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Posted February 18, 2014

Book: Honoring the Void: Meditations on the Meaning of Life from Maryknoll Magazine
Author: Joseph R. Veneroso
Orbis Books. Maryknoll, NY. 2013. Pp. 167

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Almost half a million people read the bimonthly Maryknoll Magazine, and among their favorite features are the photo-meditations of Maryknoll Father Joseph Veneroso. This beautiful collection brings together some of his most inspiring reflections, each of them revealing our purpose, from birth through life, to death and eternal life, through all our days. The underlying theme of all these reflections is the Incarnation, and how we encounter God in the gift of humanity.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Minding One's Business

Amid the myriad hurrying, nameless
Commuters and travelers
Ever so eager to get someplace else
I saw him there out of the corner of my eye
Against an out-of-the-way-wall
At the entrance to Grand Central Terminal.

He had a shoeshine stand
With customers enthroned above
Like monarchs and potentates
Or at least like people important enough
To pay to have their footwear polished.

He was an older man by the looks of his gray hair.
But his smile made him seem eternally young.
I watched transfixed as he shined each shoe
With the attention, devotion and talent
Of a Michelangelo and with no less pride
In his accomplishments

Never before or since have I seen such total dedication
To the task at hand, nor such absolute absorption
As if, unlike all others, he indeed was
Exactly where he wanted to be and
Doing exactly what he wanted to do.

Then I saw his patrons put aside their Times
To chat awhile with the common laborer
As if, in his own quiet way and by minding his own business
He had already attained what they so desperately sought.

Table of Contents:

A prayer for families

Blessing in disguise

Christmas pageant

Cloud of witnesses

Clues to mission

Come to God, Go to the World

Daystar of Holy Joy

Defiant hope

Dignity redefined

Glorious diminishment

God knows

Here I stand

Holy mentor

Home to paradise

Honoring the void

Hymn to our alien God

Litany of freedom

Minding one's business

Mystery in the flesh

Our poor excuse

Our Lady of Liberation

Prayer for justice

Prayer for protection from daisies

Prayer to God of creation

Remembering to give thanks

Song of the Divine Physician

Springtime of promise

The fourth commandment

The Legacy of 9/11

The road to lasting peace

Time in sync

Transplanting your heart

Visit of the Magi

Who are my neighbors?

Who? Me?

Witness of life

Women of the reign