First, since our beloved Pope Benedict has a full week left with us as our German Shepherd in his office, I will keep the original name and exclusive focus on his writings until February 28. I might mention at this point that I am actually on the road again from this Sunday onwards, heading to Madonna House in England for three weeks of ministry there. Blogging will be ongoing, but may be a bit more sporadic than my usual daily post.
On March 1, though, I will retitle the blog Ten Thousand Places. What on earth do I mean by this title? Well, my two favorite authors (besides Joseph Ratzinger and Catherine de Hueck Doherty) are C.S. Lewis and Gerard Manley Hopkins. My favorite novel of all time is Lewis' Til We Have Faces, to the point where I struggled and strained to find some play on the word 'faces' for the blog that wouldn't sound horribly cheesy, like 'Face to Face' or 'Facing Facts' or 'Face Values'. You all know that I have a terrible loathing of puns and would never stoop so low as to make one. I would lose face by doing so.
So I went searching for Hopkins quotes instead. Having considered and rejected such possibilities as 'Deep Down Things' (which sets the bar a bit too high for me, I think), 'All Things Counter, Original, Spare, Strange' (that one almost got me, I have to admit!) and 'Dayspring to the Dimness' (I would be the dimness, Christ the dayspring in that one), I then found this most lovely and beloved poem:
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;Bingo, says I. My intent is to expand the blog from Ratzinger outward to other authors, other beautiful Christians reflecting Christ in manifold ways, with my own running commentary babbling alongside them. And here we have - Christ is ten thousand places, lovely in... men's FACES.
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves -- goes itself; _myself_ it speaks and spells,
Crying _What I do is me: for that I came_.
I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is --
Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.
And so this will be the new blog, beginning on March 1 - Ten Thousand Places, with the tag line of 'To the Father through the features of men's faces.' So now you know.