Deciding Everything

Nothing is more practical than finding God; that is, falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love; stay in love, and it will decide everything. 
-Pedro Arrupe, SJ


Twenty-One Days

I get married in twenty-one days. Somehow that sounds shorter than three weeks. And somehow I feel exceptionally ready, while exceptionally naïve to what ready really means.

This morning woke to a prayer time that sought “Home.” What is it? Where is it? Where I am in it? And most importantly, I suppose, Whose am I in the midst of Home?

This is far from the first time such a search has sought my attentions. Often its been quite practically speaking, like when I moved away to college, or overseas, or across the country, or back across the across the country. While other times the search has been more abstract, like this morning. As sunlit beams danced around my bed, my solo existence, and God, sat still.

This has been my home, Father, but in twenty-one days, it will be no longer. The views will change. Different windows, different sounds, different smells… My single existence here will be no more.
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Society Attempts to Unpack Twenty-Somethings

There's no mistaking the fact that society is on to something in its increasing attempt to unpack mysteries of the modern "twenty-something." I wonder how the Church might most aptly come alongside, if not lead, this process?


The New York Times

August 18, 2010

What Is It About 20-Somethings?

Why are so many people in their 20s taking so long to grow up?

This question pops up everywhere, underlying concerns about “failure to launch” and “boomerang kids.” Two new sitcoms feature grown children moving back in with their parents — “$#*! My Dad Says,” starring William Shatner as a divorced curmudgeon whose 20-something son can’t make it on his own as a blogger, and “Big Lake,” in which a financial whiz kid loses his Wall Street job and moves back home to rural Pennsylvania. A cover of The New Yorker last spring picked up on the zeitgeist: a young man hangs up his new Ph.D. in his boyhood bedroom, the cardboard box at his feet signaling his plans to move back home now that he’s officially overqualified for a job. In the doorway stand his parents, their expressions a mix of resignation, worry, annoyance and perplexity: how exactly did this happen?

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Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smilingly, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were
compressing my throat,
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

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Sex Tourism

30 July 2010 Last updated at 05:19 ET

Brazil's sex tourism boom

Chris Rogers with two young girls Chris Rogers encounters many young girls on the streets of Brazil

Young children are supplying an increasing demand from foreign tourists who travel to Brazil for sex holidays, according to a BBC investigation. Chris Rogers reports on how the country is overtaking Thailand as a destination for sex tourism and on attempts to curb the problem.

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My friend Deborah just forwarded the following NY Times article. So much to learn from these lines...
June 28, 2010

Bill Wilson’s Gospel

On Dec. 14, 1934, a failed stockbroker named Bill Wilson was struggling with alcoholism at a New York City detox center. It was his fourth stay at the center and nothing had worked. This time, he tried a remedy called the belladonna cure — infusions of a hallucinogenic drug made from a poisonous plant — and he consulted a friend named Ebby Thacher, who told him to give up drinking and give his life over to the service of God.

Wilson was not a believer, but, later that night, at the end of his rope, he called out in his hospital room: “If there is a God, let Him show Himself! I am ready to do anything. Anything!”

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What's Real?

“Real isn't how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.
“It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don...'t mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.
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Kudos to Mentorship

NY Times op-ed
June 11, 2010

Two Men and Two Paths

When Wes Moore won a Rhodes scholarship in 2000, The Baltimore Sun published an article about his triumph. He was the first student at Johns Hopkins to win a Rhodes in 13 years, and the first black student there ever to win the award.

At about the same time, The Sun published articles about another young African-American man, also named Wes Moore. This one was facing charges of first-degree murder for the killing of an off-duty police officer named Bruce Prothero, a father of five.

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Female Sex Addiction

I’m reviewing a thoughtful book called, No Stones, Women Redeemed from Sexual Addiction, by Marnie Ferree (IVP, 2010). Though I’ve known a lot of men who struggle in such realms, I was unaware that women struggle at similar frequencies and degrees. Ferree’s spiritual, psychological and practical insights are quite remarkable, and definitely recommended. Consider some of the following quotes:

Why is this called “sex addiction”? I hate that label! Don’t you get that it’s not about the sex! Sex is just what I have to give to get what I really want, which is love, and touch, and nurture and assurance I’m okay” (a Christian woman battling sex addiction…married with young children and teaches in a private Christian school). Page 56
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