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Monthly Archive for June, 2010

War As a Profession

How long have we been at war in Afghanistan? Is our military supposed to fight such long wars? Can you imagine a job where you are a success if you can kill other people and keep them from killing more of you? What does that do to a person? Our military are not action heroes. […]

That which is received

That which is received is received according to the mode of the receiver… Now that they are all dead, these friends cannot tell me to cheer up.  I am the pessimist standing over their graves or staring at a little jungle where their ashes were scattered or thinking of the sea shore with more beauty […]

José Saramago died. He was a Portuguese writer introduced to me by the late Abraham Golek who had wide sympathies that reflected his life in Auschwitz and working for peace in the Holy Land. Saramago was not a favorite among the Catholic blocs of Portugal and he died in exile in the Spanish Canary Islands. […]

I did a notebook on my first and last sabbatical 1989-90 and found a page with three bits and the circled name of the Australian poet, Les Murray, whom I, naturally, highly recommend. He is a Catholic, contrarian, brilliant, and controversial. I suppose these notes are things he wrote but I cannot remember. Company Where […]

Missing the point?

I asked an Israeli friend for a book recommendation. He recommended THE READER which later was made into a movie. It is about a German teenage boy who after World War II trades reading literature for sex. The woman has a steely approach to the whole business though if she is passionate about anything it […]


I was asked to join Rotary when I was a pastor in Hawaii. My sponsor offered to pay the membership fees since everything I had was going to the seminarians we were educating for our Oratorian foundation. I showed the Rotarian my living space (the priest who followed me declined to live there.) The tour […]

Old Gold

A friend, another Newman scholar, wrote to tell me that at 69 she is getting married for the first time. The groom is only a few years older and a widower. Newman used to say that he really appreciated old saints because we get a bit chalky as we get older and the love and […]

Hints about the Eucharist: To understand it would help being Jewish. The Jewish community knows all about Passover. They know what it means to offer a sacrifice of praise, the sacrifice of the heart, the worship of the whole self offered to God. The Passover is not something to be watched. Jews and Protestants like […]