When I was young, growing in a small Texas town, fireworks came round once a year. In our town there were no pyrotechnic displays perfectly coordinated with music but the impact of roman candles, sparklers, and poppers were no less exciting. Today, fireworks are more spectacular and more common.
I was walking down the hospital hallway when I heard an alarm: “Code blue in room 4422.” Looking around for the nearest elevator, I barely made it in as doctors and nurses rushed to respond.
We went up two floors, and as I approached the room, I could see a team working on a man inside and a woman standing outside the room alone. Something from my chaplain training came to mind: when people get stressed, they often forget to breathe. As I went up to the woman, I realized that in fact she wasn’t breathing.
Recently, I’ve spent more time than usual with babies and small children. This past weekend, I went to Chicago to baptize the daughter of my friend from college, and the day after the baptism, I went to see my cousin’s newborn for the first time. On the way home, reflecting on the experience, I was surprised by how needy the two babies and my friend’s two other children, a two year old and a four year old, were. Needy might not be the best word, but I would bet that many of you readers, who may have more experience raising children than I do, understand what I mean.
The beautifully written novel Fugitive Pieces tells the story of two people whose lives intersect: a Greek geologist who suffers from the premature death of his wife and a Polish boy who suffers from the loss of his family in the Holocaust. The geologist rescues the boy from a pit of mud where he has hidden himself and raises him, first in Greece then in Toronto, and the boy in turn becomes not only a son to the geologist, a reason to keep living, but eventually also a poet. As the boy becomes a man and deals with the grief of losing his family, he comes to terms with his grief by writing poetry.
At the seminary where I study, we can take electives at the sister schools nearby, so this semester I am taking a course about Zen Buddhism at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. This week we talked about faith, and I learned that there are several ways to translate faith into Japanese....
If you are reading a blog on the Ignatian Spirituality Institute website, I’d imagine many of you have heard a little bit about the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola. But did you know that St. Ignatius was examined eight times by the Inquisition? Unlike many other reformers from the 16th century, though, he chose not only to stay in the Catholic Church, but also to found a religious order in the church, the same church whose members questioned him, jailed him, and more than once ran him out of town. What on earth allowed him to do this?
Three summers ago, I led a pilgrimage to sites related to the life of St. Ignatius. At that time, I was teaching at Jesuit College Prep in Dallas, and together with my colleagues, we walked nearly 200 miles over the course of ten days in Spain. I always get excited when I set out on a new adventure. In this same spirit, we enthusiastically begun, talking among ourselves excitedly while we admired the beautiful scenery, and the first day of the pilgrimage was very fun.
Recently I discovered that I can grow a beard. It happened by accident. I got really busy last semester and didn’t shave for about two weeks. It came in, several people complimented me on it, but it was really scratchy and itchy and I ended up shaving it off. Still, the question lingered in my head, and so this fall I tried again. The scratchy and itchy phase came, and then I had to deal with the mess of trying to maintain it. I got one of those clipper things and asked my buddy to show me how to use it. We put a sheet on my chair in my room and, an hour later, it looked like a bomb went off. ...
The movie Good Will Hunting tells the story of a math prodigy, Will Hunting, who works as a janitor at MIT, but is very gifted in mathematics. He lives a very predictable life in south Boston, hanging out frequently with his best friend Chuckie. One day, as the two of them talk at the scrapyard, Will tells Chuckie his dream: that the two of them will buy houses in the same neighborhood, raise their children together, take them to the same little league games, and eventually get buried all on the south side of Boston. In a surprising response, Chuckie strongly disagrees: You have something that none of us have....
私は今年の夏、椅子に洗礼を授けるように求められました。洗礼というよりも、神聖なお水で椅子を祝福するように頼まれました。This summer I was asked to baptize a chair. Not exactly baptize, but bless a chair with holy water.