Sunday, February 07, 2021

Charles pulls a St. Anthony

Saint Anthony is famous for his Sermon to the Fishes.*  My buddy Charles writes an essay over at Liminality that feels an awful lot like a homily.  I don't mean that pejoratively, as if Charles's entry were somehow "preachy."  Quite the contrary, I'm talking more about all the good things that can come from a decent sermon:  the feeling of being enriched, the provoking of thoughtfulness, the experience of depth, and the seeing of the world in a new way.  Charles discusses the concept of shōkakkō, the "small-but-certain happiness," i.e., a deep appreciation of the little things, of this moment.  According to Charles, the term was coined in the 1980s, but it points to concepts that are as ancient as religion itself.  I found the essay to be rather Zen.  At one point, Charles writes that, as he gets older, the things that make him happy are not what he achieves, but what he experiences.  Can't get more Zen than that.  

Go and give Charles's essay a read.


*St. Francis of Assisi was famous for his communion with nature.  The legends say that he spoke to birds and beasts, and the living creatures loved him.  Birds took flight in tribute when he died.  It should come as no surprise, then, that Saint Anthony of Padua might preach the good word to the fishes:  Anthony was a Franciscan.


Charles said...

I'm glad you appreciated the rambling, even though it only scratched the surface.

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks for writing the piece.