Greetings, dear reader, and welcome to Thulcandra.
I will be honest and admit that, at the moment, I don’t know what I hope to accomplish with this blog, even though I’ve started it of my own accord and not at anyone else’s suggestion. Matters of faith will likely comprise the majority of its content; Christianity has been my chief spiritual and intellectual preoccupation for a long time, and those who know me personally can attest that I’m capable of rambling on for hours about liturgy and Church history and the finer points of Christian doctrine, given the opportunity and a captive audience. Additionally, I entered into full communion with the Catholic Church this past Easter, so there’s a lot I could say on the topic of conversion as well.
At the same time, that series of tubes we know and love already has its fair share of blogs by Catholic converts, the vast majority of whom are wiser, more knowledgeable, and stronger in their faith than I. Most of what I could say here has already been said elsewhere, with greater depth and in a more articulate fashion than I am capable of; if you want to learn about Catholicism, you’d be better off perusing some of the sites on my blogroll. (Eastern Orthodoxy is also well-represented there.)
More to the point, I am still immature in my faith. Thus, I will be cautious in what I choose to say about matters of doctrine. Original content posted here will, more likely than not, focus on personal experiences of beauty and suffering rather than, say, the filioque clause. I’ll leave that to the experts, or at least to the amateurs who’ve been in the business long enough to write like experts.
Just as I have no wish to overstep my own authority on matters of doctrine or understanding in matters of faith, I also have little desire to serve up the sort of nasty polemic that, unfortunately, characterizes some of the less edifying Catholic forums I’ve encountered on the internet. This includes what is written in the comboxes here; I’ve seen some downright un-Christian speech in my travels through the Catholic blogosphere, and I don’t wish to see this phenomenon repeated on my site.
Now, I can’t say for sure that I’m something I post would encourage this type of unproductive banter. Heck, I don’t even know if anyone’s going to read this blog in the first place, so maybe it’s presumptuous of me to even bring the matter up. If these conditions are met, though, I have a few ground rules I’d like to lay down right off—which, it should be noted, are the rules I intend to follow myself in what I post:
1) Be charitable in what you say and how you say it. Profanity and personal attacks are strictly prohibited.
2) Don’t waste your time blathering on about how the Novus Ordo Missae is part of a plot by the Freemasons, that the current Pope actually lives in Montana, and so forth. Your comments will be deleted. I don’t tolerate sedevacantists and schismatics; and, if you’re a good Catholic, neither should you. Likewise, I expect the more liberal among you to show respect for the Holy Father and for those among the flock who consider themselves traditionalists but are faithful to the Church.
3) Finally, if you aren’t going to use proper punctuation and capitalization in what you type, you’re better off not even submitting a comment. It won’t be posted.
Does that sound fair? No? Too bad. You stray too far into the realm of churlishness, and you simply won’t be represented here.
What, then, do I hope to accomplish here, if bashing Vatican II and attempting to determine the canonical status of the SSPX are out? As I’ve said before, I don’t rightly know. Thulcandra will probably be rather light on original content and heavy on images, poetry (not my own—I’ll spare you that, dear reader), and bits and pieces of texts from which I’ve drawn inspiration and wisdom. I may post a few complete essays on Catholic faith from a rather interesting series of 19th-century tracts I stumbled across at the UC Berkeley library; that being said, apologetics will likely be kept to a minimum.
What do I hope to accomplish? Hope is all that I have for the time being—hope that this will be a place of refuge for friends and strangers, a small corner of goodness and light in a rather dark place (the internet); that what I write will be edifying at best, harmless at worst; and, most of all, that whatever talents I’ve been given may here be put to use for the greater glory of God.
And thus ends my first post. Whew!