Novak (novak) wrote,
Novak
novak

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Personal/Theological Notebook--End of Lent

Well, Lent has come to an end. I got in a bit ago from the Easter Vigil Mass with Mum (with whom I'm visiting), who went right to bed (an hour late) for work tomorrow after we heard on the news that we'd missed a heart-stopping end to the Illini-Arizona game. After being spoiled by years at a liturgical wonderland like Notre Dame, it can be charming, amusing or horrifying to hear the stuggles of a church trying to do a good liturgy with minimal resources. Tonight I had shivers of joy, though, in listening to this Wisconsin fellow tentatively chant his way through the Exultet, of which I see Bishop Seraphim has been talking about over in his Live Journal.

Just had some good, quiet chat this afternoon and evening, sharing a pan pizza for dinner and keeping half an eye on the news or on the game. Talked about Brideshead Revisited, which she's almost finished; about her and Aunt Pat's upcoming summer trip to Ireland, with me alternately moaning about places she was missing or moaning about places she was hitting that I had missed; talked about the nieces/granddaughters and such achievements as Haley learning to walk and Grace learning to pray. (Quoth Grace: "mumblemumblemumblemumblemumblemumblemumble: AMEN." This, sadly, makes her as adept as many adult Catholics....) Actually, it's quite fascinating to hear from Leslie about Grace insisting that Mommy say the prayer before dinner: it boggles my mind to see someone who is not yet three starting to develop some kind of sensitivity to ritual and solemnity in speech, even if she cannot fully understand the content yet. I opened a padded envelope I'd tucked into my bookbag on the way out the door, and we salivated together over what turned out to be an autographed copy of Over The Rhine's new album Drunkard's Prayer, but which we set regretfully aside until tomorrow so that I could finish my no-recorded-music Lenten discipline without my Catholic Mom tempting me into failure. That will break the fast most blissfully, I should imagine. You have to love artists so confident that they'll tell you up front, "We recorded this in our living room," and for whom you have every confidence that it will be worth so much more than most products coming out of gleaming studios.

I'm knocking off the epilogue to Beverly Daniel Tatum's "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" tonight so that I can pass the book on to my sister Leslie tomorrow. This fabulous book--which I really wish I'd read before teaching high school--is one of the texts for the ethics class I am TA for this spring, "Christian Faith and Racial Justice." It's got incredible stuff about early childhood, childhood, and adolescent racial identity development and it was only in the course of reading this that I realized for the first time that my nieces would undergo some of this, being Irish-Taiwanese. I just tend to think of racial and ethnic diversity in terms of "fun," and hadn't seen the sobering fact that the girls would likely face racial identity or even racist challenges in the course of their development. One of the benefits of "white privilege" for me is that I don't have to think of such things, even when I ought to or need to. So, with Leslie's background in early childhood development, I thought she might find the book useful if it gives her any insights into the future of which she isn't already aware.
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