Re “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things, 12/10): When the law trumps conscience and grace, it is never truly right. As Christians, we have the opportunity to experience and to witness this in our own faith communities and to allow it to change our lives and to change the world.
Keep Moving Forward
Re “Seattle University Plans Fossil Fuel Divestment,” by Brandon Sanchez (12/10): Jesuits, perhaps, should accelerate their fossil fuel divestment. China leads the world in hydroelectric production and has one-third of the world’s wind power capacity. The International Energy Agency expects that by 2022 coal’s share of the world energy mix will hit its lowest level since the I.E.A. began collecting data.
Re “Man of War,” by Phil Klay (12/10): Force is the simple and illusory solution to religious and political conflict. It has a place in confronting evil. When and how to use it requires extraordinary human wisdom. Rendering Jesus’ lessons into simplistic formulas simply does not work in the world we live in, and he did not intend his teachings to be used naïvely. Our challenge in war is not to be the evil we oppose.
What Is Owed?
Re “Grappling With an Unholy (Family) History,” by John W. Miller (12/10): Thank you for publishing the article. More important, thank you for recognizing that a lot is owed to those who are now being called African-Americans. And we will and should make the decision about what restoration means.
A Beautiful Story
Re “A Pregnant Pause,” by Vanessa Corcoran (12/10): This story is a beautiful illustration of discernment. And I am thankful we brought a mother into our belief system.
My whole concept of the divine is more comfortable with representation of the male and female roles as interdependent and entwined.
Re “His Healing Love,” by Miriam James Heidland, S.O.L.T. (12/10): Thanks to Sister Heidland for her witness. There are temptations on the road to recovery, no? Even sin? How do we recover without becoming self-absorbed?
Brings Back Memories
Re “John Cheever’s Sad Christmas story,” by Nick Ripatrazone (12/10): I remember the Christmases of the 1950s in our relatively poor Bronx immigrant neighborhood as being rich and wonderful. I had no expectation of Christmas presents (except maybe socks or underwear wrapped festively), but that did not matter. It was family and neighbors (including Jewish people) and guests and breakfasts and feasting that mattered.
Re “Intrusions of the Spirit,” by Jeremy McLellan (11/12): Mr. McLellan’s focus is right on, and the effects he describes apply not only to people with disabilities but, in my case, grandchildren. Three years ago, I returned home from a retreat, expecting to be able to attack my homework list. I was confronted with the care of four grandchildren, ages 5, 3, 2 and 1.
My day did not go well, as my work list was ignored, and my daughter, upon picking up the four little saints, told my wife, “He’s stressed.” When my wife relayed that to me, I realized I was not ready for those “intrusions” in my life that day. I resolved then to be better prepared to forget myself and be as present as I can to my grandchildren and to whoever else may come into my life and need my attention.
That has made all the difference in my life and to the—now five—little saints we assume care for and love regularly.
Daniel J. Rooney