Saturday, November 26, 2011

To Instruct and to Delight

Here is some good reading to make sense out of the world we live in. It is the journal that I had thought of producing! So much easier to let someone else do it. And do it well. Go be instructed and delighted! And then write or draw something and send it in!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

7 x 7

Well, 49 is 7 x 7 and so must be finer than a frog's hair! I am looking forward to it! Next will come the year of Jubilee.

I discovered today that I am exactly to the day twice as old as one of the graduate students! Let that be a cautionary tale for him!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Called to Life

Every time I read another one of Fr. Jacques Philippe's book, I swear that this one is the best. Ever. Well, here we go again! This time it is Called to Life. Actually I think that there is a somewhat of a sequence to the books that makes some sense. This one should come later than Time for God, for example.

Or maybe this all subjective on my part. In any case, I don't know when I have read something that was so piercingly true of where I am spiritually. Here is a passage that has sent me back to my knees several times already:
But often there are no answers. One can spend a lifetime, for instance, trying to assign responsibility for a situation without succeeding. Instead of being bent on getting answers, one needs the courage to leave certain legitimate questions unanswered -- something always painful -- and adopt a different perspective: "At the end of the day, what does God want from me in all of this?" [footnote: It is good to remember a fundamental point: It is not knowledge that saves but faith. What saves (helps us advance and grow in a positive, fruitful manner) is not being able to explain everything or completely grasping the complexity of every situation or parceling out responsibility. It is finding the right attitude, the one to which God invites us. Faith lies in welcoming situations with confidence and submitting our conduct to the will of the Holy Spirit.]

Since we crave to understand everything, this calls for a kind of conversion. But it is worth the effort, for sooner or later there will be a response.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How it's going...

I have to say that I recommend a little time off. Yesterday, I took my first full and ordinary (not a trip or something) day off in a very long time. I left after Mass Sunday night -- which is pretty late -- and went to my father's house in Ashland City which he still owns after he moved to Mary, Queen of Angels. Up to now, I had been thinking of that house as a burden -- something else on a to-do list. Sunday night and yesterday it was a retreat.

Sitting unoccupied for several months is never good for a house, but things were not too bad. With a little TLC, it will be quite welcoming. It seems to make sense to take care of the house this way for the time being since in this market it would never sell. So I made a beginning of cleaning things up a bit.

I woke up yesterday morning and went for a long walk just at sunrise on a beautiful trail that was converted from an abandoned rail line. It goes along what now is called a "wetland" in the river bottom. I had a peaceful day and got some work done -- enrolling in the new insurance plan of the diocese, etc. I wrapped things up stopping by to see my father and dropping off a few things with him. I even did some shopping! Then it was back to Frassati House in time to pray before Mass.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hope Does Not Disappoint!

My favorite verse: Romans 5:5!

"Hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Retreat

This weekend, I have been leading a retreat for graduate students. It has been very relaxing for me, and it got me out of a lot of other things ;-) I hope that it has been a good spiritual experience for the graduates!

Wow. I really needed this! Just some sleep, for one thing. And some TLC. As I have said before, this semester has been hard. Not necessarily bad, but hard. There needs to be some more ease and gentleness in my life.

One blessing that has come from the hardness is much greater clarity about what I need to do about all kinds of things. So don't be surprised to see me being more focused and observing boundaries about what is my responsibility and what is not. For this clarity, I am very grateful. Now, I need to put it into practice wisely and patiently. So please pray for me.

Speaking of clarity, I am more than ever convinced of the necessity to take a stand against the inconsistency of Vanderbilt's non-discrimination policy. What was OK yesterday is today discriminatory. What will be the case tomorrow? That is how inconsistent and arbitrary Vanderbilt is being.

1st UCat priest

Fr. Josh Altonji and some UCat friends in Birmingham!

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