Out, Dusty Spot! Out! Hell is Murky [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.Pope Francis narrates the presentation of Christ at the temple, and the prophesies and joy of Simeon and Anna.  And then he says: There is radiance in the temple because the Light is entering into it: "a light for revelation to the Gent … [Read more...]

The Last Enemy to be Destroyed is Death

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From a very old Holy Saturday sermon: What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. … [Read more...]

So Small a Cloud of Witnesses

dali

In Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter's The Light of Other Days, a scientist invents little wormholes that function as peepholes.  You can peer back from the present to any point in time before now, or in the present, and society struggles to cope with its sudden transparency.People peer at each other or watch the original productions of Shakespeare, but something very odd happens when the viewers in the novel try to look back at the Crucifixion, the day we remember on Good Friday. The m … [Read more...]

On Palm Sunday, Blood Will Have Blood

From a Wesleyan production of Richard III

On Palm Sunday in Catholic churches, the Passion narrative is read aloud.  The whole congregation is on our feet while the priest reads the part of Christ, and two lectors pitch in.  One of them handles the descriptions and narration and the other takes on the parts of each person who speaks along (Peter, Pilate, etc).  The lines spoken by the crowd are assigned to the laity all together.And our lines are mostly brutal.We are the ones who have to call for Christ's death, all saying in un … [Read more...]

A Vainglorious Desire to Suffer [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's reading, Pope Francis discusses a prideful kind of hope, that redirects and tarnishes our natural desire to serve: We are permeated with vanities of every sort, but the most common type of vainglory among us is defeat … [Read more...]

Mary’s “Amen” and Our “No”s [Pope Francis Bookclub]

annunciation-1434

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, the solemnity in which the Church celebrates Mary's "Amen" and consent to be part of God's plan for salvation.  But, in our day-to-day lives, we seldom have moments that feel like such obvious invi … [Read more...]

Peter’s Errors Make Him My Favorite

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During the homily this past Sunday on the Transfiguration of Christ, I thought the priest was being a little unfair to the disciples on the mountain.  Here's the part of the story the priest was explaining: Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with … [Read more...]


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