Thursday, October 28, 2004

Baseball, Faith, and Other National Pasttimes

There is much joy in Beantown today, as Sports Illustrated reports:

"For the first time since 1918, the Red Sox are World Series champions after Derek Lowe shut down the Cardinals 3-0 in Game 4 to complete an improbable sweep."

Today's Bostonians will finally have the ultimate story to share with their grandchildren. Dom Bettinelli's account will probably sound much like this:

"This is bigger even than the Patriots winning the Super Bowl and that was big. The Red Sox are so much more in New England, a part of the culture itself, deep in the soil and in the air we breathe. We are Patriots and Bruins fans. We?re even just Celtics fans. But we are Red Sox Nation."

In other news, Father "Don Jim" Tucker also speaks of the power of hope, in a piece entitled Living in Imperfect Communion. It has particular meaning to a divorced Catholic like yours truly, who has been heard to say that he is "practicing until I get it right." Don Jim writes:

"The acts of piety and witness of prayerfulness and Christian sacrifice that have impressed me most have not been those of the walking saints (because, in a way, I expect it of them), but rather of the obviously flawed people whose relationship with God and the Church is visibly messed up. When I learn that one of them is in the perpetual adoration chapel everyday, or that they have practiced heroic acts of charity toward a neighbor, or they faithfully say the rosary even though it's been years since they could go to Communion: this fills me with great hope -- for them, for me, and for all sorts of people who might be tempted to think that God and the Church have written them off."

One can meet those who, upon learning of your situation, have it all figured out what you should and shouldn't be up to, even as the marriages of other "good Catholic families" may be imploding behind closed doors.

Short of transforming oneself into a "pious Joe," limiting one's spare-time activity to Church-related matters (daily Mass, weekly confession, regular volunteering at parish bingo games), there is a fine line to walk. That one is bound by the obligations of marriage does nothing in and of itself to cultivate a married life, when one party does not cooperate, or perhaps never has. To reconcile the situation with one's Faith, and move on, is more than a legal exercise. It is the ability to live a life -- any life -- at all.

Those on the edge are "written off" entirely too often, Padre. Thanks.

And speaking of hope, my studies in multimedia and web design continue in earnest. My project is a website devoted to selected works of the French impressionist Georges Seurat. The home page is now up on the server for the first time:

"J'essaie de faire un point."

It is optimized for a 600 x 800 screen, so most viewers with high-end equipment will find it rather small. We'll see how it goes, while the project is fine-tuned as the term continues. Stay tuned...

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