This Lent, my mind has rightly been plunged into a poetic aqueduct, if mostly by the inspiration of pretty girls, and wearing out the old modes of imagery. However, this Wednesday and Thursday I did my best to improve myself in the below sonnet. One motive was its subject: a Catholic girl (hint: her name is in the title). I wanted to reflect solely on her piety, to idealize and perfect reality to serve God and the art of poetry. After some enjoyable toils, I composedGratia in Gratia Dei
The constancy of this white circumference
Where I live, a photographed daisybloom
Borne in ten fingertips, shall yet entomb
My fluidrose emotions' inference
That I am loved, one less from worthy souls.
Like the cup of creamed coffee which I sip
A warming Providence oft calms my lip.
I press my heart each time the mintue tolls
On the maple forest's Gothic watchface,
Very indifferent to my flustering,
Magnified hatred of our blustering
Isolationism, our vague disgrace.
This stable cubic collage sees such ill,
So pray for each blind facet's shift, I will.
I was going for a mixture of the rigid beauty of art studios, rustic windowpanes, silent shadows, and flowery, barely-bridled emotions in my bizarre imagery; my thoughts were of a very young Confederate widow staring on out, with other appropriate emotions attached. If that doesn't make sense, well, thus is the mind of the passionate, depression-stricken male Catholic Traditionalist poet! In any case, it seems like something written by a mixture of Dante Alighieri, Emily Dickinson, and Pablo Neruda, so just try to rationalize it!
There is some good news. My mother got her monthly issue of Bostonia
(Boston University's alumni magazine), and there is an excellent article, "Pray Tell: What Americans Don't Know About Religion And Why They Need To Learn It", by Taylor McNeil. Although written from the perspective of the humanist intelligensia, the author and his subject, Stephen Prothero (writer of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know- and Doesn't
) are no fools: they actually have heard of the Douay-Rheims Bible.
Prothero, a professor, reports that he gives his students a religious literacy quiz- with scores ranging from 0-56/100 in an average sample. Advocating public school education on the Bible and on world religion, he explains what all of us Traditionalists- but many other don't- already know:
"They [his students] don't learn anything in church- that's a huge part of it...They probably go to church as much as the general population, but they're not learning anything there." Young Catholics go to Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes, where they "learn they should be nice to their fellow man and might learn to list the seven sacraments
,"...but they don't know Bible stories." Protestants used to be well versed in the Bible," says Pothero..."Nowadays it's about having a relationship with Jesus- it doesn't matter what he said."
This, I blame on Vativcan II, which attempted to substitute ecumenical, feel-good, made in Tibet for wimps vagueries for REAL, HARDCORE, INDESTRUCTIBLE THOMISTIC THEOLOGY crafted by God Almighty, which has carried this Ark of Faith through every gale and tsunami Lucifer and Luther can fire off. Ladies and gentleman, therein lies our problem.