31 January 2009

Who's watching?

Were every book of Scripture lost, would we be able to reconstruct every word just by watching your life?

When you dream, what do you dream about?

29 January 2009

including ourselves

"Until we are willing to be politically incorrect in order to be biblically correct, we will never convince anyone that our religion is worth living." -- Bishop Robert Hermann

Close only counts in horseshoes...

"Hold firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church." --St. Thomas Aquinas

25 January 2009

It's the lonliest number...

From Rolheiser's latest:

..."And with deepest respect and honor we may have to call upon our courage to walk away from anything and everything that does not resonate with our soul's truth as we struggle to know ourselves in the deepest ways. And if in the end we stand alone with the presence of God perhaps that is the way it was always meant to be. In other words, I'm setting my limits and it's mighty lonely!"

That's a pretty accurate description of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The gospels, in describing his passion, never dwell on the physical pain (the scourging and the nails) but focus instead on his moral loneliness, his radical aloneness, on what it felt like being "unanimity-minus-one". And this, his refusal to compromise, was his great gift to us. He paid the price, in blood and loneliness, of entering that barren landscape of broken bodies and minds so as to carry solitude at a high level. Despite every kind of pain, humiliation, and loneliness he refused to comprise his ideals. And it left him mighty lonely.

Inside of everything that's best in us, we hear an invitation to join him there: To live in pain rather than lower our standards, to risk being alone rather than compromise who we really are, and to be lonely, mighty lonely even, rather than to sell ourselves short.

21 January 2009

20 January 2009

Now and at the hour....

"If we knew at what time we were to depart from this world, we would be able to select a season for pleasure and another for repentance. But God, who has promised pardon to every repentant sinner, has not promised us tomorrow.... This very day is a day of truce, a day for conversion. And yet we refuse to cry over the evil we have done! Not only do we not weep for the sins we have committed, we even add to them."

-Pope St. Gregory the Great

19 January 2009

Spin me, O Lord...

Day after day we paint our world...often without knowing...

And then, one day, God reveals...

17 January 2009


"God loved the birds and invented trees.
Man loved the birds and invented cages."
Jacques Deval

16 January 2009

Your work = your worth???

Neglecting Alzheimer’s Patients, Torturing Detainees: Our Only Hope Is to Respect the Dignity of Every Human Being

In this London airport, I am overcome with grief. The headline of the Daily Mail newspaper reads: “An Alzheimer’s Patient Lies in a Grubby Hospital Bathroom: Will the Elderly Ever be Treated with Dignity in Britain?”

Responding to the hospital’s crass solution to its shortage of beds, the eldest daughter of patient Mrs. Gladys Joynes told paper, “We believe she was cynically chosen [to be placed in a smelly bathroom] because she is an Alzheimer’s sufferer and as such would not complain”.

As a society we are losing our ability to think deeply about right and wrong.

My feelings of grief are not mostly over Mrs. Joynes’ predicament, as sad as it is. She’ll be fine; she has relatives who love her unconditionally and who will fight the system in her defense. My sadness is, rather, about the shocking superficiality of the article’s rationale. While trying to evoke outrage against abuses of human rights, it is bereft of any ethical argument in defense of human dignity, the very foundation of our “inalienable rights.”

The chief executive of Royal Liverpool University Hospital Tony Bell, responded to the media spotlight with bureaucratic perfection: “It is not acceptable for a patient to be put into a bathroom”.

I ask, why not?

Such formulas will not work for long. If Mrs. Joynes does not realize where she is, if she does not smell what everyone else does, if she cannot communicate her discomfort, why are we so concerned about her quality of treatment? Do we human beings deserve absolute respect, regardless of our mental and emotional capacities?

For now, most of us would answer “yes.” But very few of us know how to explain our position. And when push comes to shove, and when the person in question is an undesirable, what do we fall back upon?

The problem is not just Britain’s. My eyes now fall on an American story.

The Washington Post reports that a Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base says the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the September 11 terror attacks.

“We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani,” Susan J. Crawford told The Post. “His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case” for prosecution. According to a Foxnews.com article, Crawford is the first senior Bush administration official investigating Guantanamo practices to publicly say a detainee was tortured.

As a society we are losing our ability to think deeply about right and wrong.

Why should we worry about Alzheimer’s patients? Does Mrs. Joynes really care where she is if she is in the bathroom or in a plush hotel room? And don’t these terrorist suspects lose their moral worth by aligning themselves with evil?

Until we, like our Founding Fathers, recognize the inherent dignity of the human person as an inviolable relationship to our Creator, made in His image and likeness, we will continue sliding down the slippery slope of utilitarianism. We will buy into modernity’s sick proposal that people are worth as much as they produce.

God bless,

Father Jonathan

Father Jonathan Morris is author of the new book, “The Promise: God’s Purpose and Plan for when Life Hurts.” For information go to http://www.fatherjonathan.com/


12 January 2009


Detroit may be suffering the worst from this semi-Depression, but we sure didn’t invent it. And we can’t stop it from spreading. We can only do what we do. Survive. And yet we’re better at that than most places.

The Courage of Detroit - The Bonus - SI.com

04 January 2009

01 January 2009

A meditation...

A Meditation on Henry Ossama Tanner's "The Annunciation"

Yet you do not blink.
In the intimacy of a bedchamber
Your soul is awakened from sleep
Fragile flesh before angelic brilliance

Your rumpled night sheets tossed aside,
You listen in peace with your whole self
To the question that will define history.
Holding its breath for your answer,
All heaven pauses.


Here it begins.
In such utter simplicity,
In quiet strength, at the appointed hour,
With the rippled rungs of time at your feet,
And the broad lines of history at your back.

At the balance of His grace and your will,
Eve reborn, humanity to be redeemed
Through a child, from a virgin
Whose name is Mary.

-J. Michael Sparough, S.J.