Saturday, January 26, 2008

Jesuits in outerspace, gardeners in Ambler

This week I heard that for 200,000 dollars folk can spend a few moments in weightlessness. So far I know of no Jesuits who have signed on for the trip. This is about enjoyable reading and again it is about what books can flow into your life.

We do utilize the library here in Lansdale, but for a greater selection we head off to the Genius Belt... Bucks County likes to consider themselves this because of a wave of artists and writers that flowed into the area years ago. The Michener museum next to the library has a great selection of Pennsylvania Impressionism that speaks so greatly in my heart that loves the landscape they captured on canvas. We live just outside of the belt.

Anyway... type in Jesuit into a library search engine and next thing you know you could be reading science fiction. I just finished Children of God by Maria Doria Russell, which is a continuation of her first novel-- The Sparrow. Recommend both to fans of Jesuits and/or science fiction. She was not afraid to get help along the way so that what she did was authentic and in the list of those she acknowledge you will find a few men with S.J. after their name. Her list of experts made me think of my journey.

Eight years ago I was offered a job opportunity which I did not feel qualified for and said so to the person offering the job. I love the job and am glad I took it, but have always felt embarrassed by my lack of training. In those years I have learned quite a bit about horticulture, but did not search out expert advice very often. Thursday evening I sat (dug frozen soil to send for testing, taste tested 10 types of apples, weeded through seed packets, became part of a group of young undergrad students) through my first horticulture class at Temple Ambler. So now it is time to kick myself ever so gently for waiting 8 years and pat myself on the back (ever so gently) for not waiting any longer.

And bringing the decision to take the class before God in discernment--- the downsides of it taking up time, money, and energy; seem to be out weighed by how I see this will benefit my students.


  1. Wayne...

    I'm am just finishing Children of God...having read The Sparrow over the break. I've enjoyed both, and indeed, yes, some of the characters remind me much of Jesuits I know.

    I'm glad the class is proving a delight. The Latin book is: Carpe Diem by Harry Mount. It's a very gentle read. If you can't find it at the local library, send me an email ( and I'd be happy to lend you mine! (We have two copies, Crash got one for Christmas...)

    The time at Wernersville was marvelous, but I left my mug at home this time. :-)

  2. I think those are two of those most excruciating books I've ever read. In fact, I've only read them in bits and pieces; I've never found it possible to read either straight through.

    In a completely different vein, try her third: A Thread of Grace. It's wonderful; I heard her speak on it a couple of years ago and and she's wonderful, too.

    And to end on a humorous note: I was describing the Jesuits in Space novels to an orthodox rabbi friend a couple of years ago and he said, "Of course. If any religious order were to go to outer space, it could only be the Jesuits."

  3. Michelle and Gannet Girl-- what a small world where apparently everybody reads about space traveling Jesuits.. thanks for the book suggestions


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