Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tradition?: A Brain Teaser

Reading one of today's lead stories in New York Times today, I was struck by its odd wording. Let's see if I can recreate the experience for you. Read the following, and stop and think for a few seconds what you might expect to come next:

Dominated by liberals, Mexico City’s legislature is expected to legalize abortion in a few weeks. The bill would make this city one of the largest entities in Latin America to break with a long tradition of . . .

The article is by James C. Mckinley, Jr.
who is reporting on the likely passage
of a law allowing abortions in Mexico City.
Here's how that sentence finishes:

. . . women resorting to illegal clinics and midwives to end unwanted pregnancies.

Tradition? Now, one might argue that its most basic definition, stripped of all shades of historical and cultural meaning, the word might apply here. But when I think of Latin American "traditions," this is not something I would include in the list. It's like saying something along the lines of: "the crime rate in America dropped to its lowest in 50 years, breaking with a long tradition of home invasions and drive-by shootings."

The word "tradition" will soon become meaningless if we start applying it so broadly.

read the whole article here.

Jack, and Father Steck

When I was visiting Georgetown during the weekend of the March for Life, one of the more interesting things I witnessed was Fr. Chris Steck, S.J. of my province interviewing possible candidates for the privilege of walking "Jack," Georgetown's bulldog mascot. One of the more interesting parts of the process was Fr. Steck stepping outside with the candidate for a demonstration of his or her singing ability. Given that Chris can often strike one as an overly serious person, I must admit this got a chuckle out of me. In light of the appearance of the Georgetown basketball team in this weekend's Final Four, an article is making the rounds in the nation's newspapers about Jack, and Father Steck.

Jack is in such constant demand that he has an e-mail address. There is an application process for the privilege of walking him - which includes proving an ability to sing the Hoyas' fight song and a willingness to yank from his mouth whatever he should not be eating.

And there's a waiting list.

Maybe it's because he's a real dog. (The school also has a human in a furry dog suit.) Or because he lives on campus. Maybe it's his marked personality: Jack has an imperious manner, a sense of entitlement and a stubborn streak. He's so ugly, with a squashed face and an awkward, snuffling gait, that he often makes people laugh.

And he's never happier, the Rev. Christopher Steck said, than when he's on the basketball court.

A lot has been said about family legacies on the Hoyas team, which plays Ohio State today. Jack is one more celebrity with a proud Georgetown lineage. A forefather paced the sidelines during Patrick Ewing and John Thompson Jr.'s day. Now, as their sons arrive for games, Jack swaggers into the arena with them.

read the whole thing.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Paul Hewson, Knight of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Otherwise known as "Bono"

Reddaway paid tribute to Bono's work as a savvy campaigner against poverty and disease in Africa — but first asked whether he was disappointed that becoming a knight no longer involves a sword or kneeling.

"Please, I wasn't expecting you to kneel," Bono deadpanned, his hand on the ambassador's shoulder.

"Yes, My Child"

I watched about a minute of the show "Medium" last night. Long enough to watch a creepy looking priest walk into a crazy young woman's bedroom, and say that he had come to pray with her. I knew where that was going, so I decided not to watch.

And, of course, he referred to her as "My Child." Now when have you ever heard a priest who wasn't on television or in a movie (and who wasn't joking) ever refer to another person as "my child"? The phrase should be stricken from the TV and screenwriters vocabulary! (Note to Karen and Barbara Hall, and all you other Hollywood types out there!)

Still Timely: Just War, Lasting Peace

Remember that book that was published almost a year ago?

After a pretty steady stint among Orbis' "Today's Features," Just War, Lasting Peace has been displaced, making it a little harder to find on the Orbis Books website. The Amazon rankings have also taken a bit of a plunge of late.

But our little book about war and peace in the Christian Tradition, and in the contemporary context, is still as timely as ever. If you haven't yet, get yourself a copy or buy one for a friend!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Videos for the Prayer-Impaired: Pray the Angelus

If, like me, you sometimes find yourself embarassed because you don't know some of the traditional prayers that people are praying, we may have hit upon a great boon!

The Daughters of St. Paul are YouTubing (?) and have produced this nice video version of The Angelus.

Thanks to Intentional Disciples for bringing it to my attention (check them out too!).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Young Catholic Women: Share Your Stories

Hey, all you young Catholic women writers, this seems like a worthwhile project to contribute to.
You can submit your 1,000 to 2,000 word submissions to:
Also, check out the blog for more info.

Young? Woman? Catholic?

We think you have something to say.

Grab your pen, pencil or keyboard & tell us about your experience as a young woman involved in Catholicism.

Here are some questions to get you started, but let your creativity lead you where you need to go.

Catholic Identity.
--Do you call yourself Catholic? What experiences have shaped your understanding of Catholic identity?
--Tell us about your spiritual practice.

--How have your relationships influenced your experience of Catholicism?
--How has church teaching affected your relationships?

--How have your experiences in Catholic education shaped your worldview?

--What role has Catholic education played in the ways that you are active in the world?

Service and Social Justice.

--Tell us a story about service or justice work and its impact on the way you experience church.


--What is the relationship between your work and your Catholicism (i.e. as a teacher, an activist, a lawyer)?
--Tell us about the moment you knew you had to do whatever it is you do.

--Describe your understanding of ministry and explain how that has developed.

--Describe your experience as a young Catholic woman in a vowed religious community.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ecclesia Virtualis

Last week saw a discussion of the Catholic blogosphere at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia featuring Bill McGarvey, Grant Gallicho, Rocco Palmo, and Amy Welborn. An interesting discussion, and the video is now up! Check it out on BustedHalo.

A Little Anti-Catholicism With Breakfast

This morning, reading what was otherwise a nice and enjoyable profile of a local Orthodox priest, I ran into this little attack on me and my faith:

The Orthodox Church, sensibly, is not wed to celibacy. Its priests, unlike their Catholic brethren, can live normal lives and have families. There's a catch, though. They must be married before they become priests. So, says Hughes, "There's the mad dash of seminarians to find wives."

He is delighted there is no pope in his life. "We have no pope and we don't want one, thank you," he says. "Freedom for us is very important."

Nor is he chained to original sin. "We never accepted the idea of original sin," he says. "What we inherit from our forebears is death. But guilt? Absolutely not. We don't believe a newborn child is sinful. That's utter nonsense." This guy is talking my language.

There exists in his church something called "ancestral sin," but he denies this is a matter of semantics: "We're only guilty for the sins we commit."

Forget the Immaculate Conception, too, he adds. Another weight off my chest. It is not dogma in the Orthodox Church, as it is in the Catholic Church. Mary was born subject to death like the rest of us, he explains, and consciously chose a life free of personal sin. That said, he finds his church hidebound. "It is highly resistant to change," he says. "We don't take risks very often. We're still living in the past."

Now, I only read the Boston Globe occasionally--so it might be seething with anti-Catholic sentiment in general--but I'm struck by the fact that in just the period of about a week and a half I've been characterized as backward and out of touch because I attend daily Mass, and abnormal because I live a celibate life!

You can read the whole article here.

And I'm going to write a cordial yet straightforward e-mail to the article's author, Sam Allis. If you'd like to also, here's his address:

Saturday, March 24, 2007

"The Very Concept of Booing Needs To Be Reevaluated"

Huh? No, this is not a joke. Washington Interscholastic officials are actually considering the possibility of outlawing booing at sporting events. If this catches on, we'll soon be having to replace "Yankees Suck" with "Yankees Not As Good As We Are." It doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Life in the Mean Seats

IN one of the most depressing pieces of news to come along in years, the organization that presides over high school sports in Washington State is considering a ban on booing at sporting events. That’s right, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association is evaluating guidelines for fan behavior that would not only prohibit offensive chants but would also outlaw booing.

The organization is contemplating this measure not just because of concern that fan negativity is discouraging people from taking jobs as referees and coaches, but because, in the words of Mike Colbrese, the association’s executive director, the very concept of booing needs to be re-evaluated.

“I don’t know why people think it’s acceptable to boo in the first place,” Mr. Colbrese told The Seattle Post-Intelligencer earlier this month. “It’s a pretty novel concept to me.”

As a native of Philadelphia, a municipality whose passion for booing is unrivaled, I greet this news with a mixture of revulsion and dread. Philadelphia, coyly nicknamed the City of Brotherly Love, has a place in the national mythology as a city whose fans once booed Santa Claus at a Philadelphia Eagles game, a city where locals sometimes boo unsatisfactory airplane landings . . .

read the rest.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Researching Inculturation in Africa

One of these days, I'm going to write about the year after undergraduate studies that I spent abroad as a Watson Fellow (1991-1992). But for now I hope it will suffice to introduce you to a current Watson Fellow who is studying inculturation in the Church of Africa, Michael Le Chevallier. Michael has a blog called "Mike in Translation," which chronicles his experiences. Here are a couple of his photos--one of him, and one of the Ugandan Martyrs' Shrine. There are some 50 or so current Watson Fellows pursuing a variety of research projects all over the world right now. And there are a couple of thousand former fellows doing all kinds of stuff all over the world! To my knowledge three of them are Jesuits: me, of course, one of my closest Jesuit friends, Tim Manatt, who will be ordained this summer in the Wisconsin province (sadly he's been studying theology at Berkeley, so I don't get to see him often), and one of the first year novices in my province, Sylvester Tan. I hope you will check out Mike's blog!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Good News from Cambridge

Harvard Club Promotes Abstinence


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sometime between the founding of a student-run porn magazine and the day the campus health center advertised "Free Lube," Harvard University seniors Sarah Kinsella and Justin Murray decided to fight back against what they see as too much mindless sex at the Ivy League school.

They founded a student group called True Love Revolution to promote abstinence on campus. The group, created earlier this school year, has more than 90 members on its page and drew about half that many to an ice cream social.

Harvard treats sex _ or "hooking up" _ so casually that "sometimes I wonder if sex is even a remotely serious thing," said Kinsella, who is dating Murray . . .

. . . Others on campus have mocked the group. Murray said his friends take pleasure in loudly, and graphically, discussing their sex lives just to taunt him.

"On campus there is such a strong attitude of pluralism and acceptance, but then it doesn't extend to this," Kinsella said.

read the whole thing.

The Thing About Watchdogs . . .

. . . is that sooner or later they'll bite their friends too!

And this one is just dripping with irony! The university that sold itself as the REAL Catholic university now finds itself subject to a listing of its "liturgical abuses" and firing their orthodox, traditional provost for not being a charismaniac (that's what they used to call us back in the day when I was involved in the charismatic renewal).

Maybe Ave Maria is starting to realize that being a Catholic university--even one that will please all their supporters--is not so easy as they once thought?!

Update: After considerable protest, Ave Maria has "unfired" Father Fessio and named him instead "theologian in residence."

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

A Saint Patrick's Day Gift from Loyola Productions:

Saint Patrick's Breastplate (A Quicktime Movie)

Check it out!

It's Not About Liberation Theology

It's never a happy thing to see a fellow Jesuit censured, and so I don't rejoice at the notification regarding Fr. Sobrino's work this week, but readers of this blog know that I am sympathetic to the concerns addressed there, and which John Allen outlines so well in his latest column. Contrary to popular belief, this has little to do with liberation theology. John Allen writes:

I suspect the most common reaction to news this week that the Vatican has censured Jesuit Fr. Jon Sobrino, a pioneer of liberation theology and a former advisor to Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, will be, "Why now?" After all, the titanic battles over liberation theology were fought during the 1970s and '80s. Should we also expect the Holy See, some may wryly ask, to condemn eight-track tapes, or "Miami Vice"? . . .

. . . . In fact, however, the Notification from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Sobrino is not quite as "retro" as it appears. A close reading reveals that its main concern is not really old arguments over liberation theology and Marxism, but rather more recent debates over the uniqueness and singularity of Jesus Christ. The text is of a piece, therefore, not with the 1984 "Instruction on Certain Aspects of the Theology of Liberation," but rather the 2001 document "Dominus Iesus," and the proper analogy is not to 1980s-era investigations of Leonardo Boff or Gustavo Gutiérrez, but rather to notifications over the last six years regarding Jesuits Roger Haight and the late Jacques Dupuis.

I think John Allen is right on here. Read the rest.

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Fr. Tom Lawler, S.J., vocation director for the Wisconsin province of the Jesuits, has started a new website for those discerning a Jesuit vocation. It's called ThinkJesuit. He also this week started an accompanying discernment blog called "Sifting the Spirits," where he was kind enough to link here, and even ordain me slightly prematurely! Check it out! And let me know what you think about the site (not all negative, please!). I'll pass your feedback on to him.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

See You at Daily Mass Dan Shaughnessy?

Boston Globe Sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy doesn't like Holy Cross' chances in the NCAA tournament. So, to illustrate his point he says:

"This means that the Crusaders are the AARP's team in the NCAA. Folks who remember Holy Cross's glory days are the same people who still go to the racetrack, buy newspapers at the airport, and attend daily Mass. Fact is, Holy Cross hasn't been a major player in college basketball since the days when people associated March Madness with Edward R. Murrow's CBS report on Senator Joseph McCarthy."

1) Which is just nasty, and pointless.


2) Demonstrates that Shaughnessy hasn't been to daily Mass in a while, since he seems to think that no one under sixty attends daily Mass.

So, maybe all us under 60 daily communicants need to pray for Mr. Shaughnessy--and maybe Holy Cross too :)

And, hey, if you want to let Mr. Shaughnessy know, "Hey, I'm under sixty and I attend daily Mass," I say go for it! Here's his e-mail:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I'm Always the Last To Know

The following headline is from USA Today:

Pope upholds Communion, celibacy bans

OK, I want to know when the Church banned celibacy! Because nobody told me!

Am I Ready to Execute Gregorian Chant?

. . . if that's anything like slaughtering it, I can do that!

from the just issued Sacramentum Caritatis:

62. None of the above observations should cast doubt upon the importance of such large-scale liturgies. I am thinking here particularly of celebrations at international gatherings, which nowadays are held with greater frequency. The most should be made of these occasions. In order to express more clearly the unity and universality of the Church, I wish to endorse the proposal made by the Synod of Bishops, in harmony with the directives of the Second Vatican Council, (182) that, with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, such liturgies could be celebrated in Latin. Similarly, the better-known prayers (183) of the Church's tradition should be recited in Latin and, if possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung. Speaking more generally, I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant. (184)

Despite the strategically placed "could," I think I can already detect the soft drone of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Oh, Ricky, You're So Fine . . .

Former child star Ricky Schroder is back to being "Ricky" after starting out his adult years as just "Rick." This week, he begins a stint on "24" that will last through the season.

But what impressed me in a recent interview is that he has four kids, a ranch and has been married to the same woman for almost 15 years! He also seems to have picked up some wisdom along the way:

Q: With two teenagers, how do you keep them in line?

A: Discipline and love. I think discipline's really important and lacking in some situations, some families and communities. I think they need to know you love them, they need to know what expectations you have, and the standards and values you keep. And they have to be corrected when they go off track.

Q: You and wife Andrea have been together 14 years, is that right?

A: Gosh. When did I get married?

Q: I'm putting you on the spot. It's going to be the hardest question all day.

A: I have to go look. Let me see. It's going to be 15 years. Yup, almost 15 years.

Q: So what's your secret to success?

A: What's my secret?

Q: Yes. If there is one.

A: Learning to say your sorry when you screw up. I don't know — choosing the right woman. That helps, big time. In my mind, I've never seen divorce as an option. My parents are together. Her parents are together. You know that old corny phrase, "the grass isn't greener on the other side." But really trying to believe that and live that. So there are going to be peaks and valleys in everything — in your marriage, in your job, in your life. So just enjoy the peaks and ride out the valleys. Just try not to do anything too rash.

I still get teary-eyed when I remember the scene of a dead Jon Voight and little Ricky screaming, "The Champ, the Champ," at the end of the movie of the same name.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Meet "The Riches"

Karen Hall's not the only one with a sibling in showbiz. My brother's new show "The Riches" premieres on F/X this Monday night.

Check out a short video preview here.

My brother didn't work on the pilot episode which airs Monday, but you'll see him credited as the art director for the rest of the episodes this season.

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Evangelization and the Problem of Pluralism

Penni demanded I write something. So here's something.

I should warn you though: It's the kind of thing I write on a long train ride just after having spent two days with my favorite married theologians and their 3 beautiful children. Which, coincidentally, I just did. So read at your own risk.

There are a number of contemporary theologians who share the belief that one of the most pressing issues, if not the most pressing issue in theology is “the problem of pluralism.” Briefly stated, this refers to our awareness, now more than ever, that despite Christianity having been spread with varying degrees of success to most parts of the world, there still exists a significant portion of the world’s population that is not Christian. Can we really believe that so large a portion of the human race, many of whom hold to their own religious beliefs with a degree of faith that might put many of us to shame, should really find itself separated from God for not knowing and believing in Jesus Christ? So, holding to the hope that all might be saved, insist these theologians, we must come up with some solution that allows for this possibility. Karl Rahner famously offered such a solution by proposing the possibility of the “anonymous Christian”—the non-Christian who, without knowing it experiences something of a baptism of desire. Short of understanding Christ as only one of many means of salvation, a position which I find troubling, this still stands as one of the better proposed solutions to this problem. Yet, as compelling and important a problem as this is, I believe it points us in the direction of an even more pressing issue in theology and in the life of the Church—How do we understand and practice evangelization?

A few Easters ago I spent Holy Week in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. One day I noticed a small group of people going from door to door, inviting people to Holy Week services. I immediately presumed they were Protestants, probably from a local evangelical church. Imagine my surprise when I learned that they were parishioners at one of the local Catholic churches! At a time when in a generation the Church can appear to be lost in places such as Ireland, Quebec (see the heartbreaking scene in the Canadian film The Barbarian Invasions) and several parts of Europe, can we any longer see evangelization as just something they do?

One of the greatest obstacles to evangelization these days, of course, is the question of pluralism. Many in the Church have become accustomed to the notion that to witness to Christ among non-Christians is arrogant and offensive. True, “in your face” “evangelization” of people of other faiths is probably more often than not rude and unlikely to be effective. But when we refuse to pray to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for fear of offending someone we not only risk losing our self-respect, but their respect as well. What kind of Christian balks at praying to his or her God for fear of offending another? How can we hope that another might be Christian if we are not willing to risk even this simplest act of evangelization? Or is the truth that we no longer hold such hopes? Such a hope, perhaps, militates too much against the spirit of the age, an age where, if we are not careful, a distorted vision of the demands of tolerance will become our God. Allan Bloom warned of this 20 years ago in his best-selling The Closing of the American Mind.

If his solution seems problematic to some, Rahner’s instinct with the “anonymous Christian” was right. His priority even in dealing with the problem of pluralism was to do so without sacrificing the centrality of Christ in our understanding of salvation. It’s telling that many who find his solution inadequate do so because they think it presumptuous and indeed offensive that we might call someone a Christian against their will. How would you feel if someone called you an “anonymous Muslim”? They argue. Frankly, I’m secure enough in my Christian faith that I really wouldn’t be bothered at the thought of being called an anonymous Muslim. Though I admit I can’t speak for the Muslim. This may be the mistake of the argument to begin with. We presume we can know how the other will feel, act, be offended. One of the problems with many efforts to address pluralism is that often it seems as if we Catholics are expected to concede everything in the name of tolerance, while also in the name of tolerance we don’t require the other to concede anything. It amounts to some kind of false humility.

We should take a cue from the fact that often in interreligious dialogue, the representatives of other faiths often do not concede anything. We respect them for that, while we go out of our way to be sure that they are not offended or excluded by indications of our devotion to Christ. And then we blame the erosion of the Church on secularism from without. But are we suffering from a secularism from within?

Vibrant evangelization and an engagement with the problem of pluralism need not be mutually exclusive. Like Rahner, we have to hold fast to the centrality of Christ, and proclaim that in our lives without fear of his name offending others. After all, Jesus promised that this would indeed be the case. If the Gospel is true, then isn’t withholding Jesus for fear of offense a betrayal? In interreligious dialogue, should our interlocutors leave the table saying, “That Jesus Christ must really have been something for them to have such strong faith,” or “Gee, those Christians were really nice”?

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

That's About Right . . .

You Are 41% Perfectionist

No one would call you a perfectionist, but you definitely have a side of you that strives to be perfect.
Try to see your mistakes as learning experiences, and don't be so hard on yourself when you screw up!

A Note to Boston Drivers . . .

You're dangerous enough with two hands on the wheel, so would you mind putting the cell phone down . . . especially when you're blocking traffic! You can call poopsy when you get where you're going!

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Signing the Petition

It’s the season of the year when those of us Jesuits who have made it as far in our formation as the third year of theology studies are seeking approval for ordination. This means that in addition to offering some evaluations of a few other Jesuits for their provinces, I also had to offer something of a self-evaluation in the form of an official petition for ordination. It’s a privileged opportunity to reflect on my vocation and my experience of formation in the last nine and a half plus years. But it was also a bit hard at a time when much of my focus is on my studies rather than on the apostolic work which is ultimately what my vocation is really about. I wrote a similar letter before coming to Boston for my current studies. In many ways that letter was easier because I wrote it during a time when I was engaged in full-time ministry—more focus on others, less on myself. So, this one was a little harder. Now it is appropriate that my main focus these days should be my studies, but I can’t deny that I’d much rather be teaching the classes than sitting in them. But this is not really fodder for a letter in which I am supposed to express how I have further realized my call to the priesthood in recent years.

One help has been a ministry that, frankly, I was a bit reluctant to do at the beginning. I’ve long been comfortable working with high school and college students, but this was a new challenge—third grade CCD. I figured it would be a good way to stretch myself a bit. And, besides, I thought, this is really one of the fundamental Jesuit ministries. Before the early Jesuits had any idea that they would be asked to start high schools or colleges, every Jesuit was expected (and still is) to make a commitment to the education of children in the faith. I have really grown to love the hour I spend with my nutty third graders each week. I’m amazed at how much they get, and how much they absorb. And I do my best to work with or around their energy, as necessary. Leaving the heights of academic theology to focus on the basics each week is also a welcome respite from the distractions of studies. Recently I have also been praying through the Gospel with the RCIA candidates. Pretty heavy the last couple of weeks—Jesus’ temptation in the desert and the Transfiguration! Next week we turn to something more refreshingly mundane—the woman at the well (we’ll be doing the cycle A readings for the rest of Lent). It’s a great privilege to lead a group of people, especially those readying to join the Church, in prayerful reflection on the Gospel.

So, my letter talked a bit about these sort of things. But I also look back on the amazing journey which has brought me to where I am now. My biggest obstacle before joining the Jesuits was imagining myself as a priest. Now, I can hardly imagine doing anything else. This is in large part because my vision of what a priest has expanded in the intervening years. I have written about this in a number of articles over the years. I think perhaps why it was so hard to think about being a priest at first was that I thought about priesthood primarily in terms of sacramental ministry. What I had to learn first was that priesthood was also about rubbing a dying woman’s feet, about being with people in the most joyful and painful moments of their lives, visiting the sick, crying along with a student terrified of being sent to Iraq, burying my grandmothers and being who I really am, not who I think people want me to be. This is the context in which the sacramental ministries take on their true meaning as the reflection of the Sacrament, Jesus Christ. It is in being Christ for others that Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage and Anointing of the Sick make sense. So it has been in realizing and accepting these more basic aspects of priestly identity, that my enthusiasm and desire for sacramental ministry has grown. It’s because I have done these things, because I have been that person, the one that enjoys an hour with third graders in a classroom each week, that I am able to begin to see myself as a the priest it was hard—probably impossible—to imagine ten years ago. And still, I can’t possibly know all the things my priesthood will hold. But I’m ready to find out.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

You Love Me, You Really Love Me . . .

My thanks to the 10 people who voted for me in the Catholic Blog Awards this year. Since people were only allowed to vote once in each category this year, that means 10 people burned their one vote on me. I am especially touched because I just haven't been the frequent and faithful blogger I once was. Penni tells me that I must write something soon for you all. And since I'm on "Spring" (It's about 20 degrees here today) Break this week, I could probably find something to say. So, stay tuned . . .

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Von Balthasar on the Mystery of Sin and Suffering

“At a human level we can understand that sin must be expiated, either by the sinner himself or perhaps by some other in his stead, for it is evident that, in intending evil, man not only disturbs the order of being as a whole but actually damages his own good nature. Indeed, he may even ruin it entirely. If, behind the established world order, we see a God who has founded it in love and thus accompanies it, it is not hard to understand that his love can appear in the mode of anger, punishing the disruption of his order by the imposition of suffering. . . Suffering has an educative function, makes us aware of the seriousness of life and death and of man’s final goal. Furthermore, suffering spurs man on to fight against it, this is most definitely part of his task in the world, stimulating him to make countless discoveries”

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

No, Not Dead . . .

In fact, here's a recent photo of my Jesuit community. As, you can see, we're a pretty international bunch! That's me in the red in the top right hand corner.


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