August 17 – New Year’s Day, University Style: President’s Convocation

Monday August 17 – “All this tripping about” Catherine McAuley

Getting very busy around the university; lots of fast walking and flipping from thought to thought and task to task. Except today when President’s Convocation opens a space to tell each other stories from our summers, play and adventure, joy and sorrow. Catherine McAuley could have been writing about UDM as the new year cranks up in this memorable saying from her over-busy life leading the fledgling Sisters of Mercy. The Mercies were born in an Ireland made brutal by the Industrial Revolution of British textiles and the Enclosure Movement which evicted subsistence farmers from small plots to open broad spaces for sheep grazing, Dublin a city where wealth flourished in the center while its growing periphery packed in desperate poor driven off those small village plots. She named her fast walking and flipping from task to task times “tripping about.”

“Amidst all this tripping about: our hearts can always be in the same place
centered in God, for whom alone we go forward, or stay back.”
Catherine McAuley (December, 1840)


Catherine McAuley 1778 – 1841
Foundress: Sisters of Mercy 1831

Lovely expression, “triping about.” Better to trip about, I guess, than to just trip. Better to hustle and scramble with a moment of breathing here and there in the day. Here’s a short poem to open a space for breathing on this first official work day of the academic year. I’ve posted it three times before; must like it, eh?

Have a blest day.

john sj

Today’s Post “Enough”

Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.

David Whyte, Where Many Rivers Meet


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