The Way Back Machine

A 7 Quick Takes Post sponsored by Jennifer Fulwiler on her Conversion Diary blog.

Way Back 2(1)

I decided to return to blogging, though on a part-time basis. I’m not sure why since I have little more to say than when I left off nearly two months ago. I’m not sure why because, in planning such a return, I would have liked to have had two or three months preparation time, time to do much more reading than I’ve done this year, and time to get a few posts put together ahead of time. In any case, I guess the spirit moveth where it listeth, so here I am back with a partial restart of the blog. In other words, I may not return to a full schedule of posts until January or thereabouts, if at all.


You will notice that the blog has a new name. A while back, I questioned how things on this site fit together and furthered some purpose. While away, it dawned on me that Hilaire Belloc had come up with the perfect title way back in 1902 or thereabouts. The Path to Rome was exactly what I was hoping to write about, my own path to Rome. My original intent was to share the experience, my own experience, of conversion, a conversion that is still very much on-going and far from completed at that Easter Vigil in 1995 when I made things official. I’m still in conversion and still on the path to Rome, so, I’m stealing a title from Old Thunder, like a thief in the night. I hope he doesn’t mind too much.


I won’t abandon projects previously started, especially having some focus on good Catholic books. I may broaden the scope a little to focus on good books in general, but I think that’s still fair. Books were an essential part of my conversion and, I think, necessary for continued conversion. The old computer slogan, GIGO, applies very much to one on the path to Rome. It’s important to have good things to feed our minds with in order not to get sidetracked.


A further development: In the next week or two, I’m hoping to try the Latin Mass again. There are a few logistical obstacles to doing so, time and distance being primary among them; the Mass isn’t offered at a great time for my wife and some meds she has to take, and the FSSP parish here is 15 miles or more away. Also, I still find Latin a daunting proposition even though I’ve begun the study of the language. However, knowledge of the Extraordinary Form seems to be a missing piece in my formation as a Catholic. I can’t help but think it’s something, on the order of the Pledge of Allegiance for American citizens, the every Catholic should know intimately. I’ll update here as appropriate.


Speaking of learning Latin, I found this little couplet that perfectly describes my feelings about it:

Latin is a language as dead as dead can be,
First it killed the Romans, now it’s killing me.


I will also be updating my clarinet studies as time goes on. There have been ups and downs but my teacher seems generally satisfied with how things are going. He made an interesting comment on Saturday last. He said he enjoyed our sessions because “(I) get it.” He was mostly referring to keeping tempo and understanding something about musical notation, not any particular virtuosity I am displaying as a clarinetist. But that wasn’t the interesting part. He told me he has students who can’t count, one who can’t even count to two. We didn’t have time to get into details, though I couldn’t help but wonder if this is a sign of the quality of education these days, or a symptom of a lack of coordination due to kids playing too many video games and not being out exploring in the woods. I found it an intriguing comment and would love to know more.


Tuesday was the feast of St. Jerome. In the readings from Vigils for the day, there is a passage from St. Jerome’s homily on Isaiah, the one where he says, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” But that wasn’t the part that struck me as most interesting. In the homily, he also describes sound waves striking a persons eardrum. It’s amazing how smart those old folks really were.


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