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[11 Nov 2013 | One Comment | ]
Sabbatical

Ignatian Life if currently on sabbatical because the bloggers were feeling over-committed. Hopefully someday we will restart. In the mean time, enjoy the archive!

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People and Conversation »

[17 May 2013 | No Comment | ]
Door (with doorstop) to chapel at Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA

Door (with doorstop) to chapel at Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA

“Why do you have a stage light?” I queried, as we opened the back of the station wagon in Georgetown’s parking garage last fall and a heavy matte black cylinder toppled out. “It’s a doorstop,” declared my eldest, something his tone of voice intimated should have been obvious. Which it should have been. Years have dwelling with technical theater geeks have given me an appreciation for a hitherto unseen ranges of possibilities in everyday objects. Admitedly the transfer usually goes the other way, leaving me peering at some prop mid-production and realizing that my missing side table had not been appropriated for grading midterms but had snuck off to star in the high school production of Noises Off.

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Sustainable Living »

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[17 Apr 2013 | One Comment | ]

Boreal forest and tar sands extraction

The Christian life is not just about introspection and feeling God’s presence: it sometimes requires us to do things. Tomorrow in Grand Island, Nebraska the United States Department of State will hold a public hearing  on the proposed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. If approved, this pipeline will transport some of the world’s dirtiest oil across the American Great Plains to refineries near the Gulf of Mexico. There it will be turned into low-grade fuel for export abroad, mostly to countries without clean air regulations.

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Prayer, Discernment, and Practice »

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[20 Mar 2013 | One Comment | ]

paying attention

Mid-lecture the teacher inconspicuously taps on the front corner of my daughter’s desk to call her back to attention. Much like me, my daughter is a dreamer, comfortable letting her mind wonder into other worlds or places she would like to be. Often it seems my prayer time is just that: time to wonder away to another place.

During Sunday mass I wonder how many people in the congregation are actually following the homily at all. I imagine their minds tuning out the words from the pulpit, coming to rest instead upon their to do list or some recent conversation or upcoming tension to be dealt with. As I wonder about them, I realize that I am just as checked out as they are, lost in my head. Read the rest of this entry →

Prayer, Discernment, and Practice »

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[13 Mar 2013 | 3 Comments | ]

Congo Savanna 1

In January 2013 I traveled with several companions to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We were to be guests of Nicolas Djomo, the Catholic bishop of the diocese of Tshumbe. We were headed to the town of Tshumbe, from which the diocese gets its name. The purpose of our trip was to make a documentary about both his work and that place. Read the rest of this entry →

Prayer, Discernment, and Practice »

[11 Feb 2013 | No Comment | ]

Essay draftingTo use my friend Fran’s marvelously apt word, it’s been a crazymadbusy week here. It was a crazy busy week on the calendar in the first place, and when a last minute writing project dropped into the mix Tuesday evening, it got crazymadbusy in short order. It was the sort of week that you could name, like a winter storm, or hurricane.

Suddenly, I was trying to cram about twelve hours of serious high-stakes writing into a twenty-four hour period that didn’t have very many crevices in the first place. Something had to go. Sleep for one. I stayed up until three in the morning to get a solid first draft in, texting my college aged son, who was likewise suffering from a surfeit of writing. Read the rest of this entry →