Punk Catholic Thought of the Week XVII
One thing I like to remind my readers every month or so is that blogging is the publishing of one's "pantsing" and thus is always open to revisions. Often, what is perceived to be flaky backtracking is actually a firm step forward in a learning process that would not have been possible if the original opinion hadn't been published. (Think: Catch-22--but a friendlier version.) In my own case, I insist that I never know what I'm saying until after I have said it--and true to form, I didn't know what I meant by the term "Punk Catholic", which I've been using for almost a year, until last night.
That is why I really am backtracking on a statement I made (somewhere) that I'd never do another "Punk Catholic Thought" post again. =P I meant it when I said it because I wanted the people who come here for only the explicitly Catholic stuff to give up and go away. And I take it back now, partly because I think they finally have and partly because this is a post I really, really want to write.
My New Favourite Punk Anthem
If you haven't already met him, let me introduce you to Jim Carroll, the poet and musician most famous for The Basketball Diaries, the edited journals of his high school years, when he first became addicted to heroin. He was the original Punk Catholic (not to be confused with James Carroll, the non-punk ex-priest). Next to him, I am a mere poseur.
The lyrics are cocky, inelegant stuff, but they're also absolutely right. Which Catholic doesn't have allies in Heaven and comrades in hell? Which Catholic doesn't bring angels to their (anthropomorphic) knees? Which Catholic doesn't realise that he has nothing at the end but the sacraments?
Carroll has also compared punk rock to the Stations of the Cross, and admitted being surprised when he once, without thinking, made the sign of the cross while passing an art museum.
But I wasn't surprised when I heard about Sister Victoise, a teacher he was very drawn to and who died the summer before he was kicked out of school. She reminded him of St. Therese of the Child Jesus--an impression that stayed with him forever, even if he did not stay in the Church. And that is the light by which I listen to his music, read his books and see his life.
There is more than one way to be saved. May he rest in peace.