Without knowing anything about educational theory, learning methods, or even how the brain works, I think it’s safe to say that we all have different ways of soaking in information. Some of us are visual learners; some are great readers; some benefit from being great listeners; while still others learn best when they are in a group setting. I guess one side of the brain does better with numbers and science, while the other side thrives off of poetry, language, and the world of art. With that being said, I love imagery. Though I’m not an artist, I think i must be a visual learner. One of the things I enjoy doing on this campus is walking the halls of our school, Frances Xavier Warde, and seeing the great works of art created by our students. On their lockers, taped to the walls, and splattered throughout the classrooms you see the expression of ideas captured in the images of people, places, and things.
I don’t know about you (and remember this is coming from a Sox fan), but I think there is no better image than seeing a team rush the pitcher’s mound at the conclusion of a 10 inning World Series of game 7. Capturing the faces of joy, disbelief, and unspeakable excitement is an image that needs to be tattooed on the hearts of every human being. While it is hard to believe, after a 108 year drought, that the Cubs are the World Series Champions, no matter your allegiance, this is great stuff and I think we as a city really needed it. One of the very fond memories I have in my mind from when “we” won the World Series back in 2005 was driving into Holy Sepulcher Cemetery on the south side and seeing countless (but I mean numerous) graves that were adorned with White Sox pennants, flags, and other celebratory memorabilia for their loved ones. I have a feeling that in the coming days and weeks, at cemeteries scattered around the Chicagoland area, the Cubbie blue and the now famous W will be waving at the graves of Eternal fans! It’s a wonderful and welcomed image.
In a big, complicated city like ours where violence and shootings have become an almost expected daily report on the nightly news, having a Cubs victory and ringing in the joy of a championship is a true blessing. The sad reality, however, is that the revelry will last for only a few days but the imagery of suffering will most likely continue. While many fans celebrated a victory at home and in taverns, other fans still were gathered under Lower Wacker. It took the Cubs 108 years to figure out how to win the World Series. May it take us much less time to figure out how we can repair the broken lives in our city and find the root causes of the poverty, homelessness, and violence that plagues us.
Yes, it is a great day to rejoice for the Cubbies! I suspect today at Old St. Pat’s we’ll see lots of blue jerseys and smiling faces. Joy and celebration is the image of what I believe God intended for us. And when a prodigal son had been away for a long time and found his way back to the nest, a father went running with great excitement to welcome him home. And when a shepherd lost one sheep, goes and finds it, he comes back thrilled as can be! And when a poor lady loses one precious coin and sweeps diligently until she finds it, her only reaction is to call friends together to celebrate. When we find our way back to being fully alive, filled with spirit, and being most human as God wants us to be, there’s no other thing to do than to celebrate.
May the images of joy and celebration sustain us and motivate us to bring that joy to other parts of our life, our city, our world. This will be a big week for this country with Tuesday’s election. Let’s pray for each other and for the common good of the United States. It’s been a long, grueling election. Please join us Wednesday in Church as we pray for the nation.
Peace and Congratulations to All The Cubs fans among us!
Father Tom Hurley
PS: Old St. Patrick’s is being honored at an event on November 16th for the wonderful partnership we have with Horizon’s For Youth! I hope many of you will join us to celebrate this great victory of an outstanding organization such as Horizons for all the championships they have created for so many kids in our city!
More information on this wonderful event can be found in the Community Life section of this bulletin.