Sunday, August 7, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
francis of course was also noticeably anti-bookish; no psalters allowed for his little brothers. (obviously the franciscans did not continue that tradition.) even then i had a psalter. indeed, i had three books. then i read a bit about s. dominic, and found that he not only allowed the brothers of his order to have books, but encouraged them to stay up late at night and read. so my franciscan poverty became a dominican poverty. in rich fat america, it's easy to find books for free, of for less than a piece of pie. there were always several free boxes in bellingham. now that i live in the ozarks, there's the hillspeak pass along program, with about 30,000 free books.
now if of course know that these books aren't 'mine' and i share them, and give them away, and pass them along. but i am no longer free. now, i must provide shelter for hundreds and hundreds of books that i think of as relics, not only in the sense that they contain the thoughts of many wonderful men and women who put their hearts and minds into the words saved on all these printed pages, but also because they almost all of them have belonged to and been read by people before me. one can feel the thoughts and prayers of those who have read them before. they are an important part of my connection to the communion of saints.
and yet. and yet i know that mies van der rohe was right: less is more. st. francis was right: we don't live in houses. st. dominic's poverty is good for some, but for me it mostly a temptation for more pie, and the excuse to indulge in eating. the good news is always the same. repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. perhaps never has it been said better than by the indigo girls: