The (Secret) World I See (O Catholic Ireland!)

This weblog is about a world I see. It is a world that was hidden from me for thirty-four years, at least.

It is a world my culture, my own English-speaking culture, tried to bury.

It is a world of feeling turned inside-out – day in, day out – by the Sacraments.

It is a world that is a secret world.

How I wish it were not a secret!

How I want to cry aloud: ‘Behold this secret world’!

This world of being personally transformed by the Sacraments.

Personally transformed, I say. It also used to be a world of cultural transformation, as well as personal.

I grew up in America and England. These were not cultures transformed by the Sacraments.

I had to go to Catholic Ireland to really see a culture that had been transformed by the Sacraments. And how Catholic Ireland took my breath away!

Ireland becomes now ever more like the Anglo-American matrix I grew up in. But when I lived in Ireland, I beheld the last, dying embers of an entire culture, which had once resisted Anglicisation – fiercely.

And its resistance was all to with his: The English no longer saw, nor understood the world of the Seven Sacraments. In England, the world of the Seven Sacraments was buried, even outlawed for generations.

Yes you, Ireland, blessed island, once resisted the mighty Protestant powers across the seas, Britain on the one side, America on the other.

And because you resisted so long – you showed me a world, a world that had always been invisible to me in England and America, where I grew up.

You showed me Ireland a life more humble, more simple – indeed more poor. But blessed are the poor.

Then I went to France, to Spain.

And I saw Catholic culture ever more deeply.

This weblog is about a world I see.

It is a world of possibility that is unglimpsed by those who do not feel the Sacraments working in them, day in, day out.

It is a world of the possibility of individual and cultural transformation.

It is a world that is a secret world.

How I wish it were not a secret!

But the cultural blackout is enormous. In the Anglo-American world, there are literally centuries of misconceptions (and yes, outright propaganda and worse) to overcome.

That is what this weblog is about.

Breaking the secret.

Trying to reveal that secret world …

Trying to show in word and in image that world of possibility.

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