POETRY, PENTECOST, AND THE PAINS OF THE PASSING YEARS

GMHThis reflection was made on the occasion of Pentecost Sunday, which this year falls on 08 June, the death anniversary of the English Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

I read my first Hopkins poem as a freshman in high school. The poem was “God’s Grandeur” contained in an anthology of poems carefully selected and compiled for us by our English teachers.

But between me and Hopkins, it wasn’t a case of love at first sight. An adolescent who had barely learned to appreciate any kind of poetry, I found his language and style too alien. And for some reason, the verses he wrote were much less accessible to me than the better known and more frequently quoted poems about roads less taken, tigers burning bright, and even that one creepy raven.

Continue reading POETRY, PENTECOST, AND THE PAINS OF THE PASSING YEARS

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GOD WITH SKIN ON (The Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola)

ignThis homily, based on Exodus 34:29-35 and Matthew 13:44-46, was delivered on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31, 2013).

In today’s Gospel, our Lord likens the Kingdom of God to a hidden treasure and a pearl so valuable that it should make all the difference in one’s life. These two parables remind me of one of the most important lessons I’ve learned from St. Ignatius of Loyola, whose feast we celebrate today. This lesson is captured in a slogan that he’s known for: “Finding God in all things.”

I know, today it sounds almost like a cliché: We all believe God is present everywhere, don’t we? But we should note that Ignatius’ invitation is not simply to believe that God in all things, but to find Him and actually look for Him in all things. It’s like our Lord’s parables today telling us not just to believe that the Kingdom of God is here, but also to go and search for it, be it buried in some field or hidden in the deep seas. Continue reading GOD WITH SKIN ON (The Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola)