Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"May no new thing arise"

That wish (scroll down if you follow the link) -- used throughout Patrick O'Brian's seafaring novels by his Irish-Catalan ship's surgeon, Stephen Maturin, and purportedly a traditional Spanish (or perhaps Catalan) parting remark, much as we might say "see you later" -- sums up my attitude much of the time.

I'm not a Luddite or a complete traditionalist. There's my iPod right here on my desk, to prove it. But the world is awash in stuff that claims to be new and improved but so often is really just different, and worse. That certainly goes for my Catholic Church, where so much of the change of the past forty years has been sheer careless novelty.

The next time I hear someone piously say, "The only constant is change," there's going to be trouble. The only reason change may sometimes seem constant is that too few people say "you got another thing comin', bub." Or if I'm unexpectedly touched by grace, maybe I'll just say...

Que no hayan novedades.