Thursday, December 3, 2009

Capuchin Town Hall

Because I grew up loving anniversaries as much as I loved good old Mother Nature, when I discovered Catholicism I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Yet again. Being a mystic from three on means continual death and rebirth. Hollywood and even the Brits and the wise filmers of Europe remain light years behind my take on life. But maybe they'll get their sorry butts into gear. I read that Benedict invited the artists in for a chat. Like tea with the headmaster at Eton. (I'm currently, finally, getting into John le Carre and reading his book two, set in the environs of a "public" school in Dorset. Very upper middle class and full of British caste effeminacy, but a jolly good read from a very crafty pen.)
Not that Benedict is Eton, even thought Eton, given the current climate between some Anglicans and Rome, might become Benedictine. (Clever, right? But there is a hallowed community between artists and the debts they owe each other. I could never have pulled this off without Le Carre.)
Where were we?
Ah yes. A couple of nights ago our excellent bishop threw his second annual town hall meeting, looking for feedback on his proposals for livening up the faith in the diocese. In the spirit of the ex-troubadour who, along with Saint Dominic, saved Europe from going to hell for its attachments to the new prosperity, our newish ordinary is extraordinarily democratic. He is the boss, because he explodes in favour of decency, integrity, common sense, justice for all, in the manner which only bosses can do, given how the Almighty deals out the grace in organized societies, but he always does it in such a way that anyone with two real thoughts to rub together is confident of getting a good ear.
In my experience, he is profoundly unusual among Canadian bishops, which means that the diocese of Nelson, after decades of lumbering along with all the grace of a mountain troll (J.K. Rowling) might finally be able to spell PERFECTION. Remember the gospels? "Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."?
Unbeknownst to me, as I have as yet never had any good reason in recent years to try to share Saint Thomas, John of the Cross, and the real Scriptures with diocesan organizations, and do not thus belong to the local think tanks, Bishop John's researchers have actually come up with a useful and interesting plan, by way of relating young and old in one viable faith community.
All this popped out on Tuesday night. So, naturally, as my studies of the modes are now at the stage where I know how to deal with the four voice keyboard parts of the old Saint Basil's hymnals without getting the headaches of frustration that come from inadequate technique, there would seem to be an opening for a youth choir that would be adequately trained in the principles of these skills. How these youngsters would overcome the appetite for slop - John Paul's words - that has built up over the decades remains to be seen, of course. Dogs do return to their vomit. But it's worth a try. And there have been signs of it working already.

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