“We have become a crowd of exhibitionists. The internet gives us startling resources to publicise our private sphere. each of us can, with the simple means of a mobile phone and a mirror, upload seductive photographs of ourselves, film ourselves feeding the dog, or pontificate on the state of the world and the church.

The worldwide web feeds the agreeable illusion that there is before us an immense audience waiting with bated breath for our oracles, our communications…This tendency coexists with conscious obfuscation. Because we are so exposed to one another, we expend much energy in hiding aspects of our lives we don’t want others to know about.”

–from Coram Fratibus post dated June 25, 2023. The site is maintained by Erik Varden, Catholic spiritual writer, Trappist monk, and Bishop-prelate of the Territorial Prelature of Trondheim, Norway. The Notes section has lots of wonderful reflections on theology, music, film, books… 

“The Church is ‘not a system, an idea, an ideology, a structure, a society, but the tremendous living establishment, which has existed since the apostles until today, fulfilling her history from century to century, growing, unfolding, struggling, ailing, recovering, living out her destiny and maturing toward the return of the Lord.’”

–Ida Friederike Görres, from a eulogy by Fr. Joseph Ratzinger

A beautiful poem by Andrea Cohen about families, fathers, strangers, tragedy, that starts:

Roosevelt Dargon, how often I have thought of you
and your leg. 

“Will you go to the funeral?”

“I will, of course.”

“Was she a friend of yours?”

Well, I knew her, like, but I couldn’t say we were friends.”

“I was certain that this was Mike Menahan’s relationship to most of the people in Corofin. He knew everyone in the village but was friendless. But everyone in the village went to everyone else’s funeral , whether friendship was involved or not. It was simply something they did, like going to a parade. They went to remind themselves of their own mortality and to feel relieved that it wasn’t them.”

–Rosemary Mahoney, from Whoredom in Kimmage: The Private Lives of Irish Women (1993), a memoir of her time in Ireland–she stayed in a crumbling castle and spent hours hanging out in local bars, listening to people talk, observing how they interacted., and also interviewing mover-and-shaker women…An all-around wonderful book, as are all of Mahoney’s.


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