Wednesday, March 27, 2013
A Duty to Delight
On Sunday, February 26, 2013, Krista Tippett interviewed Father Greg Boyle, SJ. If you missed the show, I highly recommend the podcast.
Father Boyle’s book, Tattoos on the Heart, is SLU’s first-year summer reading book for fall 2013. I commend this selection. We at SLU have much to learn about service and kinship and mutuality from Father Boyle. Father Boyle’s perspectives are also relevant for us here at the Heithaus Haven, where we focus on how our internal norms, practices, and structures embody our mission.
Father Boyle suggests that a healthy community stands “in awe at what people have to carry” rather than “in judgment of how they carry it.”
As we enter into kinship, we delight in others, and awe overcomes us. This past fall semester and into the spring, I’ve had an opportunity to do just that – to enter into kinship, to delight in my colleagues, and to be awed by them. This past fall semester and into the spring, I’ve collaborated and been in companionship with an extraordinary group of faculty, as we have tried to discern our way through SLU’s crisis and move the institution through and beyond it. Along the way, the wisdom of my colleagues, their discipline-specific insights and perspectives, their courage, and their dedication to mission have led me to delight - thoroughly - in them. And their wisdom, insights and perspectives, courage, and dedication have left me overcome with awe. Although the context is a dismal one, it has led me to discover that my SLU colleagues are utterly delightful and awesome. And kinship with them has made my duty to delight easy to fulfill.
Are we in kinship with one another here at SLU? Do we take delight and find awe in one another here at SLU? When and where do we succeed in fulfilling this duty? When and where have we failed?