I love it when we are reminded –as we have been again — of how much there is in God’s big universe about which we are utterly, stupendously, fantastically clueless. We don’t even have the slightest idea about how remarkably clueless we really are. And of course that’s the case, because the Lord God, who is infinitely beyond us, made it all, and it all proclaims God’s glory. How embarrassingly disappointing it would be if we could grasp it.



Marking the Romero anniversary 2014

If you’re planning on observing the 34th anniversary of Oscar Romero’s assassination this Monday, you’re already behind folks in El Salvador. An article posted at Vatican Insider reports:

The country began its commemoration of Romero’s assassination [last] Monday and will continue to do so for the entire week. Carlos Ayala Ramírez, who runs the Central American University radio station Radio Ysuka, led a meditation titled “The pastor must be where there is suffering”, in the crammed crypt of the city cathedral. Processions and vigils followed and will continue until Monday 24th. The week’s events are being attended by numerous visitors from countries across Europe, the US and Latin America.

Numerous Salvadorian social organisations will mark the exact moment on Monday 24th when the bishop was shot in the hospital crape of the Divine Providence, by marching from various locations around the city to the point where a solemn mass in going to be celebrated.

The article also includes information — well, speculation might be the better  term — on Archbishop Romero’s sainthood cause. Seems that some in high places are expecting to see his beatification in 2017, the hundredth anniversary of his birth. The full article is here.

And there’s a fine song and video called “Romero” from a band called The Project here. (Includes actual audio recording of the gunshots that killed the Archbishop!) Well worth watching and listening to (not to mention reflecting and praying over) this week.

“Not a second chance at New Year’s resolutions”

naked andSomeone handed me a copy of Naked, and You Clothed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle A last week at the Mid-Atlantic Congress. I paged through it and ended up reading the final homily of the book, which happened to be a reflection by Fr. Greg Boyle for the Feast of Christ the King. (Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, an intervention and rehab ministry for gang members.) I knew immediately that I would be reading more of this book.

I read the homily for Ash Wednesday, written by Christine Valters Painter, this morning. Another gem.

“Lent is not second chance at New Year’s Resolutions,” Painter writes, “so I encourage you to consider continuing to eat chocolate.” A compelling way of looking at it, to a guy who has often turned to giving up chocolate for Lent.

Rather than the giving up the sweets, Painter suggests we engage in some prayer of lament this Lent — to refuse to just be “fine” while trying to push past what hurts us in order to focus on “getting over it.” She suggests we lament for the sorrows of our own lives, of those we love, and of those with whom we share this big world. That, Painter notes, is an act of resistance and an act of solidarity with those who are suffering. A very Lenten attitude, I would say.

I recommend getting a copy of Naked, and You Clothed Me, edited by Deacon Jim Knipper and published by Clear Faith Publishing. Proceeds from the sale of the book are donated by the publisher to clothing the homeless and those in need.

God bless your Ash Wednesday and your Lent.