Thursday, October 28, 2004


Busy. Long Friday tomorrow. Seven hours of teaching. Then preaching at English Corner. Should be sleeping now.

Will be preaching on reaching our potential. It was a little hard to get ideas going, since I had to start with another dude's sermon. But then it flowed pretty nicely into some thoughts on the (philosophical) distinction between potential and possibility. I also emphasize the common (theandric) potential of LOVE and CHRISTLIKENESS God calls ALL of us to, even if by uniquely personal existential paths. (Allow me the big words; I don't use them in my sermon, but they really capture what I'm going for.)

Rather than measuring ourselves against fiction’s commodified heroes, we need real human models of “grit and grace” (hat tip to Simone Weil?). But, in turn, rather than limiting ourselves to human models, we need the supreme model of Christ, the living God-Man. And rather than striving for maximal career, fitness, erotic, intellectual, etc. potential, we must strive for maximal holiness: love, joy, peace, patience. And reaching our fullest potential -- or potency -- means admitting how impotent we are to begin with. True potential is finding our gifts AND GIVING THEM BACK to God.

In other news, have had thoughts on authentic versus inauthentic celibacy. Would like to blog about it.

Recently bought standing crucifix, much like this, but with a base to stand upon:

Before I left the parish, the nun called me back so the priest could bless it. Very cool. It’s been immensely helpful already for centering and deepening my prayer.

And in case you were wondering, this is more or less how I look these days:

But remember, envy is a sin. Guard your heart.

Get your own portrait (care of the Japanese, of course) here:

(You'll notice I selected "The White Skin".)

One final thing:

My roommate, James, has left for China (Szechuan province) until 14 November as part of the Back to Jerusalem Movement. He went with another of my teammates from last year, Stephanie, but she'll return, Inshallah, 22 November. This is an exciting movement and precisely the sort of work for which we can learn from Matteo Ricci's example and for which we can hope and plead for St. Francis Xavier's intercession. Please pray for James (you, reader, and you, St. Francis) and the Church in China.


Teacher White (my common Chinese moniker)...out

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