Jeremiah was not a cheerful fellow, if we must decide on the basis of his book. This is one of the great lines of Holy Scripture. It can make us laugh, if we approach it in a certain way – such as when my Church History professor, a Dominican priest, said that his ordination class had chosen it to be their motto. On the other hand, it can make us wag our heads in uncomfortable recognition.
But if it is the case that I carom between these two readings of that line, I also recognize all too well the sentiment, and more, that he presents a few lines later: I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.
That explains how I get myself into trouble, especially in this time and place, doesn’t it? Or at least how I get you into trouble – the trouble of enduring my latest take on life, the universe, and everything. But I shan’t throw too much at you this week; you’ve had enough of dates and anniversaries and historical milestones.
A word from Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ, seems appropriate. He could have seconded Jeremiah in either of the above sentiments. But he also has something more to add as our summer days dwindle and we set our faces to the task ahead. It is, after all, still August. Enjoy.