It might not happen immediately, but stick around for a lifetime and see what happens.
Bored friends sometimes shoot me emails from their desks at work. They share some trifle that’s going on in their lives, then ask the inevitable question: “What’s up with you? What’s new?” To which I most frequently reply: “Nothing.”
More and more Catholics are sitting quietly with a Bible in hand in the presence of our God.
Do you own a Bible? I don’t mean in the sense of having one gathering dust on a bookshelf but in the commitment sense of the word own. Can you say, “I own a Bible, and it influences my life, daily decisions, relationships, work, recreation, spirituality, and prayer life”?
Sometimes our faith is as miraculous as a high-wire act.
Why does the thought of a circus creep me out? Until recently, I’d experienced only one back in my teens. Unlike folks who report being afraid of clowns, I didn’t find the bulbous-nosed performers or their deeply physical brand of comedy at all scary. Nor did the exotic animals or high-wire acrobats provide me much cause for fear. The minor traveling troupe in their worn tent pitched on muddy ground outside of my little hometown seemed simply sad to me. Tired, really. As if they wished the performance were behind them so they could get on with whatever they did after the show.
A close look at scripture shows the importance of food throughout human history.
The first meal ever recorded in the Bible was pretty sparse: a mythical piece of fruit. Today this would amount to a healthy snack. At the time, it was the most harmful bite imaginable. Of course, the story in Genesis 3 isn’t about eating so much as it is about hunger. We humans seem to be hungry all the time. We crave food and drink, sweet and salty flavors available to many of us at arm’s length. But we’re also hungry for the love and support of others, for attention and recognition.
Instead of being shaken to your core by the new and unknown, see it as an opportunity for spiritual growth.
Life is more than we bargain for. The election results last November proved that, in an hour of frank astonishment for every side of the social debate. Behold, all things are new and all bets are off! It’s a brave new world. Even the most discerning among us has no idea what’s next on the horizon.
While some biblical women are nameless and silent figures, others are movers and shakers in their own rights.
The Catholic canon of the Bible contains 73 books. Three of them bear women’s names: Ruth, Judith, and Esther. These three texts also make the actions of women their central concern. I consider them Exhibits A, B, and C in the argument against the Bible being a hopelessly sexist document. Why male editors gave the green light to the inclusion of these texts is the real mystery.
Are women in the Bible really as weak and suggestible as Christians sometimes believe?
You may have seen the bumper sticker: “Eve was framed.” The biblical perspective on women is set at a rather low bar in the opening chapters of Genesis. Simply put, it suggests women are the problem. If they weren’t inherently weak, morally suggestible, and all-out power hungry, the world would be a paradise right now.
Scripture scholar Barbara Reid says women have something powerful to offer when interpreting the Bible.
Scripture scholar and Dominican Sister Barbara Reid took her first Bible course when she was a junior in college. It was an elective. “I was just so amazed at how it opened up a whole world for me,” she says. “I was also a little angry and thought, ‘Why didn’t anyone ever teach me anything about the Bible?’ ”
What's so new about the new year?
When someone wishes us a Happy New Year, too often the spirit of the cynic is tempted to rise up from its subterranean swamp in our souls. What’s so new about it, after all? Why be happy about turning a calendar page? The difference between December and January is an incremental movement of a second hand on an analog clock. Or the merest flicker on a digital timepiece. If you’re flooded with free calendars every year, as I am, January 1 is mostly about choosing whether to spend the next 12 months looking at pictures of monkeys, dolphins, flowers, or fruit bowls.
Mary isn't a virgin for biological reasons, but theological ones.
My all-time favorite footnote involves a scholar’s wry gloss on the maps used by Jesus. Commenting on a passage in which Jesus had to cross into Gentile territory on his way to Jerusalem, the footnote reads: “This trip was evidently a theological necessity, not a geographical one. More direct routes were available.”