Everyone who believes: living the truth

in my fathers house19 And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. 21 But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. These three verses portray this intricate balance between judgment and decision in the metaphorical language of light and darkness. This language recalls the language and imagery of the Prologue (1:5, 9-10). To love darkness more than light is the same as not believing, and it results in judgment (v. 19). Continue reading

Testimony: Advent context

john-the-baptistThe 3rd Sunday in Advent continues to feature John the Baptist as the herald and forerunner of the Messiah. The Reading for the Third Sunday of Lent is John 1:6-8, 19-28 (shown below in bold italics) – but it seemed good to me to also show the more continuous context of the Gospel according to John:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be 4 through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; 5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 A man named John was sent from God. 7 He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. Continue reading

Growing Accustomed

Back in the day, I was part of a small advanced team that began the turn-over process for a fleet ballistic missile submarine as one crew relieved another crew. Our small team from the Gold Crew rode a tug into outer Apra Harbor, Guam, where we transferred to the submarine and were taken down the hatch. As soon as we were below, we instantly knew something was wrong. We had descended from the clear Pacific island breezes into the “locker room from hell.” It was though the fragrance from every high school football locker room had been concentrated in the confined space of a submarine. While you might think that description is exaggerated or part of a “sea story,” let me just say, the locker room analogy was kind compared to actual ambiance. Continue reading

Called to the Light

Calling disciplesCurrently, I am reading “The History of Florida” by Michael Gannon, a professor emeritus at the University of Florida. The book is a monographic sweep through Florida history from the pre-Columbian landscape, the settling by native peoples, the arrival of the first European explorers, the history of ethnicity and immigration, and to the changing landscape of life and people who form the great state we live in. So far I have also learned an amazing amount by the early Franciscan missionaries in Florida and Georgia in the 16th and 17th centuries. It put me in a “historical mindset” this week. Continue reading

Whoever believes: living the truth

in my fathers house19 And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. 21 But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. These three verses portray this intricate balance between judgment and decision in the metaphorical language of light and darkness. This language recalls the language and imagery of the Prologue (1:5, 9-10). To love darkness more than light is the same as not believing, and it results in judgment (v. 19). Continue reading

The Light Shines in the Darkness

Easter Vigil at Sacred HeartWhen I was in Kenya, everyone looked forward to getting their hands on Time Magazine’s Year in Review and Life Magazine’s The Year in Pictures. Given the mail in Kenya we would receive these two magazines, along with the Christmas cards – all about 4-5 weeks after Christmas. I have to admit we would dive into the magazines to see what had happened in the world that somehow never quite made it to the slums where we lived. I always went to the back of the magazines to see what famous person had passed away and to see what other key news there was to glean – oh man!, the Doobie Brother’s broke up! Continue reading

To give testimony…

john-the-baptistThe 3rd Sunday in Advent continues to feature John the Baptist as the herald and forerunner of the Messiah. The Reading for the Third Sunday of Lent in John 1:6-8, 19-28 (shown in italics) – but it seemed good to me to also show the more continuous context of the Gospel according to John:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be 4 through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; 5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 A man named John was sent from God. 7 He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. Continue reading

Darkness, Candles, and Things Unsaid

Easter Vigil at Sacred HeartI am always amazed at the sayings that are attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.  Today, I was asked if the following saying was from Francis: “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”  Nice, but at first blush it does not possess the language or sense of language for which Francis is known. The language is not even particularly medieval, but then maybe this is just a modernized version of the saint’s words.

If you search the internet, you will find this “quote” has pretty wide distribution and uniform attributed to St. Francis.  Most have no citation; but some do.  The only source given was “The Little Flowers of St. Francis.”  You can find the Little Flowers in volume 3 (pp. 566-658) of Francis of Assisi: Early Documents  –  Armstrong, Regis, J.A. Wayne Hellmann, and William Short, eds. (New York: New City Press, 1999–2004).

What you can’t find is the quote, or an account for which the quote could be a reduction. I could be wrong.  If someone has the specific citation (text and chapter) that would be an interesting thing to know.   I know I should just let these things go, but…. let the saint speak for himself … I’m just saying.