Returning to Life — and Catholic Ireland

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We will be unusually personal today.

Around Advent last year, weblog entries abruptly ceased, without explanation.

What explanation there is for that fact lies in a difficult crisis in Kim’s and my immediate family which I will say little of here.

But on a happier note, the personal crisis is having one major, unexpected consequence. It is directly leading to a long-hoped for transition in our lives.

Kim, myself and our daughter are moving to Ireland!

I hesitate to say too much of a personal nature at this weblog. But this, for us, is an utter miracle.

A profound light and joy amidst the darkness . . .

For dear Lector, I cannot tell you what Ireland means to me personally (though some indications may be found here).

Ninety Seconds for the Real Ireland—Article Continues Below

I am an American born of English parents. In my Anglo-American upbringing, the Catholic Mystery was completely invisible to me for nearly thirty four years.

It was only with the grace of a profound interior experience in autumn 1997 and the help of an extremely unusual Catholic masterpiece, that the Catholic Mystery first became visible to me that autumn …

Without those graces, the Catholic Mystery might well have remained buried, buried beneath the Anglo-American secular and New Age culture.

But seven years later, I moved to Ireland.

And in Ireland, I beheld a culture – so unlike the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant worlds I grew up in  – where the Catholic Mystery was NOT invisible.

As I write in my upcoming book Cor Jesu Sacratissimum:

It was in Ireland that I first really encountered a culture, which had, until very recently, been utterly steeped in Catholicism. Here I discovered very different attitudes than the liberal and secular certainties, which characterised the Protestant Anglosphere from which I stemmed.

For in Ireland, I experienced the afterglow, at least, of an integrally Catholic culture. This is to say, a culture where the Faith had, until very recently, formed a sine qua non – i.e. it had been integral. The Ireland that I encountered in 2004 had known, within living memory, an immersion in prayers, Sacraments and traditions unimaginable in America and England.

Ireland – how different you were to anything I had known in my youth! For on your blessed island, the Catholic Mystery was not well-nigh invisible! And your people possessed qualities – of piety, humanness and still more – unlike anything I had witnessed in any country before.

Ireland, this book is dedicated to your Christian soul, because your profoundly Christian culture guided me to what lies at the heart of this volume.

That is, you led me not only deeper into the Mystery of the Church, but you also showed me the only hope I have for the civilisation of the West. This is to say, the civilisation which drives our world, a world which degrades in body and soul – a world in decay, that is, both ecologically and spiritually.

Now, I say that my book is dedicated to the soul of Ireland. But let me be more precise and share the exact dedication in my manuscript as it now stands:

To the Soul of France, Catholic France, which was subjected to utter mutilation in the past and to the Soul of Catholic Ireland, which is being mutilated in similar fashion today, this book is dedicated.

To the Souls of these great Catholic cultures, I owe more than I can possibly tell you, dear Reader. 

Ireland … when I return to your blessed shores, I hope that our work at this site will play its part  – a very, very small part, needless to say – to support not only Catholic tradition everywhere, but also to support the tradition in Ireland.

And so, while personally things are not easy, dear Reader, I can also report that there is a sense of life, new life …

This website will be returning to life then, with, I suspect, renewed vigour and inspiration.

In the meantime, dear Reader, I ask you to have patience with me.

In the midst of this difficult, albeit miraculous, transition, I will still be slow in my correspondence.

But I hope to slowly return to posting entries – even if initially it is only in the form of a few already-written short extracts from my book.

However, while new material may still be a little slow to appear, there is one major new area of this website that Kim has created. (But which we never announced, nor has it shown up in the recent posts section.) The site has been lacking this for far too long and I am very grateful Kim has now completed it at last.

This has been a great labour of love for Kim and you will find it in a new section of the site. Just click on Devotions in the Resources section at the top of this page.

Books from Roger Buck

Foreword for Monarchy by Roger Buck

Books About Catholic Ireland
More Great Irish Books

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One response to “Returning to Life — and Catholic Ireland”

  1. Edwin Shendelman Avatar
    Edwin Shendelman

    Good to see you and Kim back.