Archive for the ‘Irish’ Category

Connecting a Glorious Mystery of the Past

Were you ever allowed to offer literary criticism of the writer of Acts of the Apostles? In English, any way? Literary criticism about the object in a sentence, per the rules of grammar. An antecedent for? In a personal pronoun which seem so impersonal? A reader will know the reference being referred … to? And if you ever read the Gospel of John, you might be shocked by the reference to “devout Jews” from every nation, mentioned by the writer of the Acts of the Apostles, unlike in the Sunday Gospel reading on Penecost, “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews….”

“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, ‘they’ were all in one place together. Suddenly there came from the sky …. a noise like a strong driving wind. And it filled the entire house in which ‘they’ were. Then there appeared to ‘them’ tongues as of fire … which parted and came to rest on each one, of ‘them’[which sounds wrongly impersonal in the use of the personal pronouns].”

“‘They’ were all filled with the Holy spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled ‘them’ to proclaim.”[to whom?]

“Now there were ‘devout Jews’ from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, [an attribute which sounds wrong and too impersonal, as if “this sound” rather than the noise which came from the sky] ‘they’ gathered in a large crowd. But ‘they’ were confused because each one heard ‘them’ speaking in his own language. So ‘they’ [which sounds wrongly impersonal, as if each individual sensed and reacted the same] were astounded, and in amazement ‘they’ asked: ‘Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia….’ ”

In the story of Firsts, like in the Book of Genesis, did you ever notice all the mistakes the first time? And, by the way of amazement, if ‘they” all were each so separated by language, how could ‘THEY” ever ask, ‘How then does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia….”

Yes, so the second time. “So Jesus said to them AGAIN: ‘Peace be with you!'”

And did you notice the chronology, in these new commandments about this living dynamic Peace that had been passed down since Abraham? About a closeness, along with a Spirit that came out of a Dynamic Peace. Forgive the ones you seemed closest, too! Like in Temple or Church and in families. And on matters of power and shared dominion, between Church and State, what had been the cause of your Crucifixion?

“And when he had said this, he breathed on THEM [which sounds much more personal] and said to THEM: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit! Whose sins you forgive are forgiven THEM. And whose sins you retain, are retained.'”

Somehow, I imagine it was a lot more personal than as recorded. For all these Jews in the world, who go out to share their inheritance. As “they” came to understand “it.” Like the Apostle John, who is NOT the evangelist writing the last Gospel, John, if you did the chronology, after the second Temple was destroyed.  Mostly, rather personally. To take that kind of destruction so personally, John is comparing the Temple to the Tower of Babel!  So is it the sins you forgive or THEM that sinned, John?

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill.

Like in Psalm 104, concerning the face of the Earth.

When you send forth your spirit, ‘they’ are created, and you renew the face of the earth….

….stolen from Cecilia Wessels’ Facebook, like suddenly there came from the sky …. a noise like a strong driving wind. Thanks Cecilia.


Did Abraham ever find God, like yesterday, in the emptiness of famine. At the end, in an Evangelical call for prayer together – as if he could convert me and this food through his prayer – The Muslims, and I along with them, left.

Abraham, trying to design God, through sacrifice, was like Alexander Hamilton, trying to design a nation, if you have seen the play or read the book by Chernow.

Money. The systems, created. With Land. Would there be land banks, since the currency was so worthless? In the beginning, inventing a national currency? Did you know all the Troubles in creating?

In post-Revolution, this first Civil War, Hamilton is manipulating George Washington? And then Jefferson – yikes! – with his thinking, and with his slaves.

Abraham. Count the moments of the Great Unsettlings. In his life. In contending with what is private and what is public, there is great irony in giving up the Land, as well as a home. In replicating the Great One, like Abraham, how?

With balance, in Somalia, Church/Mosque and State? Is there even a section of the news for today’s obituaries in Somalia. . . for the Somalis who are dying in hunger? There was at the end of the day, a photo projected of a mother of eight, now down to five.  In the photo, she had just received a box of food from the American charity, addressing famine. Of her future – should she lose five more, would she be a mother? And as she is all alone, where is her God of Abraham, for the mother?

Surviving, after every war, In a public sector?  Social justice, over who might stay there.  Taking what had been so public – in war – private?  Like The American Revolution, with the split.  On what side were you?   Loyalists, post-war?  Did you know the ongoing clash among the survivors, after every war in a public sector?  So, social justice?  That the Somalians might stay!  So, taking what was public, private, keeping their land in the hands of the Somalis like never has been allowed in Syria in the past six years?

Who might stay there?  “Why me? Why have I survived and my three children have not? Or all my relatives born in Somalia now in Minnesota?”

Goodness?  In invisible famine, feed MY starving Children, oh God!  Like in The Great Flood, there were the Loyalists who never moved from their lands, like Noah did.  Not unlike these times, with the oceans under threat like never before – defending much more than the fish, from rising temperature.

Humans living in denial.  Unable to look too close?  Leaving?  Staying? The Choice, for the wealthy?  Taking what was not yours to take?  Sacrifice, Abraham?  When there is nothing left, maybe like for you in old age? Taking what is private, so public. Group our kids by age…by place in neighborhoods, by gender – to hear, if not learn, stories!  But all  translators betray what they attempt to convey – this is a truism – as every reader comes to their Scriptures with a history.  And some with head scarves.

Did you ever consider the eight survivors eating during the Great Flood? Did you ever contrast dryness to a great flood? Like these days in Somalia. In the emptiness of famine, Feed My Starving Children, during Ramadan, was addressing the six million in Somalia this morning in need of food.  I gave some time yesterday to their cause which involved, for me, too much cheer-leading and too little humility. I walked home later wondering, why am I able to help the starving, in Famine? Like the one in Ireland, that seemed to teach a people, forever after, something about sharing. Why in Somalia is their Land like this and mine is not? Why are we not all starving? Together!

Valuations. Counting the cost, through sacrifice. And at the end, the representative of Feed My Staring Children, an Evangelical – part of The Evangelical Movement – wanted in a too loud moment of his prayer, over the just packed food, when the sun had risen at 5:30 am and would set after 9:00 pm, wanted the Muslims here to pray. With him over his food, while they fasted? Taking what was private a little bit too public, for me. This morning, I am considering, again, over breakfast, “the right hand of God” moment that both saved the first born son as well as split the son, along with that photo depicting the right hand of God, in the “why me?” moment, of what can come out of sacrifice. Given life… a second time, if I keep losing more, will I still be an Evangelical? As I ate my food and contemplated Grace, I wonder at what point I might stop being Irish, or a Somali, or even an American, after being given life a second time. 

Did you know all the Troubles that come in creating?  Like a Nation Once Again?

Fairies Alive in Ireland Still

Paperlessworld's Weblog

God so made the world, visible and invisible. And landscapes do not talk to strangers.

In a world of stories not as often told, there is one old emerging story here to assist your consciousness, without recompense. There could be a threat in stories based upon pride, of being distinct from your neighbor, but your stories of a past should not fit comfortably, otherwise why would, why should, young people care?

God so made the world, and someone wrote the stories. So to capture the reader in story — to explain why to care — comes the mystery. In 

There is an old conviction in a land where they burn the peat that riches lay not on the land but beneath it. Little is what it seems in this landscape, in a land so poor in County Cork. And city people seldom pay attention to the clouds or the…

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Minnie in Minnesota

It is stories that map a place as well as a time. And yes, the same stories change over time as the old tellers die off. In stories, like about match-making, marriage, or being chosen.

It is through stories that a place as well as a time is charted, about grandsons and great-grandsons, about world events and local ones. And so this week, I contemplated the story of Jacob so much like his grandfather, and so much like what I have come to feel about my own family.

The power of a culture is based upon a shared literature instead of oral story-telling. Now these stories mostly were read privately and no one knew what you knew.

Passing on your culture with passion, and a Godspeed. So that, at least concerning a depth of both trust and love, a family was split. In such an imperfect world, a distance developed. By the fourth generation a deepness had set in. And with gratitude about how all this had come to pass, the descendants felt forced to look deeper and then try to record it.  

Stories are passed along at gravesites, for a while, about the relationships like within this particular tribe of Abraham, before the laws inscribed upon stone tablets.  And yes, the same stories change over time as the old tellers die off.  And so the stories were recorded.

A woman does express the depth of her feeling, in childbirth. Like Rachel, who made all of this possible, there is in my family a woman named Minnie. Minnie had married a man who was my namesake in the nineteenth century. She gave birth to her firstborn in 1896. A short-time later she died, like Rachel, giving birth to her second born. Minnie’s firstborn was my grandfather.

The reason for the intensity of a woman seemed to mostly come from her fertility. There is the lifetime commitment in fertility for a woman, so much like an old country’s religion. A newborn belonged so much more to a mother than to a father.

When a woman, once she had a child, could no longer be nomadic. Marked for life, so much like Rachel, a woman was expected to somehow bond, in her very own way to carry the God of Jacob further in the world, beyond the tribes and the homeland where they were born? So there was a connection of the Promised Land to fertility and these somewhat invisible women, so much like God’s invisibility, in these stories.

Woman passing on, so invisibly, the power in bonds which had come out of the collective memory of the journeys of nomads. To discover in the story somewhat unexpectedly, for grandsons who followed grandfathers, a Living God – power without domination – through the unforgettable pain of a father and son trying to understand the manner to pray, in the stories that transcends boundaries. These stories were about points of view, in a Creator’s desire for perfection, in themes of birthrights, of power and might, in comparative approaches to God by mother/fathers to sons on life and death, with all the tension in the story. Between those who were not good enough with those who seemed to be too good, there is the tension this indescribable pain which creates memory in a culture. All along the focus in the culture seemed to be allegedly on the male and his tribe.

Did you recognize the shift by the end of the story that is now all about all of the sons of Jacob and his one daughter, if compounded belief is to stay with the descendants of Jacob and his wives? Like in a dénouement of the story, passing on the power in bonds between your own people, passing on the Spirit in some kind of Abraham-like Crazy Glue, in a collective memory of forgiveness of others in the name of a forgiving God, on issues of inheritance and birth right. The goal in repeating the story is to gain access, through stories of discovery to be better, climbing mountains like Isaac, or having to cross the the ford of the Jabbok like Jacob as he met his estranged brother — in a story about receiving strength and power in a crazy belief in this God today for daughters and sons who followed fathers — with divine intervention, like at the top of Mount Moriah.  When Abraham was wrestling with the issue of what son to give his inheritance, either Isaac or Ishmael? Like with the shame of Jacob, who had stood behind all of his wives and children, as he came to meet Esau — not unlike the shame of Abraham, ready to kill Sarah’s firstborn. So was this battle really about who had carried the God of Isaac further in the world, beyond the tribes and the homeland where they were born? Or was this somehow the same inner struggle of God, in favoring one tribe of people, or just one brother? As neither of them, from their quite personal battle, originally at least on the eve of the battle, seemed to be ever coming back?  Maybe a lot like in the story of the Akedah, when Abraham took his on up the mountain to be sacrificed. Grandsons, when this battle was all over, wrestling with the unrecognized birthright question — and passing it on, with such emotion. How could God ever show favor on one brother or one nation? To keep something alive with passion, these grandsons of Abraham with a split family, as Abraham had a split family, who wanted others to have the same powerful experience, as he had had.  And so the many descendants of Abraham who thought they could do anything –inside or outside the tribe — because these people had come to know God through the faithfulness over time from a parent who was offered so much forgiveness in return for sincere offerings on the part of each generation.

In reading the stories, God seemed to be doing more of the arranging in the relationship of Isaac and Rebekah, with Abraham and Jacob doing most of their own arranging with their wives, in the territory of religion called mystery. Those questions which have enduring force in their lives beyond the province of human investigation. And then there was Abraham’s idea of a relationship seen in his offering Sarah to the Pharaoh, which would not play real well these days in Peoria — if the God of Abraham, or the God of Isaac, or the God of Jacob, was ever coming back. Or if the descendants of Abraham transporting God while bearing their forefather’s name would succeed in their own transport of this God to the next so highly opinionated and so combative generation.

Leaving. Coming back. Wasn’t Exodus for Moses the same movement found in the story of Jacob, in the story of nomads in search of something. “Mostly they are the same lives. The same stories, over and over,” wrote David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker. When we endow our lives with stories. To know a land and its people was to know the stories.

The son of Minnie fought in The War To End All War between old systems of monarchy controlled by arrogant kings against each other cousins’ kingdoms, for more power.  In battle with the United States Marines, the first family member back in Europe since the family had left to avoid The Great Famine was wounded.  When The Great War came to an end, he was still hospitalized from wounds, as his fellow Marines had left to return to their homes. When he clearly felt he was in a foreign land, not knowing the language of these strangers surrounding him.  And I recognize an inheritance for this young man, like for so many men willing to destroy their own life for a greater cause, just as the glorious transformation of his mother from a girl willing to give her life to create.

In the name of the father, in the name of his son, and in the name of our true holy ghosts … in my Irish-American family who so often pray about the blessed fruit of a womb, most of us have forgotten the key role of Minnie. While writing “The Event Planner” (See ), Minnie has been on my mind.

In puzzles, passing it on.  Yes, the riches lay not on the land but beneath it. T’is this land that takes in the overflow of people. And so the SPIRIT in the land – Delores Keane sings – that owns you. Somehow I so personally had inherited a knowledge of people who I had never known, or never seen – ancestors from Ireland, like people anywhere in time or place who had starved to death, whose spirits would come out again in another Spring.

God so made the world, visible and invisible. Minnie died in trying to increase the numbers, not far removed from the Great Famine, in her attempt with my namesake – like either Rachel or any great prophet, for the delivery of God to the next generation – to replicate God’s greatness. Like Rachel, Minnie was a woman who was expected to somehow, in her very own way, to carry the God of Ireland further in the world, beyond the tribes and the homeland where she was born.  When growth is so much the measure of success. And so the unimaginable, the inconceivable, the unthinkable story of creation and procreation ever since when, in the words of Picasso, every act of creation involves a form of destruction. And I do connect Minnie’s life with the words I heard from the great golfer Jack Nicholas 36 hours ago about the moment in his life when he realized, he said: “I must be better than I think I am.”

The Irish Times, now paperless

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How The Irish Catholics Evolved



 In 1155, to curb ” ecclesiastical” corruption, authorization was given to King Henry II to invade Ireland, in the form of a Papal bull from Pope Adrian IV. Henry I had died in 1135. The deed was done in 1169, upon authority based a lot on the remnants of a forged Roman imperial decree. As the English began their rule in Ireland.

 It had been out of the history of the times of Constantine the Great which had determined the place of the Church of Rome in western religion. It is the history of Henry VIII that left the Irish under a dominant culture. In his campaign against Catholicism, Henry VIII seized church lands, raided monasteries, and in the process, Henry’s henchmen disturbed and destroyed the burial places of the monarchs who preceded him. Henry VIII likely contributed to the destruction of the tomb of his namesake Henry I.  

 Modern historians attempt to determine whether Christian sources exaggerated the scope of the Diocletianic persecution of Christians during the times just before Constantine.  It is written of the persecutors, Galerius and Diocletian were avid, while Constantius had been unenthusiastic. Constantius was the father of Constantine the Great. Later edicts for persecution, including the calls for universal sacrifice, were not applied in Constantius’ domain. In 303, it was Diocletian who had rescinded the legal rights of Christians, demanding compliance with traditional Roman religion.

 Roman imperial decrees, not unlike papal bulls.  The emperor in those days was concerned with the spiritual life of his people.  Constantine the Great was the son of Flavius Valerius Julius Constantius (later known as Constantius Chlorus) and and woman later canonized by the Church of Rome as Saint Helena from a common law marriage. After divorcing Helena some time before 289 (if he never married her, why the divorce?), Flavius Valerius Julius Constantius (later known as Constantius Chlorus) married Flavia Maximiana Theodora (known as Theodora) in order to obtain a wife more consonant with his rising status, per the analysis. Theodora and Constantius had six children: Constantius Chlorus carried in the Tetrarchy (which lasted until 313) the title adopted from antiquity of Caessar, as an officer in the Roman army, and as part of the Emperor Aurelian’s imperial bodyguard.

 A prominent member of the court of Diocletian, Constantine had fought for Diocletian and Galerius in Asia. By late 305, he had become a tribune of the first order. Having been schooled in the East under some Christian influence, Constantine, on taking the imperial office in 306, restored full legal equality and returned confiscated property to Christians. Internecine conflict had eliminated most of the claimants to Roman power leaving colleague and rival Constantine the Great and Licinius I. Like the Church of Rome itself, Constantine was still largely untried, with questions about his legitimacy, from Helena’s cohabitation, recognized in fact but not in law, with his father. Constantine gave his favorite half-sister Flavia Julia Constantia (one of six chilren of Theodora and Constantius) in marriage to his co-emperor, Licinius.

 In the times before Constantine the Great, the Roman Empire was on the edge of extinction, with the Empire split into three competing states, as the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression. The Crisis of the Third Century, before Constantine’s rule, had  resulted in such profound changes in the Empire’s institutions, society, economic life and, eventually, religion. 

 Henry VIII upset the burial places of his namesake, putting the Irish under a dominant culture. As the son of William the Conqueror, Henry I had reigned for nearly 30 years, from 1106 to 1135. Although he crowned himself king of England in 1100, Henry’s reign was disputed by his older brother Robert, who had been away fighting the Ottoman Turks in the Crusades. Initially able to buy Robert off, Henry later came into conflict with Robert again that was resolved in 1106 as Henry’s army captured Robert in battle, imprisoning him for life. Henry spent much of his time away from England, often frequenting Normandy. In order to rule in his absence, he created a bureaucracy that would efficiently govern and run the affairs of state, the most important duty of which was to collect taxes. Following the death of his son, he was left with only one legitimate heir, his daughter Maud. When Henry died in 1135, his daughter Maud’s rule was rejected by the English nobility and in the succession crisis, of people of low birth, civil war ensued through 1141.

 And so in 1155, Laudabiliter, to curb ” ecclesiastical” corruption (had this corruption been the result of the civil war?). Authorization was given to King Henry II to invade Ireland, in the form of this Papal bull allegedly by Constantine’s power, from Pope Adrian IV. The deed was done in 1169. The authority was based a lot on the remnants of a forged Roman imperial decree, allegedly dating back to Constantine the Great. As the English began their rule in Ireland, long before the Protestant Ascendancy.

 After all, Saint Patrick was a Brit from the Scottish Highlands born about 380 A.D. – not long after Constantine the Great – kidnapped at a young age, taken prisoner in 403 AD and held in captivity in Ireland, for six years. Learning a new language. An escape as a stow-away, after a 3-day journey, he was back to Britain. Then returning to this land years later as a priest. And with his knowledge of the language, changing the landscape where actually there were no snakes, if there ever had been? So you had cause to trust both British leaders and leaders in Rome.

 Island people, increasingly entangled in worldly matters, over the conflict of public and private lives: after almost four centuries, following the declaration of the independence of the Church of England from papal supremacy and rejection of the authority of Rome, a new basis for the English monarch’s legitimate claim to the rule of Ireland was found in the Crown of Ireland Act 1542. Like some updated version of Great Vowel Shift in the pronunciation of the English language in England after 1350, after the writing of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Protestant minority remained socially, politically, and economically dominant through the officially established religion or the established church. Among the Canterbury pilgrims, many began to question the authority of the established Church, perhaps following Henry VIII’s lead. Within the framework of pilgrims on a pilgrimage, written during a turbulent time in English history, with the Catholic Church in the midst of the schism that kingdoms regularly went through over the issue of inheritance, how did the pardoner,in the Canterbury Tales, view his own work? Or a king?

 There was the perceived threat to the English by the rest of the world, over the issue of Supremacy. In the world of Protestant Reformation, the Irish people were the lamb. Europe’s Catholic monarchs and the Papacy remained committed in considering Ireland a feudal fief of the Papacy, to be granted to any Catholic sovereign who managed to secure the island Kingdom from the control of its Protestant monarchs.

 And so the stories of the Spanish Armada. The discovery of the New World. The Inquisition, which never really ended. And still the Ottoman Turks in the east. Over the course of the next two centuries, the Papacy and Europe’s Catholic rulers continued to recognize Ireland as a Kingdom in its own right, while asserting the Protestant monarchy as illegitimate. Catholic Europe simultaneously would incite Catholic rebels in the island, as a means of recovering Ireland from Protestant to a Catholic sovereignty.

 The papal bull.  The last Catholic inspired invasion of England ended in failure during the Jacobite rebellion. In 1755, the Holy See recognized British sovereignty over Ireland.  Subsequent treaties with Catholic sovereigns, following British global victories during the remainder of the 18th century, ended future Catholic sovereign incitements. Until the Irish Rebellion of 1798 with Wolfe Tone. Massacres of captured rebels after almost every British victory in the rising, some on a large scale as at Carlow, New Ross, Ballinamuck and Killala, were noted. And from that point on, the native population was directed –inwardly — to their very own quest for independence. And so the celebration of this inward feast, in the wearing of the green.

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Reigny Days and Mondays

I get an apostolic blessing once a year, which is extended from the good graces of the pope. Now he might not have heard, but it has been a while since I belonged to his fan club. As a matter of fact, I told a priest from Milwaukee of my concern over the election of this pope long on record of the need for pruning back in the church, three months after the puffs of white smoke appeared outside of St. Peter’s Square. .

I also am not a fan of prunes. One Sunday a year, I am served prunes for breakfast, and I am not allowed to say anything. I used to actually eat the prunes, until 2005. As a kind of protest.

“Every country, every family, every individual has setbacks as they rise. China is going to have some horrible setbacks. America had unbelievable setbacks as we rose,” said Jim Rogers, the noted investor. I wondered if he had Irish blood.

In December 2009, The Papal Nuncio in Ireland denied ’showing contempt’ for the State institutions by refusing to respond to requests from the Murphy Commission for information, according to Ivana Bacik (Labor). The previous reluctance of the Papal Nuncio in Ireland to contribute to the report, and then the delay of one week before finally commenting upon findings of the Murphy Commission led to calls for expulsion of the Papal Nuncio in Ireland.

Twenty months later, the Vatican has recalled its special envoy in Ireland, Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Leanza, to Rome to discuss the impact of the recent damning Cloyne Report on the Catholic Church’s handling of child abuse by priests.

This was eighteen months after someone in the Papal Nuncio’s office boiled the blood of the President of the Irish Republic, Mary McAleese. In her January 2010 speech at the annual pres­entation of greetings from the Diplomatic Corps on Saturday, she rebuked a senior Vatican official who suggested that reports about recent child-abuse scandals were in some measure peculiar to Ireland. Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza should have packed his bags right then.

The doctrine of defined papal infallibility came to pass only in 1870, though belief in this doctrine long predated the First Vatican Council. When you were infallible on matters of not just faith, but morals. I half-expect that Pope Benedict’s favorite song is “Reigny Days and Mondays Get Me Down.” And those stories which keep getting investigated in Ireland, oy vey.

It was Monday, and you needed to pass the buck. Or the euro. In a time frame when every means of exchange seemed to be falling, I would really love hearing the pope confess, “I do not know what to say. I do not know what to do. Especially in English. I know it was not the original tongue, but imposed there by a dominant culture.” It might be time for some papal humor directed at himself. In the tweaking of words and phrases. A few months before the imposed translations of the Mass scheduled for the First Sunday in Advent. In the modern world since the mid seventies when, if policy language causes ambiguity, sentiment have been construed to favor the policy-holder.


Holy Thursday

In the Judeo-Christian tradition the first part of the Great commandment was about knowing God.

Knowing God. It was April. When the clash of systems was all around. Of winter with spring. Of death with life.

The restlessness theme. About trying to do something. Like a baby trying to communicate something. Or like King Lear. At the end of life. Somehow restless to communicate something to my God. The restlessness was not about a low battery. I was not tired. Sleep issues could be a factor in underlying health issues, which might involve the human soul.

Restless discomfort. In restless April.

I once was seated on an airplane bound for someplace in the Dakotas, next to a man who claimed to have been reborn. I had a feeling of restlessness, listening to him try to explain his own internal weather pattern. I was fortunate enough to have been born into a tradition which I had always accepted as my own. But if somehow you were Rip Van Winkle and had slept through the past twenty years, you might have missed some of the pain of the institutions carrying God. If you were of the Irish Catholic tradition, that beast of burden, carrying God. With all the clash.

I am trying to enjoy my worship in English in the present, of this special liturgical year. For the last time, as I witnessed a certain death of the words of Vatican II, at the hands of the man in charge of the Congregation of Divine Worship. Though mostly I am in awe of the selections chosen week in and week out, the combination of the Old Testament reading with the Gospel, chosen by someone in the Congregation of Divine Worship. I was struck however by the translations provided in the reading this week, which to my ear sounded as a wrong note. Maybe because of my own growing distrust of the man in charge of the Congregation of Divine Worship who will be changing the way my own congregation prays come December. In the English translations. So maybe that was what caused my ear to question the translation. For example: “And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?”

And the crowds replied: “This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

There was the repetitive theme, as mentioned in the Gospel of Mark: “Then Jesus said to them: ‘”All of you will have your faith shaken…”

The pain. Generation after generation, viewing your own family deal with their relationships. With the screaming fear. Over me. A father, viewing your own progeny deal with relationships, like the one I once had. In Asia. At the time with the 1.5 billion people of Asia, where one billion lived in poverty. That April in the Philippines. It took me a few years to discover the unstated distrust of me. When a westerner stayed in western hotels. When a young Asian women tried to explain her distrust of people who lived lavish lives. When so many people were suffering. And because of this, she had wanted no part of me. When so many other deceitful relationships abound in a nation torn apart by all the pain. Of poverty. When illness of one was a financial setback for everyone. In a world without a safety net, of life insurance, of health insurance. And then I recently saw a rebroadcast of an old interview with Amy Chua on C-span. She was born in the Philippines but of Chinese lineage, in a family for that part of the world quite well-off. In the book she was promoting, she told the story of how the Filipino driver of her aunt opened fire, killing her aunt. The Filipino maids in the house knew of his intent but never stopped him. It was the divide in this culture of the native born poor, with the ethnic Chinese of some wealth. It was the same April clash.

After an afternoon an evening of great restlessness, as I searched yesterday online for the right tires to purchase as I planned to remove my snow tires this week, I went to bed last night . I happen to start a new day with thought about this restlessness. A restlessness, not unilike a baby’s, but in no way connected to issues of sleep. Or even about tires. With so much uncertainty about the world. An inner restlessness like that found between the lines of Shakespeare’s King Lear. At life’s end. Like I had witnessed in the April of my grandfather’s eighty-eighth year. When a child or an old man was still trying to communicate something. Trying to get traction. Maybe about a spiritual direction.

I have this friend in the pest control business who likes to call me in the first hour when I get up, on his way to work. During what happens to be a sacred part of my day. Morning after morning, of late, I get up on fire, ready to write. With passion. And calls about the world and its problems extinguish my own inner fires.

On Palm Sunday, there is pain and discomfort in most of the readings. With the key roles played by a servant of the high priest who gets his ear cut off — with mention in ordinary time of the three times the voice of God was heard instructing the people to “Hear him,” when it came to Jesus. Before the blessing of the palms, the Gospel is read at the start of Mass, with a description of a beast of burden, carrying God, much like a religion has provided the transport in my own life. Mostly there is the discomfort in the reading from Isaiah: “The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary, a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning, he opens my ear that I may hear.”

All the pain in the readings, about Passover. The readings on Palm Sunday, Psalm 22, a psalm of David. The reading of Isaiah, about a land with so many other forgotten prophets – the one before the translation of the Passion in the Gospel of Matthew which seemed to me to miss the traditional words. That beast of burden, carrying God. The reading focused on, with recognition of, the beast of burden — and only that beast of burden, carrying God.

In Judaism, the first commandment was simply, “I am the Lord, your God.”

With all the ensuing prophets who suffer for what they know. David asking his question, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

In a world with the always present innate Fear of the Lord, the pain and suffering which went with being God. The pain of being Father. The pain and suffering of being the Messiah. And the pain of being chosen. In a relationship.

Like in springtime. When the clash of systems was all around. Of winter with spring. An acceptance of pain, with a few days left of consideration of some self-inflicted pain in genuine alms-giving. When the conflict in the story was over the perception of a Messiah by the religious leaders at the time. The clash of power, of the human with the divine. And my own growing distrust of the man in charge of the Congregation of Divine Worship, and about his boss.

Generation after generation, the pain, the loneliness in being God. All the Jewish participants in the story of my own tradition….Peter, James, John, Judas. Every single one of them , with their differing points of view in the story, concerning the proper way to respond. To such speed of the unraveling. The painful witness which all began “riding on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”

When Judaism had been what had always been the transport of the one-true God, with some human expectation of a messiah.

After Applegate

Words. Fellowship. Relationship. Dealing with words. In leaving a homeland.

Fellowship. Relationship. Words. Dealing with waste. Wasted words. Wasted money. In a homeland. Away from a homeland. Without a common currency. Or without a common recognized one God.

One. The unity of fellowship. The image of union, with unity. Sharing. A homeland. In relationship.

The slowly developing themes. Trying to capture the feeling. To stay. To go. In search of a homeland. To defend a homeland.

Giving everything away. The produce from homeland. The slowly developing themes over time. With the image of union, deciding. To go. To stay.

Trying to capture the feeling. About the fellowship which came out of the search. With God. With each other. Trying to convey what happened, to the next generation. About the past. About fertility. In fellowship. In relationship.

Word choice. The reaching out in fellowship to those who have nothing. Hoping to resolve the hunger of a shared humanity. Praying others will help those who hunger.

The blessings. The sharing. Of money and fellowship. In thanksgiving. In a world losing the currency to transact fellowship. When you lost your currency or homeland, or everything.

Loss. Dealing with loss. Imposed self-exile. Or in diaspora. When you were scattered. As tightknit families become unbound, there was a stated general unease. When children never came to know their past well enough to miss it. When you were scattered and the common currency was rejected. The one which had provided unity.

The feelings starting all over again. Of love and fear and anger. The true every day fear while living in exile. The fear when dealing with loss in exile. The fear when scattered. About loss of currency value and fellowship. Living in an unrecognized world. The loss of trust without a common currency, without a common recognized one God. And the resulting unrecognized image of myself.

Thanksgiving. Forgiveness. Thinking somehow forgiveness was lost. In a diaspora, in exile. When there was so little you could do after you said, “I’m sorry.”

Dealing with words. Wasted words. The aimlessness living scattered in exile. The outside fear about losing everything. And the fear within. In dealing with loss, thinking somehow forgiveness was also lost. In exile. Amidst the anguish of loss and horrors of history; of birthrights and inheritance. And wanting to be reconciled, after the forgiveness. Learning of the ongoing process of reconciliation. The movement in the story of Exodus, with the slowly developing themes of love, of forgiveness, and of an ongoing reconciliation.

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Still Infallible in the Aftermath of the Murphy Commission

According to a three-page letter from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to his priests, Pope Benedict XVI, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority and in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, solemnly rejected the resignations of two Dublin auxiliary bishops which had been tendered on Christmas Eve 2009 following the reports of the investigations by the Murphy Commission into clerical child sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin over 29 years. After coming under intense pressure because they had served as bishops during part of this period, Pope Benedict XVI has willed that Bishop Raymond Field and Bishop Eamonn Walsh should be shepherds in His Church, even to the consummation of the world, available to administer Confirmation in any part of the diocese in the coming year.

In a November 2009 report, the independent Commission of Investigation headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy looked at the handling in the years 1975-2004 of 325 sex abuse claims in the Archdiocese of Dublin. This Murphy Commission was released in the aftermath of The Ryan Commission report in May 2009 which had cited 800 known abusers in over 200 Catholic institutions, over 35 years.

The Irish Times on December 8, 2009 had reported, per Vatican sources, the direct intervention from the Holy See, with an invitation extended on December 8, 2009 to Cardinal Sean Brady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to a December 11th meeting in Rome to discuss “the painful situation” in the Catholic Church in Ireland following the release of the report of the Murphy Commission. The pope would be urging Irish church leaders to find a definitive exit from the crisis, feeling the Irish clerical sex-abuse crisis has gone on far too long.

The conclusion of this Murphy Commission report was that during those years 1975-2004, rather than being concerned about the victims, Catholic leaders were more interested in “the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church and the preservation of its assets.” With his own infallibility, feeling the Irish clerical sex-abuse crisis has gone on far too long, Pope Benedict had called the leading two bishops to Rome. In February 2010, all of the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland came to Rome.

The Murphy Commission had investigated the 325 sex abuse claims in the Archdiocese of Dublin in the years 1975-2004. The bishops named in the Murphy report included the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, the Bishop of Galway, two Dublin auxiliary bishops, and the Bishop of Limerick. Monsignor Dolan, the vice chancellor in Dublin from 1980 to 1997, was also named; he later became chancellor in 1997.

“The church in Ireland has been severely shaken as a result of the child abuse crisis. As a sign of my deep concern,” Pope Benedict said in Rome on the eve of Saint Patrick’s Day, “I have written a pastoral letter dealing with this painful situation. I ask all of you to read it for yourselves, with an open heart and in a spirit of faith.”

The Lenten Letter of March 17, 2010 to the Irish people, the first papal document devoted exclusively to pedophilia, following the Murphy report, was the first clue as to how the pope viewed all the goings on. That pastoral letter talked a lot more about sin than crimes. Pope Benedict XVI hoped the letter would “help in the process of repentance, healing and renewal.” __Read THE ACTUAL LETTER__

The Father Brendan Smyth affair over a period of over 40 years in which the controversy surrounding his case had brought about the downfall of the government of Ireland in December 1994. Father Brendan Smyth of the the Norbertines Order had sexually abused and assaulted over 100 children, moving from parish to parish and between dioceses in Belfast, Dublin, and in Rhode Island as well as North Dakota in the United States. After his arrest in 1991, Father Brendan Smyth fled to the Republic of Ireland, where he spent the next three years on the run, with the poor handling of an extradition request from the Royal Ulster Constable of Northern Ireland by the Irish Attorney General Republic of Ireland. Understandable with the years of distrust and discrimination between the Orange Order and the Catholic minority of the North, who was going to believe in the justice system of the North of Ireland? Had you ever read of the anti-papist rhetoric of Ian Paisley, and experienced how Catholics were treated in the North? True dysfunction came out of such relationships.

The now deceased Cardinal Cahal Daly, Archbishop of Armagh (a previous Bishop of Down as well as Connor, in a diocese where some of the abuse took place), reportedly was privately furious at the Norbertine “incompetence” involving Father Brendan Smyth.

In March of 2010, the Primate of all Ireland, Seán Brady admitted that in 1975, as a 36-year-old priest with his doctorate in canon law since 1967, that he had attended two separate interviews in 1975 as part-time secretary to the then Bishop of Kilmore, Francis McKiernan. Joined by two other priest in the first interview, his role was to take notes. He had been alone with the child at the second interview, and had been responsible for conducting the inquiry, with his note taking. He had also witnessed the two teenage boys in 1975 sign the oaths of silence after testifying against Father Brendan Smyth. The oath read: “I will never directly or indirectly, by means of a nod, or of a word, by writing, or in any other way, and under whatever type of pretext, even for the most urgent and most serious cause (even) for the purpose of a greater good, commit anything against this fidelity to the secret, unless a…dispensation has been expressly given to me by the Supreme Pontiff.”

Secrecy and inertia. The maintenance of church secrecy was mentioned in the Murphy Commission report, as one reason the priest abuse was able to continue. When nothing happened. From November 2009 to August 2010, especially in the stagnation of August heat, there was even a lack of movement in the story after the release of the Murphy Commission report. In that Irish church that had known of all of these transgressions well before the release of the Murphy Commission report.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, the only recognized hero in all of this, wrote to his people in early December 2009: “The sexual abuse of a child is and always was a CRIME in civil law; it is and always was a crime [in] canon law; it is and always was grievously sinful.” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin wrote: “Efforts made to ‘protect the Church’ and to ‘avoid scandal’ have had the ironic result of bringing this horrendous scandal on the Church today.”

In 1994, Father Hegarty was removed as editor of Intercom after publishing an article challenging the bishops’ handling of clerical child sex abuse. In March 1994 auxiliary bishop of Dublin, Eamonn Walsh, who was investigated by the Murphy commission, was appointed to survey the Bishops’ Conference on their attitude to Intercom. In July 1994, Father Hegarty was appointed full-time curate at Shanaghy in west Mayo. “In the circumstances, I felt I had no choice but to let go of Intercom,” he said.

In a January 1995 letter to the Irish Times, Mary McAleese (then a university professor) wrote, “What is truly depressing about this episode, though, is the contrast between the energy and determination which went into sorting out a perceived problem with the editorial tone of Intercom , and the sheer breathtaking ineptitude of church handling of matters relating to child abuse by clergy….It is truly ironic that Father Kevin Hegarty raised the issue openly in Intercom long before the Father Brendan Smyth affair, and in so doing incurred the wrath of those so anxious now to reassure us of their clean hands and bona fides in this squalid business.”

Taking people’s jobs away, after a lifetime of service. Five years ago Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had no problem taking people’s job away. Under orders from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, American Jesuit Thomas Reese resigned on May 6, 2005 as editor of the Catholic magazine America because he had published articles critical of church positions, several Catholic officials in the United States told the New York Times. The order to dismiss the editor of America magazine was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in mid-March when the Vatican office of doctrinal enforcement was still headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Catholic officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter. (Some have suggested it was the American bishops who got Father Reese removed, a story much like Father Kevin Hegarty’s dismissal.) Soon after Father Reese’s dismissal, Pope John Paul II died and Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI., with his new infallibility on both matters of faith and morals which came with his new job description.

Preserved from even the possibility of error since the First Vatican Council on July 18, 1870, Pope Benedict XVI has exercised his authority on matters of Faith and Morals. If not Rome, all of Ireland’s bishops knew of the environment of sexual abuse in their country. The environment where Cardinal Sean Brady had been the appointed leader. It was only the damn Murphy Commission, and the Ryan that had enlightened the public.

The two bishops, Bishop Eamonn Walsh and Bishop Raymond Field, who had been continuing in their normal duties pending the decision, would now remain as Auxiliary Bishops and are to be assigned revised responsibilities within the diocese. The decision not to accept the resignations of Bishop Eamonn Walsh and Bishop Raymond Field follows the decision of Cardinal Seán Brady last spring not to resign despite his involvement in an investigation 35 years ago of a case involving Brendan Smyth. Bishop Eamonn Walsh had been appointed auxiliary bishop in Dublin since April 1990. Bishop Raymond Field had been bishops since September 21st, 1997. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said it was not policy to comment on resignations which had not been accepted. It was time to move on. These two bishops should be available to administer Confirmation even to the consummation of the world. This all was punishment enough. One Vatican source told the Irish Times that the Secretariat of State had recalled the excellent work done by Bishop Walsh in the role of apostolic administrator in the diocese of Ferns.

To live in a country when nothing happened. To live in a country where its young no longer wanted to be confirmed, because of the sins of its Fathers. These two bishops should be available to administer Confirmation, but in a country where, based upon news stories, its young no longer wanted to be confirmed.

Crime and punishment. Catholic moral teaching states capital punishment is wrong. Based upon the papal response, Catholic moral teaching must be that cover ups of sexual abuse are okay. Actions speak louder than encyclicals, for the institution church which has lacked so much transparency on issues of cover ups of sexual abuse, over so many years.

Crime and punishment. What if a pope had grown up in a time, in a place, when crimes were an every day part of your life. When nothing happened to the perpetrators? And what if you then had to live in the aftermath? When you were a young man? When no one really was ever punished. When no one ever talked about what had happened? When life just seemed to go on, with a great deal of inertia. Would it affect your own way of thought? About Central America during the late 1970s into the early 1990s, in another age of terror in the southern hemisphere, as the United States supported the Salvadoran government armed forces throughout their civil war, with ongoing persecution of clergy and repression of movements for social change, would it affect your outlook? And what if you then had to live in the aftermath? When life just seemed to go on, with a great deal of inertia.

Crime and Punishment not all so dissimilar to what had happened to those Irish bankers who had led Ireland into a concurrent crisis. As the Irish-German 10-year yield spread widened to 2.64 per cent, the most since July 23rd. Standard and Poor’s said yesterday that it would be, with its BBB ranking for the bank debt, keeping its ratings on the Anglo Irish Bank on credit watch with negative implications. Anglo Irish Bank carried Standard and Poor’s second-lowest investment grade. And all the same leaders continued in their places? When nothing ever happened?

Pope Benedict already had written, as “a sign of my deep concern,” on the eve of Saint Patrick’s Day, “a pastoral letter dealing with this painful situation.” To live in a country where its young no longer wanted a part in that way of thinking. Because of the sins of its Fathers.

Last autumn in the United States, Cardinal Francis George came out with the statement about Catholic journalists who should “tow the line,” with his statement that Catholic universities, media outlets and other affiliated organizations are “less than fully Catholic” that insist on independence from the church hierarchy. His underlying sentiment seemed to suggest the need for Catholic journalists and academics to go about their jobs of Truth telling with a need for the same kind of oaths seeking “dispensations expressly given by the Supreme Pontiff.” When writing about cover ups. After all, all bishops took these kind of oaths to the pope every five years. (ED NOTE: In the way of full disclosure, in the midst of the Watergate investigation, I attended as an undergraduate, a Jesuit university where Francis Cardinal George was assigned, at the same time. Though I did walk by him talking to my sociology professor before a twice a week class, I do not know him, but respect him highly.)

Before he became pope, Cardinal Ratzinger was quoted in the Jesuit Magazine America, in the days of Rev. Thomas Reese, as writing that the church needs to get smaller so that it can become purer. Because, maybe the Church could not keep going on the way it had been. Maybe his dream about pruning finally has started this summer, based upon the article in the National Catholic Reporter in August 2010, which raises again the question where is the goodness in institution church?

In a related story on December 8, 2009, The Irish Times reported that in 1991 Father Kevin Hegarty was appointed editor of the Irish Bishops’ Conference-sponsored magazine Intercom, published under the aegis of the Bishops’ Commission on Communications. In its December 1993 issue an article titled “Twenty Questions for the Bishops” challenged their handling of clerical child sex abuse. “Will they eschew silence as the preferred legal and moral strategy in the face of future allegations?” it asked.

In 1993, just before the reign of Seán Brady, with his doctorate in canon law since 1967, the Irish bishops criticized an Intercom article on women priests published in the magazine and written by the current Irish President Mary McAleese (then a university professor). On December 13, 1994, Seán Brady was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh by John Paul II, taking over upon Cardinal Cahal Daly’s retirement on October 1, 1996.

In 1994, Father Hegarty was removed as editor of Intercom after publishing an article challenging the bishops’ handling of clerical child sex abuse. The Irish Times on December 8, 2009 reported about what happened when a priest had not towed the line. “We live in a dysfunctional church, which happens when deafness becomes deadly,” Father Hegarty. The Murphy report, he said, “showed that church leaders placed most premium on loyalty, regardless of the truth.”

Not so unlike the dysfunction of Irish bishops over the course of the years 1975-2004 , in Madison, Wisconsin, in his public witness is to the fullness of the Catholic faith, Bishop Robert Morlino has lent his support to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, with his participation on their board of what was formerly known as United States Army School of the Americas. In the view of Rome, there is punishment administered where there is no loyalty to Rome. In the way of background, Maryknoll priest Roy Bourgeois was now excommunicated for publicly supporting women’s ordination, within the past eighteen months. A Maryknoll statement dated May 24th which was made public on July 22, 2010 after SOA Watch announced a fundraising drive to replace the $17,000 grant, given former Maryknoll priest Roy “Bourgeois’ central role as the founder and public face of the SOA Watch, [Maryknoll] society leadership has determined that it cannot continue its financial support of that organization without giving the impression that it also supports the actions of its leader concerning the issue of women’s ordination. The American missionary order Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers has discontinued a longstanding annual grant to the anti-military campaign group School of Americas Watch because the organization’s founder, Maryknoll priest Roy Bourgeois (now excommunicated) publicly supports women’s ordination. Within a week, the SOA Watch fund drive had raised nearly $10,000.”

The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation was not protesting violations of human rights as much as aiming a spotlight on outright killing. Military juntas and dictators in the 20th century attempting, maybe too much like Bishop Robert Morlino, Bishop Eamonn Walsh, and Archbishop Seán Brady, to maintain power. Like military juntas and dictators with their air of infallibility, backed up by armies.

About the search for Truth and towing the line, when you had a hierarchy like this, with all of the falsehoods. Towing the line. In law? With academic freedom? When this church hierarchy desired a world with everyone praying in Latin? When this church hierarchy desired a world of archaic translations in the liturgy? When this church hierarchy, which has lacked so much transparency, desired a world of Kaiser Wilhelm, or Franz Joseph, where people had no powerful sense of identity of their own God above the temporal world. When all the calls for social justice, a True concern for social justice, was just hypocrisy?

If you had come from Poland or if you had come from Germany, what could you know of real “process of repentance, healing and renewal?” Mary McAleese had gotten it wrong, writing about the sheer breathtaking ineptitude of church. Ireland somehow had been neutral during the war. During the days of Hitler, when a child had to just shut his mouth and just deal with ‘this painful situation.” When life had just gone on. With people in power who seem to think they are above human and divine law. When you lived in the days of Adolph Hitler, with nowhere for the people to go, when there had never been a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Joseph Ratzinger had already lived a life a lot like those victims of sex abuse. With nowhere for the people to go, except within. When Latin had become a language of escape. From military juntas and dictators. And when you thought that all you could say was “I am sorry.” De Delictis Gravioribus (about serious crimes). From age to age. From east to west.

And now preserved from the possibility of error, on matters of faith and Morals, Pope Benedict already has lived in a Europe where its young no longer wanted to be confirmed.


Glaciers. Still feeling the affects of glaciers, of hardship. At Inishmore in the Aran Islands, looking out across the Atlantic, from a site where a fortress had been built 3,000 years ago. Inishmore was a place about hardship.

There are community norms, on an island. John Fogarty had made a movie, Man of Aran, showing daily routines of getting soil and seaweed, forming a soil, in order to grow potatoes, in a land with little soil, in a place long before the Great Famine. And after. Where Aran Island woman made heavy identifying sweaters for fisherman-husbands to drown faster amidst the high seas, as few husbands knew how to swim.

The anthropology. The temptation. Of filling the void. The normal human void of loneliness. The fear, in the real world. Of hunger. Of death. Of hardship. Of glaciers and hardship, and the rock left behind. . . while still feeling the affects of Famine.

The illusion. Of internet dating websites. The choosing. With pictures. And what was the truth. The problems that went with the choosing. The fear about living in community, and community norms. And the isolation. All of the isolation.

Creation, and the fear about it all. When all reproductions were based on temptation. Upon attraction. Upon sex. Dating. Relationships. The choosing. With people intriguing enough to start a conversation. Belief. Fidelity. Touching.

In a world filled with individuals battling problems with unconditional love, when there were so many doubts about true love, Happy Valentine’s Day.

There was a piece I read in The New York Times about dating websites. A hockey coach I knew had sent me an e-mail in 2008 citing how the internet was changing the world, where something like 25% of the American brides and grooms in a recent year had met on-line.

Successful internet websites were about finding other people like me hanging out, and then I would join. If they had joined.

OkCupid. It was Valentine’s Day. I had taken one of the surveys: How many times per day do you brush your teeth? And I checked my answer against the answer of a woman. Once? She only brushed her teeth once?

Community norms. OKCupid. The anthropology, melting the glaciers. Led with the maps and the beautiful charts. And their questions. As if they would work in the real world, charting your loves. With their maps and beautiful charts, have you had, if you divide your age by two, sex with more than that number? How important was your prospective date’s answer to the same question?

Community norms. Relationships. Living in community. Dating websites.

Glaciers. Still feeling the affects of glaciers, the challenge with internet dating, with any dating, was to build trust, with the website and the candidates. Melting the glacier. Finding the rock within. In a world with people of different belief. In a world that did have devil worshipers. The invaders. Having dates, having sex with the invaders. My grandmother would never believe what had happened to the world. Dating, and ultimately having sex with a pagan, an invader? Unconditionally. When the successful relationship was based on the heart and soul within the body. And creating identifying sweaters for the next generation.

The need to add legitimacy to a website’s matchmaking approach. To find someone to live in relationships. Okay Cupid! Go!

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