Friday, October 26, 2012


I thought I had hit upon a point of view that probably nobody else in the world had ever held before. It was a purifying, beautiful, joyous sensation of anger that I felt, and I knew for the first time that I could feel passionately about an idea. Something had blazed in me, and from the blaze I discovered a new element in myself, a combustible something that would always blaze again in defense of the mystery and sacredness in things, and against the queer, blind, blaspheming streak in human nature which instead of adoring, must vulgarize and exploit and insult life.

--Katharine Butler Hathaway, The Little Locksmith


  1. Wow! I get this. At age 50, I am currently going through RCIA to become Catholic. I was born and raised in a protestant family. Your message resonates with me. When I tell people, their reaction puts me on the defensive...and I find myself explaining it. As I start my little speech, I realize that i am speaking from the heart. I'm angry that I have to defend my choice, but filled with the joy of knowing that I truly believe every word I say.

  2. When I was growing up, my parents never tried to persuade me that Santa Claus was real. It was an open secret that Santa Claus was really Mom and Dad. Yet when I reached 7th grade, I found myself defending the existence of Santa Claus against the implacable scorn of other 7th graders. I felt that even though Santa Claus doesn't exist, he ought to, and he ought to put his detractors on the naughty list. I felt that there was something sacred about Santa, something mysterious and true that was lost by simply saying he wasn't real. It wasn't that I wanted others to admit he was real; I wanted them to admit that they didn't know everything, that things might exist beyond their ken, things even magical or uncanny.

  3. Debra, although I am not Catholic and was also raised protestant, I have recently developed an interest in Catholicism and have begun to explore and journey in that direction. In fact, earlier tonight I began writing a piece about my experiences in my fascination with Catholicism so far. If you're interested in checking it out, it's at:

  4. Debra and Alicia, glad to see you're simpatico.

    And Chip, that is beautiful! I love that you defended Santa Claus not so much qua Santa Claus, but because we are all pledged to defend mystery and wonder. That is what the Church defends. I think that is exactly my Christ tells us repeatedly that we need to become like little children. And I think that is why or part of why Karl Rahner observed, "The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all." If wonder and mystery are not at the core of our belief, everything devolves into a shouting match...


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