Friday, August 14, 2009

There's no place like home....

It has been great to spend a little time at home before taking off for the next journey ahead of me.

One of the things I missed most about being in Iraq was Mass with my Community, followed by preprandials in the rec room, followed by dinner. (We have the world's best tapioca pudding for dessert, for example.) Our conversations in the rec room, and at supper, for that matter, often defy description. One really needs to be there to understand.

Yesterday I was up in the rec room in the Jesuit Community before dinner and the conversation was as I remembered it.

One of the guys was telling a story about my friend Tom, who's a hopeless alcoholic (about 35 years sober now, I think). He was working for a time at a Jesuit parish in a very urban area. One day a man showed up at the door, appearing to be very agitated.

"I've got the power to raise the dead," he told Tom, "but I don't know the words." "Do you know the words?" he demanded.

Without missing a beat, Tom replied, "I don't know the words, but I know who does. Here's his name and address."

Tom gave the man the name of another Jesuit who was living and working at a Jesuit institution in a different part of town.

Later that day, the guy demanded to see the other Jesuit at that other institution. When the priest came to the door, the man started shouting, "I've got the power! Give me the words! I've got the power! Give me the words!"

Imagine the Jesuit's surprise.

Ah, brotherly love! I missed my brothers while I was Down Range. It's good to be home.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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