An Egg Manifesto, Part 3: Prospection

I have made a great many promis­es over the course of the nine-year his­to­ry of the Egg; I have kept very, very few of them. I hope the fol­low­ing will be short on promis­es but longer on state­ments of where I want to see things go, and some thoughts on how I want to take myself (as the writer), the Egg (as the pub­li­ca­tion), and you (as the read­er) on the jour­ney for­ward to our mutu­al goal.

I am writ­ing again, as I have pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned, and as you have prob­a­bly noticed for your­self by this point. I dai­ly find myself less ret­i­cent about giv­ing voice to my long-smol­der­ing per­son­al and spir­i­tu­al malaise, which now is final­ly poised to burst into the full flame of hope-filled fury. I feel less con­cerned about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of offend­ing some­one by some­thing I write and more and more con­cerned about offend­ing my God and my self by fail­ing to tell my truth and share the pain and pas­sion which have lain buried too long in the hid­den depths of my soul. I will pub­lish with­out fear the words I need to put into the world. I will speak with as strong a voice as I can muster, tinged at times with the pas­sion of out­rage, but not dis­tort­ed by it; borne up by abid­ing hope, but nev­er blind­ed by it.

As a for­mer sem­i­nar­i­an, I feel a deep, and deeply-per­son­al, love for the Catholic Church in all its splen­dor. The sem­i­nary pro­gram itself is of vital inter­est to me, not because I want to go back, but because I want it to be bet­ter than what I know it to be. I want a healthy Church served by healthy priests, and I find grave fault with some aspects of how that goal is cur­rent­ly pur­sued, espe­cial­ly in light of recent lam­en­ta­ble events. I have a pas­sion­ate love of the Roman litur­gy, as I have already touched on in the past year. More ink will be spilled before I exhaust what I have to say on that hot-but­ton top­ic. And as I spent much of my youth more or less expect­ing to spend my adult life as a priest, I spent com­par­a­tive­ly lit­tle time reflect­ing on how to be a Catholic who was not a mem­ber of the ordained élite. Even now that I have final­ly begun to emerge from my post-sem­i­nary spir­i­tu­al tor­por, I still strug­gle with reclaim­ing my pas­sion for the Church as a mem­ber of the laity. As I search for my prop­er rôle, I expect to have a lot to say about that as well.

I had ini­tial­ly been hes­i­tant to put forth any­thing that might be ‘con­tro­ver­sial’ in the sphere of Church top­ics. After all, I want to work for the Church as an insti­tu­tion some­day soon, and I was afraid that if any­thing I pub­lished — even here — failed the scruti­ny of the New Inqui­si­tion, I might find all doors closed to me in my quest to labor again in the Vine­yard of the Lord. But now I say this: I will say my say, and if I am denied a job serv­ing God’s Holy Church because of some­thing I sin­cere­ly put forth on this site, well, at least I will know that some­one read it. I will nev­er be con­tro­ver­sial for its own sake, but I will speak my truth with increas­ing bold­ness, striv­ing always to bal­ance faith­ful ortho­doxy with pas­sion­ate integri­ty.

Does all this mean that Egg Yolks is now a Catholic pub­li­ca­tion? Yes and no. Yes, in that its author is deeply and unapolo­get­i­cal­ly Catholic, with very strong feel­ings on a num­ber of ‘issues’ cur­rent in the Church today. You can look for essays with dis­tinct­ly Catholic focus with increas­ing fre­quen­cy (and fer­vor) in the months ahead. And as I go on, I expect that even ‘non-Church’ top­ics will dis­play a Catholic fla­vor, which I am hope­ful read­ers will not ulti­mate­ly find dis­taste­ful. But no, things eccle­sial shall not be my sole top­ic. Look for the ongo­ing reflec­tions of an aspir­ing writer, wry obser­va­tions on life as I see it, and prob­a­bly even an occa­sion­al smat­ter­ing of the self-serv­ing sass that once endeared The Float­ing Egg to dozens of read­ers across the Upper Mid­west. Nor do I intend to become an insuf­fer­able polemi­cist or a reli­gious fun­da­men­tal­ist of any sort. I am in a search­ing and prob­ing mode, in life and in faith; instead of thump­ing Bibles and spout­ing syl­lo­gisms, I am more inclined to rat­tle win­dows and look behind closed doors into dark­ened rooms. If that is too vague an image, well, stay tuned.

2 Comments

  1. When I was ini­tial­ly lay­ing out the tri­par­tite struc­ture of this ‘man­i­festo’ I met a stum­bling block: I could think of no word con­struct­ed on the same mod­el as ret­ro­spect and intro­spect that meant “look­ing for­ward”. I thought I would have to coin a neol­o­gism, and in my vain­glo­ry actu­al­ly con­sult­ed my Latin dic­tio­nary for the prop­er root, before remind­ing myself forcibly that my lin­guis­tic skills were by no means up to this task. For­tu­nate­ly, a renewed con­sul­ta­tion of Roget’s Inter­na­tion­al The­saurus point­ed me toward a mean­ing of prospect of which I had pre­vi­ous­ly been unaware. Clever struc­ture saved, and a new word learned. A good day all around.

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