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Archive for July, 2005

The Supreme Court vacancy finally gave me the motivation I needed to get this old essay of mine, Nothing at the Center, online. It’s about the metaphysical hole in the American scheme. That link is to my web site (it’s way too long for a blog post). I’ll also be putting it in the CeT archive in the next day or two, but I’m out of lunch hour.

Maclin Horton

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Actually a Sunday morning journal, with a Tuesday afternoon update.

Maclin Horton

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…I get it. I understand we are dependent on nature. I understand we’re a prideful civilization that thinks it can simply remake nature to suit us. I understand that we need reminders of this from time to time. Really, I do. I do.

Now please call off the hurricanes.

This is spooky. We’ve never had to worry about hurricanes this early in the year. Moreover, of the three named storms that have already hit, two came very near us, and this new one is presently headed straight for us.

Prayers appreciated.

Maclin Horton

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Life-Giving Passion

On Friday, July 1, my bride gave birth to our fifth child and fourth son. We named him Michael Seraphim: Michael after the Archangel and after my brother, and Seraphim after St. Seraphim of Sarov, a favorite saint who lived and prayed deep in the spruce forests of 19th century Russia.

He weighed 8 pounds and 7 ounces, which is large for my wife, Michelle, who is slender and fine-boned. Hers is a delicate beauty, though it is a delicacy that hides great strength.

Labor was arduous, and I looked on, like most expectant fathers, with a mixture of haplessness and helplessness, desperately wanting to participate and at the same time not wanting to get in the way.

We are such outsiders, we men, entering only briefly to plant a seed, then watching from afar as the mysteries unfold deep inside the woman, and again from afar as they break forth into the world in violence and pain.

Watching my wife struggling in life-bearing agony, I prayed and tried to keep fear at bay. And I thought of Christ, laboring on the cross in life-bearing agony, giving birth to the Church. Through the ages mystics from Anselm to Bernard to Julian have called him "Christ the Mother" and have seen the cross in terms of birth pains, the water and the blood pouring from Our Lord’s side as the water and blood of birth. The image had occured to me in previous labors, but for some reason it was particularily vivid during Michael Seraphim’s birth. I felt like a witness to the same sort of heroic struggle as Christ’s, the same
sort of life-and-death battle.

It seemed it would never end; Michelle had emptied herself, was utterly spent, and still the baby had not come, when suddenly everything happened at once and there before us was this new and fresh life, looking like he had been rudely awakened from a dream state, or had been transported from another world. I wondered if we look like that to the angels when we die and enter the celestial world, all strange and wondering.

Michelle, who had looked so haggard and near death during labor, looked all at once fresh, radiant. The baby gazed long and searchingly into her eyes- the image Von Balthasar used to describe contemplation.

And it was only later that I realized that the hard part of her labor, the agonizing part, was almost exactly three hours, the same time span as Christ’s Passion on the Cross…

Daniel Nichols

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Independence Day and Indian Larry

America falling off its motorcycle.

Maclin Horton

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The Court Vacancy

There is of course an enormous amount one could say about the arrival of this long-anticipated situation. I think I’ll confine myself to suggesting that we pray for the President and his advisors, that the Holy Spirit would get a word in edgewise in the decision they’re about to make or perhaps have already made.

I doubt it would be news to anyone who reads this blog that there are an awful lot of people out here for whom the possibility of a change in the direction of the Supreme Court is the main or only reason they have voted for the Republican in recent presidential elections. If Bush lets them/us down this time, the sense of betrayal will be enormous and permanent. It’s hard to imagine the conditions being better in the foreseeable future for confirmation of a nominee who would at a minimum vote against the over-reaching social dictates of some of the justices.

Confirmation will be another story. The better the nominee from the pro-life point of view, the bloodier the confirmation battle.

For lots more in this vein, see this thread at Open Book .

Maclin Horton

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