… as I came into maturity at a large state university, I saw the way in which so much of contemporary life was a parody, a substitute, a fraud for faith and its trappings. Everyone has their liturgy, but some are more ridiculous than others, as my kids always point out, on Sunday mornings, as we pass the crowded “barre” exercise studio on our way to Mass.
I saw that “local psychics” pullulated in college towns and knew them for what they were. And so, when I reflected on the Church in that setting it had almost the force of a conversion. First, to the Eucharist. Second, through Dante, to the emanations of the Eucharist in the stuff of culture. And, third, when I first read John Paul II’s Fides et Ratio, to the life of the mind lifted by faith and reason. That first encounter saved me; the second set me onto writing poems; and the third fed my eventual calling to the academy and my work in philosophy, theology, and aesthetics.