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
Cloud of witnesses
Clues to mission
Come to God, Go to the World
Daystar of Holy Joy
Here I stand
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?
Witness of life
Women of the reign