Friday, May 2, 2008

"Have I become the hollow man I see?"

REM three weeks in a row for traditio? What I can write? I have no excuse except that I am just enthralled with Accelerate. Here is an interview that Michael, Mike, and Peter did with the country's best interviewer, Terry Gross, on her program Fresh Air. This interview aired back in April. The Fresh Air page also contains links to some brief clips of great REM songs, like Flowers of Guatemala from their album, Life's Rich Pageant. For those of you who are interested in what I do, you might be interested in the interview that aired on Fresh Air the day prior to her REM interview.

I'm overwhelmed, I'm on repeat,
I'm emptied out, I'm incomplete.
You trusted me, I want to show you
I don't want to be the hollow man.

Meanwhile, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, writing over on Observations & Contentions, comments on the theology of the Holy Father, reminding us that our encounter with the resurrected and living Lord "is not simply a private spiritual experience of 'knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.' The Christ encountered is the logos—the word and reason that is both the source and reason of all that is. It is an intensely personal encounter but never just a private encounter. The revelation of God in Christ is emphatically public." In the words of then-Cardinal Ratzinger, delivered in a homily at the funeral of dear Don Gius in 2005, just before the death of JPII: "Christianity is not an intellectual system, a collection of dogmas, or a moral system. Christianity is an encounter, a love story, an event".

Prayer: Lord, I am hollow. Fill me with your Spirit, which is nothing but you and the Father, the fullness of being.

On this Friday, as the sun recedes, I hear echoes of the prayer of Papa Luciani, in which he asks for the grace we seek each time we invoke the most efficacious intercession of the Blessed Virgin, the joy of a happy death. Besides being embedded in the Hail Mary, this grace is also the fruit of the fourth mystery of the Glorious Mysteries of her rosary:

"I am asking you a grace, my Lord.
I would like you to be nearby me when I close my eyes on the earth.
I would like you to hold my hand in yours, as a mother with her child in the hour of danger.
Thank you, my Lord"."

I just can't end on poignant note (the curse of being a 'Merican). So, I offer this gem from Vitus Speaks. Alex's post has the added benefit of being about confession. Hence, it is appropriate for a Friday, even if drop-dead funny, as are so many of Lorenzo's anecdotes.

Oh, and on this the Memorial of St. Athanasius , happy b-day to my oldest son, the aspiring guitarist, of whom I am so proud. He has overcome a lot of obstacles, not the least of which is having me for a Dad. Since we had his party last Saturday, he is spending the evening with his Godfather, Rob, who is no mean guitarist himself, and a dear brother of long-standing.

As St. Irenaeus wrote long ago: "the glory of God is a human being fully alive!"


  1. It is an intensely personal encounter but never just a private encounter. The revelation of God in Christ is emphatically public.

    That is a great little snippet! Yes! So simple and yet holding profound ramifications.

  2. Ha. I guess you couldn't help yerself, Scott. The article on Confession was funny but it was poignant. :)

    The new REM is great.

    God bless you,


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