- I finally saw Diary of a Country Priest the other night. Watched it with about a half dozen other folds from my seminary. It was absolutely fantastic. Sort of dragged a bit at the end, but at the climax of the film I felt I was watching a peice of cinematic history, it was that good. Of course, you'd have to be mildly interested in church or ministry or theodicy, and at least empathetic to the melancholy thoughts of the main character, to truly enjoy it, but if you have any tolerance for any of that this is definitely a film worth seeing. A masterpiece, really. Along with Winter Light probably the two best films on Church themes that are in existence. So many great lines and symbols in this film that you can hardly begin to talk about them, but I loved the line about the "miracle of the empty hands" (how can you give the peace of God when you don't have it yourself?), and the recurrent barking dog (my prof here pointed it out to me and said it probably symbolized the Hound of Heaven), and even the spilled wine at the crucial crisis point . . . but the list could go on.
- I heard a rumour that it is illegal to spank in Canada now. Is that true? I'm not a big fan of spanking but as a parent I think there is a place for it and there are places and ways I think it can be appropriate. I think a law against beating or abusing kids suffices as a way for the courts to discern when a line has been crossed (and unfortunately I think this happens more than anyone would like to think), but I really think a blanket law like this (if I've got my facts straight, which I might not), is pretty tragically short-sighted and an all around dumb thing. Whatever happened to the government staying out of the bedrooms of Canadians?
- It got really cold in Saskatchewan this week. We were very concerned about our pipes freezing. Quite a few furnaces went out in our town. Thankfully ours stayed going. When the wind chill is -50 there are a couple thoughts that run through your mind. 1) Why do I live here again? 2) I sure do take a lot of things for granted, like a running furnace and a roof over my head. 3) Why do I live here again?
- Anyway, here at seminary my friend Terry and I have been giving out this funny award at our community lunch every Thursday. Its called Seminarian of the Week and it comes with a tin-foil medallion that no one seems to want to wear for some reason. This week I wrote a poem to express our thanks to those who keep us warm in the winter:
When the earth tips so slightly away from the sun,
Of all its inhabitants we north-folk are the ones
Who lose what so easily for granted is taken
And sense what it might mean to be God-forsaken.
But we're not, and we know it, thanks to furnace guys and plumbers.
So today we salute them and thank God for their wonders.