Open space: God and silence
Emptiness. Silence. Distance. It takes a while to learn God’s peculiar language.
My dad sent me a DVD of a documentary about the development of the Helvetica font. In my former life I was an editor, and I have always been interested in words and the art of printing.
Celtic crossovers: May the Lent of the Irish be with you
Joyce Rupp suggests seven ways to let Celtic spirituality be your guide this Lent.
I shy away from many popular spiritual movements, which seem to come and go like feathers in the breeze. But Celtic spirituality is not one of these. Celtic spirituality is solid and deeply rooted in a spiritual heritage. I have been deeply drawn to Celtic spirituality with its creation-centered orientation. It has been a "coming home" for me because I have always felt a strong bond with creation.
You 2.0: Lenten upgrade
Lent is a time to upgrade your internal drives.
I was doing dishes in the kitchen last week when my son Jacob came in and started unloading the dishwasher. While generally dishwasher unloading is a job that belongs to the kids, I had not yet asked anyone to empty it.
“Who are you, and what have you done with Jacob?” I said to him. Jacob smiled—he knew what I meant. While I would never describe Jacob as lazy, he usually needs to be reminded to do his jobs around the house.
“Is this a new and improved version of Jacob?” I continued. “I like it.”
Convicted criminals rarely inspire much compassion. They are, after all, the people who actually do the things we have nightmares about-armed robbery, rape, murder. We want these people put away, sometimes for good. Isn't it what they deserve?
Spring of hope
With a sprinkle of water, an infant is reborn in Christ and welcomed into the Catholic community.
In some parts of the world, however, water is anything but a lifegiving force. Instead, it brings death, battles between humans and nature, and conflict among peoples over use of a precious resource.
It was a cold, winter day when one of Mary Lou Aiello's most memorable clients walked into the Care Center, five months pregnant and with only a thin winter coat to shield her from the rapidly amassing snow.
"Her fingers were blue from the cold," says Aiello, the Care Center's executive director. "I was trying to warm them up when she told me that she was wearing the only coat in the family. Her husband had gone to work in that kind of weather without one so she could come to the center.
"God bless you."
One of the legends behind saying "God bless you" originates in the belief that a person's heart stops for a fraction of a second during a sneeze. Even though that old wives' tale won't help cure the cold or allergy that caused the sneeze, people continue to say it.
Catholics might offer a different reason for saying "God bless you." The phrase does two fundamental things that Catholic leaders call for when they talk about caring for the sick.
At the hour of our death
Even death cannot rob us of our fundamental dignity as human persons. -From the U.S. bishops' Reflections on the Body, Cremation, and Catholic Funeral Rites
Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy because Christians care for the bodies of humans-even though they are deceased. "The dead deserve as respectful a burial as can be provided, this is a minimum," says Father Richard Rutherford of the University of Portland.
Corporal Acts of Mercy: A place to call home
The Christian influence has finally been felt at the highest levels of government. Policymakers and legislators have, at long last, studied the model that Christ presented during his life on earth as documented in the gospels. And they've come to a profound and cost-conscious conclusion: Christ didn't have a home address. It must be okay-or at least, Christianto be homeless, to rely on the charity of friends and relatives for a bed to sleep on, or to wander out to the desert (or under a bridge) and find a rock to use as a pillow.
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