Monday, March 5, 2012

From Catholicism, to Hinduism and back home again...

This snippet of an interview with Tim Farrington gives us a glimpse into the part of him that made Lizzie's War come to life:

"I was raised Catholic, the oldest of four children. My father was a Marine Corps officer who served in Korea and Vietnam, and my mother was an actress and drama teacher, so I had plenty to reconcile right from the start. I had several years of Catholic school in the classic Catholic experience, including a good dose of the terror of hell and sin, and nuns with sticks, but I was also blessed in having an aunt who was a nun, and I spent a lot of happy hours at her convent and got to know the human and fun-loving side of religious vocation as well.

I was an altar boy right around the time the mass switched from Latin to English after Vatican II, and thought about being a priest for a while when I was a kid. In my teens, though, I got into Buddhism, philosophy, and literature, and went through a long period of alienation from Christianity. But I was definitely looking hard for meaning.

In my twenties, I entered an ashram in Oakland, CA, where the prevailing philosophy was Hindu, Kashmir Shaivism. Strangely enough, it was during my two years there, while I was chanting to Kali and Krishna, meditating to an Om Namah Shivaya mantra, and chopping tons of vegetables in the ashram kitchen, that I discovered the profundity of the classic Christian mystics, beginning with The Cloud of Unknowing, and began to heal my alienation from that tradition. By the early ’90s I had come full circle, had discovered the bottomless wisdom of John of the Cross, and had embraced a centering prayer practice after meeting Fr. Thomas Keating."

If you'd like, you can read the entire interview here.


  1. God's ways are amazing. I love to see how all things can work for His good. It would be preferable for all to be raised in the faith and remain faithful throughout their lives, but God can use the varied experiences of His children to enrich the Church and the world. I think it's important to remember this for ourselves and for parents to remember this as we raise our children in the faith. It's not all up to us and all is not completely lost when we so often fall short of the perfection we desire.

  2. Yes, Terri! I think the key here is that he says he was "definitely looking hard for meaning." I believe that if one is truly and honestly searching for truth, they will find it. And, most acurately, they will find it in the Church. I also think that growing up in the Church during Vatican II may have been very difficult and confusing. I'm so thankful he came home.

    As I read the book, I placed the author in the character of Fr. Germain, Mike's softer, letter-writing, literature-reading side or even Lizzie herself. Never did I think of him as Danny. But, it seems as if his life most parallels the character of Danny. We do peak more into his thoughts than any of the other children.


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