In Advent, the Church moves through pain to joy. The pain of Advent is the pain of waiting for the Messiah who, when he comes, is expected to take away pain and make everything right. Pain is thus a problem; when the irritant that causes pain is removed, then we experience satisfaction, which we call joy.
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The first real intimation of mortality was when my grandparents died. That was in the 1980s. In 2005, Mom died and, four years later, it was Dad. Then, a couple of months ago, quite unexpectedly, it was my younger sister.
The documentary film Two Sided Story tells of Parents Circle Families Forum, an organization in which bereaved family members of Palestinian and Israeli victims of violence meet to tell each other of the suffering they’ve experienced. The 18-year-old organization now has hundreds of members who are achieving reconciliation amidst the seemingly never-ending violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
We congratulate local ecumenist Julien Hammond on his appointment to the international dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Disciples of Christ (WCR, Nov. 4). This may well be the only time this dialogue makes news - the Disciples of Christ is a small Church and such dialogues rarely catch the public eye.
Throughout his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI sought to draw attention to what he called an "educational emergency" – a reduction of education from the formation of the human person in light of his or her transcendent vocation to the mere passing on of skills that make the modern economy hum.
Pope Francis raised eyebrows when he recently labelled proselytism as "solemn foolishness." One might ask whether this means the Church is abandoning its mission of proclaiming the Gospel and opting for a philosophy of "live and let live"?
According to Canada's advocates for assisted suicide and euthanasia the time has come to overturn the law that prohibits those nefarious activities. And if the time has not come this year, then it will come next year, or the year after that or . . .. The push for so-called death with dignity will continue until the law is changed.
Throughout his first six months in the papacy, Pope Francis has shown clearly that he is a reformer pope. He is a man faithful to the Church’s teachings, but he is working to reform the Church’s structures and, more importantly, he calls all Catholics to reform the way we live the Gospel.
What a great Gospel for the Thanksgiving weekend! Jesus heals 10 lepers and one of them, a Samaritan, realizing that he had been healed, turns back, prostrates himself at Jesus' feet and gives thanks.
Reading between the lines of Pope Francis' interview with Antonio Spadaro of La Civilta Cattolica one finds a pope who is passionate about hearing the voice of God in the voice of the people. Pope Francis criticizes the man he was as head of the Jesuits in Argentina 40 years ago for being too authoritarian. Being authoritarian leads to many problems, but the one of greatest concern to the pope is that by being sure of the rightness of his own view, he made it impossible to hear anyone else.