Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dear Author Elves

10:00 am
Dear author elves, your writing goal for the morning shift is 300 words. You can leave it on my desk. Thanks ever so much! Gratefully yours, the author

11:30 am
Dear author elves, may I clarify? It doesn't count if you write and delete 100 words three times over. And while I thank you for thinking of the laundry, I was really fine on socks. Yours, the author

1:10 pm
Dear author elves, I do appreciate that you work better in cooler and less humid environments. I'm happy to turn on the AC, if you can find it in yourselves to stop hanging out in the kitchen making cold drinks and get down to the business of writing. Getting a bit heated myself, the author

2:23 pm
Dear dratted -- uh, sorry,
draftless elves, I found the outlines for the next two pieces you produced this afternoon to be terrifically exciting, but since neither of these essays are due until late August at the earliest, perhaps you might turn a bit of that attention to the one due in mid-July? Hmmmm? focussing on the present, the author

3:46 pm
Author elves, Honestly, I wasn't serious about the duct tape, or the threat to withhold chocolate if you didn't start producing text. Have you no sense of humor? Please stop searching the interwebs for the OSHA regulations governing house elves and start using all that fascinating research I left in the folder on my desk for you. Hoping that we can get out of this sticky situation, the author

4:15 pm
OK, elves, let me show you how this is done. Sit. Write. Repeat. Done. And stop eyeing my chocolate...

Photo is of an elf found napping a block away, no wonder they didn't write anything!

Can you tell that I find writing the opening paragraphs painful at times?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hark I hear the harps

As part of a summer organization binge (an attack precipitated by the finishing of the house renovations) I bought two new bookcases and have been electronically cataloging and re-shelving my professional books. This afternoon both boys were up in my office clearing their plans for the rest of the afternoon when Crash peers more closely at the shelf he's casually propped up against.

"A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin? Seriously, Mom?"

"If a library is reflection of its owner's mind, I'm not totally sure what my books tell tell you about me..."

"Knitting Know-How..."
"Dictionary of 26 Languages..."

Yes, yes, I know I've got ecclectic interests. Finally The Boy spys a small blue book, "Mangles, Mops and Feather Brushes?"

A reprinted book of household hints from the late 19th century. He opens it at random and begins to read solemnly, " 'Inspection of Linen. Fold carefully — with taste.' With taste?!"

We're all confused. Honestly, I'm happy if the laundry gets put away period, I don't care if it's been folded tastefully or even folded at all, as long as it's not in baskets in the sunroom.

They departed down the stairs, singing (in two part harmony) Dashing Away With A Smoothing Iron. I'm remembering a day when The Boy was 1/2 the age he is now (and half the height), invaded my office of an afternoon. And as they broke into "Hark, I hear the harps eternal..." I realized that I was hearing the sounds of heaven, right here and now.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Camped on a bench

I'm working at the intersection point of science and religion today. Literally, perhaps, as I'm sitting on a bench at 17th & the Parkway in Philadelphia, in sight of both the Franklin Institute and the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul. I had two meetings this morning at the Archdiocese, and have another on science this afternoon. I had thought to head for the CHF in Old City and camp out in the library there between meetings, but the day is lovely and when I sat down on this bench to change my shoes and check my email, I decided to stay for a bit. The tours buses brush past, runners pound the pavement to my right, and sparrows tentatively touch down -- hoping that I might have left them some crumbs...but the only ones I have are snippets of conversations that drift past. The breeze blows and all I have -- or really need -- at the moment sits in front of me. My bag with book, breviary, iPad, phone, umbrella and wallet.

In some ways I don't look much different from my counterpart down the block. He, too, has his gear for the day weighing down the end of a bench. We're both peering up at the world moving past, perhaps both a bit leery of the dark clouds that have blown in over the last few minutes. And maybe he is wondering, as I am, where to find a public restroom.

Still, there are more than 6 lanes of traffic dividing us, I suspect. I'm connected to not only the world wide web, but to a vast set of supports that allow me to pack up a small bag and be comfortable on my feet for a day in the city. From a job, a family, a house with a roof that (mostly) does not leak, to the newly asphalted streets on which to ride my bike to the trains that run into the city.

And it's interesting to see the looks you get when you look at home with a bag on a bench....what do we see when we look at each other?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why am I reading letters to Santa in June?

Sometimes I think that I write as an excuse to read weird stuff. Last week I read an analysis of children's letters to Santa (as ritual performance), an underground manual for the synthesis and extraction of a variety of illegal drugs, a journal of a Camoldolese monk and some poetry by Rilke....all work-related?!

The summer's planned writing projects include two book proposals, a piece for Nature Chemistry (for which I was reading both the letters to Santa and the underground manual), and a reflection for Give Us This Day. But I'm also looking forward to doing some desultory reading -- fiction and non-fiction both. Anyone have suggestions?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shifting Gears

Teaching The Boy to drive a manual transmission has made me think about how I know what I know — and how Ignatian application of the senses might help me push me beyond the knowledge that I can put into words (like how to shift into first gear).

"As a teacher and an academic, I spend a lot of time figuring out how to say what I know and how to get other people to do the same, which has a tendency to slop over into my prayer. Not only am I tempted to limit my conversation with God to what I can put into words, but a part of me is hoping that God in return will pick up the chalk and sketch out a series of equations and diagrams which make clear in every particular what I want to know...."
Read the rest at This Ignatian Life.

Photo is of Crash Kid and my dad's Model A.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Steamed Neocolonialism

The Boy is reading When Parents Text. He just appeared in my study....

The Boy: I just thought I'd share this one... (p. 33)
DAD: ...Mom made soft rice & steamed neocolonialism.
DAD: Broccoli
Me: They both probably go down better steamed.

(As his just desserts for invading my study, I made him read the piece I'm presently working on, which includes the term somatic proprioception.1

1. how your brain knows where your nose is when your eyes are closed

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Standard and Times folds

The Catholic Standard & Times has been reporting the news of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia for 117 years. Today the paper announced it is folding, effective immediately, as part of a painful financial restructuring of the archdiocese. The details are here; many programs are gone or remanded to more local control, offices are shuttering or coalescing. And more than forty people have lost their jobs.

I hurt for those who have lost their jobs. I pray fiercely for their well-being and the well-being of their families.

The paper is not a person, but I will mourn its demise nonetheless. This is the newsroom that the late legendary Cardinal Foley inhabited, his desk — complete with a pull-out table on the front perfectly sized to hold a copy of the paper for perusal by the editor and a guest — is still used by the current editor. Fr. Paul Quinter, who taught me not only moral theology and bioethics in graduate school, but also how to write an op-ed piece (and published my first one in the Standard) ably shepherded the paper until he landed in Rome to edit the English language version of L'osservatore Romano.

I began writing regularly about prayer and spirituality for the Standard just after Easter 2008, (my first column is here), invited by the managing editor and the auxiliary bishop whose office oversaw the paper (another former professor from my graduate school days). I'd been writing on the blog for four years and in a few other venues, but more than anything else it was writing these weekly columns that helped me find my voice as a writer. My editors Matt, Sabrina and Elena polished my prose and patiently taught me everything I know about how a small newspaper works (which is not much, but far more than I knew when I started). Msgr. Fran Meehan encouraged me to keep writing from the only perspective I had - of faithful lay person, wife and mother, reminding me that each of us brings something unique to to the table from our experience of God and that the gift of sharing it was not meant to be tucked under a bushel.

Too, the columns were a way for me to struggle with living faithfully, prayerfully and contemplatively in a space inhabited by teens, hamsters, cats, students, and a husband. As one of my Jesuit friends says, "first we preach to ourselves."

It's too soon to know quite what will happen with the online presence of the paper, or with Phaith magazine (currently on hold). I write in other spaces these days, and God willing, will continue to do so, but I will miss seeing the masthead of the paper sticking out of my mailbox, its physical presence a reminder of the deeper realities of how the Word becomes flesh in our lives, and the discipline of the regular writing for them.

And if you can, please pray, as I am, for those who are suddenly unemployed, and for all those served by ministries and office that have vanished or shrunk.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Last spring a group of students and another faculty member and I made a monthly transect of the campus, walking the same rough line from its staid southern border standing shoulder to shoulder with two private schools to the muddy hillside of brambles that marks its northernmost point. Our tramp took us past the theater, Goodhart, where the early 20th century snowflakes on the facade faintly foreshadowed a magnificent colony of lichen that decorates the fence surrounding the next touch point, the college's pond.

The pond reminded me in many ways of the Moss Temple outside Kyoto I visited last year. The constructed water feature, deliberated shaped, now shaped in turn by what it contains. The beautiful garden of lichen growing on the fence that rings it, themselves containers shaped by an invisible, ongoing dance. Fungi and bacteria well wed, presenting to us as one, the history of their marriage obscured.

There is something apt about lichen growing at a liberal arts college for women. Beatrix Potter, beloved for her tales of Peter Rabbit, was the biologist who first twigged to the hidden duality. In 1897 her paper to that effect was read at the Linnean Society. In thos days, being male trumped being a biologist, so a chemist (her uncle) read her paper, and responded to questions.

Potter was a field biologist who wrote children's books. I wonder how symbiotic her two natures were. Were they as well wed as her beloved lichens? I wonder how many women still take on the lichens' sensibilities, multiple organisms bound into one, inseparable, yet not quite indistinguishable. How well wed are my personae?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Easing Separation Anxiety: A Guide for Teens

Crash Kid is off to spend a week with friends "down the shore" as they say here. Math Man and I are nervous. This is his first extended trip without us or someone else acting in loco parentis. He's an adult now, parental substitutes are no longer required by law. As I watch him get ready, making the shopping list, shopping (with a budget), packing up and organizing meals, I'm reassured that he's ready to do this. Then I think about Jersey Shore (a show I've never watched, and probably shouldn't this week -- see tips below!) and wonder if I have lost my mind.

As Crash and I ran errands yesterday, we talked about the separations to come. This one and the one approaching in eight weeks and nine days (not that he is counting) when he heads off to college. We reflected on previous separations, what made them easier and harder. I teased him that I felt like we were back in the toddler days, dealing with separation anxieties — just this time the roles were reversed. He was leaving us.

I wondered how much of that old advice would apply....

(Revised from the advice for parents of younger children here.)

It's natural for your parent to feel anxious when you say goodbye. Although it can be difficult, separation anxiety is a normal stage of development for your parent. With understanding and some simple coping strategies, separation anxiety can be relieved—and should fade as your parent gets more practice.

Practice separation. Leave your parent for brief periods and short distances at first. Try offering to go to the grocery store for them, or to pick up a sibling at an after school activity. Be sure to return when you said you would.
Schedule separations before naps or meals. Parents are less susceptible to separation anxiety when they’re tired or hungry, they're grateful they don't have to pick you up.
Develop a “goodbye” ritual. Rituals are reassuring and can be as simple as a request for money, a jingling of your keys, or a cheerful exchange of "Drive safely!"
Allow the parent contact. At times of stress, a brief phone call—a minute or two—with you or a short text message may reduce separation anxiety. Avoid calling from noisy places, or sending photos with strange people in the background. Parents have active imaginations at this stage, which can fuel their anxieties. Keep it short and sweet, and remind them that you love them and are thinking of them.
Help your parents find peer support. Arrange a shared activity with other parents. It will help them to understand that the feelings they are experiencing are normal. If you keep it local, they can walk, exercise can help ease some of the physical symptoms of anxiety.
Leave without fanfare. Tell your parent you are leaving and that you will return, then go—don’t stall.
Minimize scary television and reading material. Your parent is less likely to be fearful if the media they consume do not fan their anxieties. (No Jersey Shore for mom!)
Try not to give in. Reassure your parent that he or she will be just fine—setting limits will help the adjustment to separation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ding Dong

Not as in Avon is calling.

In the afterglow of the Great Graduation Event (Crash's backyard party), The Boy suggested a game of Bananagrams. I am good at Bananagrams. It would be false humility to claim otherwise.1 I don't. In fact, I tell everyone in the room. I'm really good at Banagrams.

So I join Favorite Facebook Nephew and The Boy in a round. I win. FFN is frustrated.2

We play again. Same result. In the middle of round 3, FFN resigns his position in favor of his mother, No-No, and Math Man takes over The Boy's spot. (FFN and The Boy go off to play some game at which I do not excel that resembles chess and uses lasers. They don't care who wins as long as it isn't me.) No-No and Math Man are at a serious disadvantage; not only are they taking over midstream, but are both novices.

Geek Guru tries to level the playing field by distracting me with a secondary conversation. I am mistress of the universe. I can talk and make words on the floor. "Bananagrams!" I exclaim proudly (not that this victory merits such).

Suddenly No-No looks closely at my tiles. "QUINTY?" she inquires.

Oh. No. I had created "SQUINTY," then siphoned off the S to use elsewhere. There is no redemption in Bananagrams. Should you declare victory under these circumstances, the round resumes, but without you. "Noooooo...."

From the sofa, Geek Guru begins, "Ding-dong, the wicked witch, which old witch, the wicked witch...." The rest of them join in.

Pride. It goes before a fall.

1. I am good because the game favors those with larger vocabularies, good spatial skills and lots of practice. I spent a lot of time playing it with The Boy on vacation a couple of years back.
2. Note that FFN could destroy me in under two minutes with his eyes closed in any videogame. Probably in under 30 seconds. We all have our strengths.

Webbed identities

I was chatting with someone at some event this last week (Crash graduated from high school yesterday, so there have been many events in the last week, where I have spoken with more someones than I can sort out — so if this was you, please accept my apologies now!) who discovered that I wrote about both science and spirituality, and assumed that I commingled the two. "Only rarely do I mix my genres," I assured her (?). From the expression on his (?) face, I'm not sure whether the thought that I wrote about them together or apart made my conversational partner's brain hurt more.

To be honest, I'm not sure which makes my brain hurt more. For various reasons, I've recently needed to create both a resume and a website for my writing — all of it. Creating a map of my writing left me wondering what a map of my brain would look like....could you color code it by scientist versus contemplative?

Illustration is from Wikimedia.

For an interesting peek by scientists into the minds of Carmelite mystics, read this paper. The thought that I could be both investigator and investigated in a study like this absolutely makes my brain hurt.

The website for my writing is here - I'm offering chocolate for any typos or broken links!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Phaith: Become what you receive - Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi is celebrated this week (the date depends on your local diocese, the traditional Thursday or translated to Sunday). My column in this month's Phaith, on how meals shape our communities, large and small. Full disclosure: The table at my house rarely rises to the level in the (stock)photo that is shown with the article. Trust me on this one. And the conversation is not always, shall we say, elevated in tone. But there is much laughter and love....
"Dinner was almost cleaned up, the last dishes were stuffed into the dishwasher, and Chris was at the kitchen table neatly packing the leftovers while chatting up our guest. A cherry red apron over his jeans, Mike was sifting powdered sugar over the top of a chocolate cake. Kaitlyn bet him a cake that he'd get into Georgetown, and acceptance letter in hand, he's making good on the wager.

As he presents his creation with a flourish to Kaitlyn, wrapped and ready for her to take home, I notice that he's put it on my best cake plate, a wedding gift from a good friend. "Nice choice," I tell him. He grins.

The china cabinet isn't off limits to the kids at my house, so I'm neither surprised nor bothered that Mike has gone rummaging in it for just the right platter. He knows, too, that I believe in using the good dishes not only for big holidays, but also to mark somewhat less momentous occasions -- such as the end of semester breakfast with my students, where guests are perched on chairs, and parked on the carpet.

My kids have learned that meals are about more than refueling. It's a time set aside for us to be together, to hear how the day has gone, to laugh together."

Read the rest in Phaith.

Photo is of Mission San Miguel's sanctuary. My parent's parish.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ignatian Antinomy

...not to be confused with antimony.1,2 (comment on Wikipedia entry for antinomy)

In his first principle and foundation, Ignatius of Loyola uses antinomy to good effect:
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
Wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
A deeper response to our life in God. — From David Fleming SJ's beautiful paraphrase

When I told a friend the other day that I was working on not preferring order over chaos, he suggested that might be my own Ignatian antinomy. I said we could probably all write our own personal versions. Forthwith, here is mine.
I should not fix my desires on wet socks or dry feet,
placemats or tablecloths,3 silence or noise, order or utter chaos.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
A deeper response to our life in God (even the placemats).
I just finished writing a reflection (for next Lent!) which in combination with this exchange has me thinking about how I am willing to assent to broad terms but when faced with the real issues of my ordinary life can let it all go out the window.

Making the Exercises these big bins — success and failure, wealth and poverty — were much on my mind. But Ignatius was thinking that everything sat on this ability to let all these things, desired or not, move us closer to God. Everyday, not just while making the Exercises, not just in the momentous decisions about life, but when faced with the kitchen and the dishes, the laundry and the mail, the phone and teen driving lessons.

1. Antimony is a chemical element.
2. Blogger's spellcheck suggests I change antinomy to antimony. I am not confused.
3. You need to ask Math Man about this one.

What I learned in graduate school in theology...

Crash (wandering into sunroom, pencil behind ear, paper in hand): Can I ask you a quick question about Catholic moral theology?

Me: There is no such thing as a quick question in Catholic moral theology.

Monday, June 04, 2012


There are four things I would not consider venturing on an extended retreat without:

post-it notes
my pillow
a good (but not too good) SF or mystery novel

The post-it notes are put to different uses in nearly every retreat. They've ended up decorating a wall-to-wall window, a visual panorama of the passages suggested from Scripture each day by my director. I used them on the long retreat to make notes while looking over my prayer of the previous day, which I would then stick onto the front of my prayer journal — though I never once looked at them in any of my conversations with my director. Another retreat found me putting a blank one on the front of my journal to jot one or two lines to jog my memory about prayer suggestions from my director. Whatever I end up using them for, I don't go on retreat without them! I'd sooner leave my pillow behind.

And I rarely eschew bringing a pillow. My faithful travel pillow came to Japan with me, and gets tucked into my tote for car rides of even a few hours duration. I joke (or maybe it isn't a joke) that I'll have reached a new level of detachment when I no longer need my travel pillow, even for one night away. It is with a bit of pride, though, that I announce that I forgot said pillow in the car the last time I spent a night on retreat and DID NOT change out of my PJs at 10 pm, go out to the car and get it.

The novel became an essential after a rather tightly strung retreat, where midway through my director marched me down to the retreat house library, pulled a mystery novel off the shelf and said, "you need some down time, read this!" (Yes, Ignatian directors can be directive.)

Chocolate. Do I need to say anything more? I don't travel anywhere without chocolate. Several colleagues know that I can be counted on to have a stash of dark, dark chocolate in my desk for those dark, dark moments that strike now and again — or to celebrate with.

Before I left for my retreat in Big Sur, my sister-in-law, The Reverend's Wife, reminded me that there is nowhere around there to get even essentials, so to be sure I had what I needed before I left. She was probably thinking about toothpaste and shampoo, but I was thinking about chocolate! I duly made sure I was well stocked. The first evening came and went, and the chocolate stayed in the drawer. And the second, and the third. By day four, I was starting to wonder what was up. I had no taste for chocolate. Zero. Zip. I could open the drawer, look at the lovely dark chocolate orange truffles nestled in their fancy papers and think, "nope, doesn't appeal!"

The only time I've had no appetite for chocolate for an extended period of time has been when I was pregnant (no, this is not an roundabout announcement of any miraculous news). I began to wonder what else I might be pregnant with, if not a sibling for Crash and The Boy. There was a lovely image in the poem Visitation by Harry Hagan, OSB included for the feast of Mary's visitation to Elizabeth in Give Us This Day of the restlessness of God. What would it feel like to have God — literally — restless within you?

About a month ago when I was up at the Jesuit Center to see Patient Spiritual Director and take a deep start-of-the-summer breath of God, I took my morning cup of tea out to the east cloister garden. It's my favorite place to sit and pray outdoors there, regardless of season, regardless of the time of day. This morning there were bits of nest material scattered in the center of the walk. The shards of shell and yolk, veritable signs of dashed hopes, tore my heart out. A bird had made her nest in one of the light fixtures, and the heavy winds of the previous night had knocked it down.

I looked up, to see a finch perched on the edge of the fixture. She was puffed up and panting, despite the warmth of the morning. I watched, worried, what was wrong? Suddenly, a small round globe appeared. She'd laid another egg. Perched on the edge of catastrophe, here was a tiny sliver of hope. She sat for a moment, then flew off, leaving behind this precious bit.

On retreat, as I sat on my precious sliver of time, wind blown and panting as I climbed the hills, I wondered how God was restless in me. What might be hatching in my life? How willing am I to give birth to something fragile and precariously perched, to take on something risky and wild?

Photo is from California last year. A small egg found while sweeping out the lath house to use as an ad hoc hermitage.

Aside: What was I hatching that was risky and wild 16 years ago? The Boy was restless within me, and at 11:04 am 16 years ago today, decided it was time to be born!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Column: An active silence

I've been reading Wound of Love, by an anonymous Carthusian (or as Google books would have A. Carthusian). It's a miscellaneous collection of essays, conferences and homilies, written by contemporary Carthusians for their brothers. The essay referred to below is called "The Facets of Silence."

This column appeared in the June 2012 issue of the Catholic Standard & Times. Read it at Catholic Philly.

A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountain and crushing rocks before the Lord — but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake — but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire — but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. 1 Kings 19:11-12

“Take a look at measure 12, it’s the most critical thing you will do in the entire piece,” cautioned the director. “Note the two rests there? Do not sing! Stop, or you’ll be very lonely.” And embarrassed.

A couple of dozen parents of choral seniors are gathered in a small practice room, trying in twenty minutes to master a sung blessing (acapella, in four part harmony) to be sung to our graduating children at the end of the night’s concert.

The text is the beautiful blessing given in Numbers — “May the Lord bless you and keep you…” — set to two dozen measures of music, hundreds of notes rippling over each other, every space on the staffs filled, except for this beat and a half. Stop. Wait.

It may sound odd, but as a cantor, my favorite part of singing the psalm is not the moment when the Church first fills with our response to the first reading. It’s not even the moment of exquisite relief when I’m sure I’ve found the note that I was tentatively hunting for in practice. No, it’s the thirty or so seconds of silence my parish keeps before the psalmist stands and goes to the ambo. We stop. We wait.

Unlike my students, who often let me know it’s time to move on to their next class by noisily packing up their books and papers, these silences are still. We aren’t collectively itching to get on to the psalm and second reading; we are as engaged in listening as we were when the lector was reading.

“Reading is bound to silence,” wrote Peter of Celle, a 12th century Benedictine abbot, in his lessons for monks. Like composer Claude Debussy, who 700 years later defined music as “the space between the notes.” Peter suggests that silence is not just empty space, but something that is active, that tunes us in to words just spoken and words to come. The silences in our liturgies aren’t accidents, the inevitable result of the time it takes to move one person off the ambo and the next person on.

As Elijah stayed safely in his cave while rock-crushing winds and harrowing fires swept past, emerging, head covered, to hear God calling him in the near total silence that followed, we hear God approaching us in the reading. So, too, we emerge, wrapping ourselves in the silence, to hear what God is calling us to, here and now.

Last week I read a series of reflections on silence by an anonymous Carthusian novice master who pointed out that sacred silence is a communal activity, that it’s not a private affair between individuals and God. We are entrusted to each other’s care in these silences, he notes, safeguarding the silence for our neighbors.

While my parish does not practice the profound silence that the Carthusian monks and nuns do, even in these brief moments at Mass, I sense the support of the assembly as we craft a silence — together — to listen to what God has to say in each of our hearts.

The novice master encourages his young monks to consider the ways in which their silence wells up and flows out over the earth, supporting God’s revelation of Himself to those far beyond the boundaries of the monastery gates.

In the end, the parents did not have to carry the sung blessing on our own. We were supported by the rest of the chorale, their gloriously well-trained voices welling up and flowing out, their eyes pinned to their director’s hands. Holding us in song, and binding us together in perfect silence.

Elected Silence, sing to me
And beat upon my whorlèd ear,
Pipe me to pastures still and be
The music that I care to hear. — Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. in The Habit of Perfection