Thursday, February 26, 2009 other news

You should probably check out this link. Not only does our program director make a great comment on the article, but they use a picture of one of our volunteers at the St. Francis Inn, one of the ministries of our Philadelphia site! (And they strangely don't give proper credit for the photo. I'm not complaining. ...too much.)


When I was in 6th grade, our CCD teacher (which apparently stands for "Confraternity of Christian Doctrine"...Sunday school for Catholics, not necessarily on Sundays) made us go around the room and announce what we were giving up for Lent. (Of course, when I tried to do this when I was a teacher, one of the students wisely remarked, "Shouldn't it be something private between you and God? And we shouldn't brag about what we're giving up, otherwise it won't count. Kind of like birthday wishes." Smart kid.) It quickly became a contest to see who could come up with the most extreme Lenten observance ("I'm giving up breathing!" was when our teacher drew the line, as the kid next to me proceeded to turn blue while everyone else laughed). When we settled down, one of my peers said, "I'm giving up time." Pretty profound stuff for a 13 year old (and it freaked the rest of us out how well he sold this "joke" straight-faced. We all started to giggle until we realized he was serious. Then we were just confused). It turns out that his "giving up" of time was simply time spent volunteering with his family at a local food bank.

While Lent is a time commonly associated with sacrifice, consider how "giving up time" might be the most fulfilling sacrifice you could aim for. A blessed oxymoron, if there ever was one.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What glories catalyze your life?

"Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then -the glory- so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man's importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men."

John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Monday, February 9, 2009

Where are you today?

Home? Work? Some liminal space between the two?

Where could you be? What could you be doing?

Potential is a wonderful thing, provided it's fulfilled.