Mention of the Shroud of Turin in Unexpected Places

imageThe editors of StateCollege.com – that’s Penn State – write: “In these difficult times, [sports writer Joe Bastardi has made several attempts at writing his regular column for this week. He offers some of his best words of wisdom.”

And so Bastardi writes:

I was torn on what to write given the situation around the area. If I said nothing, it’s gutless; if I did, I might say something ignorant since I don’t know all the facts. Gutless and ignorant don’t look good on my resume. So to keep them off, I am keeping quiet on it, at least for now. Instead I came up with some words to live by that were going through my head Monday.

. . .

imageIt was one of those things — not quite the burst of light that I believe imprinted the image on the Shroud of Turin, but energy went in my ears and permanently put the repetitive sound of Chaka Khan into my head — the ultimate example of a song you cannot get rid of. And so I no longer fight it and, in tough times, take comfort in the fact the she loves me "in a natural way." I have no idea what that means, but I still take comfort in it. It’s either this or "Achy Breaky Heart."

He ends up with this at number 1 in his countdown of words to live by:

No. 1: A man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?

This is from Robert Browning, a man of Scottish-German descent, as is my wife, Jess. . . . Actually, this has long been a favorite of mine, and something that Joe Paterno gave me without knowing since I first heard it when I heard him saying how much he loved that adage.

But it’s a heck of a line. It basically is the top of the Sistine Chapel put into words — that idea of reaching toward an unknown represented by the deity. I believe it’s born within all of us: You have to reach beyond the obvious to find what is not obvious.

imageInteresting, maybe thought provoking theology in the wake of Nittany Lions writers block? Yes. I really like that: “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

Donald DeMarco , Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, St. Jerome’s University, Waterloo, has written a thoughtful piece for The Integrated Catholic Life, On the Importance of Stretching. He neatly grasps Robert Browning’s words and links them to the Sistine Chapel ceiling:

Adam took a rather circuitous route because he was, at the outset, reluctant to stretch and meet God halfway.  We have been forewarned.  Therefore, we should know better.  We have a date with destiny and cannot meet it in a “stretch limo”, but only by dint of our own heroic stretching.