April 16th, 2004


Theology Notebook

Taking a "stretch break" by getting up and walking over to a different seat in the library. Reading Von Balthasar's The Office of Peter and the Structure of the Church, which is Ignatius Press' mysterious translation of Der antiromische Affekt. Go figure.

I'm finding myself curiously challenged by the book. In short, this 1974 work is challenging the anti-Roman attitude within Catholicism. Now while in general I tend to think that anyone who is all "right" or all "left" in politics is a bit of a simpleton--and it does seem we are surrounded by people who see one single left or right answer to every issue--I find that I have tended to take for granted some of the assumptions of the Catholic "left" appraisal of the flaws of Vatican "structures."

This is not to say that I'm beginning to think that there are no problems in the structure--or maybe better and more exact, the operation of structure--that can't be addressed and improved upon, nor is Von Balthasar arguing that. What he is arguing is that the belief that a change in structure will result in a new evangelical paradise--an idea with interesting Marxist parallels--is a naive and knee-jerk rejection of a structure that allows an astonishing interplay of tensions: a variety of seemingly-contradictory impulses that best allows the diversity and wildness of the gifts of the Spirit to play within the Church.

There's a lot more to it than this, of course, but I'm wrestling with a text that is challenging me and my assumptions, and that is both hard going and enormously exciting.
  • Current Music
    Song in my head is: "All Star" Smash Mouth


I'm cleaning my apartment--at long last!--and just made the discovery of the only written copy of a long-lost song of mine! Now, when I write, I tend to think of the songs as "A songs" or "B songs." "A songs" are the ones that really work--the A-side songs, the singles, the hits. "B songs" are the ones that, well, they're okay, but probably don't have the universal appeal you wanted, or they're a bit uninspired by comparison, or something just flat-out doesn't work. Sometimes I'm not sure whether a song is an "A song" or a "B song," and I just have to sit with it for a while to find out. Usually, I don't need help to figure it out.

This is song that I thought was an "A song" that turned out to be a "Z song."

I was trying to write a kind of a love song about a woman who threw herself into love with abandon. My guitarist friend Mark totally got it and loved it. He was the first to hear it, and I felt good. But perhaps you need to understand something to get what follows. The chorus (and title) of the song were the words, "She Loves Like A Girl."

My keyboardist friend PJ listened to it and simply stated, "That sounds like an anthem to pedophilia." And this song was never played again.
  • Current Music
    "The Verdant Breas of Skreen" The Belfast Harp Orchestra