Blogging Burn Out or so it seems. I'm not reading much these days and my posting has been little as far as content goes these days. Besides, it's hot here in Santa Fe these days, and I don't think they'd let me move into Starbucks for the AC. I've been escaping from the heat by going for an Iced Venti Chai and writing (or trying to write) for an hour or so in the cool, refreshing land of refrigerated air.
So, here I am outside in my backyard (thank God we have no humidity in New Mexico), and I just spent the evening reading some of Fr. James Martin's newest posts over at America.
The Mysteries of Childhood made me think about my own childhood back in the mid-to-late 70s and how innocent and easy it all seemed. My mom stayed home, I grew up a neighborhood with a whole bunch of kids and our parents would late us play in the cul-de-sac till it got dark. We actually played. None of us had video games or any of the stuff kids have now. None of us were latch-key kids, though my generation was the first for that. We all had married parents, we were all Cathol ic and our experiences were all pretty much alike. It's funny, now that my friends have kids, their children's childhoods are/were so different. I really could relate to Fr. Martin's perspective in the article.
Then I read a piece he wrote criticizing an article in the New Yorker about Nuns. I don't have a subscription to the New Yorker so I couldn't read it all, but the snippet Fr. Martin posted was enough to leave a bad taste in my mouth. I then followed his links in the article and read a piece he wrote several years ago about Anti-Catholicism.
For me, Anti-Catholicism was something I never experienced on a personal level. I was never ridiculed for being Catholic. I had some misguided attempts to be converted or saved by family members or friends who left the church, but they were never nasty about it.
I learned about places where Anti-Catholicism was prevelant in my history classes, but it was always distant, far from my own experience. As I said, everyone I knew was Catholic, my hometown is historically Catholic and so, no one ever dared to preach intolerance or hate against Catholics here. Now, you find some churches, pastors and others preaching certain messages. But I never knew it existed before till I hopped on the Internet and in my wanderings stumbled upon it. I think I've said this here before, but still, it astonishes me how it is acceptiable to pick on Catholics.
I really hate the protrayals of our religious and priests in TV/Movies and Books. And the thing is, if you find a positive portrayal of say a priest in a novel or a movie, someone is always looking for a scandal. As a writer, and looking back on my fiction, I've noticed that it's highly Catholic or heavily influenced by my Catholic upbringing. Not all my characters are "good, practicing Catholics" but they're Catholic by culture, history, tradition and experiences. I probably am writing to a limited audience, but hopefully an audience who can appreciate my take on the faith. And my priest character, sad to say, is happy, well-adjusted and won't get caught up in any kind of scandal.
Anyway, I will say again how much I enjoy Fr. Martin's writings and his thoughts over at America.
There are still a few Novena posts I want to finish and if anyone is interested I'll still post the slideshow I still intend on putting together.