Monday, May 19, 2008

Love, Sydney

In which I appear on "Weekend Sunrise," the Australian version of the "Today" show, to discuss The Thrill of the Chaste between stops on my Seattle tour last Saturday, and gain sympathy for everyone who has ever had to be a "talking head." It is a strange feeling to be told to direct my gaze to an enlarged photograph of a woman's eyes and pretend I am making eye contact with an actual human being. I calmed my nerves by pretending the disembodied baby blues belonged to Our Lady of Fatima. (You'll need to click on that "Weekend Sunrise" link to see the clip, as the show's Web site doesn't allow embedding.*)

Despite the awkwardness of the experience, I am delighted with what I managed to say on the program; I got to make all the points I wanted to make about chastity, and even put in a plug for Chesterton. It also helped that the hosts asked good questions. For both the choice of questions and my answers, I credit the prayers of Mark Shea (my longtime blog pal, whom I had met for the first time in person just two days earlier), his son Cow, and his daughter-in-law Tasha, all of whom came with me at my request. Cow is a member of the Militia Immaculata and so joined me in petitioning his and my patron St. Maximilian Kolbe, who was adept at using the media to spread the Faith. I also asked G.K. Chesterton, his wife Frances Blogg Chesterton, Archbishop Sheen, and Father James Keller for help, along with other fave rave saints/saints-to-be such as the Venerable Edel Quinn.

Most helpful too were the thoughts and advice Mark gave me in the TV studio's green room, which helped me mentally prepare for the broadcast. Having him there with me at that moment in my life was really quite amazing, especially since he is one of the people whose kindness and wisdom helped lead me into the Church. If I had written the script for my life and had imagined who I would most like to be with me before I related Catholic teachings on human sexuality to a TV audience, I would have chosen him.

After the broadcast, I got to snap this shot of Mark and Cow turning the nearby KOMO studio into the Shea News Network. "This just in from the 'Two Phases of History' department ..." The broadcast capped off a wonderful day, but I'll let Mark tell the rest of the story, as I'm jet-lagged after flying home this afternoon. Many thanks to him and his family for their wonderful hospitality.

*I would be grateful if a reader could put that clip on YouTube so I might embed it.