Introductory--"No! I am not Prince Hamlet nor was meant to be"


Well, I've already had my first unpleasant encounter with Blogger having erased an entire carefully considered, deeply thoughtful, and supremely self-revealing post. I reconstruct it here knowing that it can be merely a pale imitation of the original (for which everyone should probably be truly thankful).

I had a very difficult time coming up with a title for this site. Two spectacular names (The Widening Gyre--about which more later--and Dappled Things). I toyed with "A Good Blog is Hard to Find" and "Love Among the Blogs" and even "The Heart of the Blog" or "The Power and the Blog" or was it "The Blog and the Glory" all to honor favorite authors. But the only real contender came from Dante reflecting another of my profound interests (nonlinear dynamics, chaos, and fractals) "Her Changes Change Her Changes Constantly." When I learn better what I am doing here, I will endeavor to add the subtitle. Don't count on it any time soon.

So what might the visitor expect to find here? I think the title kind of gives it away. While I profoundly admire those with the wisdom, wit, precision, and incisiveness of thought to consider the theological implications of the Wall Street Crash, I'm afraid this is far beyond my meager capabilities. Here I follow the cautions of the psalmist (Ps. 131: 1 RSV) I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. So while I may often refer you to the insights of others in the blog world, I expect my primary occupations will be with issues of spirituality and most particularly the road to Union with God through contemplation. Yes, like Merton, I am a would-be contemplative who needs to drive out some ghosts before I can get on with the wonderful business of the Ascent of Mount Carmel. Michael Dubruiel often shares profound insights from the Benedictine Tradition and serves as example and mentor in the blog world. So you may find insights from those who have helped me considerably in understanding the contours to the landscape and the shape of the road: Jean Pierre de Caussade, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Richard Baxter, George Fox, John Woolman, John Wesley, Roger Williams, Stanley Hauerwas, Thomas Traherne, Robert Southwell, William Law, John Flavel, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Thomas More (a personal hero) and others.

In addition, Mr. Dubruiel's better half (Amy Welborn) shares another interest of mine--Literature in general and Catholic Literature in particular. I have conducted a class for nearly two years at my Church on the Catholic Novels. We have read a good many Catholic works and some profoundly good noncatholic works. Silence, A Good Man is Hard to Find, The Power and the Glory, Love Among the Ruins, Memento Mori, Brideshead Revisited, Mariette in Ecstasy, Atticus, The Chosen, Byzantium, and The Great Divorce have been among the works we have read to date. On our list for the future are works like Resting in the Bosom of the Lamb and perhaps part of the "Harmony" Series by Philip Gulley. One of the more interesting works we have indulged in was Torgny Lindgren's magnificent short novel Way of a Serpent. I hope to spend a good deal of time talking about this compact and powerful little work by an author of some of the strangest Catholic fiction since Walker Percy.

Finally, outside of Spirituality and Literature, interests in Science (particularly paleontology in which I hold an advanced degree--hence my selection of templates) and higher math--chaos, fractals, and nonlinear dynamics--may occasionally find their way into these reflections.


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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 19, 2002 7:46 PM.

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