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.
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.
You get down with your hermenutical self, Beaner.