Your servant enjoys the privilege of living in the nether reaches of the Albemarle Sound watershed, far away from any recognizable center of the universe.
But, in these parts, we do have very heavy shipping traffic. The rumble of fifty-car Norfolk & Southern freight trains and the constant hum of semis on the nation’s busiest trucking corridor are the sounds that keep me company day and night.
Think of all the countless consumables which you consume, dear reader: Granola bars, blank cds, coal, chassis lubricants, etc. If you are reading this on the East Coast or in the South, chances are pretty good that I heard a few of your consumables rumble by on their way to you…
…I had the day off today, so I headed up the Appalachian Trail and hiked The Priest, The Little Priest, The Friar, The Little Friar, and The Cardinal. Beautiful day!
While I was cresting these summits, I meditated some more about ecclesiastical censures. Here is an interesting case:
Daniel D. Home was a Scotch-American spiritualist who performed seances for the rich and famous of Europe in the 1850’s and 60’s. He married into Russian nobility. Robert Browning wrote a long poem about Home called “Mr. Sludge, the Medium.”
During a visit to Italy, Home decided to convert to Catholicism and enter a monastery. Blessed Pope Pius IX personally received him into the Church. Shortly thereafter, Home recanted and left for France.
Nine years later, Home returned to Rome to study sculpting. The papal government arrested him and expelled him from the country as a dangerous spiritualist.