“You must change your life.”

Rilke’s poem “The Archaic Torso of Apollo” ends with the famous lines, “[…] for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.”

This speaks to the way that we are admonished and summoned by an encounter with beauty and order.

On this feast of St. Jerome, I was re-reading Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter on the Anniversary of the Death of St. Jerome which was published last year.

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The Day I Almost Died in the West Bank

Since today is the three-year anniversary of a near-death experience of mine, I thought I’d blog about the day my friends and I were attacked in the West Bank.

It was a Friday night in Bethlehem when, unlike Jesus, my American friend Ashley and I had managed to find overnight accommodations at an AirBnB there.

The following morning, on July 7, 2018, our Palestinian Christian friend Khalil came to pick us up, greeting us with the cappuccinos he’d brought for us.

Next we picked up my Canadian friend Amy and set off on our West Bank adventure. I remember we said a quick prayer for our trip.

The first place we visited was the Shrine of Our Lady of the Garden at Artas. “Tour groups almost never come here and it isn’t really a tourist site,” Khalil told us. “But this is my favourite place in Bethlehem and the most beautiful.”

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