Conversion as another life

This is a quick post to direct you to the story of Cyprien and Daphrose Rugumba, a Rwandan couple whose cause for canonization is underway.

This article in The Pillar tells the story of how Daphrose was a faithful Christian who raised her ten children in the faith despite her husband’s infidelity and the mockery he made of her witness and convictions.

As reported in aforementioned the article and also by the Emmanuel Community of which the couple eventually became members and founders of the Rwandan branch:

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Dying to Anonymity

I recently started reading Carl Rogers’ very interesting book titled, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy.

There are many gems already, but check out this one in particular with my emphasis added:

During this past year the Student Union Forum Committee at Wisconsin made a somewhat similar request. They asked me to speak in a personal vein on their “Last Lecture” series, in which it is assumed that, for reasons unspecified, the professor is giving his last lecture and therefore giving quite personally of himself. (It is an intriguing comment on our educational system that it is assumed that only under the most dire circumstances would a professor reveal himself in any personal way.) In this Wisconsin talk I expressed more fully than in the first one the personal learnings or philosophical themes which have come to have meaning for me. In the current chapter I have woven together both of these talks, trying to retain something of the informal character which they had in their initial presentation. The response to each of these talks has made me realize how hungry people are to know something of the person who is speaking to them or teaching them. Consequently I have set this chapter first in the book in the hope that it will convey something of me, and thus give more context and meaning to the chapters which follow.

This excerpt causes me to speculate that, perhaps one reason why people tend to fear both mortality and public speaking so much is the same: it amounts to a death to anonymity. The person is revealed in an eminent way that is vulnerable and transparent. And, interestingly, this can be attractive and hospitable for others who can be received into a story without posturing and pretence, but filled with sincerity and reality.

The Opposite of Throwaway Culture

The author of the book Resisting Throwaway Culture has laid out some concrete proposals for how to do so at the end of his newly published book, Losing Our Dignity.

Like Pope Francis, author Charles Camosy agrees that it is our cultural consumerism that is contributing to a “throwaway” mentality extending toward human beings.

The opposite of throwaway culture, Camosy suggests, is to “live out a counterculture of responsibility, encounter, and hospitality.”

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An Appetite for Affection

The other day I was having a call with my aunt and godmother who is a hospice nurse in the U.S.

She had texted me to ask, “Have you talked about dying and food? How our bodies need less and less but families want to keep feeding the dying person? Food = Life = Love. It’s quite a psychological issue.”

I was interested to hear more from her about this, so I gave her a call.

She told me, “I have some patients who, if left on their own, wouldn’t eat. They would just stop eating and it’s not that they would be starving. It’s simply that their body doesn’t need the food anymore because they are approaching death. However, their loved ones worry they’ll starve and so they think that they must feed them.”

Sometimes hospice caregivers will spend an hour trying to feed someone a bowl of oatmeal or three hours trying to feed someone a shake, she told me.

My aunt expressed some frustration over this saying that is makes her wonder: “Why are you doing this? You’re forcing it.”

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