The third place or the non-place

I have a Facebook, as do many of the folks I know.  I (jokingly) asked, ‘what is simulacra, and what is not?’  In other words, there are parts in our lives where we interact with actual people, places and things; yet there are parts of our lives that are neither.

We have lost, in our world, the ‘front porch’ of everyday life.  Those ‘third places’ in our everyday that are neither home nor work.  Perhaps the coffee shop or the barbershop is that for some, that place to relate with others on more than surface levels but not our most intimate levels.

That begs the question, what is a blog or Facebook–or more significanlty where is a blog or Facebook? Is virtual reality a ‘place’ where something actually occurs?  Or is it a ‘non-place?’

An Instrument of Peace

I’ve tried hard to ignore the way Francis moves my heart.  I love Benedict and the Cappadocians.  John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila move me.  But I can’t get away from Francis.

It has been said that Francis is the only Christian the world has ever known.  That, of course, is an overstatement, but who can resist the little friar of Assisi for his ‘strong tenderness?’  While the crusaders were trying to stem the tide of Islam through military action, Francis was preaching in Muslim lands.   While the church was in bed with materialism, Francis began in ministry ‘fleeing’ to the forest naked.  While Christianity was tempted by power, Francis loved the lepers and the other ‘least of these.’

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.