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"Cleverer people than myself will be able to specify . . . the exact sense in which she (or, perhaps, any other pagan "god") might be said to die and rise again in Christ and so attain real divinity as a partaker in His."

That is a great sentence--a great thought. I have to think about it.


This is my extra-busy day, so I won't have time to comment till this evening, but I do have a few remarks to add. Btw I looked for pictured of CD with long white beard to go with this post, and only found one small photo sans beard.

I love Derrick's 'Sex and Sacredness' - it means much more to me than the 'theology of the body'! And 'That Strange Divine Sea' - an excellent book! I was so lucky to read these books as a new Catholic! I remember reading that parable that Paul begins this piece with - it's stayed with me all these years!

What most impressed me was the patient and polite way he answered "gotcha" hypotheticals pitched by hormonal undergraduates. The patent bad faith of the questioners had me grinding my teeth, and I was sitting quietly at the back (as always).

Perhaps he grew the beard for the occasion. It certainly didn't do the prophetic/mythopoetic style of the delivery any harm.

I read several of his books in the early '80s, including Sex and Sacredness. I liked them all, although I don't remember them in much detail now. Always kind of had in mind to read Strange Divine Sea but never have.

Definition of "fribble". Another dictionary says it was first recorded in 1664. From the same root as "frivolous," maybe.

Just the name Strange Divine Sea makes me want to read it.


It could maybe say nothing much new to a lifelong Catholic. It is a great book for a new Catholic to read.

Perhaps not new, but fresh. It gives a unique personal perspective.

That was perhaps too telegraphic: I mean that while the book doesn't say anything about the Church that a long-standing active member wouldn't already know, it says it from a personal angle that gives fresh perspective.

The title was actually mildly off-putting to me. I'm not really sure why. Very mildly, but probably part of the reason why I didn't read it back then.

I corresponded very briefly with Derrick around that same time. I think he was one of the people who wrote to me after my conversion story was published in the National Catholic Register. He said something in one letter about the relative unimportance of one's work compared to family that was very helpful to me, and that I always remembered.

It does sound like something from Rod McKuen, and back then, I might have associated it with the 70s, but knowing who it is, it didn't affect me that way.


I don't think I gave it a whole lot of thought, I just remember thinking that it didn't sound appealing. I should give it a try now.

This was marvellous. Thank you, Paul.

"I remember reading that parable that Paul begins this piece with - it's stayed with me all these years!"

Yes, that parable was wonderful.

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