What Is Old Is New Again
What is old is new again. Welcome to my redesigned website. I am excited to continue spending time with you. In today’s technology, a couple years…. ancient. The new design will allow easy access to other sites, tweet on a more consistent basis and make it easier for this neophyte to blog on ideas, current events, significant people, and inspirational messages while discerning common sense.
Blogging affords opportunities to open a window to thoughts, ideas and history. History is important. Spending time studying, securing and learning from a historical prospective provide a path to self discovery. It also opens up awareness of the old adage, if we don’t pay attention we repeat, sometimes to disastrous consequences.
Topics will be varied and at times, challenging. In my own experience critical thinking changed perspective and brought exciting new revelations. The more I learn the more I realize how much more there is to learn. I love it.
We will explore people who have made, and are making a difference. The most interesting people are often ones who have taught us in their own quiet indelible way. Heroes in their own right. I will share many of my own. The first one below.
During this season of Lent, I spend more time in prayer, meditation, reading and giving. Meditating on the lives of modern day saints. Pedro Arupe is an example of such impressive significant people who came through my life. One of my favorite models of the lived gospel.
Pedro Arrupe, S.J. often called “The Second Founder” of the Jesuits or Society of Jesus was an enigma to some, a saint to others. Pope Francis comes from the same order of men. So too, Father Ed Dowling the Jesuit priest and spiritual director Bill W, whose friendship and spiritual directon changed Bill W. it also left a huge imprint as the spiritual director for Alcoholics Anonymous.
Father Arrupe died in 1991 and continues to impact the spirituality of many of us today. He committed his life to teaching; dedication of community and service. He was confronted by historic world events that helped shape his inner life, Arrupe was chosen to lead the Jesuits through a turbulent period of ecclesial and cultural renewal after the Second Vatican Council. Many of us during that time came to our own change and new birth of understanding the church. To that point I if I identified my own Catholicism, although I did not have the language by today’s nuance, it would be an ultra conservative. Literally over the top conservative. Today I look back at that time in my own faith walk as suppressive and fear based. And I loved every minute. It was that which I clung too. It was that which provided a sense of safety, acceptance and security. I knew nothing else.
Then Vatican II and the wind of change, or the opening to the Holy Spirit, which up to that point was something I really could not quantify or explain, occurred. Still difficult. I, like many, begin to see this as the destruction of the church. How wrong I was. I did not understand the church was returning to that Church Christ instituted. Early church. Vatican II brought a fresh openness to the world. I write about that confusing time in my book. In our closeted church it was a narrow approach to God. It excluded those around us. It was a church of rules. As a child the closest thing to anyone in my hometown parish that suggested the common good was Irene Erz, my First Communion teacher, my parents who were constantly helping friends, neighbors, relatives and anyone who came by that our home and Mike Bricke, a bachelor who never missed Mass and provided a candy-loving-child treats during Mass only to be shut down when my parents caught him.
Vatican II brought another gift the voices of people like Father Pedro, born in Basque country, and trained in medicine, knew his vocation came from his time at Lourdes. He witnessed Hiroshima and saw the horror of war. He was imprisoned for his knowledge of said war, testifying to the reality. As the 28th Superior General of the Jesuits, his leadership faced the many challenges brought about by Vatican II even within his own community. He forged ahead and encouraged the Jesuits to emulate that of their founder Ignatius of Loyola to find God in all things.
In the spirit of Ignatius Loyala who sought the greater glory of God and the well being of humankind, Arrupe championed a spirituality meant to engage the world rather than to retreat from it. As a result, Arrupe leaves a legacy that enriches not only Jesuits, but the world at large. His legacy is one that teaches us to be for one another,” committed to human dignity, the common good, and the integration of lay men and women into the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit mission — the service of faith and the promotion of justice. Pope Francis lives his life in the message of Father Arupe and Ignatius of Loyola.
“The world does not need words but lives.” Pedro Arrupe
Many of Father Arupe’s writings are today’s classics in finding the moral center of the church and in the world. Wonderful lenten reading can be found in Teach Me Your Ways the Personal Prayers of Pedro Arrupe
May our Lenten journey be one of serenity, peace and love, always, in all ways.
And, WELCOME to my new redesigned website-come with or stay with me on the journey. Together we learn. And remember what is old IS new again.