Archives For August 2013

Angustam Portam

August 26, 2013 — Leave a comment

“Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.” –Luke 13:24

Image

Today’s gospel reading is difficult. Why is the gate narrow? Why will many try to enter but fail? Despite my initial preoccupations, I found very satisfying answers to these questions during the homily at the mass I attended this morning. The priest explained that the gate is narrow not because God wants the gate to be narrow but rather because we humans make it narrow. We bundle ourselves up with disobedience, disbelief, and dismay to such an extent that we are too large to pass through to God’s kingdom. It is difficult to enter heaven not because God is cruel but because we make it hard for ourselves. God’s love is strong and eternal, yet we reject it in our sinfulness. If we abide in God’s love, then we won’t have to go through the narrow gate alone, for He will guide us through to Himself, with arms wide open.

May God bless you today and forevermore!

Best wishes,
David

Aperio

August 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

“On Opening Our Lives to God”

“You can’t just put part of your life in a box, stick it on a shelf, and pretend it’s not there. You have to open that box up and trust that God will help you look at what’s inside.” –James Martin, SJ in The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything

A painting of St. Ignatius of Loyola by Rubens:

Image

Lately, I’ve been reading the book The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by Father James Martin, S.J. The work covers the spiritual outlook of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Catholic order he founded–the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Father Martin does an awesome job of outlining the great religious insights of St. Ignatius. Ignatius was a firm believer in the idea that we can find God in all things. Even the most mundane activities can take on spiritual meaning if we allow God to transform them. There is no part of our lives that cannot be touched by God’s love.

In my academic classes on religion at Wake Forest, there is lots of talk about the difference between secular space and religious space. Ignatius and his follower Father Martin would reject that division. All spaces fall under God’s purview. We cannot and should not compartmentalize God’s sovereignty. Personally, I’ve found this concept extremely empowering. Since I’ve taken it to heart, I’ve encountered God in surprising places while doing surprising activities: while peeling potatoes, while driving in the car listening to music, and while surfing the Internet. If we open every aspect of our lives to God’s love, then He will most certainly meet us where we are.

I encourage you to try to find God in all things, at all times, and in all places. You’ll be surprised how much you generally miss!

Thanks for reading this short post. May God bless you in your daily life. May He surprise you with his never-ending peace and compassion.

Your friend in Christ,

David Inczauskis

Gratum

August 15, 2013 — Leave a comment

“On Gratefulness”

Never in my life have I been more grateful than I am tonight. Never. God has protected me through my time in England, in Honduras, and in Chicago. He guarded me during my trip to North Carolina. He blessed me with a group of kind and loving people at Wake Forest who welcomed me back to campus after a year of travel and adventure. For these simple truths and for everything that the Lord has given to me over the past year, I am very grateful.

In Oxford, as expected, I grew in wisdom and understanding. I thirsted for knowledge both academic and spiritual, and the abundant grace of God did not disappoint. Courses in Spanish sharpened my critical thinking skills, and tutorials in Christian theology fortified my ever-growing orthodoxy and love for Catholic thought. I can only hope to expand upon the enthusiasm for academics that my time in Oxford provided.

In Honduras, as expected, I grew in trust and in piety. Never before did I place all of my hope in God–that He would lead me away from evil, that he would bless my every moment. The children whom I taught and served were full of life despite their treacherous pasts and their relative economic poverty. They showed me what it means to look to heaven for guidance when the earth just doesn’t cut it. 

In Chicago, as expected, I grew in friendship and in love. Seeing some old pals strengthened my resolve to grow closer to Christ through positive interactions with His people on earth. When we serve our friends and give of ourselves for them, we are participating in Jesus’ sacrifice for humanity. We grow closer to Him when we treat each other lovingly.

Now that I am in North Carolina once again for my senior year at Wake Forest, I think about my desires for this final term. What do I want more than anything else at this point in my life? I believe that I know the answer: to love and serve God by doing my schoolwork for His greater glory. And not only my schoolwork, but also my extra-academic activities.

May the Lord live through me this year. Pray for me and for all those students who are finishing up their undergraduate work this year!

Best wishes,
David Inczauskis

Iustitia

August 2, 2013 — Leave a comment

“On the Balance Between Justice and Love”

If there is one thing that infuriates me, it is injustice. I hate it when cheaters win and when the upright lose. I hate it when hard work is done in vain and when laziness is rewarded. There is something about injustice that makes my stomach churn. I daresay that many people would agree with me.

Earlier today in the Jungle School in Honduras, two children were fighting over a pack of donuts. The first student said that the donuts belonged to him. The second student said that the donuts were rightfully his because he had won a bet and therefore the donuts. This problem seems uniquely childish, but upon reflection I came to think that it is representative of injustice. Almost always, injustice is a result of two different–and potentially irreconcilable–points of view. After talking to each kid, I’m absolutely certain that each of these children believed he was right.

Having established that each of the students was more-or-less genuine, I decided to read them a passage from the Bible. It was the following: “I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well;and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you,” (Matthew 5:39-42). Though I am no biblical expert, it seems that Jesus is telling his followers to allow injustice in order that love might prevail. I’m not sure what the students ended up doing with the donuts, but I hope that this reading touched their hearts. 

It certainly touched mine. Many times I resist injustice for selfish purposes. I am too attached to my views or to my belongings. In childish terms I value the donuts and my pride more than I value Christ and the good of the other. Radical love brings people to Jesus, but selfishness rarely don’t. Therefore, let’s make an effort to “turn the other cheek” when a situation gets tough. Let’s show people that we take pride in Christ’s love, not ourselves or our belongings.

May God bless you in abundance.

Best wishes,

David