The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

last night as fr murphy and i were sitting down chatting outside in the yard, we heard this deep growl about three feet behind us. as we turned around we saw that bernabe (the dog) had cornered a large, and apparently angry, tarantula right outside the door to my office. oddly, he wasn't playing with it, touching it, licking it or eating it, which are all normal responses to anything living, he just planted himself out of harm's way and grumbled. we jumped up and assessed the situation. bernabe wouldn't stop growling at it, and the spider became more agitated. he climbed the chicken-wire and crossed to the other side of the gate. we quickly opened the door and "eradicated" the intruder. all was well and good.

then, at 0545 this morning, as i was trying to enter my office, the door gets jammed about 12" from the door-jam. i looked down and saw this ball prohibiting any further movement of the door. i looked again and realized it was a baby (about 18") boa-constrictor. i have no idea what a boa was doing under my door, but there you have it. i gently coaxed him to the garden, where i hope he will eat any mice that might be passing through…


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