“Surely, no one is going to read your book who needs to read it anyway, so, you know what I mean, like, why bother?…”
Yikes! O.K. So, that hurts, kinda like, as one reader put it, water off a duck’s back, which doesn’t hurt. I’m sure that wasn’t aimed at me, but at the ineptitude of those who need to get some matters explained to them.. But, it doesn’t matter. For me, it’s not a waste of time even if no one reads it. Why’s that, you ask? Thanks for asking. Here’s the answer:
- As I’ve said before, but that was apparently missed, so very much that the story line is wrapped around refers to accurately paraphrased or verbatim citations of speeches, articles, or conversations in which I’ve participated with key players, instigators, string pullers, who have become characters in the book. They already know exactly what the response is and remain furious, or have now passed along and know the fuller truth of the matter better than I or any other human could explain it to them.
- When I was a kid, I think I had many traits of autism and I think I still retain some. One of those traits is total entrenchment into whatever. I just don’t let go. It’s like I can’t let go. I think of the famous or infamous (depending on your point of view) CIA analyst nicknamed in Zero Dark Thirty as Maya. It just helps me to write about stuff. I write because I want to write. I like what I like. De gustibus…
Let me give you an example about the paragraph or two in the next chapter to go up of Jackass for the Hour, which involves the underappreciated character (for some) of Jacinta, as she speaks about Catherine of Siena.
That particular conversation about Catherine, just to say, is the the summary of conversations of many years (about ten years) with a priest who already knows exactly what the truth of the matter is and hates the truth. He wants to mock Catherine and Jesus and hates that I’ve figured him out. This because “a thing” where I was staying (I lived at the same place as that guy), so much so that his behavior of threats against me, made in public, was stunning to those who saw it. Just a few things about him:
- He’s not solely responsible for it, but over the decades, because of his influence, he’s had a terribly big role to play in the downfall of seminaries in many episcopal conferences. That’s saying a lot.
- He’s held to be THE authority on the spiritual life by pretty much everyone right around the world.
- He’s got an iron grip on much of the Catholic publishing world and vowed that if I ever said anything about Saint Catherine of Sienna, to defend her on that particular point, he would make sure that his long arm followed me right around the world so as to block me from being published on anything, theology, Scripture, liturgy, spiritual life, whatever. The problem is that he has the ear of most publishers, personally, from left all the way to center-right.
So, even on sub-plot points like that – terribly brief as they are – there’s really very much behind them, and they are, in fact, far reaching and important to the life of the Church. People are like this. These are even real characters and influential players (as I call them) in the Church. They would do well to read the points contained in Jackass for the Hour but they already know exactly what the truth of the matter is, over years and years.
I just like to write. If some people don’t like that, or think it’s a waste of time, well, too bad. I’m just little me, a donkey-priest that you can call a jackass. I’m happy with that.
I wish I could tell you who in the Papal Apartments has read and enjoyed the first edition of Jackass for the Hour and heartily encouraged me to write more, even commanding that I continue to write. Many times. “You must continue to write. You must.” Then again. And again. That is still the case. Not only was I not corrected on any point, it was said and repeated many times that there is amazement that the book accurately portrays exactly what is going on in so many areas of the Church. That’s just the way it is. I’ve been in Rome perhaps way too long.
When Sister Nice comes along in the book I’m sure there will be such a reaction that I will have to repeat a post like this with all my little autobiographical points of conversations with key players, etc. But, O.K.