I have been thinking about last week’s column that was devoted to the idea that the actions that a person performs reveal the identity of that person and also help to form and shape the identity of the person acting. The deeper the action, the deeper the effect. A vow has tremendous power to influence the lie of the person who makes the vow.
As I have mentioned previously in some of these columns, for much of my adult life I have tried to achieve some kind of unity, tried to allow what I believe to influence my reading, my research, my writing, my teaching, my preaching, even my recreating. In my case this has taken almost a lifetime of effort.
Often while discussing love and hate in philosophy classes at St. John’s University, I try to provoke a discussion by posing questions about what hating does to the person hating and what loving does to the person loving.
I cannot remember when I began to think of the enormous mystery that Divine Providence is. It is one of the truly amazing Christian Mysteries. Was it when I was in high school? College? The Seminary? After I was ordained a priest? I just cannot recall, but whenever it was the wonder and awe and gratitude still accompany my contemplation of it.
Writing last week’s column on culture and religious faith reminded me of one of the most successful and enjoyable parish activities I was involved in many years ago when I was a parish priest at St. Finbar’s parish in Bensonhurst.
There are mile stones that are embedded in the minds of people of a certain generation. Everyone knows where they were when they learned that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, everyone was glued to their television when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, and everyone remembers how they felt on August 16, 1977, when Elvis Presley passed away at just 42 years old.
Because of some reading I have been doing lately, I have been thinking of the influence that contemporary American culture may be having on me and others.
As I arrive at the end of the series based on Learning to Pray by James Martin, S.J., I think, indeed I hope, that Father Martin’s insights will stay with me for a long time.
As curtains are rising once again along the Great White Way, so are concerns among Catholic members of the theater community.
There is a brief section in Learning to Pray by Father James Martin, S.J, dealing with centering prayer. Because I have been doing centering prayer every day for more than 20 years I thought I would be very familiar with whatever Father Martin wrote about centering prayer. Actually reading Father Martin’s remarks turned out to be a special grace for me.