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Religious & Spiritual Life


 Impacts And Resources related to the Ending of DACA 


This past year there have been a series of Executive Orders and changes that impact students who identify as international, immigrant, Muslim, undocumented, and DACAmented. The University enrolls, welcomes, and supports all of its members, and will continue to provide services and resources to all members of our community to support their ongoing success.

As Chancellor Chopp stated in a message to the DU community, the University will continue to provide access to legal counsel through Catholic Charities to help members of our community impacted by the recent decision to end DACA. This includes the opportunity to meet individually with an immigration attorney in a confidential off-campus setting. To access a voucher to utilize these services please contact the University Chaplain, or visit the Center for Multicultural Excellence or VIP.

We have limited funds available through the Student Emergency Fund to assist any student facing an immediate financial hardship. 




Reality Show

 Sometime in the last week or so a Facebook post hit my "News Feed" that I wish I could relocate! The gist was that the individual had received a box (part of a monthly subscription service, I guess) containing a bunch of random objects . . . as well as a suggestion that the objects be used to create another "thing." Imagine, for example, receiving a paper clip, a scrunchie, a pencil, a plastic spoon, a foot of braided cord, and a golf ball. The instructions: "Replicate C3PO". It reminded me of the reality cooking show -- "Chopped" -- where the guest chefs are given a number of ingredients and told to use them all in the creation of a three-course meal. The winner is the one who can imaginatively put together kit-lats, kale, kumquats, (k)lams, and kool-ade.
One of the points, it seems to me, of both these exercises is that the "assembler" -- whether craft-er or cook-er -- has to suspend a bit of prejudicial logic and engage in a lot of creativity. "Who would EVER pair a paper clip and a golf ball?" "Who would cook clams and kit-lats . . . together?" Yet the assumption in both cases is that it is possible. And, sometimes, the outcome is quite amazing (well, at least in some of the menus). Who knew? E pluribus unum!
As I ruminated on the "craft-of-the-month" and "Chopped", I saw them both as metaphors for our common life. Another, more immediate metaphor -- the human body -- has been used for centuries in this regard. Aristotle, for example, writing of the 'body politic" notes that all parts are critically important: "since the whole is of necessity prior to the part; for example, if the whole body be destroyed, there will be no foot or hand."* In the context of the expansion of early Christianity beyond its Jewish roots, the apostle Paul made great use of the metaphor in a letter to the church at Corinth (I Corinthians 12.14-20):

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."

It is fairly easy to relate these teachings to our current national sets of debates. We have competing visions of how a "whole" should look, and have had them since . . . well, at least, Aristotle and Paul's time.
It is easy to look to the larger stage. But I found myself also looking at my daily life. I encounter, over and over again, situations and people NOT of my choosing. My knee-jerk reaction is to discount those that do not conform to my predilections or preconceived notions of "appropriate" or "acceptable". But, if I expand my idea of what might be my "body", I open myself up to some potential growth. Encounters of any kind, according to process philosophers, inevitably change us. The challenge is to point that change in a positive, fruitful, rich, direction. The challenge is not a box of ingredients that arrives once a month, or on stage in front of the cameras. It is with us all the time . . . a true reality show.



* Politics, Book I, Pt. 2

PS: If you would like to comment on this reflection, please surf on over to my blog "On a Bike and a Prayer" at