Thursday, December 29, 2011

Whereabouts, Day Two

Hello from Terminal 12 of Tech Central at the Boston Public Library ... the computer tells me I have 45 minutes of time left at this station, so I'll be brief.

It was a cold night, properly wintry. I drew the curtains and huddled under two blankets in my warmest fleece. When it gets chilly, I like to get extra sleep. Having kept up late last night, this morning I slept in, rising at nine, far later than any friar who fears the deadly sin of sloth more than me would dare!

Conversations arose in the kitchen as I fixed breakfast. If you want to catch friars in their comings and goings, wait in the kitchen or pantry, and you will not be disappointed. I have always been a shrinking violet at table, especially when I have a good meal and a newspaper in front of me, so it's been a good exercise in counterphobic behavior to linger in the kitchen.

I rode the Orange Line to downtown, reading morning prayer along the way, and made it to the Paulist Center in time for the 12:05 Mass. Then I jumped the Charles River and crossed Cambridge to Somerville, where I met a good friend at the Diesel Cafe in Davis Square. He and I worked extensively in the Boston New Sanctuary Movement, expanding our network of congregations into the Protestant communities of Boston and Cambridge. He attends Church of the Covenant, a federation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ. For 30 years he has done marvelous work with his congregation's sister community in Nicaragua. We met a couple of years ago through mutual friends in the faith-based activist community. He is a righteous soul, a gentle radical, and he adds an earthen spirit to Boston's faith-based movement for immigrant rights. For two hours over mint tea we picked up and wove together the threads of many conversations: religious life and conversion; Christian anarchist economics vis-a-vis neoliberal capitalism and Marxist state socialism; organizational ups and downs in churches and non-profits; and news of dear colleagues and partners in ministry. Tea and talk with a brother in spirit. These are the kinds of meetings that feed my mind and soul for a month.

Toting a book on the history and theology of Christian tradition by Yves Congar (1904-1995), a French Dominican priest and architect of the Second Vatican Council, I have come now to Boston Public Library for a spell from the cold. Later I'll visit Arirang House, a Korean-Japanese buffet in the Back Bay, before going to Emmanuel Church for this evening's general assembly of Occupy Boston.

Today has been a catch-my-breath day: a contemplative day. Tomorrow the itinerary will be more active, a catch-me-if-you-can day. I'll post Friday's whereabouts later tonight, so you can catch me if you like!

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