioned our cosmos, lavishing upon it your goodness.

And, alas, permitting coffeehouse poetry on open mike night. But you are truly just and we are truly a wicked people, so we deserve it.

But our ways are not your ways.

Truer words will never be uttered from this particular pulpit.

You upset our trite


expectations, outstrip our feeble


imaginings, embarrass our dull and plodding



Same thing.

You turn our human wisdom upside down,

By "our" I mean the rest of the knuckle-draggers of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Like those Trentite jerks at St. Agnes. Come on: we're not that inclusive. You affirm the crap out of us, O Lord!

making the last first, the barren fertile, the despised prized\'85

I'll give him credit for the obscure effect here. I have no idea what "\'85" is. Reference to a Chrysler Reliant, maybe? Sounds poetic in the free verse-ish sense, I guess.

hiding Your ways from the wise and revealing them to mere children. A shepherd boy becomes a king, an obscure girl...mother of the Messiah, a trifling town...the birthplace of the Prince of Peace.

The next-to-least objectionable thing here. Smacks of orthodoxy in most ways. At least it alludes to those icky OT books they refuse to read as part of their weekly exercise in collective ego-stroking. Of course, I'm sure that fact zoomed over the heads of the giddy Unitarians.

Unchained by history,

Catholicism was founded in 1965.

unfettered by hierarchy,

Do I have to ask how the year-long "dialogue" with Abp. Flynn is going? Would be difficult to speak with smug, well-fed boomer gnostics intent on mooning Catholic orthodoxy at every opportunity, I should think.

I don't think they're listening, Archbishop. Another thing: if you're wondering why you didn't get promoted to the see of Philadelphia....

unshackled by tradition,

Except ours, of course. Our traditions are mandatory and non-negotiable (sound of pants dropping as the Saab goes by the Archbishop's residence).

You are endlessly inventive,

Just like our astonishingly creative selves. What a happy coincidence!

always unexpected.

Here at St. Joan's, the beat goes on, same ol' same ol', every day a little better than the next for the faith handed on to us by the Neanderthalers who didn't have Eco-spirituality and Mike Morwood books.

In the quiet dark of this Advent, teach us Your ways.

Take this one to heart--ASAP.

Lead our dull hearts to delight,

Oh, I don't know. From here, you seem awfully pleased with yourselves already.

O God of Wonder and help us recapture our sense of wonder.

I for one am wondering a lot right now.

Teach us to learn from children,

That would be a marked improvement over listening to the putative adults who run/attend the Temple of Us every week.

the children we once were and the children You said we must become,

Oh, joy, those children--the inner child.

Themselves. More time in the combination echo chamber/house of mirrors.

Great idea!

how to wait in trust and joyful expectation of your unexpected ways.

Yes, an unexpected boot to the fanny of their flabby collective egocentric heretical complacency would appear to be just what the doctor ordered. I also have every confidence that the steel-toed footwear will not deployed.

Happy Advent.

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Be reasonably civil. Ire alloyed with reason is fine. But slagging the host gets you the banhammer.