Commentary

Wanted: both truth and mercy

I grew up with the 1957 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which my parents had bought to answer my endless questions about everything. I love that set of leather-bound books, which I inherited when my father died. That 1957 edition is quirky, Anglo-centric, and often politically incorrect, which makes it fun to read. It also tends to reflect the English Establishments point of view, which is, among other things, Protestant. 
 

The Way to Wisdom

When Pope Francis recently visited the island of Lesbos where refugees were stranded, he returned to the Vatican with twelve Syrian refugees, six children among them. Some reacted with disappointment that the Pope rescued Muslim, not Christian, refugees. They feel that since Christians are being persecuted in parts of the world, Christians should take priority. 
 

Examining the motif of love

While in seminary, I wrote a paper about Agape and Eros by the Swedish Bishop Anders Nygren, a founder of the so-called Lundensian School of Theology, which aimed at “rediscovering major motifs of Reformation theology, and examining how such motifs had been employed in different ways throughout history.” Nygren examined the motif of “love” in particular.

Letter to my granddaughter

My only granddaughter turned one this week. In four months, she will become a middle child. Her mother, my oldest, will give birth to a boy.
 
My granddaughter will soon know what it’s like to share her mother and father with a younger sibling. And, for now anyway, she’ll know what it’s like to be the only girl in a family of boys. When I first announced that my third grandchild would be a boy, some people told me my granddaughter will receive extra protection surrounded by brothers. That may well be the case. 
 

Go forth and mingle

On one point, I think most of us, especially Christians, can agree: Violence should be avoided. And yet we often don’t recognize violence in all its forms. 
 
Violence is a broad term if we consider its secondary definition: “strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force.” In addition to physical destruction, the secondary definition would include harming others without using physical force. In a broad sense, then violence could include emotional manipulation, yelling, bullying, gossip, rudeness, and isolation. 
 

A feast of love

This year, after celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening, the vigil of Good Friday, I was pleasantly tired from all the ceremonies of Holy Week, including a Seder Supper (Passover Meal) at Saint Matthew’s and a funeral in Savannah.

Thoughts on Easter Monday

As I write this column, it is Easter Monday, a rather quiet day after the intensity of Holy Week.

Pope Francis continuing the liturgical legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

When Pope Benedict XVI resigned as the Bishop of Rome and Pope Francis was elected, there was a great deal of anxiety that Pope Francis would backtrack on the liturgical renewal initiated by Pope Benedict. 
 

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)

Working for a church, I spend a lot of time around Christians. My weekdays are in a church office. Sundays are spent working in a variety of faith formation ministries, as well as participating in Mass.
 
Often, especially late on a Sunday, I am too tired to rejoice. And if I did have the energy, what would my rejoicing look like? A 60-year-old church lady may be viewed askance if she starts dancing on the table. 
 

Palm Sunday in the Year of Luke

Saint Luke is regarded by many as the finest writer in the New Testament in terms of his elegant Greek and general literary flair. His passion narrative is marked by a “delicate sensitivity” to the events, a sensitivity that is not squeamish , but rather reverent. So greatly does Luke revere the person of Jesus that he shies away from stating directly some of the more shocking moments of the Lord’s passion. He mentions certain things only in passing: Judas’ kiss, the Lord’s arrest, the abuse of the guards—even the scourging and crowning with thorns.

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