Coronavirus Update 3: A Message about Caring … and Not Caring

Rockhurst University President Father Tom Curran addresses students, faculty, staff and the general Rockhurst community, responding to messages sent about gratitude, and asking God to teach us to care … and not to care. May we also learn to sit still, even among the rocks. Our peace, His will.

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Hello!Well, it's Week 3.It's Week 3, and this is the third of my greetings to youby way of these video messages.Week 3, the third of my video messages,and we Jesuits have a tendency to do things frequently in threesand so this message is broken up into threes.First, a thought.Second, what it is that I heard from you since my last message to you.And thirdly, more details, or a little bit of explanationand an invitation regarding the thought or verse.The verse. The verse is this:Teach us to care and not to care.Teach us to sit still,even among the rocks.Our peace in His will.More about that in a moment.So what did I hear from you since the last message?I invited you to share with me where it is that you experienced the Sabbathand that rest and your reflection, "For what are you grateful?""How are you taking advantage of that time?""How are you finding holiness in that time?"I would say that what you shared with me can be broken up into not three,but into four categories.The first: God.God was so present in what you shared with me.God is a gift.God is in control.God is being found in all things, even in a pandemic.The second thing you shared with me is that this is being a time to disconnect.Fewer distractions.Time to catch up.Time to do a lot of those overdue tasks around the housethat you've been wanting to address.The third was technology.Appreciating and embracing technologyoffering you the opportunity to be connected.Seeing technology as a gift, as a tool, as a means.Who'd a thought that we'd have so much connection with something known as "Zoom"?The fourth thing that you shared with me I would characterizein what they call a "word cloud."You've seen them.Where some words are larger than others.It's based upon reoccurring themes.And so the larger the word themore frequent that… that thought or that idea came forward.So what was in your word cloud?God.Family.Slower pace.Community.Technology.And reconnect.Now, on to the third part.I shared with you a thought, a verse at the beginning of my time with you.Let me repeat that verse.Teach us to care and not to care.Teach us to sit still,even among the rocks.Our peace, in His will.Those words come from a poem by T. S. Eliot.More specifically, they come from the sixth verse –the very last part of the sixth verse.T. S. Eliot's poem "Ash Wednesday" is reallyan invitation for us to enter into the desertand to embrace this notion of indifference.That is very, very Ignatian.What is it that I really care about?Indifference not in the sense that I'm just apathetic.But rather, what really matters and what are those things that don't matter as much?Teach us to care and not to care.To care about the things that really matter.And to not be focused upon those things that don't… matter.So, for what is it that I care about?What are those things that I need to be caring less about?In the season of Lent, in the season of a time when we are in close quarters,as we continue to pray for all affected– our entire world affected by this pandemic –may weenter into this time of thinking about this notion of holy indifference.Holy indifference, which brings us to a place of freedom.Teach usto care and not to care.Teach us to sit still,even among the rocks.Our peace, in His will.My peace to you.Let us continue to pray for one another.Most especially, pray for all those on the front lines:our first responders, our health providers.Let's pray for our nation and our world.May we truly move towards a place of freedom.Teach us to careand to not care.Teach us to sit still,even among these rocks.Our peace, in His will.

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