Our meeting last Wednesday evening was wonderfully hosted by Misfit Chris Hagen, he of Loome Theological Books and Claret Farm. We met under the beautiful gazebo that defines the grounds of Claret Farm. The weather was perfect and was enhanced by a selection of Lift Bridge beer and snacks provided by Chris. Chris was such a wonderful host that we've decided to meet at Loome Theological books/Claret Farm for the rest of the summer. (Actually, and the truth be known, St. Michael's will remain closed in the evenings through July and August and Chris has volunteered to host us at Claret Farm.)
Our meeting Wednesday evening generally involved swapping many of the popular phrases and quotes from Shakespeare's perfect tragedy, Macbeth. The play is said to illustrate the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. It occurs to me that the play also describes our current political climate as scores of Republican candidates now maneuver to be our President while equally ambitious Democratic candidates try to figure out how to overturn the reigning Queen of that party so that they, in turn, can thwart the upstart Republicans. It is a perfect Witches Brew. But I digress.
We did thoroughly enjoy reading and discussing Macbeth. Misfit Mark Druffner mentioned that in the backstage world of theatre, many Shakespearian actors believe that the play is cursed; they will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "the Scottish play". He provided this link to a hilarious spoof of that belief: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h--HR7PWfp0
And now, back to Lucy Beckett: Our selection for July will conclude our reading of her masterful book, In the Light of Christ: Writings in the Western Tradition. We will finish the book by reading Chapters 12-16 and Chapter 22. We were enjoined by Misfit Loome to give special attention to the chapter on Pascal. Misfit Wessel also recommended that we reread and discuss, in greater detail, Chapter 22 which deals with Czeslaw Milosz and Pope John Paul II.
A bit further into the future: for August we will read and discuss a book of poetry by a literary convert to the Faith, Denise Levertov. Her collection of poems, The Stream and the Sapphire: Selected Poems on Religious Themes, describes her slow movement from agnosticism to her eventual acceptance of the Christian faith.
In September, we will go back to one of our favorite authors, Evelyn Waugh, and read A Handful of Dust. Waugh's novel "combines tragedy, comedy, and savage irony, [and] indelibly captures the irresponsible mood of the 'crazy and sterile generation' between the wars". This will begin our 13th year of reading the great treasures of our Catholic literary tradition. Hard to believe that we started our Catholic Men's Reading Group in 2002 and that the Misfits are still going strong. Amazing!
For the remainder of the summer (July and August) we will continue to meet at Loome Theological Books at:
Loome Books/Claret Farm
2270 Neal Ave N, West Lakeland, MN 55082
See also the Map at: https://www.loomebooks.com/
I hope to see each of you there. It is lovely setting. Even if you haven't read all of Beckett, drop by to share a beer with us and peruse the remarkable books available at Misfit Hagen's book store. You really should visit this store and support his wonderful enterprise: collecting, preserving, and marketing, the theological treasures of Christendom.
We will meet as always, the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm. Please consider bringing a six pack or a snack to share at our next meeting on Wednesday, July 10th.
May God continue to bless each of you,