Food for Thought

Food For Thought: The Triads of Ireland from the 9th Century

Three rude ones of the world: a youngster mocking an old man, a robust person mocking an invalid, a wise man mocking a fool.

Three ruins of a tribe: a lying chief, a false judge, a lustful priest.

Three signs of ill breeding: a long visit, staring, constant questioning.

Three signs of a bad man: bitterness, hatred, cowardice.

Three candles which illumine every darkness: truth, nature, knowledge.


Food For Thought: Archbishop Chaput, A New Catholic School Year Begins

2w48There's a ritual at Holy Cross School by which you can always tell the opening of school approaches: the waxing of the floors. Well, the final coat of wax is drying today, so school must be opening next week, ready or not. We're ready!

Archbishop Chaput's letter to the troubled church in Philadelphia provides us with food for thought this Labor Day weekend.

 …our [Catholic] schools exist primarily to develop the whole human person with an education shaped by Catholic faith, virtue and moral formation.  The goal of the Church, and by extension, the goal of all Catholic education, is to make disciples.

God renews the world with our actions, not our intentions. What separates real discipleship from surface piety is whether we actually do what we say we believe.

Welcoming Students and Understanding Our Mission, Archbishop Chaput

Read the entire letter here.

Food For Thought: Sing Out and Stick Together

Scar02Ten Voices

 It’s O.K. for the rich and the lucky to keep still;

No one wants to hear about them anyway.

But those in need have to step forward,

Have to say, “I am blind,”

Or, “I’m about to go blind,”

Or, “Nothing is well with me,”

Or “I have a child who is sick,”

Or, “Right there, I am sort of glued together…”


And probably that doesn’t do anything either.

They have to sing. If they didn’t sing

Everyone would walk past, as if they were fences or trees.

That’s where you can hear good singing.

People really are strange,

They prefer to hear castratos in boy choirs.


But God himself comes and stays a long time

When the world of half-people starts to bore him.


Rainer Maria Rilke in

Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Robert Bly, ed and translator.

Catechists Needed for Our Religious Education Program

Communion Bread and Wine with Cross
“My teacher, we made bread together, and I ate it and it was

education student to his parents, in Craig Dykstra’s, Growing in the Life of Faith


…on Sunday School teachers…

What are they doing these teachers? They come, each with his
or own piece of life, in fear and trembling, most of the time feeling as though
they've got little to give and almost nothing to say. Probably someone asked them
to do it, almost twisted their arms to do it. But the reason many keep on doing
it, I think, is that they are compelled to do it, from within, or maybe even by
a sometimes painful, sometimes satisfying grace that works through them. They search
through curriculum materials for something to teach, and in the how-to manuals
for how to teach it. But what they do more importantly is bring themselves to
another person, to a group of children they hardly know. And there they make
bread together, and eat it and know from time to time that it is good….

Teaching in church school is nine parts getting a weary body
out of bed early on Sunday mornings, cutting out construction paper patterns,
cleaning hardened glue from tables too low to bend over gracefully, matching
the right snow boot with the right foot, and keeping noise levels within
moderate bounds. But those nine parts are the things that make the one part
possible. And if you, as a teacher, are ever fortunate enough to overhear one
of the children in your class say, “My teacher, we made bread together and I
ate it and it was good,” you will know what that one part is.

Craig Dysktra, Growing in the Life of Faith

We need dedicated and courageous catechists for our Tuesday evening or Sunday morning sessions of the School of Religious Education. Please consider helping pass on the faith to the next generation in this very important ministy. 

Return Christ's call by calling the Parish Office and volunteering as a catechist, an aide or hall monitor.


Food for Thought: Moral Indifference

The Devil's cleverist wile is to convice us that he does not exist.



…Take for example the popular myth that people get what they
deserve….The myth of fairness or justice is reinforced by countless stories of
people ascending from rags to riches through virtue, hard work and
perseverance. We want the world to be fair, and the myth of fairness perfectly
fills our deepest desires….

The myth of just rewards when used a model for interpreting
social experience is an exemplary myth of indifference. On the level of seeing,
the myth of just rewards simply tells us “how things are.” It tells us that some
people are poorer than others and that the distinction between rich and poor is
merited and fair. Through the auspices of the myth, we presume the world is
fair and that large discrepancies between rich and poor are natural in the same
way that the sky is blue. As a consequence, we seldom question or see the
contribution of luck, malice, genetics and social structures either to the
failures of others or to our own success. Schooled on the old fable of the ant
and the grasshopper and its many successors, the myth of fairness and justice
encourages and legitimizes social indifference. We see the is-ness of poverty,
but we fail to see the discrepancy between things as they are and things as
they might or ought to be…

S. Dennis Ford, Sins of Omission: A Primer on Moral Indifference

Food for Thought: Goodbyes

…Just this is the mystery. That all the important moments,
and probably the source of all moments, there is something that is illogical,
paradoxical, and sort of impossible. Male and female. Good and bad. Loved and
hated. Sought and shunned. Alive and dead. A time for loving and a time for

School_father_96052When we said goodbye at the airport – the parents and the
children – happiness and sadness were both there and probably some
simultaneous. Don’t leave me and good riddance. But because the logic of this
world demands that whenever experience offers two sides, only one of them can
be good…the other must be named “bad” and removed from awareness.

But every now and then the paradox sparkles from within, and
we are mystified and a little frightened and we pause. To live is to
arbitrarily choose one, but ever be bothered by the other.

 Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Honey From the Rock.

Food For Thought: My Judgment I Kept Flexible For Too Long

Albrecht Haushofer was a German activist who took a role in the rise of Nazism in Germany, before Hitler had clearly signalled his anti-semitism and willingness to do most anything in its cause. When Hitler's intentions became clear, Haushofer distanced himself from the Nazi party, eventually conferring with those who sought to overthrow Hitler and indirectly with those who attempted to assasinate Hitler (though Haushofer was opposed to assasination attempts since he believed they would be useless.)

He was imprisoned by the Nazis shortly after the failed assasination attempt of Hitler by Claus von Stauffenberg and eventually executed. He wrote this sonnet called "Guilt" which was found on his body at the time of his execution:

Yet I am guilty otherwise than you think
I should have known my duty earlier
And called evil by its name more sharply
My judgment I kept flexible too long…
In my heart I accuse myself of this:
I deceived my conscience long
I lied to myself and others
Early I knew the whole course of this misery
I warned, but not hard enough or clearly
Today I know of what I am guilty.

Contemporary condemnation of persons or institutions who are deemed "judgmental" often conflates rational discernment with bigotry in a misguided attempt to silence those would dare disagree. Evaluating moral decisions and coming to a conclusion, or judgment is deemed as arbitrary and off bounds as deciding someone's character by the color of their skin.

Albrecht Haushofer learned that sooner or later, sadly later in his case, that being flexible and non-judgmental can also make one complicit in evil.


Food For Thought: C. S. Lewis, Worship and Liturgy

As long as you notice and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don't notice. Good reading becaomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of…our attention would have been on God.


The modern habit of doing ceremonial things unceremonsiously is no proof of humility; rather it proves the offender's inability to forget himself in the rite and his readiness to spoil for everyone else the proper pleasure of ritual.


C. S. Lewis

A Mind Awake: An Anthology of C.S. Lewis

ed. Clyde S. Kilby; Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968