Monday, June 26, 2006


I´ve a few spare minutes so I thought I´d update the old blog.

First off, in light of Joe´s recent post, I have in fact eaten of the antiuchos. Anticuchos, for those of you who have not visited Latin America, are cooked beef hearts and intestines from the cow. That´s all I have to say about that.

I have also eaten ceveche, which is raw fish cooked, so to speak, in lemon juice. It was delicious.

Interestingly, I´ve not gotten sick since being here. Apart from a gnawing hunger - for some reason, regardless of how much I eat at any one sitting, I can´t lose my hunger - I´m doing quite well.

Just a thought to share with you all. I have long held that the Catholic faith is tremendously sensate - we rely on touch (rosaries, sign of peace, holy water, the body and blood of Christ in the species of bread and wine) and sound (Angelus bells, song) and even smells (incense). Last night, as I prayed in the church next to the Juniorate where we are living, I experienced the convergence of realities - the reality of the body of Christ gathered in the church with the reality of the poor and suffering body of Christ teeming in the streets outside the parish walls. For during the consecration, it was not the smell of incense or the touch of those around me that called me to remember the too-often hidden face of Christ, but rather the smell of human urine wafting in from the streets.

This was a powerful experience, reminding me that ours in a Church in the world and that the exigencies and needs of the world must enter into our worship. Perhaps this calls me more deeply into my Jesuit life...the realization that I can offer both my prayers and my life in the service of a faith that does justice. A faith that calls attention to the horrendous inequalities that exist in this world. A faith that includes the stench of the unwashed and the sights of the unkempt in itself. A faith that settles not for idle platitudes but that incarnates itself in direct action and solidarity with others.

I can say this - while at first I was distracted by the odor, by the time of the Eucharistic prayer it had incited me to a deeper love of the suffering Christ who lives on the streets here in Lima and in each of our towns. I am filled with a growing love for this Christ, one who irrupts and enlivens my life, when least expected.

I´m off to a meeting...I´d write more if I had time. I wish you all the best and hold you all in my prayers.
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