Facing Challenges, Spiritual Growth

The Substance of Things Hoped For

The Substance of Things Hoped For My first job, upon arriving in Rome, was in real estate. The employer was a posh American lady, in her late sixties and as tough as nails, working in partnership with her ambitious, competitive daughter. In the Eternal City, the two ladies had been able to smell an opportunity in the business of selling and renting houses and apartments to the international community of … Read More

Spiritual Growth

The Devoted Heart

The Devoted Heart Long ago my youngest son, age five at that time, asked me, out of the blue: “Dad, do you exist?” “Yes,” I responded, without thinking. The answer, I now think, was just as interesting as the question, coming out of the mouth of a little child. What made it interesting was its immediacy. Of course I exist! A … Read More

Spiritual Growth

The Steady Heart

The Steady Heart In his early teens, my father was a fervent opponent of European colonialism in what was then called “the Dutch Indies” — an archipelago which, like a garland of emeralds, winds about the equator. Not surprisingly, his views also opposed those of my grandfather, who was of the opinion that “we (the Netherlands) simply cannot afford to … Read More

Prosperity, Spiritual Growth

Giving is Bliss

Giving is Bliss Why should you be kind to anyone else? Why shouldn’t you just grab for yourself? I mean look at all the billboards you see… every time you open up a magazine, you see an advertisement telling you, Oh yes, you’ll find fulfillment by getting that new car, that beautiful dress, going on vacation. And it begins to … Read More

Spiritual Growth

The Propelled Heart

In my early forties, quite unexpectedly, I felt propelled to have my Dutch university degree recognized here in Italy. I immediately acted upon this unforeseen objective and fearlessly challenged the labyrinth of this country’s bureaucracy. Finally I was told that, in order to get what I wanted, I had to pay a year’s university fee, take three additional exams, and … Read More