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Showing posts from December, 2008

Tilting into the New Year

Tomorrow morning, I will head up to Detroit for our tri-province formation gathering. I'll not return until Thursday, so this will be my last post until then.
We had last our night a gathering of Cleveland-area Jesuits and their families last night. Generously hosted by the John Carroll University community, it provided a great opportunity to catch up with other Jesuits and a moment to spend time with many men's "family of origin." I don't know why I like the phrase "family of origin" so well, but I have to say that meeting a Jesuit's "family of origin" puts the man into context: you get a sense of why a guy is the way he is when you've spent some time with those who've raised him.
As I mentioned the other day, I've decided to train for a marathon. In fact, the weather was so beautiful in Cleveland yesterday that it inspired me to try a 7-mile run which I was able to achieve in 1 hour and 3 minutes. That's 9-minute miles, wh…

O Holy Night

Out of scores of Christmas carols that are played around the clock during this season, none touches me more of late than the song O Holy Night. If the opening words have not yet been etched into your brain:O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. This has been, I know, a very challenging year for many people. For some, it is simply yet another challenging year while, for others, we have seen the meltdown of the economy. Many of us are living through the first cycle without a loved one: a spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling, a friend without whom it is hard to imagine this being Christmas.
I suspect that Christmas can make the feelings of loss and sadness even more pronounced. Store ads and radio jingles promote this as the happiest time of year...but we fee…

Update from the Homefront

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Without too many weather-related difficulties, I arrived back in Cleveland on Saturday. Within the last 72 hours, my cousin's house has burned down and I've learned that my brother is expecting his second child. My home visits are usually wholly uneventful but, if the last three days is any indication, this could turn into a very exciting visit. 
As many of you know, I am a former Weight-Watcher. Then again, considering that I weigh less now than I did in the 5th grade, I reckon I still count as one. Perhaps while I'm home this week I'll look around for some other pictures, but in the meantime let me post this oldie in order to give a sense of how big I was at the age of 12 or so:


(I'm in the back row, center) 
I mention this, first, because I think it's funny to look at old pictures. Painful. Embarrassing. But, in the end, funny.
Second, over the years of blogging, I've often shared with readers my journey into physical fitness. From my initial forays into the…

A Recent Homily

Drew Marquard, SJ, delivered a homily last week that I was particularly moved by. Drew has graciously allowed me to edit it to make it more suitable for a broader audience - it was preached to fellow scholastics - but I believe I have preserved the content wholly. I commend it to you for your spiritual reading.

What would our life be without the grace of God? We all have or will experience spiritual loneliness in our lives. It can come in the dryness of prayer, in depression, or in the loss of desire. We’re all here, I would imagine, out of a desire to be in this place at this time. We want to be Jesuits. It’s this God-given desire that gets us through the day-to-day hardships encountered in our lives. Without a firm aspiration to be a Jesuit, these struggles can easily become magnified: community annoyances evolve into distracting issues, the vows become unbearable, school seems pointless. This desire grounds any vocation, whether it be to single life, religious life, or married…

The Statement of the Society of Jesus on the Passing of Cardinal Dulles

The Jesuit Conference of the United States mourns the passing of Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ who died early today (December 12, 2008) at Fordham University’s Murray-Weigel Hall in New York. We join with our brothers of the New York Province, the whole Society of Jesus and all who knew and loved him in offering prayers of thanksgiving for his life of service to God and the Church as he has been called home.

“Cardinal Dulles was man of tremendous intellectual rigor whose teaching and writing contributed greatly to the vibrancy of Catholic intellectual life,” commented the President of the Jesuit Conference, Jesuit Father Thomas H. Smolich. “Yet for a man with so many gifts, he never viewed himself as anything more than a poor servant of Christ,” Smolich added. “In this way, he called all of us into a more intimate relationship with the Lord he so dearly loved.”

“Dulles was part of the new generation of theologians following Vatican II who brought a fresh approach to ecclesiology,” said …

May he rest in peace...

This morning I learned that the eminent Jesuit theologian and churchman Avery Cardinal Dulles has entered into eternal life.

I would ask that you pray that for the Cardinal and for those who have loved him and have been taught by him. With over 30 books, scores of articles, and innumerable students over a long and distinguished career, your prayers are assured of a wide net.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him; may his soul and all souls, through the mercy of our loving God, rest in peace.

Where does the time go?

During the course of any week, I usually entertain the notion of about five different posts that I want to put up on the blog. This usually happens while I'm in the shower - it does seem that most of my ideas come whilst there - but, as is so often the case, by the time I get back to my room and get dressed, I've had something else catch my interest and I end up ignoring the blog. 
I am actually done with all of my work for the term. I have to take a final exam next Monday in Natural Law and I reckon I'll study a bit for that. But all of my other papers are finished, so I'm breathing a long sigh of relief and looking forward to Christmas in Cleveland. 
In lieu of a more substantive post, I wanted to post one of my newer videos. Thanks to Michael Flatley, the tune "The Lord of the Dance" or "Simple Gifts" has attained near-universal recognition. I was bored about a week ago, so I took a moment to do a recording of it.