Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Remembering Curt Wayne, my buddy

Sunday marked the 2nd anniversary of the death of Curtis Wayne - husband, father, artist, lover of life, and my good buddy. I've been thinking about Curt a lot lately. And about Jack Grabowski, another good friend who died the week before Curt. I miss them both here on earth. But what I've been thinking about is their presence in the communion of saints. What are they up to now? Do they still think in the limited terms that I think, or have their minds been introduced to the unfathomable breadth and depth and height of reality without its cloaking devices?

Do they see God face to face? And what of their hearts? My faith tells me that as the accretions of their limited earthly existence disappear, they become more of who they really are. A quietly smiling, robust Curt whose humor and wry creativity reigns free of the shadows of sin. A Jack whose love of books and films translates to unimaginable apprehension of the richness of the human story.

John Prine, a favorite of Curt, says it all. Curt, buddy, this one's for you! AND HOW ABOUT THEM PHILS???

Fish and Whistle, by John Prine

I been thinking lately about the people I meet
The carwash on the corner and the hole in the street
The way my ankles hurt with shoes on my feet
And I'm wondering if I'm gonna see tomorrow.

Father forgive us for what we must do
You forgive us we'll forgive you
We'll forgive each other till we both turn blue
Then we'll whistle and go fishing in heaven.

I was in the army but I never dug a trench
I used to bust my knuckles on a monkey wrench
Then I'd go to town and drink and give the girls a pinch
But I don't think they ever even noticed me.

Fish and whistle, whistle and fish
Eat everything that they put on your dish
And when we get through we'll make a big wish
That we never have to do this again again

On my very first job I said thank you and please
They made me scrub a parking lot down on my knees
Then I got fired for being scared of bees
And they only give me fifty cents an hour.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

iPad versus ObamaPad - kudos to my brother Pic and nephew Nicky!

That's my nephew Nicky up there in the iPad versus ObamaPad video! He and my brother Pic made the video, uploaded it to YouTube, and are sitting back watching it go viral.

So far, it doesn't have as many hits as Pic's Jack Webb Schools Barack Obama video, but it's hit more of a nerve among liberals. has a critique of it in their How the World Works section. My dad would be so pleased! I don't know whether he would have been a liberal or a conservative if he had lived to the year 2010 -- he and my mom were dyed in the wool Democrats their whole life -- but he was an unpublished writer who would have loved the ability ot the Internet to allow anyone to win an audience. He would have liked this.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Why I am a Pauline

I posted a link to Sr. Anne Flanagan's article from the Chicago Tribune, Bearing the Cross of Shame, on my Facebook account. In my introduction, I called Sr. Anne my "Pauline sister" and my buddy Dave Kendrick, seriously or as a joke, said he didn't know my sister was a nun. I wound up writing a longer reply than I'd thought I would. Kinda like President Obama in answer to Doris' question about taxes. (I felt for Obama, reading that Washington Post article. I quite relate to answering with more intensity that one's interlocutors expect or even want.)

But I thought I'd archive it here:
Not a blood sister. But Sr. Anne and I are both members of the Pauline Family of religious orders and institutes founded by Giacomo Alberione. Yes, oddly enough, Rae D'Orazio -- non-Italian speaking 2nd generation Italian -- wound up a lay member of a group that has its roots completely in Italy.

The Paulines are the media nuns and priests. I met up with them at their first National Film Retreat, then joined up with them a few years later. Did a year of inquiry to see if the Pauline charism was suited to me -- oh yeah, using film, television, radio, music to communicate a gospel-eye view of the world, that was a no-brainer for me!

I entered into a formation period and discovered that Fr. Alberione incorporated a very appealing take on Jesus' saying, "I am the way, the truth and the life" into his spiritual teaching. He's got a 3-legged stool analogy of the saying. "Way" stands for Jesus' modeling of the moral and ethical way to live, "truth" for his teachings on existential reality (doctrine), and "life" for his institution of the sacraments. A stool with unbalanced legs will fall. A disciple who thinks Jesus is just an ethical teacher showing us how to live a good life will emphasize "way" to the neglect of "truth" and "life". So they will try like gangbusters to be good but without a clear understanding of how reality is constructed (fuzzy doctrine) and without sanctifying grace from the sacraments. One can make progress on actual grace alone (and many badly catechized Catholics don't even know that such categories as sanctifying and actual grace exist), but you'll be unsteady, like a stool with uneven legs.

Or you'll have people who thinks Jesus is all about doctrine, and they will emphasize "truth" to the neglect of "way" and "life". Doctrine becomes everything to them, and the imitation of Christ and devout reception of the sacraments will fall by the way. So instead of fuzzy-headed disciples you get rigid ones.

And so on. That spirituality was right up my alley. Way, truth and life also relate to the will, the intellect and the heart. Very empowering concept of discipleship.

After two years in formation, I made my Promise as a Pauline lay cooperator in Chicago six years ago. One of the best moves I ever made.