At the beginning of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Andrew Milewski, S.J. reflects on how a language exchange turned into a place of encounter and friendship. In this place of encounter, he wrestles with how to pray and have solidarity with the diverse Asian-American community and his friends who are a part of that group.
“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson was published 135 years ago and its big reveal is well-known. Why read something when we already know the ending – the overall message? This entry in “Fantasy, Fiction, and Faith” addresses this as well as what Jekyll and Hyde can teach us about recognizing friendship, responsibility, and the nature of God’s love.
It took me some time to learn what God was trying to teach me through Sinesio, the man who, for over 25 years, kept the novitiate grounds a paradise, more heaven than Hollywood, with his care and hard work. But, God eventually got through as God has a way of doing. God will offer life lessons where we least expect them, and sometimes, when we least want them.
I stopped drinking during the last semester of my regency, a stage of Jesuit formation where we work in a Jesuit institution. My last binge led me to see how my story with alcohol was going to end. If I kept on drinking, I would have left the Jesuits and continued deteriorating. In this “moment of clarity,” I decided that I needed to stop drinking in order to live. Though I am writing this anonymously, my story is a truth I carry with me. I am a Jesuit, and I am an alcoholic.
In this Holy Week, I remember Jesus’s words on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” I ask for forgiveness, for the damage that I have caused unknowingly, and I forgive those who have damaged me with their words and actions. Join me as I reflect how an ancient Greek philosopher and a late-medieval Spanish Basque Priest guide me on using social media for the greater good.
Feeling overwhelmed by your temptations? Michael Martinez SJ shares a personal poem and reflection that can help us process this internal tension between temptation and victory in our daily lives.
Our first meal was at a loud bar with gloriously cheap food. Our second meal was at our beloved parish, St. Ignatius Loyola on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. We kept having these two meals over and over again. On Sundays, though, the food didn’t change. His distribution of Communion was never an isolated sacramental act, but the moment that gave clarity to the rest of our encounters. Meet my friend Carlos, a dear friend who helped redirect my life.
Throughout my four years as an undergraduate pre-med student, and my seven years as a Jesuit walking the path to become a physician, I never considered a career in plastic surgery. I was in new territory this past December during my third year of medical school when I found myself spending one month as part of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery team.
Names are powerful. I had a professor in college who I have gotten to know well since I graduated, and I still cannot call her by her first name. Conversely, I have graduate professors who insist I call them by their first names. Then there’s my local parish priest back home whom I call “father” because nothing else fits. Names, what we call people, matter. Read how the names of Saints can inspire our lives.
While none of us can compare our suffering in the past year, we can learn a lot about grace and love through both King David and depression medication.