At The Eponymous Flower, Maximilian Hanlon offers a few salubrious reflections on his recent visit to Clear Creek Monastery, the traditional Benedictine Abbey in Oklahoma. (By the way, it’s not really true: the rumor, that is, that the license plate says “Oklahoma is OK” because Oklahomans can’t spell mediocre, but I digress… .) Hanlon’s last paragraph poignantly summarizes modern life in mainstream America:
It goes without saying that those of you, my readers, who are willing to escape the spiritual abortuary which is the post-modern world, should take refuge at Clear Creek at once. Although life for me would be easier as a monk, I have discerned quite a different call, the call to follow Christ my Master in his descent into hell. And make no mistake about it, the contemporary world is a contemporary hell, filled with men like Brad Craven. He likes Starbucks, listens to Hip-hop on his ipod, lives in the suburbs, derives economic security from his job as a paper-shuffler, thinks that unwanted kittens should have rights but not unwanted fetuses, has a master’s degree (although he does not know what ineffable means) and voted for President Obama. Brad, of course, likes all the Vatican II changes, thinks the Church just needs to “get with it,” and may attend Mass once or twice a year around an especially groovy coffee table disguised as an altar, but feels alienated by vibrant, young religious communities which are praying in Latin and therefore growing. I have the much more unpleasant vocation of trying to evangelize Brad and wake him up from his post-modern stupor. But perhaps you, should you be blessed with a monastic vocation and get to the monastery soon, may escape such people forever. Lucky you.
Perhaps a kind reader can enlighten me in the comments box regarding Brad Craven. All I can say about him is a paraphrase of President Bush’s comments on the Gitmo inmates: “I don’t know much about that guy, but I know he’s bad.”