Slattery's Midtown Pub, 8 E. 36th Street. No, not swilling rotgut vodka gimlets: giving a talk hosted by Theology on Tap, a program of lectures given by a number of local dioceses, often featuring noted spiritual leaders and religious academics. Obviously, they're taking a break from that model with me, and I'm tickled pink to be speaking at a bar, especially since the title of my talk is "Divine Intoxication."
Tuesday, September 21st, at 7:00, I'm doing a "Face-to-Face" with the faithful, charismatic, learned, and by all accounts exceedingly kind (and funny) Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete. Here's an interview Msgr. Albacete gave to Robert Wright (author of (the largely anti-God) The Evolution of God) for Meaning of Life TV.
Check out the part where Wright brings up Benedict XVI.
"I kept thinking, where is Joey?" the Monsignor remarks.
"Yeah, he's Pope," Wright affirms and almost laughs, which if you've ever seen Robert Wright (who I met once and very much liked), is a miracle one step down from the Virgin Birth.
Wednesday I'll tape a segment with Deacon Greg Kandra of NET NY, a faith-centered cable TV network based in Brooklyn. Deacon Kandra worked for CBS for years and has now fully given his life to God and thereby discovered (after I begged him to have me on his show) me. In between, I look forward to meeting new friend Rita Simmonds, and her family and pals, in the flesh; and am apparently going to be eating, drinking coffee, and chatting (possibly simultaneously) every spare minute. I was in NY for two weeks last summer and spent the whole time wandering around by myself to Mass, public gardens, and the Cloisters. This will be a different kind of trip.
As Jung observed, the Latin word spiritus is the same for the most depraving poison and the highest religious experience. Everything is a religious experience to me, in its way, and preparing for my visit, I thought of Lou Reed's "I'm Waiting for the Man." Reed waited at the corner of Lexington and 125th for his dealer. I used to do a lot of waiting myself, though my "man" was the guy behind the counter at Jobi's Liquor or the bartender at Sullivan's Tap in Boston. Now I wait for another Man. And I'm filled with joy at the prospect of meeting a bunch of people who, on the other side of the continent, are waiting for Him, too.