Friday, January 10, 2014

Four for Friday: Beginnings, Endings and Heresies

Sign on the Nyonimichi, the women's trail, on Mt. Koya
in Japan.  © Michelle M. Francl 2013.
I probably spend more time than I should link surfing over my morning tea, but as long as I keep stumbling upon interesting reads, that's unlikely to change.  In these days of transition from one year to the next, from one semester to the next, from one liturgical season to the next, here are three pieces that spoke to me in one way or another about beginnings and endings and one that just made me laugh!

Blessed Fran of the Many Consonants had two posts that spoke to me, "What Now?" reminded me to check my orientation, where am I going, what am I following?  I enjoyed her focus, not on resolutions, but on the questions.  It made me think, too, of the recent papal exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, in which Pope Francis reminds us of the importance of not just having an orientation, but living it out: "Not to put the word into practice, not to make it reality, is to build on sand, to remain in the realm of pure ideas and to end up in a lifeless and unfruitful self-centredness and gnosticism." [EG 233]  Her other post, on "Hard Hearts" got me digging into the Greek.  The Greek used for hardened in the Gospel she quotes is not the same as the word translated as hardened elsewhere in the New Testament.

At Gentle Reign, composer Rory Cooney is hoping for some help along the way, asking how seriously we take the Word we hear proclaimed, and how good preaching might support us in our actively bringing the Word to light.

We think about this season of the year as one of beginnings — babies and baptisms — or travelers — the journey to Bethlehem and the Magi — but at Gone Walkabout, Jim McDermott SJ has posted a haunting poem by Peter Steele SJ which reminded me that not only did the Magi come, but they left.  As do we.

Finally, since it is "back to the grind" for many of us, enjoy this list of coffee heresies.

What did you read this week that caught not only your eye, but your heart?

For the curious, πεπωρωμενη is hardened, the sense is of dulling or calloused, rather than σκληρύνω ("skleruno" - as in sclerosis in medicine) which is used elsewhere and carries the connotation of dried out or inflexible


  1. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ is one of my favourite theologians and I really like this quote of his which I happened to read again this week:
    "Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
    ~Pierre Tielhard de Chardin

    1. I have come to set the world ablaze...I love this quote as well. There is such hope and joy in it.