Category: art & literature
Today is the last day of my 20’s. I’m looking forward to my 30’s. I’m full of anticipation for the next decade of my life. As I think back on my 20’s, there are a lot of things I thought I’d have figured out by now. But in the end, I’m ok with not knowing those things. Life has a funny way of sorting things out on its own. Things come in due time. Since I seem to be more willing to share some of my poetry these days, here is a poem I wrote at the beginning of the decade. In that spirit, I plan to try to write a poem in the next day or so to celebrate the beginning of this new decade of my life.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/the-20s/
“In a sense, this terrible situation is the pattern and prototype of all sin: the deliberate and formal will to reject disinterested love for us for the purely arbitrary reason that we simply do not want it. We will to seperate ourselves from that love. We reject it entirely and absolutely, and will not acknowledge it, simply because it does not please us to be loved. Perhaps the inner motive is that the fact of being loved disinterestly reminds us that we all need love from others, and depend upon the charity of others to carry on our own lives. And we refuse love, and reject society, in so far as it seems, in our own perverse imagination, to imply some obscure kind of humiliation.”
–Thomas Merton “The Seven Story Mountain“
It is an interesting idea that sin is really just a rejection of love. To be honest, I had to go to the dictionary to make sense of the term “disinterested love.” My first thought when reading this paragraph was “how can you love something disinterestly?” What the dictionary reminded me was disinterest is not the lack of interest, but the lack of self-interest.
I think that this is one of the most powerful aspects of the character of Jesus. His complete disinterested love for the whole world. It is an ideal that is simply amazing in scope. Just a fraction of this type of love would make such a difference in this world.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/love-and-sin/
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/a-rhino-walks/
I’ve lately been looking through some of my old poems in order to help find some of the ways that I began to understand my call to the priesthood. The poem below was written when I was in very early stages of understanding my call.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/the-road-less-traveled/
So one of the suggestions of my discernment committee was to read the book Practicing Resurrection by Nora Gallagher. I finished the book this morning and there were three passages I bookmarked for further contemplation.
I had thought at the beginning that it would be a matter of looking for signs or listening for voices, not too many steps away from divining tea leaves. But it had become a different matter. It had been as if I were invited into a slow stripping away to expose what lay underneath. Some aspect of myself or a part of the past would rise up, something left unattended and unresolved, to which I’d grown so accustomed I did not see it, like the low-lying tree branch in the backyard I instinctively duck. Often a person would bump into this long-held secret I kept from myself, sometimes by accident or as if by accident, and insist that I take a look.
I think they are men who do not expect their faith to end their own suffering.
It is typical of exile that it changes you, and when you return, you don’t fit in the way you did before.
As I prepare for the Prov 8 Higher Ed & Young Adult Gathering this weekend, I have really been listening to the silence. I haven’t heard much…but I haven’t been as afraid of the silence either. As I “turn off the noise” this weekend…I will be keeping these three quotes in my head.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/practicing-resurrection/