Friday, January 23, 2009


My first class of Baseball as a Road to God took place last Tuesday. We talked about the books we read; the discussion lead by James Traub. It was a wonderful discussion but someone (logically) expanded a point I made about the Kinsella book. I was talking about a connection between Gideon’s experience and that of the Indian philosophers who came up with the concept of a release from karma, of moksha.

Because of the cyclical nature of the book and Gideon’s role in the story I said something about how he had been perpetually trapped in a cycle of time travel and experience and that because this time around he was learning more about the game and about Drifting Away he realized that Drifting Away had suffered more than he had. This knowledge led to the breaking of the cycle and showed an evolution of thought surrounding sacred time similar to that of the Indian philosophers and elite.

Someone then took this to the next logical step and said that religion, then, is something that traps people in an ignorant, painful place and that only through knowledge can we escape it. The Catholic in me, simply the religious/spiritual person in me, was very struck by this idea which has been around but which I hadn’t had to grapple with or deal with, especially as something that would lead from something I had said.

It took me the rest of the class to find a way to rebuke this and I didn’t have the opportunity to do so in class. What I figured out was that while it looks like religion can seem to trap people in ignorance it doesn’t. What does, though, is when man uses religion as a means to other ends outside of the spiritual, outside of love and salvation. When someone uses the church as tool to control thoughts or achieve their own goals, for it is only when kept ignorant that people will allow something like that to happen. Neither religion, nor the church, work to perpetuate ignorance except for when man uses it to do so.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I’m writing my Kairos talk, or trying to anyway. It’s easy and difficult at the same time. Easy because it’s easy enough to write about yourself, especially when you’ve got a task. Difficult because it’s hard to know how to say what you think you want to say to say what you think you should so that the retreatants get what they should be getting out of the talk, if that makes any sort of sense. It’s hard, too, because many of the talks I heard on my Kairos revolved around great personal tragedies and I don’t have experiences like that. I also don’t know how many typed pages make an hour’s worth of talking, or if I should even type it out anyway. I wanted to be further with it (beyond draft one) at this point, but I procrastinated and so I've got to make up time I suppose.


Part of my procrastination was the nifty picture on the side. I made it at using a couple different prayers. They size each word according to how many times it is used in relation to how many times the other words are used.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

First Post

I’ve been doing a good amount of reading for my class with President Sexton, Baseball as a Road to God. One book is called The Sacred and the Profane and the other is The Iowa Baseball Confederacy. The first is academic, the second fiction. Guess which one I like more.

While it isn’t my favorite of the two, The Sacred and the Profane is interesting in small doses. I don’t really know what the author’s point is because he didn’t often compare the sacred and the profane but usually expounded on the ways that the religious man experiences the Sacred in everyday life. He uses myriad religions to show is point that for the religious man everything in life is Sacred because everything is a symbol, everything represents something that is connected to the creation or to the God(s). He says that modern man experiences this on a much smaller scale than primitive man, which makes sense due to our reliance on technology and their reliance on nature, and being able to read natural signs instead of

I think, though, that there are often opportunities for modern religious man to see the Sacred in his everyday life. A child’s smile, the perseverance of a weed growing in a sidewalk crack, the many moments of charity, the graffiti encouraging one to follow his dreams,  all these could been connected to the origin stories, to the cosmologies, to the Sacred.

As more of what both books say sinks in, and as we discuss them in class, I’m sure I’ll have more to say. I mostly wanted to just get something written, to get this blog started.