on the feast day of Saint John Paul II

Tonight, on the first feast day of Saint John Paul II (October 22), I had a chance to participate in the second of two panel discussions of John Paul II’s play The Jeweler’s Shop. The discussion followed an evening Theology on Tap performance at Open Window Theatre. The discussion began around 9:45 pm, and lasted until nearly 11 pm… not generally my best time of day for coherent thought, so I kept my interventions to a minimum, but I did enjoy listening to the other panelists: Dr. Deborah Savage, Jeremy Stanbary and Jen Messing. I’ve posted the audio from the event here:

 

At some point I’d like to unpack further the ideas that I started to explore during the evening: 1) the relationship between John Paul II and John of the Cross as doctors of experience — the experiences of human love and divine love, respectively, and 2) how the questions of Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth) echo many of those raised by the characters in the play, namely: What are the concrete possibilities of man? Is he capable of the demanding call of life in Christ, given the experience of human weakness? What should be the character and quality of Christian hope, vis-a-vis our lived experience?

The play at Open Window Theatre has been extended for one more week, so I encourage those of you in the Twin Cities to see it if you haven’t already. Details here.

Saint John Paul II, pray for us!

prayer for the Synod on the Family

Synod-on-the-Family-imagePope Francis has asked all the faithful to pray this prayer for the Synod of Bishops every day of their meeting, October 5 (today) through the 19th.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love,
to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again
experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the Synod of Bishops
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.
Amen.

The Jeweler’s Shop at Open Window Theatre

This past weekend, Open Window Theatre in Minneapolis began performing The Jeweler’s Shop, one of my favorite plays. It was written by Karol Wojtyla (who later became Pope St. John Paul II).

The Jeweler's Shop - Open Window Theatre

On Sunday, September 28, immediately following the 1:30 pm matinee performance, I joined three others in a panel discussion of the play. I don’t know nearly as much about John Paul II, the theater, or the play as the others on the panel, but on the basis of my sheer enthusiasm for the play, I was invited to participate. Click here for more details.

Here’s a short description of the play, from the official English translation:

Love is “one of the greatest dramas of human existence,” writes Pope John Paul II. In this illuminating three-act play–here in the only English translation authorized by the Vatican–he explores relationships between men and women, the joys–and the pain–of love and marriage. The action unfolds in two settings at once: a street in a small town, outside the local jeweler’s shop (people go to buy their wedding rings there), and the mysterious inner landscape of personal hopes and fears, loves and longings. Each act focuses on a different couple: the first happily planning their wedding, the second long-married and unhappy, the third about to marry but full of doubts. Writing with power and understanding about a love that survives the grave, a love that has withered and died, a love budding out of complexes and insecurities, the Pope addresses such fundamental human concerns as: What does it mean to fall in love? When do we know that a love is real–and can it last? If it dies, how do we go on living–and loving again? There are no easy answers, and there is no happy ending–such is the nature of men and women, and such is the nature of love–but there is hope, if we only acknowledge our need and accept the risks of a deep and lasting commitment. This is a play full of wisdom on a subject of great relevance to all, and it provides a special insight into the thoughts of the man who, like no other, has captured the imagination of people of all faiths throughout the world…. Karol Wojtyla–Pope John Paul II–has long been involved with the theater. As a student of literature, then priest, bishop and archbishop, he acted, directed, wrote dramatic criticism, made a Polish translation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, and has authored six plays. (source)

The panel discussion lasted about 40 minutes. Here it is in audio format. If a transcript becomes available, I will add that as well.

Tickets for the Open Window Theatre production are available on their website.

ten years

wake in other waters

9/23/04
3:40 am
Hope, Idaho

Dad made his passage to the next life at 1:18 am this morning, with Mom, Katy & Jeff & I present. It was a peaceful, awe-inspiring time. His breaths became shorter and less pronounced, in the way that the lapping waves on the shore — after the wake of a passing ship — become less pronounced and then fade entirely. His ship is now creating a wake in other waters.

There is much I want to record about this sacred time. God bless, Dad. Thank you for everything — I love you. My prayers will keep me united with you — I promise to take care of Mom in whatever ways I can. Please God, we’ll all be together again before long.

Related posts:
learning to fear the right things
remembering Pops
on the passage through life
in gratitude for my Dad
seven years
the upset of Easter, and the last things