Ralph McInerny

I’m currently copy editing a new book about Robert McInerny, professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame for 54 years, renowned theologian, and prolific writer, both of philosophical books and fiction.

From what I’ve read, and researched on my own, the man was truly gifted and used those gifts prodigiously. If I’d known about him when I was selecting a graduate school, I might have chosen Notre Dame, just to study with him.

My mind boggles at McInerny’s accomplishments. I’m such a slacker. True, I edit all day and don’t really want to sit and read or write when I stop working, but what time I’m wasting by not doing so. I could be reading McInerny’s books, or the plethora of other authors on my To-Read list. I could be working on my own writing, rather than waiting for that day when I will be “free” to write.

True, I am working at my craft for hours every day, but what is my output? Nothing of my own, and there’s the rub. I’m helping others with their writing but ignoring my own and, worse, ignoring  magnificent works that I’ve never read.

It’s time to refocus. Of course I will continue my work: it’s what I love and it helps put food on the table. But I the time has come, the walrus said, to get back to the books! For my own enjoyment and edification.

I know I’ll still watch TV and movies, but I’ll allot time, grudgingly, away from the books…fiction, non-fiction, perhaps even poetry. Kindle and iPad, here I come.

Thanks to Ralph McInerny for spurring me on.

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2 thoughts on “Ralph McInerny

  1. Thanks for this. Ralph has been an inspiration to me as well (as long as I don’t try to EVER measure myself against him). What a great loss–I look forward to any book about him, so edit well!

    • Hi, Judy. I spoke with Christopher Kaczor yesterday and he described Ralph McInerny as a “true saint.” From all that I’ve read, he was an amazing man, someone to take as a model of living. (And, as you say, avoid EVER measuring ourselves against him!)

      The title of the book is: O Rare Ralph McInerny: Stories and Reflections on a Legendary Notre Dame Professor, and will be published by St. Augustine Press this year. I highly recommend it. But I warn you: you’ll be buying several more books once you’ve read this one, all because you want to read those books mentioned in the stories. Enjoy!

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