The excusable doesn’t need to be excused and the inexcusable cannot be excused. Michael Buckley wrote those words commenting on Peter’s triple betrayal of Jesus. Here’s the context. Peter had betrayed Jesus in his most needy hour, not out of malice, simply out of weakness. Now, facing Jesus for the first time since that betrayal, Peter is understandably uncomfortable. What do you say after betraying someone?
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We are going through a time of great uncertainty. For more than two years, the pandemic has been shaking the foundations of the world economy. No one could have foreseen or anticipated the impact on the production of goods, as well as on transport. In addition, in recent months there have been continuous tensions in energy markets, which are going through a difficult and costly transition to carbon neutrality, as well as with raw materials, whose prices are soaring due to increasing demand.
Where can all of us believers come together beyond the divisions created by history, dogma, denomination, and religion? Where is there a place all people of sincere heart can find common ground and worship together? That place is found in the ecumenical and inter-religious pursuit of spirituality, and our theology schools and seminaries need to create this place within their academic vision and structures.
Among the Enlightenment’s legacy there is an idea that spanned the centuries and penetrated deeply into the mentality of people in the West. It is the idea of progress, the idea of moving toward our cultural, moral and material best, especially thanks to the successes of science and technology. This idea shaped much of modern European history; it nourished hope and political ideologies; it spread trust in the future.
We believed that we were put on this earth with a divine plan for us, that God gave us each a special vocation to live out. Moreover, this was not something we were free to choose for ourselves; it was God-given. Our task was to discern that vocation and give ourselves over to it, even at the price of having to renounce our own dreams. We remained free to accept or not, but at a peril. To be unfaithful to your vocation meant a misguided life.
The citizens of Kharkiv are preparing to celebrate Orthodox Easter in spite of the destruction which surrounds them, says Fr Vitaliy Novak CM. “One part of the city is on fire, in the other part they are feeding the flowers and preparing for Easter,” he told The Tablet on Wednesday, as he prepared to drive a delivery of food supplies to the Donbas.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping human experience in ways not visible to, nor fully apprehended by, the vast majority of the world’s population. The explosion of AI is having a notable impact on our present rights and future opportunities, determining the decision-making processes that affect all in today’s society.
In Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of the Rose, the blind monk Jorge of Burgos, quoting John Chrysostom, argues that “Christ never laughed.” Such a strong statement seems not only to categorically exclude the possibility that Jesus of Nazareth could laugh, but also questions his humanity, a humanity that implies an ability to participate in the totality of experience, including the possibility of experiencing the full range of affections and emotions.
Two contrasting elements coexisted within Pasolini’s personality. On the one hand, there was a religiosity of an instinctive, formless kind, far from the systematization based on the dogmas of Christianity understood as an institutional religion; on the other hand, as a son of his time, he could not help but rationalize all of this.
Forty years ago, Philip Rieff wrote a book entitled The Triumph of the Therapeutic. In essence, he argued that today in the Western world so many people need psychological therapy mainly because our family structure has grown weak and many community structures have broken down.
Several years ago, I was invited to speak to a group of students at a Catholic university. The invitation came with a request and a caveat. I was to speak on chastity, but ideally, I was to avoid using the word. The Dean of Theology, who had invited me, had appraised the situation this way: perhaps more than anything else, the students need a challenge to chastity, but they are so turned off by the word that if we mention it in the title, very few will show up.
The temptation to triumphalism – Christianity without the cross – and its more insidious form, spiritual worldliness – is difficult to discern. If there is a theme in the magisterium of Bergoglio-Francis that recurs with particular frequency, it is precisely this. In the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, pronouncing a “no to spiritual worldliness,” Francis put it in black and white. The alternative is between a Church on the move to evangelize the world and a Church invaded by spiritual worldliness: “This is a tremendous corruption, disguised as a good.
The early years of my adulthood and priesthood were spent teaching theology at Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Canada. I was young, full of energy, loved teaching, and was discovering the joys of ministry. For the most part, these were good years.
Pornography is the biggest addiction in the world today, and by a wide margin. Mostly it afflicts men, but is also a growing addiction among women. Much of this of course is driven by its easy and free availability on the internet. Everyone now (not least our own young children) have immediate access to it from the privacy of their phones or laptops, and in anonymity.
In this article we will consider how scientific knowledge – in a similar fashion to poetic discourse – makes ample use of analogical language, and how both science and poetry tend – albeit at different levels – to summarize their concepts, preferring a terse form of expression to long and excessively detailed descriptions. Above all we will see how poetry and physics have an eye for aesthetic taste, albeit with the necessary differences.
To make love with the divine. I suspect most of us will picture that as a warm, privatized, affective intimacy, the way we imagine romantic love, except here the other partner is God. Indeed, Christian mystical literature abounds with images of this kind, as does the Gospel of John. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that such a conception is over-idealized and over-privatized.
Throughout the Catholic Church, something is stirring about the way we are governed. For many of us in the Church and across society, we don’t much care about that subject. We long ago made peace with being parts of communities, organizations, nations and even families where we just get on with our lives and leave running the show to those who like to be in charge of things.