Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sources of Stress

"Fear seems to be the dominant mood of the moment. Hurricanes, tidal waves, floods, earthquakes and terrorism this year have all brought with them not only appalling scenes of devastation, death and suffering, but also outrage at the lack of preparations to avoid or cope with these disasters," begins one of the editorials in last week's Economist magazine. It then goes on to talk about avian flu. It was the first thing I had read in a while that really resonnated with me because it is how I have been feeling. The world around causes me great concern, and this triggers concern deep down inside.

It seems that there is a thicker than usual pall of anxiety and stress hanging over us. Disasters, coupled with fears about the economy, tied in with anxieties about the management of the nation and its business, and then the possibility of an influenza pandemic have people on edge. We have watched fuel prices skyrocket stretching family budgets, and folks like us lose everything because of gigantic storms. This is beside the fact that September and October can be brutally hard months in the schedules of those living in the northern hemisphere.

I sometimes wonder if we in the West aren't playing a constant game to test ourselves just to see how much stress we can take. Certainly, this is the way that it has been for me over the last few weeks, and now I am psychologically and emotionally paying the price. Over the years I have become attentive to making sure that I get my sabbath each week, but because of circumstances beyond my control for the best part of five weeks I have gone without days off.

An impossible schedule, plus unexpectedly painful stresses related to my parochial ministry, have created a situation so stressful that I have found myself a companion of anxiety and depression, conditions that Winston Churchill described as "Black Dog." This, Archibald Hart, in his groundbreaking work on depression among pastors and those in the helping professions, written twenty years ago, is the motif emotion of our age. Since Hart wrote, too, life has speeded up and become more complex, further adding to our sense of fragmentation and inability to cope.

During the last couple of weeks I have been having trouble sleeping, but I would hazard 6-10 people with whom I have had pastoral dealings have made the same complaint. I have spent time with a supermom who isn't feeling so super any more, an insurance agent who keeps having panic attacks, as well as speaking to several clergy who are at the end of their rope.

For these latter sufferers is the added pall hanging over so many of us in ECUSA who have been perilously wounded by the events that are shredding our denomination. Further salt is rubbed in our wounds when there are partings of friends, something that is happening to me almost every week as I see men and women who I have traveled and world alongside for so long saying that they are not prepared to take any more of the Episcopal Church's particular brand of fallenness.

Thus we find ourselves undone by levels of stress that cause us great discomfort, and then at the same time we are called to walk alongside others who battle depression and anxiety because of the strains that are endemic in our culture. If Alvin Toffler thought we were suffering the bumps and bruises of futureshock in the 1970s, in the 2000s there is little doubt that we are at the mercy of hyper-futureshock as tomorrow takes place yesterday, and life is so frenetic that we are unable to keep up with ourselves. And when we attempt to do so, we badly damage our souls and psyches.

This is the kind of world in which we are called to minister, and when we who are the pastors fail to take care of ourselves there are all sorts of negative consequences. Since late September this has been my lot. Because I have some knowledge of the way my own inner being works, I did not deliberately plan it this way, and looking back I can see no other way I could have done things, but now my priority is to recover equilibrium and rectify this situation.

During the days ahead I will be more careful about diet, exercise, and I will be trying to listen carefully to the promptings of my soul. In addition, I will be giving myself more space, as well as attempting to read, refersh my imagination, and sit silently in the presence of the One who has called us to himself. Ministry is a high stress business, and woe betide us if we fail to take that reality seriously.

I find that when I am stretched to the very limits I read more fiction than would otherwise be the case. This "cure" has usually begun to work itself out unnoticed long before I realize what I am up to. I think the reason for this is that my imagination and creativity are starved and need to be nourished. Another element of this is that I also find myself prone to write fiction, too, not caring whether anyone ever publishes it or not. Things deep down inside work themselves out when I do this.

But there is a stress we are facing that we seldom talk about. We are great at examining therapeutic categories, but we usually overlook the fact that today's world casts us as foreigner in what was once our own culture. I am utterly convinced that the speed with which secularism and paganism have been advancing in the West has accelerated by the speed of communications. We are in the middle of this huge culture war in which those of us who are seeking to cultivate a biblical worldview, and then live according to that worldview, are frequently losing ground.

You don't need to spend long poking around the Internet to discover this -- and I am not talking about the preponderance of pornography and kinkiness that is readilly available. Ideas and ethics are being accepted as normative that fly in the face of revealed values, so we constantly need to be on our guard to critique what we are reading and come to believe or think, to protect ourselves from the kind of syncretism that is in the process of doing such harm to the old line denominations.

And the old liners are not the only ones who are in trouble. I was looking at some supposedly evangelical stuff from a blue ribbon conservative source the other day to find notions being accepted as normative that when measured against the thrust of the biblical witness were highly questionable. Materialism and relativism run rampant, and so we have to dodge and weave, as well as needing to defend ourselves against those who believe that we should shut our mouths and disappear because we are dinosaurs from a frozen past.

I have been ordained for 60% of my earthly existence. Over the years ministry has gotten harder, and like so many of my peers I have the scars to prove it. Yet I believe that today it is even harder than it has ever been, and I don't see that forecast altering. We Christians are no longer spokespeople for any other cause than that of God's Kingdom, the challenge is going to be how to live, think, and act as Kingdom people.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Outcomes of the Battle of Trafalgar

This last weekend the British celebrated one of the most significant sea victories in the nation's long and illustrious history. It was probably one of the ten great sea victories of all time -- and that is the Battle of Trafalgar. Fought in the Atlantic off the Iberian peninsula's Cape Trafalgar on October 21-23, 1805, the British fleet under the leadership of Admiral Lord Nelson, defeated the combined fleets of France and Spain.

If the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 had saved England's independence as a Protestant nation, Trafalgar guaranteed that Britain would rule the waves for more than a century that followed -- and in doing so shape the modern world.

Nelson's signal to his sailors as the battle commenced is one that every English child learns at elementary school, and few forget: "England expects every man to do his duty." And do their duty they did, especially Viscount Horatio Nelson who was mortally wounded on the decks of his flagship, "The Victory," by a French sniper high in the rigging of an attacking man o'war. Today his achievement is remembered in the most spacious of central London's squares, and Nelson's statue is atop of the column in the middle of that place, Trafalgar Square.

I am at present working my way through Patrick O'Brian's magnificent books set in the Royal Navy of those years, the Jack Aubrey books that begin with "Master and Commander." O'Brian captures perfectly the flavor of that time, the sense that Britain was stretching its muscles are taking its rightful place as leader of the world. The Royal Navy was to be found everywhere, and even if some of their practices left something to be desired at that time, over the next decades the world's first really professional navy emerged.

Yet it is not the wonders of British naval power that I wish to wax eloquent over, but instead the way in which Trafalgar set the course of history for so long. While everyone knew that this was a significant victory, far in excess of Nelson's other greatest win, the earlier Battle of the Nile, I do not get the sense from reading the history of that period that they realized just how significant it was going to turn out to be.

As we look back at history with 20/20 hindsight it is so often the unexpected that turns out to be a major turning point of great importance. As in our own lives. If the woman who is now my wife had decided to skip church on an October Sunday evening in 1966 when I was being introduced to the congregation where she worshipped as their resident seminarian, then it is entirely possible that we would not be married today. All of us can probably point to such fortuitous circumstances in our own lives.

The values of a whole generation were shaped forever by the events of October 1928 when the Stock Market crashed, none of them would ever be the same again -- a theme that is played upon in all sorts of ways in the movies, most recently, perhaps, in the story of the champion race horse, Seabiscuit. Sometimes we can see this tipping points as clearly as the nose on the center of our faces, but often it is only by looking through the rearview mirror of history that we discover the truth.

On my day off today I have been trying to see if I can identify events in our own time, especially in the life of the churches, that we will look back on and see as of major significance. I suspect as far as North American Anglicanism is concerned that the foundation of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in 1976, an institution that opened its doors during my first week in this country, is of more significance than perhaps more publicized events of that year -- maybe even the General Convention's endorsement of what is today the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

There was a vision around Trinity that has reached far and wide since those days, and had put in place a significant evangelical body of leadership before ECUSA began self-destructing in 2003. Perhaps it was in some way a catalyst of that self-destruction because it played a role in establishing a body of congregations who were willing with Luther to stand up and say, "Here I Stand," when actions counter to both the word and the spirit of Scripture were enacted. Maybe there would not have been that orthodox balance in ECUSA without Trinity, and perhaps the Episcopal Church would have begun its journey to denominational oblivion far sooner.

Only time will tell whether this reading of history is right, and perhaps at this moment we are up too close for that to be considered anything more than a supposition. I suspect, also, that out of this conflagration will come a newly shaped and formed Anglicanism, although I am not sure that I will see all of its possibilities in my own lifetime.

The victory of Nelson at Trafalgar had so many direct and indirect consequences that the mind boggles. A few years later the Slave Trade was abolished in the British Empire under the leadership of William Wilberforce. This could not have happened without the power of the Royal Navy to patrol the seas and end that barbaric travesty. Without global naval power, Britain's empire would not have spread its tentacles far and wide, and with it went missionaries of every nationality and flavor that took the Gospel to unreached corners. World Christianity today, whether Catholic, Anglican, or otherwise, owes something to that great naval feat.

In the providence of God, as ghastly as battle might be, there is much to be thankful for as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Denying that Actions and Ideas have Consequences

Today I received the November-December issue of The Futurist magazine, a journal to which I have subscribed for many a long year. The lead article is an analysis of what it calls "The Superlongevity Revolution." In other words, how all the advances now taking place in medical science are going to give us lives that will be considerably extended, and that within this century it will be possible for human beings to live for 300-400 years.

Firstly, we have to wonder whether this will ever be possible, and secondly, whether it would be wise to pursue this course of action even if it is possible. But having said that, the author really minimizes, ignores, or skates over the surface of some of the blacker consequences such advances might have. His emphasis is thoroughly postmodern, focusing on the possibilities and not on the other side of this conundrum. This is merely an illustration of an issue that I want to explore because it has been pressing itself home on me wherever I have looked of late.

It is that the contemporary mindset has managed to loosen its hold on the fundamental notion that actions and ideas have consequences. The article about superlongevity that I read this afternoon was a fine example of this, not stopping to either explore or examine the veracity of some of the base assumptions behind the points it was making. I don't know whether it is possible for someone to live almost indefinitely, I rather hope not, but I suspect that if the natural order were so badly disrupted by a cadre of almost ageless people, the consequences would be catastrophic in ways the author does not point up.

As a Christian whose thinking and believe is, I hope, shaped and formed by Holy Scripture plainly understood, I have the conviction that there is a God-given moral order that undergirds the universe, and that it is an act both of foolishness and idolatry to fly in the face of that moral order. In its various shapes and forms postmodernity sits light to such a moral order. It is a self-vaunting gnosticism. The high priests and priestesses of this rapidly maturing culture have deliberately separated North American and European culture from not only its Judeo-Christian roots, but also to the debt it owes to some of the undergirding principles of classical philosophy, logic, and reason.

We now live in a world where, as Daniel Boorstin put it, fantasy is more real than reality. "We risk being the first people in history to have been able to make their illusions so vivid, so persuasive, so 'realistic' that they can live in them." This quote comes early on in Neal Gabler's book, Life, The Movie, a work whose thesis is that entertainment no longer interprets our society and its ways to us, but is the template through which we must now understand our world and its environment.

The Welsh observer, Meic Pearse, builds on this notion in his book, Why The Rest Hates the West, by saying that "The unprecedented comfort of our lives allows us, if we are not careful -- and we have not been careful -- to lose hold of the fundamental realities that underpin human existence. We can, after all, use our wealth to cocoon ourselves from those unpleasant realities -- at least for a while" (page 25). But, he goes on to point out. We are naive in our obliviousness, and we are setting ourselves up for a horrible fall when reality finally snaps back into place.

Thus I return to my thesis that our culture's approach to understanding life is strangely surreal, so that now we act as if there are no consequences to the actions we are taking. We can point our finger in countless directions to illustrate this point. I can do what I like if it makes me happy, we think to ourselves. The government spending billions of dollars that it does not have and will not raise, counting on the rest of the world indefinitely to carry the debt Americans are accumulating. We burn fossil fuels with blithe abandon, and even now are ignoring the danger signs of glaciers, the the icecaps, the heating of the oceans, and the intensification of hurricanes that are giving us warning that we can't go on as we have been.

The other day I was in an elevator as this woman was complaining to her friend that it was now costing her more than $70 a week to commute to work. It wasn't fair, she asserted. I had watched her manouver her grossly oversized behemoth into the parking lot. She had bought the thing, she knew it guzzled gallons per mile when she signed on the dotted line, and now she was whining about the consequence of having bought such a beast. She was, at the everday level, a wonderful example of someone not prepared to recognize that actions and ideas have consequences.

During the last few weeks my ministry has given me the opportunity to talk at length with a whole lot of interesting people, Christian leaders of various differing flavors, and I have learned a tremendous amount from almost all of them. However, I have found my ear pricking up and asking questions whenever someone has said, "But at heart I'm an optimist," after having attempted to address a question dealing with something difficult or demanding.

As I have prodded, coaxed, and listened some more, I have concluded that what this person is actually saying is that while the facts seem to point in one particular direction, I am going to ignore the facts and go with what my gut tells me I want things to be like. While I have no problems at trying to look at the positive side of circumstances, cheerful denial is neither a wise nor a healthy way of carrying on. It is the entertainment-driven hedoninsm of postmodernity that encourages such cheerful denial of reality.

Near the end of Life, The Movie, Neal Gabler writes, "The great cultural debate that loomed at the end of the twentieth century and promised to dominate the twenty-first, then, was one between realists who believed that a clear-eyed appreciation of the human condition was necessary to be human, and the postrealists who believed that glossing reality and even transforming it into a movie were perfectly acceptable strategies if these maked us happier -- a debate, one might say, between humanness and happiness" (page 244).

Many of our debates, therefore, boil down to this kind of trade off. The debate about sexuality and human choice that is at present tearing the church apart is just one component of this. I could list many others because such denial of reality is the motif of our age and our culture. Realism does not mean living under a black cloud all the time, but it does mean facing up to the fact that we cannot do what we like and expect we will be able to get away with it indefinitely.

I do not see our culture changing any time soon, so we must continue to live with this appalling shortsightedness until a crisis does occur, and some perhaps, are then able to hear. But we Christians should not be living as postmoderns in this environment, our task is to live as biblical men and women, and be learning how to present our worldview in ways that people will eventually be able to hear and see.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Networks -- Again

This is always a most beautiful time of the year in Middle Tennessee, and I had the pleasure this afternoon to drive through the fields, woodlands, and hillsides to make plans for a Blessing of Animals to celebrate the Feast of St Francis. As I drove I thought and prayed, although I seemed to constantly find myself behind every less-than-perfect driver on the road, which didn't improve my driving.

A whole tangle of ideas, bits, and pieces that I had been reading tumbled around in my brain, and it surprises me that anything constructive has emerged -- but it has. I guess the trigger was what is for me the sad departure of most of the people of St. John's, Tallahassee from the Diocese of Florida. I never cease to find such events painful, marveling over how stupid supposedly intelligent bishops can be. When it hit the press in the last few days it plunged me for a time into deep depression.

Yet as I thought about it I remembered that period in the 1990s when I was involved in the shaping of ideas that might shape the denomination, and especially being part of a taskforce that was formed to re-envision the mission ministry of the Episcopal Church. Because of the way the resolution of the 1994 General Convention was phrased we were able to do some real big-picture dreaming before we were pressed to focus in on our specific task.

The truth is, we opined, as you look at the way the world is developing, flattened overlapping networks are the way of doing things and not the hierarchical structures that we live with right now. A lot of imaginative thinking and writing about networks was being done at that moment, because it was clear that the whole way in which the emerging world was doing its business could not longer cope with the pyramidic organizations of yesteryear.

One of the more radical (in every way) individuals who did some work with the taskforce, when we had got our first draft together said something to the effect that "if they don't accept networks voluntarily, then they will have networks thrust upon them." These weren't his precise words, but they were the mood of what he said. Well, it does seem that the Episcopal Church has been totally unwilling to accept that the time has come to alter the way we do business, and so networks are little by little peeling the old structures away.

Eric Dudley and the fellowship in Tallahassee that has followed him out of the structures of ECUSA has sought the networked covering of an unnamed archbishop somewhere else in the Anglican Communion. You probably don't need to be a rocket scientist to guess what continent that archbishop might reside upon! Another brick is taken out of the ECUSA building, and then is affiliated with a new way of doing things, a way made possible by the information revolution.

The management guru, Robert Quinn writes that "an organization is a coalition of coalitions... the entire system is constantly evolving and changing" (Deep Change, Robert Quinn, page 91). In the past that change has come incrementally, so there have been ways of managing that evolution so that it is minimal in its disruption, but we live in a wholly different world. Quinn then goes on to suggest that "The operative goals (of these coalitions of coalitions) are usually congruent with the interests of the dominant coalition" (page 91). He further suggests that virtually every dominant coalition justifies the current equilibrium which gives it power, and limits changes to minimal incrementality rather than transformational efforts.

Going back to that taskforce, then Presiding Bishop Browning when he discovered the groundwork we were doing just about blew a gasket. I had not arrived at the meeting where he did this because of a flight delay, which may have saved my hide from a nasty tanning. Browning, and those who have followed him, have not been willing to let go of the reins that give them power in order that transformation that will release the Gospel can take place.

Meanwhile, the networks keep on networking, and these days among the orthodox, there is an interesting melange of ECUSA types, Reformed Episcopalians, AMiAs, those affiliated with dioceses and provinces elsewhere, and so forth. There might be certain distrusts, but we share seminaries, in some cases share clergy, share mission agencies, and are gradually finding ways of doing work with one another.

While I don't want to suggest that attitudes in these emerging networks are always good, honest, true and lovely, what is happening is that the waters of spiritual life are finding other ways of doing things. If the received structures refuse to budge, then we must get on with Gospel ministry in another way. I suspect that in some form or another, this is one of the seeds of what will be future settings within which faithful ministry and mission takes place.

Those who entrench in the old structures are behaving like King Canute. Tomorrow's church will thrive where it learns how to communicate in a holy manner yesterday's theology that is rooted and grounded in God's revelation, not where it adjusts its theology to the mood of the age. But it will also thrive where it is prepared to adapt to meet a different kind of world. Doesn't the Lambeth-Chicago Quadrilateral talk about "the historic episcopate locally adapted?"

Brothers and sisters in Christ, now is the time to adapt, whenever we are in the messy network of emerging Anglicanism. As the man said, "if they don't accept networks voluntarily, then they will have networks thrust upon them."

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A Serious Call to A Devout and Holy Life

What is the real issue confronting the churches today?

Most of us in the Anglican trenches of North America are probably going to focus on sexuality, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians might do the same, while other traditions are going to focus on different things. However, I am not sure that any of us are right. Sexuality for my money is only one presenting issue of a much deeper set of malaises.

Regular readers to Toward2015 are aware that I consider the sexuality battle to be merely an unpleasant and ferocious conflict in what will be the 21st Century's great war -- and that is over what it means to be human? I say again, that this is going to be an intellectual and moral challenge that will test us to the uttermost, and could well overwhelm us. The tragedy for me is that there are those in the churches, whose views are shaped by their own desires and wants, and so they are setting a path away from a revealed understanding of the nature of our humanity.

Neither do I think that the issue of the authority of Scripture is the greatest issue facing us today, although, God knows, there are strong forces at work within the churches that want to apportion the written Word in their own terms and not at its own face value and plain meaning within the continuum of catholic believing. Indeed, I listened to a leading Episcopalian recently trot out that tired old postmodern stalking horse that each generation should read the text through their own grid of presuppositions. Interestingly, he was far less willing to approach the interpretation of other ecclesiastical documents in the same lax manner.

No, I believe the major issue before us today is individual and corporate holiness. Indeed, the Windsor Report talks about the "radical holiness to which all Christ's people are called, and thus rooted in the Trinitarian life and purposes of God" (paragraph 3). Holy living is at the root of faithful following of Jesus Christ, and holy living rather than aping the fallen world in which we live should be a witness to that fallen world that there is a much better way of living, being, struggling with sin, and ultimately being in communion with God. Unholiness is at the heart of the problems we have in the churches in the West right now. Indeed, in my darker moments I wonder sometimes whether we thumb our noses at the notion of holiness and opt for a vapid godlessness.

Every era expresses human fallenness in its own particular way, and it is easy to exaggerate the declining moral state of any era when compared to another. However, with the drift of our culture away from even a modicum of pretence of rootedness in Judeo-Christian revelation, we do seem to be eager to plumb new depths. And at precisely the moment when the Christian church should be using Gospel values to engage this dark cloud that hovers over our world and the way it thinks, we are more inclined than ever to join the world's noisy procession.

I am not just talking about sex, although our fixation with sexual sinfulness is symbolic of what is wrong in our culture; I am talking about arrogance, blatant materialism, the seven deadly sins coming in every shape and form, and the attitude of the builders of Babel that we know best, as if God should shut up and listen to our cleverness! Baptists and Pentecostals have, perhaps, a different set of of banalities and shallowness than Episcopalians, Catholics, and Prebyterians, but as I look at churches (and at my own life) we all fall so far short that the angels must weep daily over us as we dig deeper trenches.

Yet it is at times like these in the history of the church that movements of renewed zeal and holiness are born. From the Desert Fathers shaking the dust of the Egyptian churches from their feet and following St. Anthony into the wilderness onward, holiness has become a major quest of what becomes an influential in the church at times of moral torpor and ethical dreadfulness.

The Reformation was a renewal movement that tore the church apart, but on both sides of the Protestant divide there was a questing for holiness that bore considerable fruit -- whether in the richness of proclamation by John Calvin, or the call to spiritual arms that came from Ignatius Loyola. While the Borgias were dragging the papacy into the pit of unbelievable nastiness, seeds of renewal had been planted that flowered and bore much fruit.

There was a rich moral fervor in the lives of the Puritans, but following the Restoration of the monarchy, the Great Ejection of 1662, and in the philandering of Charles II, the so-called Merry Monarch, we see a weariness with the earnestness of those men and women of God. Yet even in that smutty period something new was stirring as people like the anonymous Country Parson with his Advice to his Parisioners set forth a standard of Christian living that burst into flame a couple of generations later, helping kindle the extraordinary Great Awakening of the 18th Century.

The Wesley brother, George Whitefield, and others, banded themselves together and formed the Holy Club at Oxford that sought to assert serious Christian living in the midst of the lassitude of latitudinarianism that seemed to prevail as the Enlightenment's roots dug deep. The renewing work of the Spirit that was the Great Awakening came upon the lives of individuals desperate to reflect the glory of God. These are a handful of examples that come to mind, I am sure we could come up with dozens of others if we all set our minds to it!

This search for holiness is not something that begins either in high places in the church, or in prominent settings. Those who sought after God's holiness in their lives in Christian history were often outcasts and mercilessly ridiculed. I suspect there was what my old seminary Principal called "piosity" in the lives of these men and women so that they set themselves up for opposition, but beyond that there was a genuine yearning that their hearts would beat in time with the heart of God -- and it attracted those weary with worldliness.

I see inklings that something like this might be happening. Just taking the Anglican scene for the moment, in conversation and correspondence with those at all points on the spectrum I see few people who are proud of, or happy with the state of the church. Indeed, I would say there is a profound discomfort with where we are and what we are doing to each other in the name of Christ.

The answer to this is not going to be found in the actions of canon-wielding bishops throwing the book at what they perceive to be malcontents, nor in the ferociousness with which some conservatives make their case. It is ultimately going to come to fruition in the lives of those who take biblical holiness seriously, and who determine that they are willing to be part of the minority when it comes to living a devout and faithful life, even if it means being cold-shouldered, ridiculed, and even persecuted.

There will perhaps be pockets of resistance to the way things are, and a willingness to surrender all to Christ in fresh ways, that we might be made holy by the one who surrendered his all for us and our redemption. I pray to the Lord that this will happen, because if it does not, then we will disappear into the quagmire of cultural rottenness that is around us. I am not sure there are any formulas for what God requires of us, except to throw ourselves weeping over our sinfulness into his arms, asking him to take us forward to where he wants us to be.

"Francis," God spoke to the saint in Assisi, "Build my church." Francis was lying in the rubble of St. Damian's church on the edge of his home town. Thinking that God was saying literally put one stone upon another, this former playboy got up and started rebuilding the ruins. That was the first step in a movement that led to a wonderful renewal of medieval Christianity.

I don't know how God makes his call upon us, and with what words, but I have a strange hunch that somewhere, or more likely, in pockets in all sorts of places, there are men and women who are turning their backs on the world's values, even the way the world's values have blown apart the church, and are listening for that voice which Francis of Assisi heard.