The Sun White Citrus Collection

Mountains & Deserts

Friday, October 24, 2008

Replacing the '98.6' hit song with '91.7'

Northern Observer: "P Dubby aka Harbor Star was arrested last night for allegedly stealing music lyrics and posting a shocking music video on You Tube."

"Criminal investigators are looking into a local case regarding P Dub's involvement with the 1967 hit 98.6 by Keith. A Spokesman for PD claims that his miranda rights were violated and that musical adaptations are legal under the common law Public Domain (Trad.) clause. A bootleg video has been obtained but due to legal copyright and authorship, Judge C.R. Magney has refused a release to the public. P Dubby's court appearance is scheduled on October 31st, in Grand Rapids, MN District Court. "

It really works! If your favorite song lyric contains a radio station frequency or "baby", try replacing it with 91.7FM, Jesus, or Mary. Not only will this provide the opportunity for unique interpretations, it will encourage you to support Authentic Local Radio KAXE!

Sing along and have fun!

Good evenin' moon I say it's good to see you shinin'
I know Blessed Mary brought you to me
She prayed for me yesterday hello your silver glowin'
Got autumn and winter runnin' through me

Hey 91.7 it's good to hear you once again, oh
Hey 91.7 her love's the medicine that saved me
Oh I love my Mary

Hey K..A..X..E…... I see you’re beamin’
Must be because I found my Mary
You know she's got me floating… On The River
I want to go to where it takes me

Hey 91.7 it's good to hear you once again oh
Hey 91.7 her love's the medicine that saved me
Oh I love my Mary

You know she's got me floating… On The River
I want to go to where it takes me

Hey 91.7 it's good to hear you once again, oh
Hey 91.7 her love's the medicine that saved me
Oh I love my Mary

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Is Acedia Really The Eighth Deadly Sin?

Tonight on KAXE 91.7FM, radio host and producer Heidi Holton interviewed author Kathleen Norris on her book- Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life. Although it was brief interview- those interested in Psychology,Writing, Relationships, Christian monasticism, Prayer, and perhaps even that old nemisis Existentialism may find this of interest.

Kathleen’s book has been described as “a personal and moving memoir that resurrects the ancient term acedia, or soul-weariness, and brilliantly explores its relevancy to the modern individual and culture..” (Amazon)

Unfortunately I haven’t read the book yet but I did have few thoughts on the interview. No doubt these will evolve as I explore this topic futher.

["Great interview with Kathleen Norris. So many interesting little discussions and there was so much potential for sideboard discussion tangents as well.

Words are important.

I appreciate that you & Kathleen fleshed out the definition of acedia. It’s so important to know the origin of a word and it’s context.

Although there are similarities defined in modern psychology, it’s important to think about how early monastic Christian monks though about this state of mind. This continues even today. In fact, Mother Teresa experienced this state for much of her life. That might surprise many because outwardly- in her relationship with her sisters, in her amazing work with the poor- she was a radiant, loving human being. But in her book 'Come Be My Light' we get a deeper and more profound understanding of acedia I think.

I wouldn’t necessarily consider acedia on the same level as the seven deadly sins (including anger, pride, lust, etc.) although I could be wrong here. Still, Kathleen used words like dryness, apathy....a “spiritual morphine” to define acedia and these are very important. I’ve often heard the term the 'dark night of the soul.' Perhaps they’re similar or maybe I’m off on my own tangent.

For me, the discussion pointed directly to my relationship with God. Not that there isn’t a number of practical areas in my life where acedia might apply directly- negative thoughts & self-image, political apathy, family issues, work. But, I found myself considering how to deal with acedia in terms of prayer life rather than psychology. A grounded prayer life should focus on the Psalms and Gospels as a means for listening to the divine Word of God rather than simply memorizing passages to deal with daily situations. Christian Tradition calls it “Lectio Divina”-a slow, contemplative approach to reading and praying scripture. A means of opening ourselves to God.


I was hoping that the discussion of acedia could have touched upon that a little more, but I certainly understand the sensibility and broad direction of Kathleen’s approach to the subject.Your discussion of Merton’s quote, 'It takes real courage to recognize that we ourselves are the cause of our own unhappiness' .... was spot on."]


US Catholic
Penguin Group

Now... enjoy this from a gifted artist with a good dose of "ennui".

It is such a privilege for us to have such a dedicated radio producer as HH. You can listen to her interview at the Real Good Word’s archive.

On a side note-- the literature world continues to graple with the topic of sin as well. Listen to National Public Radio's October 18th interview with author Sharon Dolin on new book of poetry entitled Burn and Dodge. Less of an academic unfolding, Dolin's book lifts sin up to the light of the conscious allowing us a glimpse into the multitude of creative little narratives. Her poems are strikingly imaginative. Playful yet brave enough to look you straight in the eye.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Marian Eucharistic Congress

Every two years folks in the Fargo Diocese put on this wonderful event. I am very fortunate to attend now for a second time. What is a Marian Eucharistic Congress you ask?

["The Marian Eucharistic Congress is a gathering of people who come together to reflect on the Treasure of the Catholic Church. Holy Mass, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, prayer, talks, and teachings make up this two and a half day spirit-filled weekend. It is a time to show our love and devotion to Jesus in the Sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist, and to understand and appreciate the role His Mother, Mary, has in this Great Mystery; to promote a greater love for Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar; and, to endeavor to make reparation for the outrages which have been committed against His Divine Presence in the Tabernacle. A powerhouse of enthusiastic speakers and musicians will charge up your "faith batteries." It is a weekend to assist us getting through troubled times, and to look beyond an often-times difficult world."]

For those of you who are interested, I'll take some photos. Some of the speakers include well known priests like Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR (my personal favorite), Fr. Andrew Apostoli CFR and Fr. Mitch Pacwa SJ from EWTN. The always charming and charismatic Fr. Bill Halbing is back too. Yippee!

Here's a sampling of Fr. Halbing's gift:

2008 Marian Eucharistic Congress by HarborStar

Roman Catholic Benediction from Stephen M. Kessinger on Vimeo.

Pray for me that I may listen to and understand our Father's Word.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"I no longer needed to get something, I needed to give something."

October, 2008 marks the 60th anniversary publication of Thomas Merton’s, The Seven Story Mountain— an expressive and influential autobiography of the definitive spiritual and Catholic vocational experience. Maybe you remember, perhaps you dreamed or read about, or even cursed it.

I do.... and I continue to praise the book to this day(not the last one silly).

Writer Mark Sullivan wrote a revealing article in the September 28th edition of Our Sunday Visitor (OSV). In the opening text, He quotes author Paul Elie ("The Life You Save May Be Your Own"-Farrar Strauss and Giroux) summarizing the importance Merton has on modern culture "The Seven Story Mountain describes what it feels like to be in the grip of God. Merton makes you feel that not only is religious experience real and possible, but that it is necessary, vital and attractive, the center of life, just as Catholic tradition insists that it is…"

And this is where it begins.

I have my mom to thank for introducing me to Merton. Age sixteen I believe. This was was my first experience reading Merton’s narrative. I don’t recall the book having much of an influence, not like it does today. At sixteen I was just trying to fit in. Because I read it then... as a teen, I sincerely believe the transformative blessings of the book began to resonate...... into my adult years, long after I forgot about Merton's trial. There would be many years in between readings too. Not college.... nor even a blissful relationship.... did I reflect on the Seven Story Mountain. Not until 08. A current time. Merton’s narrative bell (perhaps gong) rings when I least expect it. Is that why I never parted with my HBJ 78’ edition copy?

Yes I said in 83, 86, 90, 98, 08. Time to dig into this or that chapter, contemplate the vocational calling.

This little book made it through several moves too. From house to house, neighborhood to city, to Europe and back. Always there in my imagination, stuffed away sure. But to my surprise, I usually found it at the top of the "Mayflower Transit" packing boxes.

Today my tattered copy barely remains in the jacket. The pages are beginning to show the slightest signs of yellowing paper. Earmarks are plentiful. So are the many underlined, starry eyed paragraphs and sentences. I'm fond of the little pen notes in the margins- from 78 to 08. Things like-"The function of art", "Virtues", Putting yourself in the Passion", "Representation of poverty manifested through Harlem", "The purpose of community", "St. Therese", "The crux of conversion" On and on they go. Thirty years of quotes. They read like my own spiritual development- turns and bends in the pilgrim road. Obstacles. Stumbling blocks. Insights are here too. So is Grace.

Here’s just one of my favorite paragraph’s. My margin note- "Merton’s conversion of heart (circa 1990?)…

"For now, in these days, I was often alone in the chapel, under those plain beams, watching the quiet Tabernacle, and things began to speak inside me. This time, it was a much deeper impulsion, the expression of a much profounder need. It was not a movement of appetite— intellectual if you like, but still of appetite towards some good that could be seen and felt and enjoyed: a form of life, a religious existence, a habit, a Rule. It was not a desire to see myself vested in this or that kind of a monastery. It was something quite different. I no longer needed to get something, I needed to give something."

Although written from a male perspective, I am certain that women will enjoy this book. In fact, many secular and religious women have commented on it over the years. So has the music world. In 1981, Joan Baez recorded music to the words of Thomas Merton:


Sweet brother, if I do not sleep
My eyes are flowers on your tomb
And if I cannot eat my bread
My fasts shall live like willows where you died.
If in the heat I find no water for my thirst,
My thirst shall turn to springs for you, poor traveler.

Come, in your labor find a resting place
And in my sorrows lay your head
Brother, take my life and bread
And buy yourself a better bed
Take my breath and take my death
Buy yourself a better rest beneath the bells of Gethsemani

When all the men of war are killed
And flags have fallen into dust
Your cross and mine will tell men still
He died on each for both of us
That we might become the brothers of God
And learn to know the Christ of burnt men
And the children are ringing the bells of Gethsemani

For in the wreckage of your April Christ lies slain
He weeps in the ruins of my spring
The money of whose tears shall fall
Into your weak and friendless hand,
And buy you back to your own land
The silence of whose tears shall fall
Like bells upon your alien tomb
Hear them and come, they call you home
And the children are ringing the bells of Gethsemani

Yes, if they had been there
They would have taken that crown of thorns from his hair
And stayed for a while in that place of despair
Ah, but what do I see, my brother is there
And he's ringing the bells of Gethsemani

Recently, singer-Songwriter Kate Campbell along with Spooner Oldham recorded a beautiful prayer song on Merton’s words on her album "For the Living of these Days".

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going
I do not see the road ahead of me
I cannot know for certain where it will end
Nor do I really know myself
And the fact that I think that I am following your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so
But I believe that the desire to please you
Does in fact please you
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire
And I know that if I do this
You will lead me by the right road
Though I may know nothing about it

Therefore I will trust you always
Though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death
I will not fear for you are ever with me
And you will never leave me to face my perils alone

Thoughts in Solitude© 1958 Abbey of Gethsemani

Thomas Merton’s The Seven Story Mountain is available at your local independent bookseller. Give it a read this Fall.


The Merton Institute
Thomas Merton Blogs
Thomas Merton Internet Bibliography

1968 Merton- "You say goodbye, and I say hello"