While traveling in Germany and Holland I was fascinated by other people’s lives and their ways of being in the world. I want to share with you three observations that speak to the generosity of the heart.
First, in Holland, I needed the assistance of a dentist. It was almost 6 pm when my family called a local dentist in this neighboring little Dutch town. The dentist invited me to arrive close to 7:30 pm. In a most friendly manner, she repaired my tooth and asked for Euro 23.00 ($25.30).
Second, in Munich, I visited my childhood friend, Ursula, who is now suffering from Alzheimer’s. We spent the day together. That evening while sitting across from her at dinner, she turned to her husband and said she planned to call me tomorrow since she had not seen or spoken to me for the longest time. Her husband pointed out that I was sitting across from her. I realized my visit was meaningful for her only at the moment rather than as a memory we both could share.
Last, Ursula’s son Daniel, a physician, was taking a leave of absence, interrupting his professional commitments and opportunities so he, his wife and their daughter could tend to the needs of his aging parents. They seemed to be the happiest people on earth. I was reminded of the saying: “Never let a hardship be lost.”
So much more to share …
Many folks are walking the Camino. Did you know there is also a Hildegard of Bingen Pilgrimage by foot? It is a journey of 85 miles through meadows and hills.
We were reminded of Thomas Merton’s SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN
You were the Light of the World, the Salt of the Earth, the loving presence of God..
“No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”
You will be with us always
Massimo Faggioli, PhD
If it weren’t being used by the pope, “Pontifex”— Latin for “bridge builder”— would be an apt Twitter handle for church historian and professor Massimo Faggioli. The Italian-born theologian and Vatican II expert helps the different worlds of European and American Catholicism understand each other.
After years of study at the universities of Bologna and Turin, research in the Vatican archives, and teaching in other countries, Dr. Faggioli came to the United States during the 2008 presidential campaign. He was promptly tapped to write articles for European audiences, explaining the religious aspects of US politics, and for American audiences, explaining the qualities unique to Catholicism in this country. That task continues.
“Having had a more universal experience of Catholicism, I try to cast light on ideas that are distinctly American, some of which may be worth questioning,” Dr. Faggioli says.
The 2013 election of Pope Francis catapulted Dr. Faggioli, then a faculty member at the University of St. Thomas, back onto the international stage. He provided expert commentary for respected US and European media outlets, and has continued to do so since coming to Villanova in 2016.
In addition to bringing his European perspective to the classroom, Dr. Faggioli draws upon it as he writes what will be a trilogy of books on Francis’ papacy. Unlike many scholars in the US, he “follows what the pope says and does directly from Vatican sources, without having to rely on translations. It’s fascinating.”
SR. Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD
With doctoral degrees in Pharmacology and Theology, Sister Ilia Delio is eminently qualified not only to speak authoritatively about two distinct fields but also to show that, contrary to popular opinion, science and religion can work together. Since fall 2015, she has pursued this calling as the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova.
Sister Ilia has deep roots in both fields. The Newark, N.J., native had been researching a drug for diabetic neuropathy when she decided to enter the Sisters of St. Francis. The community sent her to Fordham University, where she earned her second doctoral degree, this one in Historical Theology. The convergence of her interests in cells and souls transformed her. “I was like a fish who had finally found water.”
In her various posts at prestigious institutions, most recently, Georgetown University, Sister Ilia has developed new ways of understanding how God is present and active in an evolving, dynamic universe. Her awardwinning books go beyond academia to show people how they can “reclaim a living God for a living world of change and complexity.”
More than anything, “Avengers: Endgame” is about the redemptive power of human imperfection
We have just received a new bronze plaque quoting Richard Niebuhr’s advise:
GOD, GRANT ME THE SERENITY
TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE,
COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN,
AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
Image to follow soon…
Until you are ready to make every day sacred you will probably miss the Easter moments. https://mythguidedlife.org/p/cr7C
We though many are one body in Christ.
Love bears it out even to the edge of doom.
Early in the morning, on the first day of the week, while it was still dark…
Mary stooped to peer inside…
…the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first…He saw and believed.
John 23: 3-4
LET US SING A NEW SONG, not with our lips but with our lives..