As my USA family and friends celebrate THANKSGIVING this weekend, I take a moment to express my own gratitude for life, family, and friends.
This is my seventy-fifth Thanksgiving, but I have no recollections of the early ones. I am thankful of course for those who were there with love and supportive attention. So many of them now in the next dimension of human life: parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a few cousins. Getting older is witnessing rites of passage.
Today I want to thank the many readers of ANOTHER VOICE, for your ongoing interest and keen support. This past year I will have, once again, written about forty-five weekly reflections. They have been picked up by many individuals and groups and published around the globe. Thank you!
ANOTHER VOICE came from my frustration: that so much religious talk is out of touch with contemporary life issues. I was re-reading a poem by T.S. Eliot and his words grabbed me: “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.”
Anchored in our Christian tradition AND in contemporary life, ANOTHER VOICE tries to study, reflect, and present the Gospel challenge for today and tomorrow. Too much of our contemporary media focus and current political and religious rhetoric stresses feelings more than fact: reaffirming narrow prejudices and apathetic about the identity, needs, and concerns of people today: “last year’s language.”
Last year’s language energizes contemporary anxieties and romanticizes a past era that was itself more fantasy than reality. The good old days were not always that good. I know. I lived back then. I survived just about all the awful childhood illnesses. Saw classmates with polio moved into iron lungs. Watched Detroit burn in the 1960s. And I still mourn friends and classmates who died in Vietnam. Today my brain still works and I am considered a reputable historian. I can still distinguish fact from fiction; and I see and hear far too much fantasy (some of it very sinister) proclaimed as truth.
In coming weeks and months, I will endeavor to reflect and speak some words of reality and genuine encouragement, anchored in the Life, Message, and Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth. He continues to sustain, support, and encourage me.
I know of course that at times I will end up speaking about political issues. No everyone is comfortable about that; but these are human value issues not really Republican or Democratic party politics. My tradition is Catholic but my life focus is contemporary Christian belief. I remain a critical believer. Popes come and go. Some are good. Some are terribly disappointing. Some Christians who proudly profess their Christianity work very hard at destroying everything Christianity stands for. We always need some people who point out that the great emperor is really naked and phony.
It is the Spirit of Christ that gives life and sustains us.
Thanks to all who travel with me. Your comments encourage me to go on. And now my annual appeal…..
Starting this week end and continuing until Christmas, I invite all readers of ANOTHER VOICE to contribute to my“maintenance fund.” My once a year appeal.
Your end of the year contributions help cover internet and computer maintenance costs as well as books and subscriptions that keep me updated as an older and retired historical theologian on a fixed income. I greatly appreciate your support to keep ANOTHER VOICE speaking, with “next year’s words.”
You can contribute in any of the following ways:
(1) A USA dollars check made out to John Dick and sent to:
Geldenaaksebaan 85 A
(2) Much easier: a USA dollars transfer via ZELLE and sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(3) Or an international bank transfer in Euros sent to my Belgian account:
Account of John A. Dick
SWIFT CODE: GEBABEBB
IBAN: BE83 2300 3923 6015
If you have any questions: email@example.com