Throughout the years that I’ve been writing, I have sometimes been asked “Why do you write the way you do, invariably with some kind of secular bent? Why don’t you focus more on catechesis, teaching church doctrine, explaining the creeds, defending the church’s position on moral issues, and doing apologetics for the church?”
Psychologist and author James Hillman suggests that it is our inferiorities that build up our souls. His view is that it is not our strengths that give us depth and character, but our weaknesses.
Joseph is certainly not the man portrayed by a certain iconography. Surrounded by mystery, within a family that he loved and where he felt loved, identified with his vocation of protecting the Author of Life, exercising his profession competently, he was… A HAPPY MAN, a son of his Son’s Resurrection! (Luke 20:36)
God puts us into this world with huge hearts. The human heart in itself, when not closed off by fear, wound, and paranoia, is the antithesis of pettiness. There’s nothing small about the human heart.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his martyrdom, we offer you a Way of the Cross with reflections of saint Oscar Romero.
Putting the paschal mystery at the centre of our lives means feeling compassion towards the wounds of the crucified Christ present in the many innocent victims of wars, in attacks on life, from that of the unborn to that of the elderly, and various forms of violence.
I once received a letter from a woman who expressed frustration in finding support, even among her church friends, for living out a high ideal.
The table is ready: the food of the Word and the Eucharistic food are given to you by him who nourishes, consoles and strengthens you, so that in your journey, in your exodus from this world to the Father, you may be fed and not faint, relishing that viaticum that is offered to you, a sick and tired member of the people of God.
While praying the Scriptures using the lectio divina method we allow ourselves to be cradled or rocked by God. This method is not so much about discovering new meanings, preparing new discourses but feeling God’s presence within us. (Fr. Joe Vieira)
Steps 1-4 help us to listen and “to surrender ourselves to God”.
Step 5 brings us together as brothers and sisters.
In step 6 we confront our life with the Word of God.
In step 7 all are invited to share in spontaneous prayer.
From my early childhood I loved to be outdoors, especially at first light in the morning. There was something very attractive and fascinating, whatever the weather or the time of year. Later on I realized that somehow God was present and speaking to me in a very personal way through nature
Formazione Permanente – italiano – 1/2020
Tra i diritti umani fondamentali, bisognerebbe aggiungere anche la trasfigurazione. Invece, il sistema in cui viviamo non prevede momenti di trasfigurazione: non sa neanche cosa siano o li considera una perdita di tempo, momenti “improduttivi”.
In questa serie di riflessioni dei confratelli sulla missione e la Parola di Dio, P. David Glenday condivide, sotto forma epistolare, i suoi pensieri su come la Parola di Dio l’abbia plasmato come missionario.
In preparazione alla prossima Domenica della Parola di Dio vi offriamo dei testi di alcuni comboniani che condividono la loro esperienza sul tema: “La Parola di Dio nel nostro essere e fare missionario”, in occasione dell’anno di spiritualità sulla Parola di Dio, nel 2012. Potete trovare qui il testo in diverse lingue.
Our generation has some wonderful emotional and moral qualities, but patience, chastity, contentment with the limits of circumstance, and the capacity to nobly live out tension are not our strengths.
Every year Time magazine recognizes someone as “Person of the Year”. The recognition isn’t necessarily an honor; it’s given to the person whom Time judges to have been the newsmaker of the year – for good or for bad.
May the joy of the angels, the humility of the shepherds, the perseverance of the wisemen, and the love of the Christ child be among God’s gifts to you this Christmas.
“The incarnation does not provide us with a ladder by which to escape from the ambiguities of life and scale the heights of heaven. Rather, it enables us to burrow deep into the heart of planet earth and find it shimmering with divinity.”
Once while speaking at conference, a woman approached me with this story.
The story of Jesus and the meaning of Christmas can only really be understood by looking at where Jesus came from, his family tree, and by looking at how his story has continued in history.
All of us know how difficult it is for us to be inside the present moment, to not be asleep to the real riches inside our own lives.
When I first began teaching theology, I fantasized about writing a book about the hiddenness of God. Why does God remain hidden and invisible? Why doesn’t God just show himself plainly in a way that nobody can dispute?
The wake left on the surface of the water by a lovely ship gradually spreads until it disappears altogether and merges with the horizon, but it started with the point of the ship itself. The same is true of the wake of believers who make up the Church. It begins at a certain point, and this point is Mary’s faith, her fiat.
The German poet, Goethe speaks of something he calls “holy longing”. He defines it as “a desire for higher love-making”, a longing to embrace the world and make love to it as God does this.
Chastity is not first and foremost a sexual concept. In essence, chastity is proper reverence and respect. To be chaste is to stand before reality, everything and everybody, and fully respect the proper contours and rhythm of things.
What God wants from us is not a million acts of virtue, but a million acts of surrender, culminating in one massive surrender of soul, mind, and body.
That’s a stunning truth: God loves us when we are good, and God loves us when we are bad. God loves the saints in heaven and God loves the devils in hell equally. They just respond differently.
There are two ways in which we can prepare and celebrate Christmas. One way is to live it as a circular time, meaning something that is repeated and commemorated (ok, Christmas again… cool). The other way is to live it as a horizontal or linear time meaning, a time in which every year something absolutely new is happening.
There’s a curious line in our creed which says that, immediately following his death, Jesus “descended into hell”. What possibly can that mean?
Is Eve, the one who let herself be seduced by the snake, who picked the fruit of the tree of knowledge and gave to Adam, the reason for all the misfortunes of the world?
We need to give away some of our own possessions in order to be healthy. Wealth that is hoarded always corrupts those who possess it. Any gift that is not shared turns sour. If we are not generous with our gifts we will be bitterly envied and will eventually turn bitter and envious ourselves.
A healthy spirituality needs to be predicated on a proper understanding of God, ourselves, the world, and the energies that drive our world. These are the non-negotiable Christian principles within which we need to understand ourselves, the world, and the use of our energies.
It is easy to mistake piety for the genuine response that God wants of us, that is, to enter into a relationship of intimacy with Him and then try to help others have that same experience.
Haste is our enemy. It puts us under stress, raises our blood pressure, makes us impatient, renders us more vulnerable to accidents and, most seriously of all, blinds us to the needs of others. Haste is normally not a virtue, irrespective of the goodness of the thing towards which we are hurrying.
When I was a child, our family prayed for and I spontaneously associated “a happy death” with dying cradled in the loving arms of family and church, fully at peace with God and everyone around you.
Unless you change and become like little children you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
(Reflections by Ron Rolheiser)
A sacrifice is any act of selflessness, of self-denial, which helps someone else. Ron Rolheiser, OMI THE EUCHARIST AS SACRIFICE As Christians, we believe that Jesus sacrificed his life for … Continua a leggere
In instituting the Eucharist at Last Supper, Jesus didn’t ask his disciples to understand what they were doing, he only asked them to faithfully celebrate it until he returned.
John Henry Newman’s life can well be described as one of continual failures, if only because that was how he saw it. “All through life things happen to me which do not happen to others – I am the scapegoat,” he wrote.
We celebrate the canonisation of one of the great theologians of the modern age this Sunday.
Theologian, scholar, educationalist, poet, novelist, convert, cardinal and blessed are some of the outstanding titles of John Henry Newman we can celebrate on the occasion of his canonisation in Rome next Sunday (October 13th).
He was assassinated on August 1, 1996, along with a Muslim friend, Mohamed Bouchikhi, who had made the choice to stay with him despite the risks. His death shocked not only Christians but also many Muslim Algerians who, at his funeral, said they had come to weep over a man who was also “their” bishop.
Pope Francis has spoken on several occasions of his strong devotion to St. Thérèse of Lisieux — the Little Flower — as well as his habit of asking her for favors: favors, his former press secretary says, which have often come in the form little miracles.
In Scripture, we see many examples of people who seek out God’s guidance in prayer, especially so when they are alone and afraid as they stand before some major upheaval or impending suffering in their lives.
Christianity and the cross (which lies at its center) can be compared to a time-released moral-capsule that is dissolving slowly in history.
Imagine yourself lying in bed some night having just had a very good time of prayer. You are flooded with strong, clear feelings and images about God. On that particular evening you have no faith doubts – you can feel the existence of God.
Daniel Berrigan once said: “Don’t travel with anyone who expects you to be interesting all the time!”
The striking heroism in the story of Vivian is in the remarkable way in which she expressed her Christian faith, having extraordinary influence on the lives of others from the tender age of nine and the courage with which she put into practice what she had been preaching when the opportunity came at the age of fourteen, opting to be killed rather than to be defiled.
We need to become more deliberately, reflectively, and programmatically missionary within our own culture, to our own children. We need to send missionaries into secularity in the very same way as we once sent them off to faraway countries. The church in the secularized world needs a new kind of missionary.
“I am ready for anything but, God willing, I should like to be the last one to die of Ebola”.