LOTRO, linux, and more Opus Dei
A jet-lagged linux geek is a dangerous thing. I’ve been running “Lord of the Rings Online” in linux for awhile (water effects aren’t as good as in windows, and you have to patch via windows). I hadn’t figured out how to get it in windowed mode until this morning. Funny what happens, when you uncheck “full screen” in the display options of the program…Screenshot was taken outside of the Lagging Pony in Bree.
Granted, when I read more of Allen’s book on Opus Dei, I was stuck on a tarmac at Boston, my flight delayed by over an hour, when I had only an hour to get to my connecting flight (Which was in a different concourse, since I was flying a codeshared airline from ORD). I’m about two-thirds of the way through the book. Also in the interest of full disclosure, I’m really really jetlagged.
On the one hand, I get the notion of one’s life being an extended prayer. I like the notion of sanctification of work, and I do believe people are called to be contemplatives in lay life. However (and this is a big however), I can’t help but be creeped out and a bit pissed off with how Opus Dei perverts those notions.
Why the secrecy? They can claim it’s just privacy all they want, but why do their members hide their affiliation? Sure, it’s nobody’s business, but if it’s something beautiful in your life, don’t you want to be a witness for it? Secondly (and sort of along the lines of the first), their recruiting techniques leave a lot to be desired. It seems like the one consistent thing in the book is that they prey on people with a literal understanding of their faith or those more likely to already be on the fringe or marginalized. That’s a cult’s recruiting tactics, especially when combined with isolation.
And you really don’t want to get me going about the whole “well women are better at domestic things, because it’s their traditional role” circularity, either. Granted, the plural of anecdote isn’t data, but I don’t have a domestic bone in my body, as visitors to Chez Fork can attest. Is it because I’ve been “masculinized” as they say, or is it because we all have different gifts? For instance, the Frood is much more domestic than I am. Conversely, you really don’t want him doing the cooking (although he’s getting much better.) There are other things I’m content to let him take care of, but there’s nothing biologically based in the ability to cook, for instance. I know a couple fathers, who’re stay-at-home dads, and they’re awesome parents. Should their children be deprived, because it’s not their traditional role?
The issue of mortification is the least troublesome to me, honestly. I understand the value of ascetics, and sometimes you just can’t help suffering. Offering it for some other purpose is a laudable thing, I think. But deliberately seeking out suffering? I’m with Thomas Merton that one’s asceticism should be for the purpose of enjoying the world and life we’re given. Opus Dei reminds me of the line from “Dogma:” “You don’t celebrate your faith, you mourn it.”