Monday, September 10, 2007

From Rock 'N' Roll to Deus Caritas Est to Merton

I recently listened to "A Hard Days Night" again, and while I did think of love and even Lisa again, I was staggered by another revelation: rock and roll is a Catholic art form. The connection between the two seemed so obvious, I felt like Chesterton when he was asked what he liked about Western civilization. He didn’t know where to start.

I know, I know: This will take some explaining. Allow me to try. I’ll start by observing the obvious. ...
It takes guts, imagination, and sense of abiding love to connect rock 'n' roll and Deus Caritas Est, but Mark Judge does a fine job. Go read it.

The Anchoress tipped me off to this and said she thought it was right down my alley. She was right, as well as her comments being to my liking as well (no surprises there, eh?). She was put in mind of Thomas Merton's well known comment.
I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
Thomas Merton
I must admit that I rarely think of Merton's statement but now that I think of it I do have similar moments, not that they are as sublime or universal as Merton's ... nor do I usually think of them for long afterwards unless prompted as I am today by The Anchoress.

There are times, for instance, when I am walking into work and I am prompted to look with great affection on everyone I pass as well as drop a little prayer for each. The raucous smokers outside the building in their little sheltered area, the person shouting into the speaker at the credit union drive through, the sweet-faced girl in the bathroom, the anxious looking man waiting in the office next door for an appointment, the old couple carefully making their way to the eye doctor's office ... somehow all are precious in a way I never would normally feel. It is a sublime feeling let me tell you.

Is this my doing? Pfft! No way. Which is why I say that I am prompted ... it is a grace. And one that you'd think I'd remember when I am cut off in traffic and madder than a wet hen at the idiot driving like that. Which is why I am not Thomas Merton. Maybe I'll remember it next time though ...

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