Monday, August 09, 2010

Quote of the Day

Dear brothers and sisters,

This Sunday's Gospel passage continues the words of Jesus to the disciples on the value of the person in the eyes of God, and the uselessness of earthly preoccupations. It is not a praise of disconnection. Rather, hearing the reassuring call of Jesus, 'Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom' (Lk 12.32), our hearts open to a hope that illumines and animates concrete existence: we have the certainty that 'the Gospel is not only a communication of things that can be known, but a communication that produces deeds and changes lives. The dark door of time, of the future, is thrown open. Whoever has hope lives differently; he is given a new life' (Spe Salvi, 2). As we read in the section of the Letter to the Hebrews of today's liturgy, Abraham presented himself with a trusting heart in the hope God opened to him: the promise of a land and 'numerous descendants' and leaving 'without knowing where he was to go,' trusting only in God (Heb 11:8-12). And Jesus in today's Gospel -- across three parables -- is illustrated as awaiting the completion of the 'blessed hope,' his coming, in urging us toward an intense life, rich in good works: 'Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy' (Lk 12:33). It is an invitation to use things without selfishness, without thirsting for possession or dominion, but according to the logic of God, the logic of concern for the other, the logic of love: as Romano Guardini summarized it, 'in the form of a relationship: starting from God, in the view of God'....

Today’s Gospel reminds us that by God’s goodness much has been given to us, and much will be required of us. During these quiet days of summer let us thank the Lord for the many blessings we have received and draw ever closer to him in prayer, in fidelity to his commandment of love, and in communion with his Body, the Church!
Sunday Angelus
Castel Gandolfo
8 August 2010

And with that, Happy Monday, gang -- how's things?

As you've probably noticed of late, the long retreat's back on 'round here -- six years' worth of rest, prayer, stock-taking (and, for a change, something of a life) all crammed into six weeks. Especially for those of you who've been so kind to check in, though, just know that everything's fine... and, lest any of us have forgotten, remember well that the best use of these days is found anywhere but in the news.

See, journalism hasn't long held this time of year as the "silly season" for nothing, and the age of the 24-hour newscycle has only amplified the wisdom behind the thought. Right now, what matters most on this end is that, gratefully, God is faithful and Boss is holding her own; life's good, the beer's cold -- and, to be sure, despite a DL stretching for miles, the Phightins are all of a game and a half back. As long as you're hanging in there, too, everything else is back-burner beyond that.

Of course, with the specter of NFL preseason (brrrrr...) already upon us, the "quiet days" won't be the case for much longer -- as the beat goes, all of 38 Days remain til Papa Ratzi boards the Volo Papale for the UK and a four-day trip that, as chaos, content and controversy go, could well end up being this pontificate's most charged, consequential pilgrimage to date. And as that's merely the top line of a packed autumn cycle of already-set storylines (let alone whatever surprises may emerge), fret not -- we'll all have our fill again soon enough.

Yet again, the 10-Week Sprint begins once Labor Day's done, and to keep things from fritzing out in midstream, posting will remain light/as-needed until then. In the meanwhile, church, just take it easy -- be good to yourselves, and here's hoping these lazy, hazy days have been as graced and blessedly fruitful for you as they've been 'round these parts.

And lastly, especially in the midst of its peak season, it'd be sinfully remiss (and downright boring) for these pages to speak of "blessed hope" without a spin of this River City's most-beloved hometown hymn.

So, Harry, sing us out...

God love you lot forever... Go Phils... and of course, as always, stay tuned.