Skip to main content

Surprising Conversion

As many of my friends will know, I became a Catholic on Tuesday, the 22 of June, converting from Anglicanism.  I had been an Anglican since the age of eighteen.  I have long been an admirer of Catholic thinkers, poets, and saints, not least Graham Greene, my favourite prose writer of the 20th century.  Lowell is one of my favourite poets, as is FT Prince.  My vision of the Church is a broad and open one, and while I am aware of its many actual and perceived faults - many the result of the humanity at the heart of any organisation of global-historical reach - I am also aware of the rich, various and deeply-felt spiritual life that many Catholics live.  I hope to be a part of the Church's ongoing struggle for relevance and renewal in a time of high science and secularism - also a time of environmental and capitalist crisis, when no other world organisation speaks so powerfully against war, pollution, or capitalism's faults.

Yes, I know that some of the official positions of the Church are difficult.  Many Catholics struggle with them.  I also know that the existence of God is open to debate.  I am no stranger to dark nights of the soul.  But the point is, however dark, those nights are of the soul.  I have always sensed the real presence of souls within persons.  I have sensed transcendent possibilities, higher realms.  This idealism, and belief that love is the single most important virtue and gift, made me attentive to the Sermon on the Mount.  Christ is the wisest teacher of all.  And more.  This is my faith, my belief - and it is not one I would ever want to compel another to follow.  But should anyone wonder how to navigate this difficult passage known as life, I would suggest that faith offers as much or more, than abject nihilism.  Despair tastes good on the cynic's tongue for a few hours, but stales in time.

Comments

Congratulations Todd! As Chesterton put it: "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." It is a road of great courage and great humility, but I'll wager from your words, it makes all the difference :)
Diane Tucker said…
Blessings on your step of faith, Todd! Keep walking with and toward Jesus Christ. The Sermon on the Mount is subversive amazing-ism. May the Kingdom of God continue to spread into you as you walk farther into it.

diane tucker

Popular posts from this blog

Review of the new Simple Minds album - Walk Between Worlds

Taste is a matter of opinion - or so goes one opinion. Aesthetics, a branch of pistols at dawn, is unlikely to become unruffled and resolved any time soon, and meantime it is possible to argue, in this post-post-modern age, an age of voter rage, that political opinion trumps taste anyway. We like what we say is art. And what we say is art is what likes us.

Simple Minds - the Scottish band founded around 1977 with the pale faces and beautiful cheekbones, and perfect indie hair cuts - comes from a time before that - from a Glasgow of poverty and working-class socialism, and religiosity, in a pre-Internet time when the heights of modernity were signalled by Kraftwerk, large synthesisers, and dancing like Bowie at 3 am in a Berlin club.

To say that early Simple Minds was mannered is like accusing Joyce of being experimental. Doh. The band sought to merge the icy innovations of German music with British and American pioneers of glam and proto-punk, like Iggy Pop; their heroes were contrived,…

THE WINNER OF THE SIXTH FORTNIGHT PRIZE IS...



Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.



Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
I becamea dot of sand

JOHN ASHBERY HAS DIED

With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.