Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just An Observation

Judging from St. Corbinian's Bear's stats, it appears that people want to read about something scandalous 10x more than they do about something edifying.

It's a little depressing, because comparatively few people seem to enjoy my better posts. Fortunately, my stats mean nothing, since I'm not advertising anything, and ego considerations are... well, let's just say I'm a Bear, so that's not a problem. But the one about the Pope apparently hiding his cross easily beat out the previous most-viewed article, which was about the hymn that goes "Every heretic I detest..." just a few posts back.

We have found a bear paw mold for goats milk soap, however. Hmm... each piece of soap could be named after the goat who gave the milk. "Ava Soap" could be lilac-scented, for example. I just need two things to go into business. A logo/packaging design, and knowing how to make soap. It would be fun for Missus Bear.

If you don't know what the occasional talk about Zoar is, Zoar is the "little place" in the environs of Sodom and Gomorrah to which Lot and his sex-starved daughters escaped before he made the bad decision to go live in some nearby caves. Zoar represents our haven from the world, in a "crunchy con" sort of way, if you're familiar with ex-Catholic writer Rod Dreher's term.

Rod Dreher became Orthodox. The Bear also had his Orthodox adventure. He needs to tell the story some day. Like he needs to tell the story about how he dropped out of his post-graduate theology studies.

The Bear excels at being a bad example.


  1. I happen to remember your reflections on being in the Orthodox Church - but as I remember them less well than I'd like to, it sure would be nice to get to read them again. Now that they - and a great many other articles of the edifying sort - HAVE VANISHED LIKE COMESTIBLES AT A BEAR-RAVAGED CAMPSITE, I am hoping that perhaps notes for, or rough drafts of, said articles still exist somewhere in the recesses of the ursine abode.

  2. LOL, no, no notes, but the Bear remembers them all well enough. If there are any in particular you feel should be revisited for posterity, I'd be happy to oblige. LOL a bear-ravaged campsite. Yes, there have been many of those in my day.

    1. (You remember them all? Ok, you have your assignment. :-D)

      Early on, there were at least a couple of great pieces re St. Meinrad’s Archabbey & becoming Benedictine oblates (which included the surprising-to-me info that non-Catholics are eligible too). I'd like to see those again.

      And it would indeed be wonderful if you could reconstruct your reflections on the Orthodox Church.

      The excellent post on domestic shrines. I'd like to see that one again. It's hard for me to believe it appeared that long ago, but I think it did.

      As I think about this, I remember that many of the articles were, of course, written in response to current events of the time, which I suppose would make a re-do seem less worthwhile. Otoh, the themes that gave such pieces their interest remain compelling. There was one about the controversial "Islamic Barbie doll" that had certain feminists upset because the doll was attired like the mothers, sisters, aunts etc. of the girls for whom it had presumably been created. Not sure, but I think Joan Chittister was involved in that one.

      Then there were a number of pieces that concerned your decision to engage in the slow, hard work of restoration by getting more involved in parish life, including teaching RCIA. I've been very, very interested in hearing about your experiences in the latter endeavor particularly, but am guessing that your ability to be effective in that role might be placed in jeopardy by posting about the challenges you've encountered.

      I think there was an article that involved the influence of the fact of the Incarnation on the world of science fiction.

      And beautiful Catholic art. You posted lots and lots of it. More, please. Ditto some utterly inspired feats of Catholic agitprop (you wouldn't have gotten rid of THOSE, would you?).

      Ok, enough. Like I said, you've got your assignment. And probably a headache :-)

    2. Thank you, Jane! Now I don't have to wonder, "What shall I blog about today?" :-)

  3. Just to confirm I read this post. I recall Mr. Dreher shocked to find sinners in the Roman Catholic Church.

  4. goat soap! oh yes, please....goat soap!!!

    and in reference to your first two paragraphs, please don't be too hard on your more sporadic readers. Maybe this will help to illustrate a bit (and please forgive the crude style…I’ve not near the writing talent of the Bear).....

    Bear: Thank you my woodland friends for coming to my lovely tea party. I worked very hard at dressing the table...what do you think?

    Badger: uhhh, pretty....yes, very pretty and all, but Bear....the woods are on fire.

    Bear: Hmmmmm, yeah I noticed that too....but gee, look at the beautiful hand-made napkins. I crocheted the edges myself!

    Raccoon: um,'s getting really hot around here...I think the flames are starting to lap at the edges of the clearing.

    Bear: Oh my's perhaps giving a lovely light, no?

    Badger: No! It’s smokey and sulphorus and….


    Bear: birds!

    Badger: Bear, sound the alarm, and keep it ringing till the fire's out!

    Bear: But the party....and my beautiful tablecloth....

    Badger: It's smoking....

    I hope you'll take this with the gentle badger humor with which it was intended :). Yes, I know you are sounding the alarm, and doing it very effectively, but don't second guess yourself, or berate (some of) your readers for being most interested in things pertaining to the fire. It's first and foremost in their minds and on their hearts right now....and for very good reason. They feel the invisible battle intensifying. 2 years ago I would be excoriating a blogger for writing critically observant posts on the Pope and his 'doings', but 2 years ago things were very different, eh? That unease you've been feeling and finally admitted to is a sound spiritual acuity. It's a sign of health. By sounding the alarm (and having people alerted through it) you may indeed help in preventing further encroaching of a very dark and devastating fire....this type can spread only with the acquiescence of souls, and good men standing quietly down in a misplaced notion of obedience. I understand you don’t want your blog to become pope-bashing, and it shouldn’t…it hasn’t. It’s ok to occasionally and regularly ring the alarm and perhaps wake some sleeper up before they’re caught inescapably in the flames.

    All that being said…..MORE GOAT PICTURES!

    And thanks for your writing…you are indeed a very, VERY gifted Bear. God bless you.

  5. I am also grateful for posts such as "Wear your crucifix"; positive advice in response to negative news. (I tend to go negative much too easily.)

  6. Beautiful (and funny!) comments. It is a warm feeling (no pun intended) to see a blog "come to life" with regular readers who add to the content. This is indeed an enchanted woodland, and the Bear is very fortunate in his readership.

    The Bear did not intend to berate anyone. It is simply a fact of life that people are more, shall we say, responsive to the alarm of danger, than to irenic reflections.

    Perhaps the Bear is waiting for the fire department to put the fire out, or perhaps so many other people are running around yelling "FIRE," he does not feel he needs to add his voice.

    But there is something to be be said for honesty and clear-sightedness. Normally, one should not speak ill of anyone, let alone the Pope. And yet the prophets of old spoke out against everyone and were no respecters of persons.

    "Are you saying that you are a Prophet, Bear? The only connection between Bears and prophecy was when Elisha summoned the two she-bears to tear 42 naughty children."

    Not the Bear in particular. But perhaps we are seeing a new thing. The faithful are in worldwide, instant communication. A Bear in the middle of a forest can tap out an article and suddenly hundreds of people read it. And there is a consensus about Pope Francis among the people who seem most in tune with the ancient faith. In the last days, the Spirit of prophecy is to be poured out among all the faithful. Perhaps we are seeing a sort of sensus fidelium regarding Pope Francis.

    When Pope Francis was elected, the Bear had reservations from the beginning, as did probably most readers of this blog. However, he gave the Pope the benefit of every doubt, and tried to find the good in everything the Pope did and said. As time went on, the odd and upsetting things seemed to be the rule, not the exception. Poisonous plants are often bitter; the stomach revolts at unwholesome food. What, then, of a revulsion toward a pope?

    The Bear never intended to dislike Pope Francis. He certainly never wanted to. And yet, to be perfectly honest, the Bear doesn't trust him as far as he could chuck him. The Bear does not want to just be another voice in the echo-chamber. But there is something to be said for lending one's voice to a prophetic chorus.

    Thanks, Susan for the funny addition to the blog. It is a very good illustration of the current predicament. However, rest assured that there is a reason Smokey is a Bear.

  7. HA!

    Well played my furry friend....well played. :)

    And remember, thus says the Lord:
    "And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yea, and on My menservants and my maidservants (and bearservants...Old Growth Translation) in those days I will pour out My Spirit; and they shall prophesy."

    And then it says (really it does), "And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and FIRE, and VAPORS OF SMOKE..."


    Anyway, the above comes from St. Peter's great sermon on Pentecost morning. Would that we had heard something even faintly resembling that sermon (or St. Stephen's witness) preached again in Jerusalem last week. What an opportunity missed. How might the world have been changed; how many souls might have been added; how far might the dark fire have been beaten back? They're worth another read today, no matter how many times they've been read before....Acts 2 & 7. A certain badger will be noted reading them at Adoration this evening.

    God bless all, and a safe night's sleep under the canopy tonight.


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