After almost dying in 2014 with a 3rd-degree heart block (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-degr
I'm not saying I do not believe in the spiritual world. Quite the contrary. It's a different spirituality...a different type of belief. At present, because of my experience with seizures and heart blocks, I cannot psychologically experience the reality of the spiritual world, at least not in the same way as before.
But I still experience it.
I do not feel bereft of God's presence; instead, I experience Him in typical, everyday occurrences, people, places and things. It is a non-mystical spirituality. Thus, the nature of my poetry, poetry that differs considerably from what it was. Before, it was highly mystical; now it is neo-realistic.
But it still is.
As I write this at Starbucks, a young maiden sitting at my table is sneezing. I see God's hand in those sneezes, but I do not feel it. My belief is pure faith, a faith based upon knowing without knowing, with believing beyond mere feelings.
Pure faith, pure belief.
He was an exceptional person in many ways, not the least of which was in his ability to feel deeply and then transform those deep sensibilities into memorable words that fully reflect the Grace around and inside people, places, and things...Grace we cannot often sense.
Joe could sense the presence of God anywhere, in anything, and in anyone.
Although Joe would have denied it, I think he was one of the most authentically religious persons I have ever known. Unorthodox, yes; but his poetry was made up of ingeniously chosen and arranged words and phrases that uncover God's presence in the most unlikely places and things...and in the most unlikely persons.
Is that not what religion is supposed to do? Joe's poetry does it...every time.
Patience, generosity, and compassion: Joe demonstrated these divine attributes when most would or could not. A Jesuit through and through, he was truly a "man for others" in the genuine Ignatian sense of that phrase.
I believe God will reward Joe for showing us all His glory in the most unlikely places and persons.
I and many others will miss him and his writing.
To read some of Joe's Work, go to:
“It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good.” - An Old Saying
Years before he became a saint and an hour before he died, Admetus was contemplating the Blessed Trinity in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Sylvester XXI as thousands watched.
The Swiss Guard kept everything under control.
The Pope suggested they employ the acclaimed Russian Prayer of the Heart to better meditate upon the Blessed Trinity and any other sacred mysteries of Church dogma and doctrine that might surface during contemplation.
Being a guest of the Pope, Admetus readily acceded to his holiness’s suggestion. The two immediately and silently began to pray in the Russian Orthodox method of high contemplation.
After about an hour of prayer, the Pontiff remained grounded, but Admetus began to levitate. At approximately 100 feet from the surface of Saint Peter’s Square, Admetus’ concentration was suddenly interrupted when he inadvertently broke wind. He fell to his death and was canonized after all the requirements for sainthood were ecclesiastically satisfied some years later.