Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Inner Light

As you may or may not know, all of the titles for these blog entries are names of songs by the Beatles. This title "The Inner Light" from 1968 was a song written by George Harrison and based on a text from the Tao Te Ching which goes like this.

Without opening your door,
you can know the whole world.
Without looking out your window,
you can understand the Way.

The more knowledge you seek,
the less you will understand.
The Master understands without leaving,
sees clearly without looking,
accomplishes much without doing anything.

I suppose this is the Beatle song that comes to mind when I think about my work as a jail chaplain during the months of March-April. I chose this particular ministry based on my own prayer and movements of the Spirit during my long retreat. Maybe I will extend some of my thoughts and reflections here as I go. One of the most striking facets of life in the jail that I've noticed is the amount of barriers there are between ministers (chaplians, volunteers, etc.) and the inmates. It is a minor miracle just to get THROUGH all the red tape and orientations and check points ... simply to see someone and chat for a while. Security I suppose. To balance out the passage from the Tao, let me offer this passage from the Gospel of Luke 4:18 -- "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed." May that apply to all of us.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Real Love

Well, it is indeed all about LOVE. My retreat is over after 30 days of silence, prayer, reading, and reflection. And man what a splendid time guaranteed for all by the Master of the Universe. In a few days I will post a little dialogue that explains what this was all about. For now I am doing some other studying. Our group is doing a close examination of the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, and later this month I will be volunteering at the Oakland County Jail as a prison chaplain. Thanks for all the prayers that folks sent our way, and many many of you were in my prayers in particular.

For the next three months, I am living here at the Jesuit novitiate north of Detroit: 2599 Harvard Rd., Berkley, MI 48072.