With the end of February 2015 upon us, the celebration of National Black History Month for 2015 is also drawing to a close. The celebration of Black History Month this year provided me with opportunities to discuss with others the difficult topic of "race" in peaceful dialogue. While undeniable progress has been made in the decades since the civil rights movement, regrettably, the racial divide in America is still quite real. Having open and meaningful dialogue around this concern is essential to understanding each perspective and moving toward peaceful unity. Dialogue is a bridge that can lead to peace and unity.
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).
"It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our life time only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work." (Excerpt from "A Future Not Our Own" by Bishop Ken Untener)
Where can you hear the vocation stories of two Dominican Sisters of Peace and have the opportunity to ask questions about religious life and other spiritual matters?
Answer...the live Motherhouse Road Trip Podcast hosted by A Nun’s Life Ministry! The live audio and video Podcast will feature the Dominican Sisters of Peace on Friday, October 10, 2014 from 5 to 6pm EST in Columbus, OH. Please be sure to mark your calendar to join us online for great conversation and interaction with our Sisters.
There is a growing group of individuals who describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious" (SBNR). Though the phrase can have different meaning for each individual, it generally means that the person sees themselves as spiritual people, but they do not subscribe to organized religious traditions. With its own Facebook page and website, the SBNR phrase seems to resonate with a good number of people, especially in the younger generation who are seeking deeper meaning and spirituality in their lives, but have become disillusioned with traditional religion for a variety of reasons.
When I first moved to Columbus, OH, it might have been assumed that I would become a "Buckeye" fan. However, friends quickly learned that my usual way of picking a team (if I watched the game at all) was to cheer for the underdog. You see, I was neither a "fan" nor a "follower" of football. Recently, I read an interesting article about a retreat in Denver given by Bishop J. Terry Steib, S.V.D., of the Diocese of Memphis, Tennessee. Bishop Steib asked the participants to consider if they were "fans" or "followers" of Jesus. The distinction, of course, lies in the level of action, connection and personal commitment.
July 4, 2014, will mark the 238th anniversary of the birth of America as an independent nation. Its founding document proclaims the principle that all people are endowed with certain rights that include, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," as written in the document which declared our independence 238 years ago. And whether people came to this country by choice or other circumstances—they were, none the less, immigrants and laborers—who built this nation that became a symbol within the global community as a "land of golden opportunity." But as we prepare to once again celebrate the blessings that we enjoy as Americans, who are a "melting pot" of cultures and ethnicities, I find myself reflecting on our current national immigration crisis.
During the last mass of the 28th World Youth Day, Pope Francis said to the thousands of young people in attendance: Bringing the gospel is bringing God's power to pluck up and break evil and violence, to destroy and overthrow the barriers of selfishness, intolerance, and hatred, so as to build a new world. Jesus Christ is counting on you, the Church is counting on you, and the pope is counting on you! 'Go and make disciples of all nations!' He reiterated, for these young people and the world, the great commission that Jesus gave to his disciples who witnessed the Ascension event that was the culmination of his earthly life.
During this Octave of Easter, the sparseness of Lent becomes a memory and the joy of Easter fills us with new life and eternal hope. The scriptures for the Octave of Easter are filled with stories about the confusion, fear and grief of the disciples that is transformed into joy and peace when they encounter the risen Lord. Today, the transforming power of the risen Christ is still available in our everyday lives, because he lives in each one of us. He is the reason for our hope.
Easter and every Eucharist celebration remind us of the love, hope and eternal life that have been gifted to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, rejoice during this holy Easter season, as we are reminded of God’s great gift to us! And may the Easter peace of the Risen Christ, once again, prepare us to meet our Easter Challenge.