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RAYMOND GAWRONSKI, SJ

California Coming Home

I WRITE is that of someone who has kicked around there for forty years. That is different from being rooted there. When I returned East from my first long sojourn on the West Coast, I found a home in Washington, DC, because it was full of rootless young people, hke the one I had become. I had no history there. I moved on again, but when I returned to Washington as a Jesuit of the Maryland Province, I had joined a family that had oral memories of the "War of Northern Aggression" and that visited cemeteries other than Arlington. Having hved in California for a half dozen years and many summers over the past forty years, being related by marriage and adoption to California families, I too have visited some cemeteries here, something tourists to Big Sur or Disneyland do not do. California is a country unto itself. The California of the universities and technological laboratories is not the California of immigrant agricultural workers. And last summer the Itahans in the parish where I worked in Monterey were more like the Perry Como Italians of the town where I was raised in New Jersey than anyone I have encountered elsewhere in forty years. One always runs the risk of "cultural tourism," and I must ask indulgence of the aborigines.
THE CALIFORNIA OF WHICH
L O G O S IS'-S S U M M E R 2OI2

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For better and worse, California has long been "America's America." I hope there is some helpful light in the things I have known in the Golden State. 1. The Summers of Love: Beyond Good and Evil. The summer of love was 1967, when Haight Ashbury happened. The next summer was the summer of revolution196 8. That summer I was working at a factory in the Rhineland in Germany. And the following year, 1969, was the summer of Woodstock. Of those years, I recall Wordsworth's lines: "Bliss it was to be ahve, but to be young was very heaven." I had chosen Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusettsover other schools like Georgetownbecause in true New England fashion, it had the Jesuit cemetery at the center of the campus. I was a student at Holy Cross College when I first came to Cahfornia in the summer of 1969. It was a magic place, the ultimate magical place in the magical year. The magic had been broadcast, worldwide, for over a decade. When you watch old movies or hear old radio programs, they are generally set in New York (with references to New England) or the Midwest. The accents of formal radio speech were decidedly uppercrust New York, like Franklin Roosevelt's. But by the 1960s, Hollywood was no longer portraying the ideal hfe as that of the East or Midwest. After theflightto the suburbs, and the move West of many returned servicemen, California emerged as the ultimate American place. Even the Dodgers left my hometown of Brooklyn for the promised land of California. New York was certainly not cool, as it was burning in racial riots along with a dozen other industrial cities. In the sunimers of the late 1960s, the summers of love, the eyes of the nation turned to San Francisco, and the explosion of the post-War dreams of a generation. California produced the films and, more importantly, the music that expressed the spirit of Cahfornia with its suburban style, its

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surfers, theflowers,the metallic blue skies that became the defining style of America. It was the place of youth, of hopped-up blonde surfers and their "California girls." It was a different sound from that of the OS, neither Frank Sinatra nor Elvis Presley. Nor yet was it "Motown," the music of Detroit wdth its driving passions from the black soul. It was a clean-cut, all-American sound. Music, say Plato and Confucius, forms the soul, and the soul of my generation was formed in the studios of California. Before long hair it was the world of the crew cut. This had been the America portrayed to the nation in shows hke Leave It to Beaver, and Mj Three Sons. Then, as other cultural elements mingled vwth that of the California suburbs, an entire "Counter Culture" began to emerge. It was to this Cahfornia that I first came. I was born and raised in New York, to a family who had been back and forth from Poland for forty years before my birth. My mother had recently come to the States after having spent the war mostly in Nazi Germany as a prisoner, both in a concentration camp and in forced labor, and then as a resident of the ruins of Warsaw. The stories of my boyhood were those of the bombing of Dresden, of people risking their lives to get a carrot to her from the concentration camp kitchen. New York was a vast, industrial universe, with Manhattan as its tantahzing heart, but accessible only a few times a yearRockefeller Center at Christmas, the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue. The weekend of Woodstock, in the summer of 1969, I was painting storm windows in the basement of my father's house. It was the summer before my junior year of college. Listening to the radio, talking about thousandshundreds of thousandsof young people headed up to a rock concert in the Catskills, I felt nothing but class resentment. I certainly did not have the resources to simply take a weekend off, even if I liked rock music, which I did not. Later that summer I came to California to begin a trip around the world as part of a junior year scholarship program involving thirty one students and three professors from two dozen colleges

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arotmd the country. But before the trip began, I spent a few weeks with my favorite atint who had disappeared into San Francisco some years before. She and her husband hved in a new house in a town called Cupertino, some forty miles south of San Francisco. I had been raised on the East Coast and had been to northern Europe. I had never seen anything like California. I had never experienced a summer of no humidity, of day after day of clear blue skies. My uncle, a fourth generation Cahfornian, would complain of "haze" but for the hfe of me, it looked clearer than most ofthe year in New York. The freeway was lined with flowersoleanderand this was all the more striking after my experience ofthe New Jersey Turnpike. The Santa Clara Valley was being newly settled at that time. Vast orchards were being cut down, the topsoil removed, and housing put in. There were still sections of orchard around, still agricultural depots and other buildings, the rail hne still stood out in the world as I bicycled around this dusty new planet. There were the dry golden hills, magnificently outlined against that pulsing blue sky. One day, my aunt and uncle took me on a tour of the Bay Area. The most important moment was being at Sproul Plaza at the University of Cahfornia, where Mario Savio had defied authorityvery important for my uncleand heroically witnessed to free speech. My uncle was a very highly placed technician at the Linear Accelerator at Stanford. He worked with Nobel Prize winners in physics. For my aunt, this was realityand the most important thing in the world. All the old world and its culture was meaningless and lost to her, or at least she had embarked on such a radical re-evaluation of all things that it seemed so. The sorrows of the old world were left far behind, replaced only by science and technology as sources of meaning. The world in which I had been raised was a world of tradition, family tradition above all. There was the Church. There were the traditional schools, which appealed, not so much for their academic excellence as for the simple prestige reflected by their ivy walls. A Holy Cross student, that is, a student from Massachusetts,

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I arrived in San Francisco in a three piece suit. That's what a young man at a college in New England still wore in 1969. . And suddenly, all this was deemed irrelevant. Science was the new religionmy aunt, in a nod to her family back East, had been married in the Church of Christ, Scientistand it was remarkable to me that even Jesus had become a scientist. The old world was the world of the broken heartthe hearts broken in human experienceand salvation was found in the heart of Jesus, the Sacred Heart. Here, now, salvation could be found in technological safety, free from the labyrinth of the heart. As Flannery O'Conner says somewhere, "Anyone with a Chevy in good working order has no need of salvation." Salvation was promisedand delivered^by technique. I was stunned that suddenly, on that suburban street in Cupertino, I found myself in the world I had been watching on television for my entire life. It was a world that was all new, all shiny, sparkling, full of hope and confidence. The svin was warm, the air scented, and everything was simply bursting with an affirmation of life. There was, of course, nothing of rehgion in this world. Oh, some of the neighbors might be Catholics, and there were churches here and there. But unlike New Jersey, there were no statues of the Virgin on anyone's lawn. There were no crosses against the skyline that I could see. It was the world of science and technology, and the hfestyle reflected it. That is, the men did science and technology, the women were still home, raising kids,.trying to stay thin, look pretty, keep a better home and garden. After three weeks with my aunt and uncle and their httle boy (who was being raised to be an airhne pilot, something unheard of in my boyhood world), I joined the student group at the Esalen Institute at Big Sur. My uncle had heard of this, and was suspicious, as it was all about psychology. Years later, in graduate school in Syracuse, NewYork, we read a book by a Wilham Irwin Thompson in which he looked at three centers of "new consciousness" in the Big Sur area: the Esalen Institute,

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the Zen Center atTassajara, and the Camaldolese monastery. It was at the Esalen Institute that our junior year group had its orientation, a week of encounter groups, of sunning by the pool high above the Pacific, hikes, trust walks, Berkeley drummers in the evening. It was unhke anything I had ever experienced before. Before hghting up a cigarette after breakfast I asked the two pretty girls from the South if that would be OK. The very liberated psychologist in his wheel chair roared, "You can do anything the f . . . you want here ."There was soaking in the hot tubs, nude of course; so much for the three piece suit. Good-bye New England. The encounter groups were the initiation into this new rehgion of psychology. You had to be perfectly honest, regardless of the consequences; you had to say just what you felt. Of course, it soon became clear that not all emotions are pretty, and that not everyone was going to say just what they felt. So it also soon became clear that something less than total honesty was being apphed here. Being of an honest disposition myself, I found this difficult. These were clearly people of means, the Esalen people, Olympian people who could sit by a pool at the end of a continent and speculate on forming culture and then actually plan to do something about it. It was, in its way, a continuation of the engineering that was being done elsewhere in Cahfornia, but this was engineering of the soul. We maintained these groups all year as we traveled. We left Cahfornia after an intoxicating week, and our departure itself was intoxicating. The full moon was setting over the Pacific as our bus worked its way up the coast to the Monterey airport. We flew to Honolulu to "rest" after our week's orientation, the dry air to be replaced with the lush, humid sensuality of Hawaii, which would be a different story. But after the year around the world, and a lost senior year at Holy Cross, I returned West precisely to Hawaii to begin graduate studies in Chinese language. California is America's America: the place to which everyone from Nebraska fled (a Nebraska whose farms had taught them the discipline and skills that later undergirded the aero-

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space industry). Hawaii is California's California. That periodof discovering paradise in Hawaii, living with the lotus eaterslasted several years, and during that time I visited the Bay Area. Follovvdng the advice of a cultural icon of the time, I "tuned in" and "dropped out" of the university, and riding the tail end of the wave of the sixties did those things one did to officially become a hippie. I lived in a commune in Manoa Valley. I hung out on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, playing a recorder on the Cal campus by the Sather Gate, with my hat upturned for contributions (I didn't get any). Later, as I began to settle into hfe again on the East Coast, I hitchhiked to the West Coast one summer, and then thumbed rides from Seattle to Berkeley. Life was sweet, oh so sweet in those hippie days. I confess I was always a Christian, even if I was in mortal sin. I had a Bible that I always kept with me, and Jesus was always my Lord, regardless of what I did, and I did much that led me away from the ways of love. The Polish cultural world of my boyhoodthe stories of the concentration camps, and before it, the world of immigrations, of wars, and before it, the world of farming and pohtical uprisings all of it somehow had been lost to me. And the Church, which had been the center of all that long family tradition, and the center of my own life, the Church by the late 1960s had become unrecognizable. For a person who lived with symbols, the symbols had been broken, the sacraments all but gone, even if I'd wanted to continue practicing the Faith. And to be in one's early twenties, at the peak of biological strength, surrounded by temptations on every handah, the sweetness was incredible. Death was at an infinite remove, death was a border, a frame that only lent poignancy to the intense and pulsing sweetness of life. There was music at every hand, there were flowers and beautiful clothes. There was the vast Pacific, always siuiny, and people eternally young, eternally on the move. By the time of my hitchhiking trip down the West Coast I had

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resumed some practice of the Faith and remember going to confession at the Paulist Center in Berkeley, the one time I actually smoked a cigarette during confession. That tie to the sacraments was the thinnest, the frailest of lights in what was an overwhelmingly dark ocean of worldliness, the victory of everything but God. But it all seemed mellow. Like Augustine, I saw myself becoming trapped in the "flesh and its lethal sweetness." I had looked at faces of other haoles in Hawaii who had gone before me and saw the faces of men in their forties who had become lost in the empty promises of pleasure, and I had reahzed I could not stay there and end up like them. And though California was more bracing than Hawaii, it still was light years away from the realities that God had given me in the worn, industrial East. So just as I had previously left Hawaii, I now set my sights back to the East, and left the golden dream of California. 2. The New Jesuit: Conversion Twelve years after my first trip to California, ten years after my hitchhiking down the Coast, I found myself a Jesuit. After having been missioned to philosophy studies in Spokane, I returned one summer to Chinese language studies, traveled to Taiwan, and was urged to meet a Fr. Rouleau (an old China hand, a Jesuit historian) to look into possible China history studies. It was my first trip to Los Gatos, apart from a shopping trip with my Cupertino aunt. I had woken up from the dream of the sixties and found myself shivering in New York state, rendered soft by my time in Honolulu, prone to California dreaming on winter days. When I entered the Jesuits in 1977, my mother took me for coffee and observed that her hfe under Stalin and Hitler had been morally easier than mine in the 1960s of America: for even in the concentration camps, people had knov^Ti the difference between right and v*Tong, whereas my generation had lost the sense of what was good and evil. By joining the Jesuits, in 1977, I had embarked on a path of as-

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cetical life to regain sobriety in every sense, for I had come to see that the hfe of sensuality would destroy me. And yet, I could not simply "return" to a Church that did not exist anymore, to a tradition that had been torpedoed, even if I wanted to; and I did not want to. One ofthe professors on that 1969 college trip around the world had been Huston Smith, the man who more than any other brought Asian religious traditions to America. I had gone on to be a student of his in graduate school, and had lived wdth him and his wife as a grad student. His wife was a native Cahfornian, a psychologist, and much engaged in Buddhist meditation.They had now retired to Berkeley, and I found myself closer to them than ever. Their home breathed the consummate California atmosphere: a view of Mount Tam and the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge from high up in.the Berkeley hills. I returned to Berkeley for theology studies in the 1980s, and found myself in the worst of all possible worlds. For I had moved far out of the Christian faith in search of truth to experience much in Asian tradition, especially Zen Buddhism; and I had lived the life of sensuahty to the extent that it almost killed me, and I wanted nothing to do with any compromises. In short, I was hungering for a rediscovery of tradition, and was sent to a school that seemed to me to be mostly involved in deconstructing the tradition and compromising with the world. I had begun Zen practice at Esalen itself, and was further exposed in Japan: to this day, for over thirty years, I have never missed my sitting practice. I once heard Smith quip that the three main schools of Buddhism were the Mahayana, the Hinayana, and the Bay Area haoles, and I have experienced them all. Although the radical indifference of Zen, and the nonpersonal nature of Buddhism were very liberating from the superficial chumminess or pointed ideological agendas of a "personal" Christianity, they were simply not enough. And I had begun to discover my own roots, which were neither Asian nor western European, but Slavic. In 1984, at the end of my

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first year at the Jesuit School in Berkeley, I flew to Europe and visited my mother's village in the Byelorussian Republic of the Soviet Union. Perhaps the opposite extreme of life in Cupertino, and my atheist aunt, was the village of my mother's people, a village without running water, no plumbing, and lots of religionhours of rehgious devotions every evening. When I left the village after a stay of several weeks, I found myself crying uncontrollably for a half hour, the only time in my entire life I remember anything of the sort. It was, in a way, a coming home, but to a home that was doomed by the way of the world to pass into the earth along with the log houses that would crumble as the younger generations were moved into the new Soviet cities. In the world of Slavic spirituahty I found a spiritual home that lasted for a decade: the Russian tradition. Having returned to Cahfornia, I began attending hturgies at the Our Lady of Fatima Russian Cathohc Center at Lake Street in San Frandsco. Here was a Hving, spiritual tradition, the same one Seraphim Rose would be pursuing in his Orthodox Skete in northern California, building on the Gnostic insights of Rene Guenon and Fr ithj of Schuon. But it was also Catholic, that is, the living presence of Our Lady, the Hving Faith I had known as a boy was present here, if in much incensed form: I found a spiritual home, then, among a group of spiritual migrs at that center on Lake Street, an odd assortment of people, none of them "cool" or with it. One of them, Barbara Key Lopez, was secretary to the rector at USF for decades. Fr. Patzelt was pastor. He was a Sudeten German, drafted into the Wehrmacht out of the Jesuit novitiate, who had learned his Russian in a POW camp in the USSR. The legend of Fr. Andrei Urusov, Russian prince, whom I later met at his skete in Oregon, was still in the air. Fr. Owen Carroll, professor of philosophy and theology, had created a Byzantine Rite community at Cal, peopled by refugees from modernism, seeking hving Catholic tradition in the Bay Area. All of them were people of great faith; at least one had mystical gifts. These were people who were profoundly rooted in the tradition, and very

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much aware of what was going on in the world around them; and they saw in that world the bulldozing of all tradition, and with it the destruction of human culture. For tradition is the human ecosystem, the work of God revealed in history. I also met the Nobel Prizewinning poet, Czeslaw Milosz, at this time. In his writings I came to see the contrast between his Cathohc tradition and that of the pagan Cahfornia coast, expressed in the poetry of Robinson Jeff er s. In Jeffers I saw the poet of incest and dark passions on the pagan Big Sur coast, where the nightmares of history have been lost in the unredeemed nightmares of the present. The contrast was between history and nature. Cahfornia represented the ultimate nonhistorical place. Not that it did not have a history, or people affected by history: but history was not part of its image, nor was it for history that people came here. People came here to get away from the nightmares of human history, and to seek refuge in the beauty of nature. Writing to potential Polish immigrants to California, Milosz frankly declared that people of a technical nature could come here and thrive; but people with a strong sense for culture should stay home, they would not transplant well. So I tried to make sense of experience East and West, of Slavic Christianity and Zen Buddhism, in Berkeley. Sadly, the only Jesuit who would have spoken at least some of the languages I had known was Dan O'Hanlon; that is, he certainly was immersed in the Asian traditions. But like many of his generation and of his culture, he had found that the Asian traditions liberated him from what had been a stifling experience of Christianity, and led to a kind of coimter-rigidity in dealing with anything representing traditional Christianity. I had had the opposite experience. Though my exposure to Asian tradition in Zen had been so important that it was, and remains, essential to my being, something had been profoundly lacking there for me that was even more important. I had embraced it as I embraced my Cathohc faith and my Jesuit vocation, but I had not yet been able to articulate it as I would have liked. But simply put, the Jesuits in Berkeley and I seemed to be headed in opposite directions.

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I had been completely steeped in the way of the counter-culture and was trying to grope my way back to the heart of Cathohcism. In this, the best support I found was in the Russian Cathohc Center in San Francisco, and it was there that I served as a deacon, and from there I went to studies in Europe, in the Russian spiritual tradition. When I left the graduate program at Syracuse where I was studying under Smith, he had said to me and my roommate that we were the two students who had really gotten his message: for my roommate headed to San Francisco to become a Zen monk, while I headed into the Society of Jesus. One must discover a "traditional form" in which to approach the One Truth, but had tradition been broken beyond discovery? And now, over thirty years later, I see that he recommended the "traditional form" only in a kind of technological use of rehgious practice, that he felt forced to draw a hne against all traditional life forms apart from religious technique and philosophical speculation, leaving him in the position of a religious traditionahst who could be a social liberal. The self-contradiction of this ultimately "Anghcan" sort of spirit is now obvious to me. But at the time, any sort of reference to traditional form was welcome, and his was a voice crying in the wilderness of modernist triumphahsm for which I owe a vast debt of gratitude.

3. Tradition in the Technological Wasteland After my ordination, my hfe turned back East, first a pastoral year in Washington, and then five years of studies in Rome. It was in Europe that I was reimmersed in that Cathohcism in which I had been raised, and especially in Poland and the Soviet Union where I came to know the Catholicism of my ancestors and of my early childhood. It was hght years from the chffs of the Big Sur coast, light years from Berkeley. In the old world I experienced heart galorea world intoxicated by emotions, feelings, a world drowned in history, and woefully lacking in that rational, and technical, expertise that makes hfe in this "vale of tears" at least easier. If I were

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missioned there, I would want to bring brains to an alogical world, to bring the doctrine of the Filioque to bear in a world which has been prone to Monophysitism, the world of Eastern Christianity, in which this world is condemned to futility, awaiting only to be subsumed by the Light that engulfs all single forms. It is the opposite of the new, technological world that is desperate for true rehgion, which, as Marx taught, is the heart of a heartless world. Hans Urs von Balthasar has written that the task of the Christian in the modern age would be to "tame the monsters," and so what better place of mission than the Sihcon Valley, home of the monsters! So after my time in Europe and my settling into the Midwest on return from studies, I began to return to Cahfornia. By the late 1980s, I had been kicking around Cahfornia for twenty years. The Smiths had retired here, and my aunt and uncle were still living in Cupertino. I had grad school friends who had ended up here, and friends and parishioners I had met during my theology studies. I had a dear friend from those studies who was a monk at the Camaldolese monastery in Big Sur, and I began to spend time down there. After my doctorate, and a possible life in Rome and Russia, I found myself teaching theology as a professor at Marquette University, a position I held for thirteen years. A few years into that work, my mother died, and wdth her, the family home was sold. My roots on the East Coast were now cut, and after her death, I returned West to recuperatefirst to Hawaii, and then to California. It was in California that I experienced a call to the contemplative life, down at Manresa Beach on Monterey Bay. I was staying in the Jesuit house in Los Gatos at the time. Shortly thereafter, I found myself at a Ukrainian monastery in Mendocino County, Holy Transfiguration Monastery. I would, in the coming years, spend two sabbatical years at that monastery. It was started by a Belgian Norbertine monk, a peritus in hturgy at the Second Vatican Council, with many years of missionary work in Africa behind him. Boniface Luyckx was convinced that religious life was moribund in the Cathohc Church and that only a return to its desert origins would renew it.

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For some years. Mount Tabor was the greatest model of Eastern Christian monasticism outside of Mount Athos. It neighbored a Theravadin Buddhist monastery, and was close to a Chinese Mahayana foundation in Ukiah. For years, this monastery was the center of a renewal of spirituahty. At one time, it looked as if I might be elected abbot of the monastery. It offered a living tradition, in the midst of what was increasingly a technological disaster. That is, the California I had encountered in the 1960s was turning into something quite different by the late 1980s and then the 1990s. Brownouts, mass emigration of older Cahfornians from the state, somehow paradise was not all it had appeared to be. My uncle, the kindly, contemplative agnostic scientist in Cupertino, was becoming more and more glum. All of his neighbors were leaving Cahfornia, and, indeed, he was burdened by a profound sense that something had gone very wrong here. When I asked him what it was, he simply said: "Technology was not all we had thought it would be." And then my aunt and my uncle died, in short order. The Smiths were now getting very old. The magic of the sixties was long gone. The abbot died, back in Europe, and the monastery in Mendocino is quietly persevering. The golden dream of Cahfornia has passed. Michael Jackson was not a Beach Boy nor yet one of the people of the Canyon where Joni Mitchell sang. But the beauty of the place remains: the magic of the air, the smell of the ocean carried in on the fog, the night blooming jasmine. The fruit is better than any on earth, and, curiously, the bread is fantastic. Place remains. History is something else. Perhaps California was the ultimate attempt to replace history with technology and, along with it, to undercut the sorrows of the human heart by technique. Zen (as Balthasar writes) is perhaps the ultimate technique, and the various attempts at reviving religious tradition have all foundered, I beheve, because their ultimate guide has itself been technique. The only real

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antidote to technique is faith: that acceptance of our human limitation that trusting in a word of promise reaches out in humble confidence. Psychology as rehgion has proven inadequate. And original sin remains the one Christian doctrine that should be obvious to all. In a place dedicated to timeless being in this world, where the only reality is what can be created for the future against a seemingly perfect presentoccasional earthquakes being odd reminders of original sinthe only revolutionary act is tradition (the insight is that of the late Fr.Tom King, SJ, of Georgetown, who shortly before his death visited me in Cahfornia, where he made a "Teilhardian" retreat). It is fidelity that is the revolutionary act, fidelity in marriage, fidelity in relationship, fidehty through time, in which the horrors of life in this fallen world are experienced, the cup drunk to its dregs. Fidelity is the only revolutionary act, not mobility, not change, which are merely of this world. Which leaves meleave uswith the Cross, which is where I started back in 1969, a student at Holy Cross in old New England, where the campus had the Jesuit cemetery at its heart. All this beauty is cold and empty wdthout the Cross. All human endeavor is folly. All human relations are variations on power trips, vwthout the Cross. And so as I imagine California and look down on this Silicon Valley from the height of the Jesuit Center above Los Gatos, I see the cross atop the main building, and know that that is the only perspective that gives life. It is freedom from the narcissism and self-preoccupation that has created a dying culture of self in so much of our land. The ultimate emptiness of all that is is answered by the fullness of being, which is in Jesus, the fullness of God, made man. When we view the world through the lens of his cross, all is safe: the beauty and its sweetness are no longer lethal, for the sting has been taken out by the nails in his wounds. Love is not only possible, which in itself is the good news : love is at the heart of all reahty. And under the Cross, history will find its place. The history of the children of Eve who dwelt here first, and the Spanish Catholics who came here with

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the Cross. The English speakers who.flooded here led by gold, and who tended to disappear into the golden West. The newer peoples who have come these forty years, flooding the state again. Stat crux dum volvitur orbis. ' And I hope to keep coming back to Cahfornia all my days, for it is beautiful, and I have hved and loved much here. After the thousand miles of ever greater desert from Denver, there is nothing like the view and the icy splash of LakeTahoe. And I have known the taste of sun-warmed blackberries, the quahty of light on the breakers at the ocean, the smell of Scotch broom blooming by a dusty path. But infinitely more: I have come to see the glory of Jesus here, in and through the lesser beauties of place, patiently abiding. As an American, as a modern Christian, this place of the modern dream has made itself home through the image world in which a whole new world has been created: coming here is always coming home; a home I have come to know and love, a home that is not yet here, because no matter the beauty, California like any other place on earth can only point to heaven. Notes
I. The Cross is steady while the earth is turning.

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