Orbiting Dicta

 
 
 
Preaching
The words of scripture today present us with a helpful corrective to much of the talk that has crowded the airwaves during the last several weeks – actually several months. If you are like me, you are now pretty tired of hate-filled speech, recriminations, name-calling, and reciprocal accusations. The country seems to have entered a era in which civility, much less truth-telling, has become outmoded. So if we are to believe that the words of scripture are meant for us today as always, we might well pay attention. Otherwise, why are we listening to them at all? All three readings take up the challenge of dealing with our brothers and sisters respectfully and honestly. The first reading from the Book of Leviticus provides Jesus with the greatest of all his commandments. And the gospel takes us to the heart of the Sermon on the Mount, the core of Jesus’ teaching about how we are to treat one another. No exceptions.  Read more...

Quote of the Day

Take care, then, not consciously to do or say anything which, if all the world were to know it, you could not acknowledge and say, ‘Yes, that was what I did or that was what I said.' —Louis IX of France



From My Photo Album
Cairo continues to watch over me. Here he is checking the fridge for possible intruders. (Or is he just trying to keep cool?)
Recent Blog Posts
As the new President slowly and painfully fills the slots in his cabinet and administrative staff (apparently numbered around 700), it has become unmistakably clear who’s now in charge. Between ex-Wall Street bankers, vulture funders and hedgers, not to say former “employees” of Goldman Sachs (so instrumental in engineering the Great Recession of 2008), the most avaricious plutocrats in recent times have all but taken over the US government at the highest level.   Read more...
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s expression said it all. That followed the excruciating ordeal of being manhandled by one of Donald Trump’s infamous handshakes during his weekend visit to Washington to mend fences (as opposed to building walls). What Trump failed to realize is that public physical contact is not felt as a positive experience in ordinary Japanese culture, Sumo wrestling notwithstanding. Even married couples refrain from holding hands when walking side-by-side on city streets. Shaking hands is at best tolerated. It is also not common for Japanese men and women to indicate emotion by facial expression. The depth of distress experienced by the Prime Minister could be read in his look of embarrassment and, let it be said, relief when released from the American president’s grip. May his country do as well.   Read more...
Watching US developments from a distance as Trump began filling his cabinet positions with corporate raiders, ultra-wealthy bankers and financiers, assorted tycoons, white supremacists and retired generals, it was hard to escape the feeling that the angry middle-class white males from the rust belt and other depressed zones of the heartland who turned to Trump for “change” are in for a big surprise as the reins of power are increasingly turned over to the upper percent of the One Percent.   Read more...
Donald Trump’s consideration of retired General David Petraeus for Secretary of State provides an ironic statement on gender issues, not say the game of thrones or at least cabinet chairs.   Read more...
Recent Publications
The new revised edition of The Spirituality of the Celtic Saints is now available from New Priory Press.