Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We get mail....

Here are a couple of notes I've received in the past few days.

The first is from my friend Rich K (yet another friend who has no last name!). I've known him since he was an undergrad working his way through Berklee College of Music in Boston.

He's a truly gifted jazz pianist, but can play just about any genre with great technical precision and emotional honesty. I visited him while he was living in Oklahoma, and he took me to my first Native American sweat lodge. He now lives in New York City, where's he's supporting himself doing music.

He wrote:

You're still in my thoughts and prayers. Just read some of your blog entries. I still say please help and thank you, and I have used the resentment prayer fairly recently. I wouldn't have believed it at the end of my drinking, but these prayers have always worked.... Rich

The second note is from my friend Michael, who was in the first Intro Bio Lab course I taught when I moved to the Midwest in the late 1990s. He was the brightest student in the class, and became a star member of the University's Cheering Squad.

(After having played football in high school, he was skeptical of my suggestion that he join the CS, since the University had dropped its football program in the 70s, and I felt he needed to be on a team. However, he later confided in me that he was in much better shape physically after joining the Cheering Squad than he'd ever been while he was playing football.)

He's now a physician, and was married recently. I was, to my chagrin, unable to attend the wedding because of this deployment.

His note:

Chicago is going well. People in business tell me that I am stupid for going into medicine, and from a financial perspective, they might be right. However, I'm really happy with my job, and most people can't really say that. I enjoy taking care of people. Tif is really enjoying her job as well. She really likes OB/GYN. I think it is a nice match for her. I suspect that living the military life, you are probably more ripped than I am now. I have been reading your blog and enjoying it. It has been difficult for me to return to religion, but I find myself praying and contemplating more, and I feel positive about that. At any rate, sorry for the schizophrenic email. I have about a million questions about how you are doing but am scared to ask. I am not sure that I really want to know vs. I am superstitious. At any rate, tell me what you think is appropriate vs. what you are allowed to discuss. You seem much more patriotic than you used to be judging by the blog. Miss you and love. Mike

I'm gratified to know that the simple spiritual exercises of remembering to breathe, of saying "HELP ME" and "THANK YOU," of praying for the jerks who live rent-free in my brain, etc., work in the live of people who are not 'professionally religious'.

I'm also grateful that internet (albeit as slow as this is over here -- it took 2.5 hours of trying the day before yesterday to send a note consisting of only 14 words!!) allows contact with my family and friends at a time when I'm so far away from home.


Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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