What are we looking for?

As the days of August signal some routine ends and hoped for beginnings, many of us find ourselves uncertain. Was the summer all that we had hoped it would be? Are the promises of the adventures  ahead (academic and otherwise) capable of delivering? Many students are about to embark on the journey that is the undergraduate experience, while still many more are returning to that pursuit or engaged in higher research and advanced degreed endeavors. Bright as we all may be, we cannot get good answers if we are asking the wrong questions. Abraham Lincoln noted in his opening 1860… Read More

It Matters

I was watching Brazil battle Belgium in the quarterfinals of the World Cup and was taken by the expression on the face of Renato Augosto’s as he scored Brazil’s first goal, pulling them back into the now 2-1 game. The intensity as he clasped the national team logo on his jersey and pointed to the raucous Brazilian fans in the stands was priceless. That goal mattered – it gave them hope. Sadly, it did not muster another goal and Belgium went on to defeat the 5-time World Cup champions. Even in defeat, the implications for the players and the fans… Read More

Partial Immunity

Someone shoots a passenger plane out of the sky and 298 people die.  The Palestinians and the Israelis launch firepower at each other for yet another round of Mideast turmoil.  A man leaves his child in a sweltering car to die.  Just another week on planet earth.  While I feel somewhat cynical even writing those few sentences, it strikes me that our inhumanity, small and large, seems to know no end and I am at somewhat of a loss to muster the appropriate indignation.  After all, how much indignation can one sustain given that this month’s tragedies seem eerily similar… Read More

Futbol & Freedom

A World Cup loss on the eve of the July 4th weekend – what a downer!  I’m in no way a soccer expert, but the games were exciting to watch and I imagine have helped to continue the growing trend of soccer’s popularity in this country.  While I lament the decline of baseball being played in most parks around this country in favor of other sports like soccer, I realize that it will have some dramatic ramifications in the years to come.  Not only will the US World Cup soccer team get better, but baseball (the national pastime) will probably decline… Read More

Richness Revealed

I’ve been traveling a fair amount over the last few weeks (meetings, connecting with donors, a few celebrations happy and sad) and am still struck by the sheer beauty of the earth and the U.S. in particular from the air.  While air travel is increasingly maddening (Southwest is now welcoming pets on-board—just what crowded airports and planes need—some animals!), I am still transfixed by the beauty of the earth from the sky.  I’ve seen it hundreds of times, and I still see something new.  Perspective. This weekend we celebrate the Holy Trinity, and like the earth from 30,000 feet, looking… Read More

A birthday party and nobody came!

Not too many sadder images than that.  It is hard to focus upon what is more pathetic:  a person who has so few friends that a birthday musters no one; a person whose so called friends didn’t care enough to come;  the image of all of the party trappings sitting, just waiting for revelers to sing and eat the cake.  It almost makes me cry.  Poor planning?  Just should have made the party on a more convenient date?  Whatever the case, no one deserves such a fate.  Not even the Holy Spirit! This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost – the coming… Read More

It’s my body!

The cultural shifts that have taken place over the history of humanity regarding our appreciation of our bodies are many and date back to the very beginning – really!  Ever since sin altered our view of God, the world, and ourselves, we have been in a quandary as to how to relate to our bodies.  Out of the gate of poor choices, our ancestors covered themselves in shame, and we have been struggling ever since to figure out what this flesh and blood is all about.  We have been back and forth, even in our own culture over the last… Read More

Get in line!

It is no secret that I am never the first to discover new technologies, but even if it they are a bit dated, cool technologies don’t diminish in amazement for me.  My latest discovery is the Maps app on my iPhone.  I have used this app before for directions, but I just learned that if I am listening to music while being given directions (while driving), it will reduce the music to the background while it is speaking the directions.  What a great idea!  Turn down the volume of the background noise so that I can figure out where I… Read More

Heart Burn

I am so edified by our students who are recently baptized and welcomed into the Church.  Unlike the rest of us, the experience of Catholicism is so new and fresh and they often desire to experience it more and more.  Particularly impressive is seeing some of them at daily Mass in the days since Easter.  Their lives are so on fire with a love of Christ, particularly in the Scriptures and the Eucharist that they find time even during exam week to come to daily Mass.  By highlighting their zeal, I am in no way trying to call out cradle… Read More

2 Examples for Our Time

This Sunday 2 popes will be canonized saints:  John XXIII and John Paul II.  For many, the Catholic Church canonizing a few popes is no news flash (80 of the 265 have already been declared saints).  A more cynical person might look at the process of an institution declaring the greatness of its own to be somewhat self-serving.  But can we look beyond the inherent potential for conflict, and witness the deeper challenge presented by 2 very different men whom we are asked to look to for spiritual edification?  Can we see both of these men, and their being held… Read More