Affirming Life & Reading MLK at JH

Lillies of the Field, Birds of the Air

Every now and then it helps to remind ourselves what our most basic values are in life. How we choose to live our lives. As I write this, I’m reflecting again on our most basic value at Joseph House. I can’t think of a better articulation of this then what a beloved mentor of mine, David Kangas, taught me through reading philosophy: the labor of existence is to to affirm our existence in the world we live in. This work resits all the ways we think reality should be or how our lives should look (so often compared with false ideals). Instead, as David said, our great work is to become pliant to the reality given us today.

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Often we think our projects, our successes or our failures, our ideals or wishes define us and give us meaning. Jobs matter. Skills matter. Accomplishments matter. Finances matter. But none of these determines our dignity – our dignity is the sheer fact we exist. We at Joseph House attend to the basic values in this life, to reflect on what it means to flourish. We labor to discover how exhilarating life is. After all, it takes work to be attentive to life and its wonder. And when at times we stumble or find our vision clouded, we pick each other up and continue the journey together.

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Recently a few of us at JH started an online reading circle every Sunday at 3pm (ETA). We’ve started with a reading of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

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If you have free time on Sunday afternoons then please read with us! For a copy of the text please email You may use this zoom link to join the conversation:

Thank you for reading!
– Fr. Dustin Feddon

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