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Jesuit. Writer. Organizer. Preacher.
Recent Activity
Trying to think through our being beings who encounter the world through our senses. Five of them. And bit by bit, these five senses, through which we know something, someone, some ones, outside of ourselves are being abandoned, degraded, and replaced. Over time what does that do to us as... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2020 at Jack Bentz SJ
If we don’t like being angry, irritated, frustrated, annoyed, fed up, and over it, why do we relive those emotions to anyone who will listen? Why do we get worked up all over again in the retelling of the event? Why don’t we just let it go? And instead, tell... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2019 at Jack Bentz SJ
Think of all we could be doing. In order to win, the dark spirit doesn’t have to make us do bad things, it just has to keep us from doing the good. The good we are capable of, the good we were created to do, the good the world needs... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2019 at Jack Bentz SJ
I was recently in Central America with a group of Jesuits in training and I saw three possibilities for Catholic worship in action. It was a wonderful visit; meeting deeply committed Jesuits and Jesuit partners. Inspiring stories shared by people with rich connections to all the martyrs of El Salvador,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2019 at Jack Bentz SJ
It’s a particular question for Catholics — why does the celebration of the Mass fail to move people enough for them choose to participate? Given that people do what they want, why do most people, most baptized Catholics, not want to be part of the weekly gathering of like minded... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2019 at Jack Bentz SJ
Almost no one in America needs new recipes. The people who actually cook, know how to make what they like. And the people who don’t actually cook, don’t care. This leaves the people who don’t like to cook enough to cook, but love the idea of cooking. These people have... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
I don't eat meat and fish that are unsustainably produced because I want greater interior alignment. That is to say, my values were not aligned with my actions, so I changed my actions. I often identify as a vegetarian because it’s a shorter conversation, but when I feel up to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
I’m reading Verlyn Klinkenborg’s “Several short sentences about writing” and he asks - “what if meaning isn't the sole purpose of the sentence?” The sentence itself, not just the extractable meaning. For example? “As I walked to the gym this morning, the not quite full moon was still visible over... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
Hypocrisy is about intent. Choosing to deceive others through your actions. Knowing that others expect you to be one thing and your choosing to subvert that expection. Attempting to appear as something you are not. It’s a sort of lying through actions rather than denying the truth in separate instances.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
To be clear, I don’t have a police record and I have nothing to hide. And further, I have never been harassed by the police. But on the few times the police have pulled me over for speeding, those particular police were swaggering bullies daring me to talk back to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
I took the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in order to be radically available to serve God’s people. That’s it. I didn’t give up money because it is the root of all evil, I didn’t vow to not have sex because I thought it was dirty, and I certainly... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
Friendship can be thought of as a relationship between two people built around an interest held in common. These two people are interested in each other but more interested in the shared interest. When their interest in each other become greater than the shared interest you have a different sort... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
The street trees here in the Bronx keep muttering to me. I worry about them and wish there were more of them. I recently read a bit of history that referenced just how wooded all of this part of New York once was. First woods and then tobacco farms and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
I’m in a resort hotel on the shores of a lake in Central Idaho. And it is gorgeous. Ponderosa pine forests right to the water, mountains in the distance and, for now, the huge plumes of smoke from the inevitable summer fires are lovely at a distance. This seems a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
Intention makes a difference. Why are you doing that? Why are you trying to change the world that way? What are your intentions? This is a question not just for the young man on the porch wishing to speak to your daughter. It’s for all of us and we get... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
For the past week I was in a silent retreat, removed from all media and all my usual means of electronic communication. And it was challenging and revealing. While I don’t think of myself as being particularly addicted to these means, when I went without them I discovered a fundamental... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
Fr. James Mallon, who has become well known as the author of Divine Renovation gets right at the heart of a primary obstacle in preaching. He observes that preachers preach the way they preach because that is how they learned to preach. And more pointedly, because for whom they learned... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
A few years ago, I was invited to be part of an ecumenical group of ministers interested in preaching better. We were eight men and women of different denominations ranging from leaders of evangelical church plants to Catholic priests. And in our first meeting, a Presbyterian minister asked us to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
A friend of mine, a marine biologist, remains upbeat about the state of the natural environment. Perhaps this is because she has just been looking at species extinction and ecological structures under great stress in much more detail that I have. Anyway, she hasn’t a lot of time for hand... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
It’s as hard as it sounds. Just being present in a sitting meditation. And I try to do it most mornings. Just a half an hour and yes, I use my phone as an alarm. I close my eyes and start the breathing. In and out. And here is what... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
The Muslim poet Rumi wrote — “we set out to find God, but we keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.” I know this is true to my experience, both the setting out - with idealistic goals in mind for my life and for all life. And then what... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
After a week of being in the Bronx I have seen only one rat - medium sized, and freshly dead, but several hundred fireflies - twinkly, alive, and about the usual size. For me, this says a lot about the Bronx. And even more about our human tendency to forget... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
Just because an organization claims to be enthusiastic about radical change in no way means it will support radical change. It is easy for a group to establish a standing committee on change and call that change. To commission a study on what needs to be changed and call that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
It takes a while to understand the deep attractions of comfort. When I entered into religious life, I thought that sex was going to be the challenging part. Nope. Oh sure, that is part of the life, because it is part of life, but the tendency towards comfort, to having... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ
Andre Agassi is said to have prepared mentally for a big match by remembering that whatever happened, win or lose, at the end of the day he was still going to go home and be with his family. It was a context setting device for a big event. It helped... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2018 at Jack Bentz SJ