I am the vine, you are the branches. Are you not drunk yet?

I found all of this here. Great resource.


The terrible events of that September Tuesday morning a year ago, how to interpret them? Three paradigms may apply, and here I am in debt to my friend Fr. David Roseberry of Plano, Texas:

First, PEARL HARBOR: America has been attacked. Without provocation, by stealth and surprise, a vicious foreign foe, taking so many innocent men and women, killed in a matter of hours, at the very crossroads of the nations daily business, the very heart of our common American life.

It touched a deep, but covered, well of national sentiment. An ardent patriotism, untapped for over fifty years. A passion for God and Country. The Flag flying everywhere; singing God Bless America on the Capitol Steps. There is a unity of support for our president and the War on Terror. A pride of national purpose and camaraderie as Americans. It crosses racial and ethnic, political and social barriers. How deep is it? How long lasting will it be? Time will tell.

Then there is TITANIC: That great and luxurious, unsinkable ship; the symbol of western culture at the peak of its golden age, invincible in its industrial might of coal and steel and Empire ” on a calm and star filled night, mortally pierced by a wayward iceberg sunk.

The Twin Towers, icons of the modern enlightened global economy of capital and finance, the wealth of nations that we hold to be our secure foundation and destiny as a society ” taken down in three hours by individuals impassioned by the stark primitive code of desert tribal retribution.

This recession! how long will it last, how low will it go? Up and down. A turn around soon, the pundits assure us, third quarter the worst in how many years? Christmas will be better, unless. Unless, it happens again.

And finally, CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: Do you remember Ed Friedman, that rabbi and family systems analyst. How he talked about late medieval Europe as a dysfunctional culture, run out of gas, bereft of any new ideas, stuck in the same old ruts, closed system, going nowhere. Until that Italian sea captain sailed west and brought back news of a brand new world, shocking the conventions of settled life, shaking the foundations of ordered security.

Yet which also gave a new perspective to everything, releasing energy and imagination which had been building for years but with no place to go now a renaissance of the human spirit touching every aspect of human life and enterprise. The birth of the Modern Era.

Have we not also been culturally stuck?

Since WWII, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism, the victory of Democracy and free market capitalism. That’s what modern history has been all about. Now it’s done. The ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination and idealism, wrote Francis Fukuyama has been replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands. In this post historical period there is neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual care taking of the museum of human history with its nostalgia for the glorious past when there was something worth dying for, something eminently worth living for.

Could it be that September 11, 2001 was the shock and the shaking that has exploded for us a brand new perspective with regard to the world, a magnificent challenge to the energy and imagination that has been building in America for years, but until now has had no place to go? The need is for vision; the issue is leadership.