Archives For Religion

My Tears

February 19, 2018 — Leave a comment

“If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr, letter from Birmingham jail


A few months ago, I cried for the second time in my adult life. They were tears of compassion for the poor. They were tears of zeal for justice.

I was visiting some friends in Honduras. They were speaking to me in great detail about the horrible gang violence that plagues their neighborhood. Shootings are constant. Neighbors pay “dues” to gang members regularly so that they won’t be the next victims. The struggle seems endless. Everyone knows a victim.

After this sobering and painful description, a child turned to me and asked with twinkling black eyes, “And what is it like in Chicago?”

It was then that I began to cry.

I cried because of the innocence of the question. I cried because murderers kill people every day in Chicago.

The child’s tone suggested that, compared to Honduras, the United States is paradise. However, I know that the moral purity of the United States is largely a myth.

Yes, the murder rate in Chicago is not as high as the murder rate in San Pedro Sula, Honduras; yet, for many Chicagoans, the reality is the same.

As the child asked the question, my mind’s eye turned to this image:


I was there, and I thought of the hundreds of people, black and white, with whom I marched through East Garfield Park in Chicago on Good Friday, led by Cardinal Cupich and other religious leaders. We marched to honor the victims of gun violence. We marched in hope that a day will come when people put down their arms and begin to love each other again. We marched because Christ, too, suffered from hatred and violence at the hands of his oppressors.

When I was tearing up and my voice was trembling, I pulled out my phone and flipped to that image of the cross with hundreds of people marching and praying behind it. That image from the front page of the Chicago Tribune spoke more powerfully than I ever could. That image, for me, is Chicago–mourning and hopeful.

I don’t know what it is like to be black in Chicago. I don’t know what it is to suffer systematically from racism. And from the confines of my situation in Edgewater on the Northside, I don’t feel that my life is on the line daily.

I do know, nonetheless, that I shed tears of compassion for those slain in this city. I do know that I am disappointed in this city. I do know that I love this city.

I do know that I want violence and racism to come to an end.

May God raise up for Chicago a new generation of prophets, who will call Chicago to repentance. May God give Chicago political leaders with the wisdom of Solomon and the tender heart of David, who will enact real changes. May God bring Chicago together, strengthening the bonds of his Body, the Church.

May God give us hearts restless for justice. May we act personally and politically. May we have a sacrificial spirit and an authentic thirst for peace.

May Black History Month inspire us with the beautiful vision of the Promised Land witnessed by Moses, Jesus, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

–David Inczauskis, S.J.

The Allure of the Unseen

January 6, 2018 — 2 Comments

The Allure of the Unseen



“Show me your glory,”

Moses said to God,

and God showed Moses

a slender shoulder.


Having slipped a strap

down to the elbow,

God walked away with

Aphrodite’s charm.


Isaiah saw God

seated on a throne

in a bedchamber

behind a curtain.


God wore a bathrobe

of silk and velvet,

but soon the boudoir

filled with flames and smoke.


Peter, James, and John

climbed up a mountain

hidden far away

in nature’s silence.


There they shook in fear,

beholding the face

of the one, true God,

who shone like the sun.


It was ecstasy,

that of a virgin

in silv’ry moonlight

on her wedding night.


A voice from on high

ripping through the clouds

broke the blinding bliss:

Consummatum est.”


“Never speak of it,”

said the Son of God,

“until I wake up

yours forever more.”


“…it exercised upon us the allure of what has never been seen…”

–André Breton, L’amour fou


Best wishes,
David J.W. Inczauskis, S.J.



Christmas is blood flowing in the streets,

The blood of the Lord valiant at war.

It is the wrath of God made flesh,

Pulsing through tiny, scarlet veins.


Christmas is the division of sheep and goats,

Separated at once by whips of divine ire.

It is the splitting of time by a two-edged sword,

Shining red as it falls on the necks of the just.


Christmas is a book of history torn to pieces

And thrown into a furnace hotter than hell.

It is a whisper in the night that stills souls:

Haunting them, chilling them, spooking them. 


Christmas is the force of the right arm of God,

Which casts enslaved bodies into slavery.

It an axe that divides the hearts of women

And men who choose to die or die to choose. 

Best wishes,
David J.W. Inczauskis, S.J.

P.S. This poem is nothing other than an interpretation of “Chapter One” of Pope Benedict XVI’s Introduction to Christianity.