"Education is often accused of inciting people to understand their rights, to be capable of organising themselves to ensure their human rights. "If that's a crime, then yes, I'm guilty. As a member of a Catholic order my life's been dedicated to human and Christian education."
The dramatic agony of the cross has often led the preachers of the past to insist excessively on the gory aspects of Jesus’ passion. From this preaching images, popular representations and some devotions are derived in which the violence of the blows of the scourging, the falls under the weight of the cross, the sadism of the soldiers exasperated. This type of approach to the Gospel texts do not make a good service to the understanding of the Easter events, indeed, it blurs the meaning.
When the Romans designed crucifixion as their means of capital punishment, they had more in mind than simply putting someone to death. They wanted to accomplish something else too, namely, to make this death a spectacle to serve as the ultimate deterrent so that anyone seeing it would think twice about committing the offense for which the person was being crucified.
The Synod in Rome in October last year focused on young people, faith and vocational discernment; in his reflection on the Synod published last week, Pope Francis places the energy, creativity and openness of young people at the centre of his reform of the Church.
“Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark…” (v. 1). In these first words of the Gospel of Easter day one can perceive, almost breathe the signs of death’s victory. On earth it’s all silence, immobility, quietness. A woman, alone and frightened, moves in the darkness of the night. Death seems to dominate unchallenged and silence and darkness celebrate the triumph.
“Despite so many efforts to promote and reinforce the fundamental human right of religious freedom, we are actually witnessing a continued deterioration, we might even say an assault, of this inalienable right in many parts of the world,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin said on April 3.
Disciple is one who follows in the footsteps of the Master. “Your attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ had”—Paul recommends to the Philippians (Phil 2:5). “I have just given you an example,” Jesus says, “that as I have done you also may do.” He “has not come to be served but to serve” (Mk 10:45). Even his disciples, following his example, are called to be servants.
Catholics in England and Wales are being asked whether they think the Bible is fiction or part of an outdated collection of historical documents in a new a national survey into attitudes toward scripture. The Bishops’ Conference launched the survey into Catholic attitudes towards the Bible in preparation for an upcoming year dedicated to Scripture, called the God Who Speaks.
We are all, I suspect, familiar with the famous expression from Julian of Norwich, now an axiom in our language. She once famously wrote: In the end all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of being shall be well. To which Oscar Wilde is reported to have added: “And if it isn’t well, then it’s still not the end”