To Tell the Truth

“The truth will set you free.” John 8:32

I’m never a fan of lying. My students know that one of the worst things that they can do to me is to lie to me and that I value their honesty above all things. Even when they wish to criticize me, I tell them that I’d rather know the truth, even if it might hurt my feelings or be harsh.

We might think that we’re doing someone a favor, by lying, but we really aren’t. A priest-colleague of mine once said that he hates when his parishioners lie through their teeth when he knows that his homily was awful that day. “I would much rather hear, ‘You know, you were really off today.’ Because I’m never going to get any better otherwise and I won’t know if I am really resonating with the community.”

Lying, even under the best intentions, is always a tool of evil. Here’s one example:

In college, I was on a date and some of the guys on my floor saw me kissing my date late into the evening in my dorm room. They made certain assumptions about how the evening ended. One asked what my date’s name was and told me he knew what dorm she lived in because she lived next door to friends. I wouldn’t reveal her name and told them to stop making assumptions about what went on between us.

They pressed further and badgered me for about a half hour about it. To get them off my back, I simply made up a name. That satisfied them and I thought I preserved my friend’s reputation.

Except another woman who lived in my date’s dorm had that name. And the guys spread rumors that I had a liaison with her. She was justifiably furious at me. In lying, I was trying to save someone else’s good name and instead had damaged another’s. It was awful. And it was my fault.

Lying is always a tool of evil.

Ron Rohlheiser, OMI, the great North American theologian and the President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio says this about lying:

The unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit begins with lying, with rationalization, with the refusal to acknowledge the truth. But we don’t commit this sin easily, overnight, the first time we tell a lie. We commit it down the line, through a sustained series of lies, long after we first told a lie to our loved ones and began to hide important parts of our lives from them. The soul warps slowly, like an old board soaked too often in the rain. It’s not the first time it gets wet that makes the warp.

We commit the sin against the Holy Spirit when we lie for so long that we believe our own lies. If we lie long enough, eventually light begins to look like darkness and darkness begins to look like light.

His whole article on this is worth a read.

But it’s almost a given that we expect our politicians to lie to us. Either side of the aisle seems to take this given for granted. My favorite show, “The West Wing” has the chief of staff, Leo McGarry even say “I’m a politician, Ainsley, of course, I lied to you there.”

While I’m sure the past administration has lied to the American public, the current one seems to be making an art form out of it. How many outright lies has Sean Spicer told in his first press conference alone and then in a second one tried to back up his own deceptions? His colleagues seemed to have trouble defending him and all the President could say was that Spicer was a “superstar.”

Soon, I fear, this administration will have people think that the following things are true:

1) Climate change is not caused by human-made carbon emissions.
2) Immigrants are people we should keep out of the country.
3) We should drill in Anwar with no regard for the migration patterns of the animals that reside there.
4) All Muslims are a security threat to Americans.

And I shudder to think about what else becomes part of the daily attitudes of people who take what the President feeds them and digests it as “truth.”

As many know, I worked as a producer for a right-wing political talk show. The host, Bob Grant, was an incredibly nice and generous man. And we could barely agree upon the time of day. But regardless, there was often a lack of critical thinking not only amongst his audience members, but among others I knew.

“I heard that on the Bob Grant show…so it has to be true.” That’s an actual quote from a middle aged man who was the uncle of a friend of mine. He was semi-educated, but he essentially took anything Bob said as law.

Rush Limbaugh would often say “I will interpret the news for you.” Essentially saying that we are too stupid to understand the complex political landscape that exists. And this is the hope of the current administration. A soundbyte culture that simply accepts whatever they say as truth is what we have to fear more than anything else.

Today, I will vow to tell the truth. Not only about lies I see come forth from politicians on either side of the aisle, but also to tell the truth when it is difficult. To challenge my own assumptions. I had a spiritual director who would often ask for evidence of negative feelings about myself that I would reveal to him–and often it wasn’t there. I was able to see God in the truth, the truth that I was actually beloved by God and others and that my own failings or shortcomings weren’t all that I was.

We need to hold this administration to something we ask under oath in our American courts to the simplest of witnesses.

We need to ask them to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

So help us God.

Jesus’ Inauguration

Today’s the inauguration …have you ever watched it? Such fanfare….a lot of pomp and circumstance.

I might say that our gospel today is kind of Jesus’ inauguration. He calls his first 12 disciples and he does it with great fanfare for the time. He goes up the mountain to do it—where everyone can see him.

Mountains are awesome, huh? This summer I climbed into the mountains in Slovakia and it was amazing. I have to say two things happened to me on the mountain…I felt small…because of the awe-inspiring views. And I felt energized and powerful. If I could climb this mountain—well, then, what else could I accomplish? Mountaintop experiences are great, no? Maybe you’ve had one? An immersion trip, a retreat, local service experiences, deep prayer.

And as great as those are….you actually have to come off of the mountain at some point! And we hope that you now live each day as someone changed by that experience of what God offered to you….to come down into the real-life, day to day, nitty gritty of the hard work that must now be done—to be the hands and the feet of Jesus.

And I might suggest, that our President needs to come off of the mountain as well! I’m sure that being elected President and today’s ceremony are mountaintop experiences. But governing is not a mountaintop experience, say most who have done it. Governing is choosing. Governing is making deals and being disappointed sometimes in what you had to compromise. Governing is listening to constituents and experts and being moved and persuaded by their stories to the point that you use your power to do something about that for the betterment of society. And Governing is most of all, humbling—because you realize that you can’t accomplish everything that you want to do.

So President Trump needs our prayers but he also needs our voices and our passion. And when we provide that we also should realize that we are responding to God’s call. On the mountain God reminds us that we are not powerless, and that no matter who might be in our elected positions of power, it is ultimately up to each of us, to respond to the call to be the body Christ for others in the world. To respond with love to those who many deem too hard to love: the poor, for the immigrant, for the unborn and its mother, for our LGBT community. All those who simply need us to be God’s face for them. And no President can ever change that.

And we can’t let our fear get in the way….My colleague, Lu Firestone has a great line that she uses often: “Nobody is ever converted by fear.” Because that’s not a real conversion!

Our first reading today tells us that the way people responded to God’s law in the Old Testament is now obsolete. We no longer respond to the law because we think God is going to punish us. No, we no longer respond out of fear, but rather out of love, Love for God and God’s love for us. That love pours forth when we receive communion from this altar each time we come here—where God offers us His very self, in a mountaintop experience so that we might be changed. This love propels us out of fear and is stronger than even death and can drive us out of our of darkness and into the dawn of new possibilities.

So do not be afraid.

Instead come off the mountain…and get to work, my fellow Americans.

And your work is to do one thing and one thing only….. Respond to all things, not out of your fear, but instead with great Love.

It’s Green for Ordinary Time

Green is the color for Ordinary Time on the Church’s calendar.  Ordinary Time is when we are not extremely overjoyed (white) nor particularly penitent (purple).  Neither is it a time of passion (red for a martyr’s feast).  
Green symbolizes our hope, the hope that exists in a verdant life, where we go through our day to day mundane events, hoping for a glimpse of God within it.

And moreover, while not entirely a time of penance, we often long for God in the less-than-stellar times of our lives.  

Green certainly depicts that kind of deep longing in our lives.  Like the rolling hills of my dad’s native Ireland, these Green days sometimes seem to roll on forever and it can be easy to miss the lush beauty in each moment of the ordinary times of our lives.

Kermit the Frog explains it all too well.

So today may we lean in to these not so easy days of the ordinary and when a day is “nothing special” may we be able to find God pointing to us the beauty and gratitude of another gifted day.

Compassion

May our lives today be filled with compassion; give us the spirit of forgiveness and a generous heart.  – from “Prayers and Intercessions” from the Morning Offering

Compassion seems to be linked to both forgiveness and generosity and by default, in my mind, it all seems to be linked to giving.

How much are we willing to give of ourselves?  Can we be compassionate enough to give freely from our hearts for another, generous enough in this giving that we can disregard our own needs and place ourselves at the service of others?  Do we place limits on our compassion for any number of reasons?  The need to protect ourselves from past hurts or to not risk enough for those in need?  

Today may prayer surrounds the need to be more compassionate, to go just a bit further for my students and my colleagues, especially when they are in darkness.  May I also be compassionate to myself, allowing myself to feel pain and my own need for forgiveness and to be forgiven.

On Listening

“Here is what we seek: a compassion that can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry, rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it.” – Greg Boyle, SJ

I often marvel at the experiences that my students and some colleagues share with me privately. Whether it’s when I’m providing simple pastoral care and presence or a more formal relationship in spiritual direction or in a retreat setting, I’m often overwhelmed by listening to all they carry. My standard line is:

“When I hear what people are secretly carrying around with them, I stand in awe that they are walking and talking, never mind working and getting a degree here!”

This is Fr. Boyle’s call to us as well. But his call, runs far past the usual boundaries that we place on ourselves. Many of us are called to listen to those near us and not too few of us are also called to travel to the ends of the earth to do service projects of various types. Some even dedicate a year of their life in service to some of the neediest populations. But we are also called to listen to the voices that are not so far away. The working poor in our midst are often ignored and under-served and many times we are too afraid to take a single step towards them. We often find those folks hidden away in soup kitchen corners by themselves, lonely and alone, perhaps merely because they just ran out of money at the end of the month. Some are elderly and indignant, losing their independence only recently, when children move away or a spouse dies.

There are plenty of groups to outside from our experience. This past election left many of us with scrambled thoughts. How could anyone vote for Donald Trump? To be honest, I’ve had those thoughts myself. People I respect, who mostly voted for him because of their own racism (some) or their distaste of big government (an interesting dichotomy considering the many government interventions he would like to initiate), or their pro-life stance, are often individuals who I can easily downshift into the discard pile. Ignoring their views, discounting their experience.

I compared the experience of Donald Trump’s election with the election of Pope Benedict XVI yesterday. A Pope that I would not have picked and that I could not imagine that anyone had voted for. We can all too easy create a larger divide with our hatred for “the other side” than with a desire for dialogue and understanding. The loyal opposition starts with words that lend compassion with that said loyalty. Often we make people who disagree with us into people that we deem “too hard to love.”

I learned a lesson in taking some time for hard reflection during those early days of his papacy. That lesson was to pray, soldier on with my own personal commitments, but also to listen to others. I found that the more conservative amongst us often had good reasons for their convictions. Perhaps their conclusions were different from mine, but most often we could and did talk about those differences in a civil and non-threatening way. I made some good friends along the way with whom I often could not agree on the time of day at certain points and at other times, we informed each other well and adjusted our own prejudices appropriately.

In short, we were church. We included each other in conversation and the factions that we too often represented won some and lost some. We slugged it out and some days we were left bruised, but we saw each other as human beings mired in the struggle of daily existence, trying to make it through the day. It often made us sad to see friends hurting from experiences that formed their opinions and even changed our hearts and minds on some issues. We became more sensitive, without becoming less convicted of our values, but perhaps more willing to stay in conversation to make sure that all of our needs were served in some capacity.

This may be a message that Democrats and Republicans need to hear. These days it seems that politicians on opposite sides of the aisle can’t even drink together anymore. How might we best invite that change into our midst? By doing that ourselves!

Today, take some time for the person you agree with the least. Have a lunch, address some thoughts, dig deep on how you got to your convictions and most of all, be patient in judgement.

The problem is that usually one party or the other is simply unwilling to listen to the other.

Morning Comforts

For some, it’s a piping hot cup of coffee.  For others, a brisk walk in the cool morning air.  Even more, the first bite of their hot breakfast.  Apparently, as the dawn breaks, we all need some comfort.

Here’s mine:  The final stanza of the Canticle of Zechariah from each day’s morning offering in the Liturgy of the Hours:

In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Beautiful words, a felt promise from God and a comfort to start a new day.

A priest-acquaintance of mine once talked briefly about the morning and evening offerings of prayer.  He stated simply:  

“We pray at night for protection in the darkness.  And we pray in gratitude in the morning that we woke up!”

He was wry in his wit here, but also spoke volumes to many. A person I served a meal to one day at a shelter was asked a simple “How’s it going today?” And his response was epic:

“Well, since I woke up this morning, I’d say I’m doing pretty good!”

Indeed.  And how much more does God give to us with today’s dawn?  But what about those who did not awaken this day?  Are they doing any less good?

A friend lost her father this week and I have been praying for her family.  The canticle of Zechariah, the first words spoken by John the Baptist’s father, after he was silenced for so long speak to the joy that we are offered not only with each sunrise and each breath, but also each moment beyond these.  For those left behind, God provides compassion, of course, especially those of us who feel like we are in the darkness.  But also, for those called home, God guides their journey into everlasting comfort. God’s gift at the end is in fact, Himself.  God calls us to union in the end and in that, we are offered the gift of everlasting peace.

In his final years, Cardinal Bernadin wrote a book called  The Gift of Peace.  It’s content is well worth reading, but the title alone speaks to his own acceptance in his final days, coming to see God’s guiding his last steps on earth into the way of God’s peace.  It betrays a believer’s joy, that in dying, he found comfort beyond the usual coffee cups and scrambled eggs. Laying to rest in God and the want for nothing more was a last great gift indeed.

I pray for that gift for those who have died this week, especially for my friend’s father and also for those who find peace at a distance this day.  Peace is indeed a gift and we often need guidance to not only find it, but accept it when it may very well not feel like peace, but more of an unwilling resignation into what is.

My morning comfort today is trust.  Trust that God indeed does guide my feet into the way of peace.

And more importantly, that God always will.

Surgical Reflections

So for the past month, I have been recovering from foot surgery, or perhaps more specifically, toe surgery. What’s wrong, you ask? A story is needed.

This past summer I attended World Youth Day in Poland. Rachael, one of my students, had a bad cold and was unable to sleep under the stars at the papal mass site. So I stayed behind with her (Keeping my record of not sleeping outside at World Youth Day in tact!) and we decided to walk by ourselves to the papal pilgrimage route. We thought we could take a bus to the route which by itself is only about 2 miles or so, but the buses were shut down because of the proximity of the papal motorcade–so we had to walk a much longer journey. About 10 miles in total. However, at one point we were stopped and this happened:

So cool.

We did eventually get to the mass and somehow found our group. After the mass we began to depart and once again the buses were a problem. Overcrowding, buses and streetcars were often at a standstill, or not showing up at all. In the midst of all this, there was a crazy rainstorm…and I do mean rain. This made the buses we saw even hotter than they usually were. One passenger wrote in the fogged up window the words “Help us”, which made us all giggle. So we made the collective decision that it was better to keep moving on foot than to be stuck on a steamy, smelly and stagnate bus or streetcar.

It was a wet but a good decision. We did make it back to our hotel well ahead of those vehicles. Rachel and I totaled 20 miles and over 50,000 steps on my fitbit for the day. Whew!

Now what does all this have to do with foot surgery? Well, a bunch of things. One is that I developed bad blisters on my heels and on the 4th toe of both feet, I had two really huge blisters. I also suffer from heel spurs and have for years. So for me, it was indeed the agony of de-feet.

I called my wife and asked her to make an appointment with my podiatrist for when I return. At that appointment he pointed out to me that while my feet hurt, that was a manageable problem with some good ibuprofen. Heel spurs are not something that you want to have to correct with surgery, Stretching is really the solution along with good shoes.

However, the blister on my 4th toe (on both feet) was so huge because those toes were both crooked. They were curling under the third toe and the friction was causing these huge blisters.

“Whenever you do a lot of walking, this is what you are going to face.” the doctor said. “What’s worse is that these toes are just going to get worse and that’s going to be a real problem.”

So some minor surgery was needed. He straightened the tendons and bone and then inserted a pin into each toe so it would heal properly and then stitched up the toe. Recovery time is 4-6 weeks. Limited walking and absolutely no driving.

So I have been sequestered in my home for this time with the exception of doctor’s appointments. Friends have been gracious with transporting me to the doctor and doing some shopping for us (My wife doesn’t drive). It’s also been an opportunity for me to reflect. I’ve thought a lot about how tough it must be for older people who aren’t as mobile, or for people who have limited mobility issues for longer periods of time. While my pain wasn’t awful, it was bad enough, especially the first two days. I began to pray in solidarity for people who suffer from chronic pain, with no relief.

I’ve also been unable to shower. So it’s been sponge baths for the past month. I’ve taken to sleeping on the couch as it’s easier to elevate my feet there without bothering Marion. A warm shower and my own bed will be things I treasure soon. I imagine there are many who wander the city streets who would relish these things as well.

My dearest wife has been a real trooper. She’s been waiting on me hand and foot and has cared for me so well. Haze the dog has never left my side, knowing of my need for comfort. He is a great, great pal.

I also found myself joyfully reflecting on many of the gifts of the past year. My trip with a bunch of glorious students to Poland this summer, was one of the real joys of my life. A mentorship relationship with one of my old students has also brought me a lot of joy. Two new colleagues at work have made life less stressful and fun to be at work. There are always fires to extinguish at work as the director, but these seem to have lessened.

The loss of a student is never easy and we faced that this semester, along with much end of the semester drama, that I won’t bore you with here. But we still stand committed to God in our work and hopefully will continue to lead others into a more deep relationship with God as well. I’m grateful for my colleagues in campus ministry and for those we work alongside in student affairs.

Today, I ask for prayers as the pins are removed from my toes. I will need to find out what’s next in recovery, but I hope for a return to work soon. Most of all, I am grateful for the gift of youth and mobility which I still have and I look forward to another 20 miles of walking somewhere, where God will accompany me, helping me to find more of what God hopes I can find.

2017: Blogging Rebirth

It’s a new year and I need to write more. I find myself in a funk in terms of my writing and my commitment to that. So I’m aiming for a post per day in 2017 and hope you will join me.

A New Year always lends itself to half-hearted commitments and I fear this may be one of mine, as time and what I like to do often doesn’t link together. But one needs to start somewhere and mine begins here on this first day of a new year.

Rebirth lends itself to also thinking about motherhood, on this Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Mary’s own life, I imagine, went through a rebirth of sorts as she was told that she would be the “God-bearer” (theotokos). A Virgin, Mary is told of this miraculous birth that will come about with her assent. I imagine that this likely brought both excitement and fear, as most transitions do.

But here Mary goes anyway. Bravely. Knowing that God will literally be with her with every step.

Can we believe the same thing?

Is God with us with every step of our lives? Can we trust that no matter what befalls us in this coming year that God will indeed be with us? And moreover, can we trust that Mary understands the fear that we may feel in these days?

When our world is turned upside down, it is Mary who can mother us not merely into a calm and gentle journey. No! Mary jaunts with us down the rocky road, fraught with all kinds of trouble that might exist. But she helps us arm ourselves with God’s trust. Even at the hour of our death, Mary reminds us of God’s care for us, prodding us to accept that God’s love is stronger than our tragedies, God’s mercy destroys our sinfulness and that we can ease into the end of our humanity, knowing that God holds our own union with divinity in his waiting arms.

My own mother is now 88 and I am thankful to still have her with me, albeit far from me in these days. She needs mothering now in her golden years and finds it difficult, I fear, to accept that. What I have come to realize however, that both my mother and father (also, now 88) have made it to this age with very few resources. And so, perhaps their trust and dependance on God is far stronger than my own. So I have come to trust in their own faith, contributing when asked, but respecting their independence and moreover, enjoying their company when I am together with them.

Perhaps, that is what rebirth really means? We look at something in a new way and committing to move forward not in desolation, but in peace.

And with Mary mothering us into each new year.

All We Need Is Just a Little…

Patience..

I need it more than ever with stubborn and strong people who are set in their ways and think they know everything.  I need it when, I disagree with people about caregiving and when matters of beauracracy take center stage.

I went to confession some time ago and I summed up my sins as honestly as I could.  A former colleague once remarked that most of us have only one main sin.  And that most of our sins stem from this seminal sin.  For me, impatience tops that list.  I get impatient and then get angry with a staff member or a student.  I get impatient and lash out at people.  I get impatient even for good things like justice and rush a decision that would be better thought out more carefully.

I especially have little patience for those I most love.  I expect more from them often and my expectations often bite me squarely on the tuckus.

My confessor, a good one, remarked that this was an honest admission of my faults and then asked me a question:

“Mike, what is one of your biggest strengths?”

I paused for a brief moment and then said with little hesitation…

“Patience.”

I am an incredibly patient spiritual director.  One directee once remarked, “How do you calmly sit there and not scream at me when you listen to all the stupid things I do over and over?”  

I’m the guy who you want sitting next to you when you have an unruly child on an airplane, because I’ll entertain them with videos of my dog until they calm down.

One my staff members routinely praises me for my gift of being incredibly patient.

So at times, our largest sin, is also one of our biggest strengths.  And Ignatius would remind us that we are able to overcome the enemy with the cunning and shrewd gift of our own gifts.  

And we need nothing more other than God’s love and God’s grace which gave us these gifts in the first place.

May God today bring us all awareness of this gift and more ever more readily.  And allow us to persevere when we think our gifts are lacking.

Seeing the Signs of the Holy Spirit

This is a reflection on 3 pieces of scripture: Jonah: 3:1-10fire (Jonah’s repentance), Acts 2:1-11 (Pentecost), John 20:19-23 (Receive the Holy Spirit)

BIG…SIGNS

We are always looking for signs?
When we’re driving…
Walking…
Finding a new classroom…
A sale…
We look for a sign..maybe a smile that shows someone’s interested in us.

And a great sign…$.25 wings night.

But BIG signs are really important…big signs show us where God is inviting us to change our hearts and become even better than we thought we could be.

That’s what our readings are about and it’s also what I think Jesuit Education is about.

Our readings talk about 3 big signs…signs that change everything for those involved.

First Jonah…
You all know the story of Jonah, right?
God asks him to go to preach to people at Ninevah but he doesn’t want to go.  So he gets on a ship bound for the other direction.  The ship hits a storm.  He tells people that he disobeyed God’s orders so they think the storm is God’s curse on Jonah and they throw him overboard and a big fish swallows him.

Talk about a big sign…

But then the story gets better.  The fish pukes him up on the shore and guess where he is?  Ninevah– where God told him to go in the first place.

So Jonah preached to the people and they change their hearts and repent from their evil ways.  Another big sign that Jonah shouldn’t have been afraid…that Jonah possessed great gifts all along.

The disciples were also afraid…so afraid that they locked themselves in the upper room after Jesus had left them.  And they needed a sign!

Boy, did they get one.  A strong driving wind breaks down the locked doors and fills them with the Holy Spirit.  That sign the spirit gave them, allowed them to find the courage and the strength to no longer be afraid.  And so, they went out to preach the good news and an even bigger sign happens…everyone heard them and understood them in their own language…and those languages were many.

A final sign…Jesus himself.  Jesus breathes the very spirit of God on the disciples and the sign of both his resurrection and his giving of the Holy Spirit changes everything.  It is the sign that we too celebrate each week here from this altar…that God is alive and lives and breathes in our very selves and that death no longer has power over us.

And that has always been true…but humanity needed a physical sign to believe it.  Jesus is that sign.  The Holy Spirit continues to be that sign for us today.

So those are three big signs.  But what big signs do we see today?  What signs do you see in your life?   What signs in the world today inspire you?  What people or things are signs of God’s love for you?

For me, that sign is each one of you.  Canisius indeed is a sign.   It is a sign that reminds me that the Holy Spirit is very much alive in our world today.  I see it each time a student not only goes to serve a meal to some of the poorest people in the city at St Luke’s Mission of Mercy, but also sits and shares conversation with someone that most people ignore, restoring that person’s dignity.

I see the sign of the spirit, on each retreat we attend when someone tells a story of overcoming adversity with God’s help…or when students come together in conversation and talk about weighty matters and commit to getting through them together.

I see it each time a professor takes just a few extra moments to explain a difficult concept, to guide a student with their presentation for Ignatian Scholarship day, to take education beyond the classroom into service-learning and to prepare our students well for a world that will not always be kind to them, a world that we pray they can and will change for the better.

Students…you are especially a sign when you take care of one another, when someone is unable to care for themselves and someone else tries to take advantage of them–you are that sign of God’s care when you get them out of harm’s way.  The signs are there when you study hard in hopes of not just getting an A or even just getting your degree, but that your study here might allow you to go out from this place and set this world on fire!

So this new academic year…may we all be called to look for those signs.  Signs of God’s presence in all things–a great Ignatian concept.  May we see them in one another, in friends, in family.  Perhaps especially in those deep and lasting experiences on immersion trips with those who live in poverty both here and abroad.  The people you meet there just might need a sign.

And when you are in need of a sign…come here, around this altar each week.  It is here we see that sign of God’s love, especially in the transformation of bread and wine into Jesus himself, but we also see that sign in each person who comes through the doors of the chapel.  We come to see our friends and to pray with them on our day off.  So that we might all have renewed strength for the rest of the week but also, so that we might have the insight to see the signs of God in all things throughout the week by intentionally taking time to see those signs at least once a week.

That’s what Ignatian spirituality and education is all about.  We hope that we can create an opportunity for you to be a sign…for that is a sign that God is indeed alive and breathing and living within each one of you.

And that is the sign that is more than enough to show that Canisius is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

And that is a sign that can indeed change the world.