Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've been asked to reflect a bit about commitment, and so I share some of my thoughts here.

The following quotation from Pedro Arrupe, S.J. has been finding me lately:

"Nothing is more practical than finding God,
that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.

It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings,
what you will do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, who you know,
what breaks your heart, 
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything."

How does that relate to commitment?  Well, I've fallen in love, and my world changed.  I get out of bed in the morning to pray and go to mass before work.  I spend my evenings and weekends with community (though I also spend time with friends).  My Sister introduced me to my new favorite novelist (P.D. James!).  I know so many more people, and I am often amazed at the sorrows and blessings that people ask me to pray for.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Quote from Dorothy Day

This is, admittedly, a very random post, but one of my students did a presentation on Dorothy Day today, and she cited this quotation:

Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again.

Amen to that!  She was an amazing woman -- I didn't know she knitted too!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Ford Madox Brown. Jesus Washing Peter's Feet. 1852-56.

"What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later."

Poor Peter--always lacking in understanding.  Who can blame him?  His teacher has just said he wants to wash his feet, which is not such a pleasant task in a world of dust and sandals.

The sentence above is what sticks with me today.  I feel surrounded by mystery lately--the mystery of living in community, the mystery of Jesus' great love for me, and the mystery of God's calling me to a new way of living.  I don't know how to find the words to express the depth to which I feel that mystery in my life on a daily basis.  (That's part of the reason for silence on this blog.)

What I do know is that it's okay that I don't understand.  Theology is like that--studying God because you can always know more.  You can never fully understand God because God is so much bigger / greater / more than our human minds can comprehend. 

My thoughts have turned recently to the mystery of community.  I live with (and the whole Society of the Sacred Heart includes) such a variety of personalities, so many differences of opinion, of taste, of age, and yet we are drawn together in community in such a strong way.  We differ on so much, but we share a greater desire to make a difference in the world, to help those around us know that God loves them.  We are to be the love of God in our broken and suffering world.  That also means taking on suffering ourselves, not unlike Christ's suffering on the cross for Love.

I can feel that unity among us, all of us around the world, and it is a complete mystery to me.  I know that it can only come from God, who is Mystery. 

So, how to respond to mystery?  Sit and rest with it.  Like Peter, I do not need to understand yet.