This Campaign of Christian Service

Maybe because of the areas where much attention has been drawn of late, something stood out to me in the collect of this morning’s Ash Wednesday mass.  The prayer begins, Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service… The word “campaign” immediately brought to my mind a political [Read More…]

A Prayer Against Human Trafficking

Today is the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita and the first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, which Pope Francis observed following the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer.  We are all invited to join the observance with this moving prayer: O God, when we hear of children and adults deceived and taken to [Read More…]

The Tears of the Infant Jesus

The word “solemn” has a range of meaning that borders on the paradoxical.  Most commonly, outside of church parlance, it’s synonymous with somber and serious.  In a liturgical context, however, it approaches the opposite meaning: the more solemn a feast day, the more festive and celebratory.  There is a logical connection here in terms of the weight [Read More…]

Come, let us keep praying: a lament for late Advent

This summer, as accounts were unfolding of the forced exodus of Iraqi Christians from Mosul and its environs, I changed my picture here on WordPress as well as Facebook to this haunting image of the Arabic letter “noun”, which had been popping up as a sign of solidarity among Christians (and even a few other kind [Read More…]

On Faithful Citizenship

Today, November 4, is Election Day in the United States.  This is a public service announcement reminding all of our American readers who are registered to vote to please vote today.  From our bishops we have this timely prayer: Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that [Read More…]

Praying with Evil News

Last month, I was sent an article from The Jesuit Post that has changed the way I read the news.  In it, Jason Downer, SJ suggests seeking ways to respond to violence creatively and prayerfully, resisting the temptation to tune out tragedy as a sort of coping mechanism, or as he puts it, turning towards rather [Read More…]

On Not Having Answers: an Exercise in Paralysis

I am troubled by all violence. I said this once to an Iraqi priest I had come to know and admire, and it provoked a look – almost with a start – of something resonating to the core.  I mention this not to suggest in any way that I can presume to speak for him [Read More…]

Choose This Day

A few days before Pope Francis’ heartfelt plea for peace in his Sunday Angelus message, President Obama took a break from gearing up for yet another Middle East conflict – audaciously being called a “humanitarian intervention” – to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the iconic March on Washington with these words in tribute to the unsung heroes of the [Read More…]

A Day of Fasting and Prayer

The pope’s Sunday Angelus message this week contained an important announcement: the proclamation of Saturday, September 7 as “a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world.” Here is his message in full, courtesy of Vatican Radio: Dear Brothers and Sisters, Hello! Today, dear brothers and sisters, I wish [Read More…]

Why India? The Good To Be Had For Christians In The Engagement Of Indian Spirituality

Early Christian writers were able to see the work of providence in the gentile nations. While pagans were outside of the covenant of God with Israel, this did not mean they were outside of God’s providence. For Christ to be the expectation of the nations, God had to prepare them for the Gospel. Thus, there [Read More…]