Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wendy M. Wright

[...] our hearts cannot be fixed on the generic or the ideal but must learn and exercise love through the particular.  We are called to encounter God in the specific, embodied persons and events with which we come in contact.   The extended tradition of contemplation on the Sacred Heart makes this abundantly clear.  In much of that tradition the distinctive, bodily heart of Jesus is the focus.  I have come to love the stunning fleshiness of it all, the sense that in gazing upon the organ itself one can know the depths of God.  I admit it took me a long time to adjust to this concept and that originally I came to my study prepared to focus on the heart in a more conceptual manner.  But the tradition is unambiguous.  God does not love only with a free-floating, "spiritual" love but with the rush of blood, the tensing of muscle, with the tearing of tissue and bone.  And so must we love.

To have a heart inhabited by God's heart, we must love specific people in all their idiosyncrasies.  We must practice an energetically engaged love that mucks in the messiness of things.

[from Sacred Heart: Gateway to God (Orbis Books, 2001), pp. 78-79]

Quotations of note

We need not be afraid of the power that is in us; it will meet its match one day in the omnipotent weakness of God.

Fr Simon Tugwell, OP

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Beauty is the purpose of history.

Fr Arturo Paoli

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Information and insight, [Sister Thea] would assert, are not the only qualities that characterize a university.  The university, surely the Catholic university -- should transform the person into a living icon of Christ and help the person see the mark of God in all creation.  For her, one who masters human knowledge, however extensively, but fails to employ that knowledge for the betterment of the human family and the promotion of God's reign -- for her such a person remains fundamentally ignorant and irresponsible.

Bishop James Lyke, OFM, accepting the Laetare Medal for Sister Thea Bowman

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And this is my prayer, that your love may grow ever richer in knowledge and insight of every kind, enabling you to learn by experience what things really matter.

Philippians 1:9-10 (Revised English Bible with the Apocrypha)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Maryknoll Missioner in Burkina Faso

One day I started to play Frisbee with a young boy who had stopped by for a visit.  While we were playing, one of the young women who worked in a bar as a prostitute started watching us.  After a little while, I threw the Frisbee to her, and she joined in with our fun.  Then a little while later, an old man came walking by and started watching us play.  Pretty soon the young woman threw the Frisbee to him.  He dropped the Frisbee and his cane too, but then clumsily picked it back up and threw it to the young boy.

And there we were, the most unlikely mix of people in a little African village:  an old man, a prostitute, a little boy, and a foreigner, all standing together in a circle, throwing a Frisbee, and having fun together.  When I reflected on this experience later, I realized that I had received a vision of what the reign of God is all about:  love, equality, beauty, and enjoyment with no one excluded or left out.

~ Dennis Moorman, MM, from Why Not Be a Missioner?

Via A Maryknoll Book of Inspiration: Readings for Every Day of the Year, ed. Michael Leach and Doris Goodnough (Orbis Books, 2010), p. 330