Beauty in the ordinary

Posted on August 24, 2010

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The answer that won for Gloria Diaz the 1969 Miss Universe crown — as brought up in a friend’s amusing Facebook note — reminds me of a classic Jesuit story. Diaz was asked, “In the next day or so, a man will land on the moon. If a man from the moon landed in your hometown, what would you do to entertain him?”

The 18-year-old Filipina answered, “Oh, just the same things I do. I think if he has been on the moon for so long, I think when he comes over, he wants to change, I guess.”

St. John Berchmans, a 22-year-old Jesuit scholastic when he died in 1621, is said to have been asked a similar question.  Jesuits William Barry and Robert Doherty write in their book “Contemplatives in Action”: “Once, while playing billiards, he was asked what he would do if he were to find out that he would die in a few minutes.”

“He is said to have replied: ‘I would go on playing billiards.'”

We can find beauty in the ordinary.  As the Jesuits would say, we can find God in all things.

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