January 2008

Kids are too cute 🙂

I went to the University as usual this morning and there was this school class getting on the train. I guess they were seven, maybe eight year olds. I was sitting reading when one young girl couldn’t help herself from informing me that she had skates in her bag.

– Great so you are going skating then?
– No, I will not!!! She replied.
– ???
– She fell last time we where skating, her friend explained.
– Yeah, I brought the skates if I should change my mind. But I won’t change my mind, the first girl said.
– Yeah she won’t, the other girl said.
– Yeah. I won’t. I hurt my tooth.
– Yeah.
– Yeah.

The girl gave me a big smile and I saw that one of her front teeth was half cut of, I supposed it happened when she fell. I said I felt sorry for her, but perhaps she could try to skate anyway. She insisted she wouldn’t. The other girl wanted some time in the spotlight too, and said that she had lost a tooth too.

– Look, she said.

I looked at her missing tooth and said I couldn’t see it. She seemed very proud. We went on discussing teeth awhile, then one of the girls asked me, right out of the blue:

– Do you know something about homeless people? They don’t have any toys, you know. If they have children their children have toys, but themselves … Homeless people have no toys.

She lowered her voice:
– That is no toys at all.


The borders of these kids empathy was not the lack of love, merely their understanding of the world. Who am I to say I understand this world? I really don’t. Who am I not to learn from these kids: – The borders of my compassion suddenly seemed far to mature and judgmental.


Is the TLM a better liturgy than the Novo Ordo?

I have noticed that many converts, especially young ones, are very interested in the “Traditional mass” (=as before the 1970s). I’m not really sure why this is. I love the way the mass used to be celebrated. It is a connection through time to other Catholics. I can be close to persons from the past, because I know they have experienced the same as I in such a liturgy. But sometimes, people start to put these two ways of celebrating mass against each other.

I mean changes is a part of life and the Catholic Church is in constant change as well as it always have been true and rock solid at heart. Liturgies have changed. Pope Benedict has time and time again pointed out the importance of the traditional Latin mass but not as a divider within the church. I believe there is a reason that the pope refers to the Tridentine rite and the Novo Ordo as being different forms of the same rite: The ordinary and the extraordinary. Most people I know who visits the extraordinary form  does so  without having lost the love to the ordinary form, but when young traditionalists, (often converts just like me) believe there view is somehow more correct than other peoples view: I get worried.

Fulton J. Sheen commenting a Solemn High Mass in 1941

When I visit mass I do not wish it to be a statement about being a Traditional Catholic from the 1980’s, an Old Catholic from the 1880’s, or a Lutheran trying to preserve a more ancient form of celebrating mass from the 1580’s. When I go to mass I only wish to be a part of the Catholic Church. Through time and space.

You know, I’m very far from being interested in the Charismatic movement but this is like the Charismatics tried to make their way of worship the only acceptable, which – most of them- don’t. I hope the Traditionalists can learn something about being humble, from the Charismatics. Friends I’ve met, both in real life and on the web (e.g. one blogger on my blog roll) have taught me respect towards their movement by being persons with respect and humbleness toward others. Why is this not the case with young traditionalists I have met? Why do they seem to be so preoccupied with trying to teach us things, instead of trying to learn from life? Is it merely because they are young or has it it’s causes in the Traditionalistic movement?

I deeply believe we all need to be humble. Traditional, charismatic or just plain ordinary… There is enough room for all of us.

And what do you think? Is the TLM a better or fuller liturgy than the Novo Ordo?

In Progress

Ten years ago it seemed impossible
That she could ever grow as calm as this,
With self-remembrance in her warmest kiss
And dim dried eyes like an exhausted well.

Slow-speaking when she has some fact to tell,
Silent with long-unbroken silences,
Centred in self yet not unpleased to please,
Gravely monotonous like a passing bell.

Mindful of drudging daily common things,
Patient at pastime, patient at her work,
Wearied perhaps but strenuous certainly.

Sometimes I fancy we may one day see
Her head shoot forth seven stars from where they lurk
And her eyes lightning and her shoulders wings.

I love this Christina Rossetti poem. It’s from 1862, but it wasn’t published until 1896. Do you, just as I, find it pleasent to ponder how you move forwards in life? Or at least sideways… (When I come to think of it: Any spatial movement is a reason to celebrate!) 😉

I do love to read this poem out loud, very slow, resting at the sounds from the end of the lines, like the sound of the letter S as if it where the snake from Paradise.

Omvänd Bortbyting
You’re like a child in a new playground… Not sure where to go.

I moved around quite often when I was a kid and I remember that when we moved I used to think that the movement in space also was a moment for renewal. KInd of like the confession, rebooting yourself. When I was nine years old I even asked my mother to help me out and help me make a fake “bautasten”, a large stone just like the one Obelix used to carry.

I guess I was a kid with a lot of fantasy. I pictured how the kids at the new place we where moving to would all see me carrying that giant (wool?) stone thinking it was a real and heavy one and I imagined that the kids at the new place would get so impressed and they would think that this nine year old kid called Joakim was really really strong. They would think I was just like Obelix: Strong and kind.

My mother never made me that stone and instead of being famous at my new school I was just like most of the other boys: Neither very strong, nor very kind.

My actual rolemodel as a kid.

I know I’m a ponderer… Sometimes I like to search for friends from my past. Do you ever do that? I know a lot of my own friends have died but there are a lot of names from my early teens (or from before) many years ago. I do searches every other year. Mostly I find my childhood friends when something bad has happened to them:

J. B. was badly beaten and almost died a couple of years ago. The insurance company refused to pay him any money since he was so badly beaten that he couldnt remember that he did not cause it… (No one thinks he did, he just can’t prove he didn’t). There was a picture of him. He looked so similar as he did twentyfive years ago. I last met him 1981 or 1982… I also find recording that he and his band had done over the years. If anyone from my childhood would ever become a musican it would be him. It made me so happy to listen to the music he and his band had recorded. Most of us can’t keep up with our dreams. This man has evolved his teenage dreams to art. I recognise the kind: He’s a changeling, just like you and me.

J. I. another friend of mine, is a musician and played at his fathers funeral along with his daughter Sophia… I was glad to see that my friend had a daughter. I also remember how I thought his father was a kind man. I last met my childhood friend 1973…

And then again: there are also the sites like “Stay Friends” and “Facebook” where you can find classmates that havent had a recent misery. On the other hand it seems like they all have had boring lives: 80% or 90% of my childhood classmates on those sites still lives in the area where we went to school…

Isn’t that strange? I mean that some of them stay put, is kind of nice. Even if as much as half of them had stayed, I would just have said: “Good for them”, Borås, or Visby, or Staffanstorp is all very boring places but nice, I guess in some ways. I would not waste another moment on the subject… But this was not the case. If I and maybe one or two of my friends (the two mentioned above) are the only one who has moved along then I can’t help feeling a bit sad for those who stayed. Like they are missing out on something. I guess most of them are happy with what they have – but still: I find it so very odd… (I don’t know if this says more about them or about me…)

Well, since then I lived my life, high and low.. (This isn’t the time and place to tell you about it.) I’ve gone from a person with “no permanent address or moral” to this fat IT dude that I seem to be today.. 😉 The last few years I have found my home in the Catholic church and this semester I’m writing my thesis in Computer science…

Ten years ago it seemed impossible

Can’t wash that feeling off though: Everybody was sure I would be dead and long gone by now. Sorry guys, I’m a Changeling. Going from decadent to decent. in constant progress as well as in permanent loss.

I found this over at Bear tracks blog and thought I should share with you guys. It’s hillarious!The chorus is Turtle Creek Chorale.