Fr. Frank Nash: Dare to disturb the universe

Why uprooting oneself is a scary, difficult, good thing

By Frank Nash, S.J.

My 27 years at Loyola University Maryland is the longest I have ever lived in one place.

I am settled in and comfortable. I am happy here surrounded by close friends and good weather.

Suddenly, I find myself preparing to move to LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.

Why am I taking on new responsibilities in a new setting where there are only two seasons, snow and no snow?

The answer is challenge.

We all need new challenges, or we tend to stagnate.

To uproot oneself after 27 years is scary and difficult, yet it is a good thing.

To be honest, I am a victim of my own preaching. On more than one occasion, I have been honored to give the homily at the Baccalaureate Mass before Commencement. In the course of that sermon, I have referred to T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

In the poem Prufrock asks himself, “Do I dare disturb the universe?”

This is a great question, one we should all ask ourselves.

Are we willing to take risks? Are we willing to leave our comfort zone?

Prufrock sadly answers, after a struggle, “And in short, I was afraid.”

He then admits, “I grow old… I grow old…”

When we are afraid to disturb our universe, indeed we grow old. I hope I am not there yet.

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