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Showing posts from December, 2012

1000+ Posts

I realized this evening that, when I hit the 'publish' button, I will have published 1009 blog posts since September 1st, 2004. Anne Hall created this blog for me so that I wouldn't have to send group emails; ever at the vanguard of technology, she realized that the blog might be well suited as an online journal that would enable me to share my journey with others.

As I scroll through the photos and posts, it's amazing how much has changed in eight years. Guys I entered with have left, men I admired have died, and many others have entered my life. When I entered at the age of 24, I thought I had everything figured out. Today, at 33, I realize how little I know and I am often overwhelmed when I think about how many things I have yet to learn.

Looking toward 2013, my singular hope - in addition to growing in grace and virtue - is to continue to grow in boldness. I am acutely aware of being a public presence, one of many faces of the Church, yet I cannot help but to feel…

Merry Christmas from your friends at The Jesuit Post

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Advent of Doubt

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Yesterday, one of the more talented young men I've had the pleasure of getting to know contacted me with the following:
To put it succinctly, I've been struggling with my faith. There have been times in the past year or so when I've questioned God's existence and the existence of an afterlife. I've entertained the idea that maybe there isn't anything beyond this life. But that's a harsh perspective to hold on to for any length of time. I have given it a good deal of thought over the past few months, but today I think I nailed it down to two main issues:1. I don't get much out of going to church anymore. I've stopped attending mass regularly. I used to feel a real spiritual need that was satisfied at mass, but that has gone away. Now, it seems empty, like pure ritual. I have a hard time focusing and I just feel out of place in church. I understand that feelings come and go, but it's hard to get over.2. This is my main beef. The Catholic Church as…

Undergoing the Question

I shared yesterday Les Murray's haunting poem "The Knockdown Question" and, today, I'd like to return to it.  Why does God not spare the innocent? The answer to that is not in
the same world as the question
so you would shrink from me
in terror if I could answer it.  You see, it's the last two lines that fascinate me. Why would one "shrink" away "in terror" from the one who bears the answer to innocent suffering?

On Friday, in addition to the sadness I felt for those gunned down in Newtown, I felt great sorrow for Adam Lanza. I simply cannot fathom how much pain he must have been, how dark his world had become, that that made this act an option he could consider, let alone enact.

What Murray seems to grasp in so few words is that the mystery of human suffering tramples upon our words. It's so disturbing, so awful, that it leaves us silent because it defies language.  Could words have articulated the darkness that wrested control from Ada…

The Knockdown Question

For many of us - especially after looking at the printed cover of The New York Times which carries the names and ages of Friday's victims - no words begin to express the anguish, anger, and confusion we feel. This is not to say we haven't tried: already, the pundits are questioning whether this will be the event that catalyzes stricter gun-control laws and 'experts' are speculating as to the root causes of this young man's actions.

We turn, apparently instinctively, to any resource we can find in a frantic search for answers. We crave reasons, proofs, formulas,

Sadly, I don't think there is any single answer or proof. Right now, there's a great void of silence punctuated by angry shouts to the heavens and tears. Many tears.

The Australian poet Les Murray wrote a brilliant poem that I'd like to share:
Why does God not spare the innocent?

The answer to that is not in
the same world as the question
so you would shrink from me
in terror if I could answer it.  I…

New Tin Whistle Blog

After six years, I'm starting to re-do some of the Tin Whistle videos. To help organize my own thinking, I'm using the following Blog to organize the lessons:

Beginner Tin Whistle Lessons
We'll see how this goes. I have a few lessons up already - including sheet music - and two of them are of Christmas carols!

Two Lords?

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December 9th, 2012 - 2nd Sunday of Advent (Luke 3:1-6)
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,and his brother Philip tetrarch of the regionof Ituraea and Trachonitis,and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:A voice of one crying out in the desert:"Prepare the way of the Lord,make straight his paths.Every valley shall be filledand every mountain and hill shall be made low.The winding roads shall be made straight,and the rough ways made smooth,and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." I want only to make a single observation about today's reading. The second-half of the passage is familiar to us…

Irresponsible Journalism

Much to my dismay, I awoke this morning to find an article by Mick McCabe entitled "It's Idiotic for U of D Jesuit to Exit the Catholic League." I would suggest reading it only to the extent that it is a good example of the slash-and-burn, irresponsible reporting that masquerades as journalism today. My response to his piece appears on the site but I include it below for those interested:  McCabe's piece reminds me of an Irish story of the parson who asks one of the congregation, "So, Joseph, have you stopped beating your wife yet?" It's a humorous chestnut in that, regardless of how Joseph answers, he's implicated in doing something wrong: either he has ceased spousal abuse or it's still continuing. The moral: there's no right answer.It appears, by his conclusion, McCabe has a bit of the parson in him. He presumes to have the truth and it matters little what the school might say: it will be a lie.As a Jesuit, former teacher at U of D Jesuit…