As I begin my time with you as your archbishop, I am so grateful for the warm reception I have received. I am truly enjoying my travels around the archdiocese, meeting so many people and getting to know our parishes and communities. Please be patient with me as I learn our history, and please continue to pray for me that I may always be open to the promptings and inspirations of the Holy Spirit as together we seek to discern, define and fulfill the mission that is ours from the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
In May of 2015, Pope Francis released his encyclical Laudato Si’, the Italian title taken St. Francis of Assisi’s beautiful “Canticle of the Creatures”: “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.”
The Christian Ecosystem
Dear friends in Christ,
This column will be my last for Northwest Catholic. For almost nine years, it has been my privilege to write a regular column as a personal means to reach your home and share thoughts about the Catholic faith, the Church, and issues of the day. Doing so has been a privilege, and I hope my words have resonated with you from time to time.
There is an art and a science to slow living. This summer I’m trying to learn both.
There is, to be sure, a stress within the biblical tradition that God is radically other: “Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior” (Isaiah 45:15) and “No one shall see [God] and live” (Exodus 33:20). This speaks to the fact that the one who creates the entire universe from nothing cannot be, himself, an item within the universe, one being alongside of others. But at the same time, the Scriptures also attest to God’s omnipresence: “Your Wisdom reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well” (Wisdom 8:1) and “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there. … If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast” (Psalm 139:7-12). This speaks to the fact that God sustains the universe in existence from moment to moment, the way a singer sustains a song.
Mountain biking is awesome! I've been hitting the trails for 25 years and still love it. Great exercise, good friends, lots of fresh air and definite challenges. Also, it’s great for your prayer life, especially on technical sections. A few years ago I met a group of great mountain bikers and they taught me some great lessons on the trail. Each of those lessons is also an applicable insight into Christian discipleship. So here’s a list of “Ten Commandments of Mountain Biking and Discipleship” so you can benefit from those lessons as well — without having to endure the cuts, bruises and trips to the emergency room!