Recently I had the opportunity to participate via Facetime in a talk presented at our Martin de Porres Center in Columbus. Sr. Lisa Marie Belz, Ursuline Sister from Cleveland spoke on the topic, Growing our Capacity for God: Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross in Prayer.
Brueggemann, Peace: pp. 56 — One of the things a study of the Bible can do is to provide us with images that help us to understand better the flow and situation of our lives. Shalom is such an abstract word in our ears that we need to find ways to make it concrete. The Bible never talks about shalom in an abstract or fuzzy way. It is always very specific and concrete. In Christian faith, when we talk about shalom we mean incarnation. God's shalom is always embodied in such a way that people know it is happening in their historical experience.
For some, demonstrations are a symbol of the 1960s. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act did not become a reality because of luck or good timing, but through the relentless effort of African Americans and people of many cultures who demonstrated in the streets, in restaurants, schools and other areas off limits to African Americans. This was "holy work" because it was a model of nonviolence, prayer and a refusal to demonize those who upheld segregation.
This week the nation celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was invited to be the guest speaker for a service honoring Dr. King held at The Community of Holy Rosary St. John Catholic Church in Columbus, OH on January 19, 2015. It was a great privilege for me to take part in this event. I wanted to take this opportunity to share the text of my talk for the occasion (click here).
Brueggemann, Peace: pp. 53 — As noted two weeks ago, Jesus is not only the one who frees and unites; he is also the one who is free and united. Jesus is free from all the claims and expectations of the world. He is the one united in his person with a singleness of vision and commitment, united with his brothers and sisters in the pain and joy of the world. We must ask how it was that he had the power of freedom and the power of unity in his person. That could be articulated in many ways, but is the mystery of it not in his vulnerability? He sought nothing, asked nothing, feared nothing; he emptied himself and became obedient to death on a cross. And in his emptiness, his obedience, and his death, has become power toward life, toward freedom and unity.
"We have inherited a big house, a great world house in which we have to live together—black and white, Easterners and Westerners, Gentiles and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Muslims and Hindu, a family separated in ideas, culture, and interests, who, because we can never again live without each other, must learn somehow, in this one big world, to live with each other." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them 'What are you looking for?'" - John 1:38
When we are asked the question in John's Gospel, there are many ways to answer it. We can google it, check for an app, send a Facebook message or sit in the solitude of a quiet moment alone and ask the question to ourselves. What am I looking for?
As a novice, I was often found devouring books from the convent library in my quest to learn all I could about Religious Life, Sisters, and how to emulate the one's I knew and admired. One such book, From Nuns to Sisters by Sr. Maria Augusta Neal, SNDdeN was one I remember well and delighted in discussing with my sisters. This book and many others written by Sisters after Vatican II have influenced my understanding of and growth in Religious Life.
In a recent issue of The Atlantic, Pope Francis is portrayed as a radical on the environment. In a talk at the Italian University of Molise he expressed his concern about the environment as "one of the greatest challenges of our time." He said, "...When I look at so many forests, all cut, that become land that can no longer give life...this is our sin, exploiting the Earth. This is one of the greatest challenges of our time - to convert ourselves to a type of development that knows how to respect creation." This is not only a sin, but "our sin," "the major sin of our time." A papal letter about humankind’s relationship with the environment will be published this year.
The Winter 2014-15 issue of the Notre Dame Magazine built a clever theme on "we like it when things come in numbers." The Editor, Kerry Temple, began by describing the fact that professors can wax eloquent on topics and students will listen politely without lifting a pen or a click on an iPad. But just say "there are really 10 things you should know about__________" and they instantly prepare to take notes on those 10 things. Temple says "we like it when things come in numbers. Definite, concise, nailed down."