Though official estimates of homelessness are difficult to gauge, the USA National Coalition for the Homeless approximates that around 1.6 million people each year use transitional housing or emergency shelters. The number of people who actually experience homelessness in a given year is likely closer to 3.5 million.
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Hence the Gospel can only be planted and sowed with faith. That is what Jesus wants his disciples to learn from his parables. God’s project of making a better and more humane world implies a saving and transforming power that the sower-farmer does not possess. When the Good News of God is understood by an individual or group of persons, then something starts to grow that is well beyond our own merits.
“Behold this Heart which has loved men so much that it has spared nothing, to the point of exhausting and consuming itself to show them its love.” That’s the deepest understanding of the Sacred Heart, whose feast we celebrate today.
There is always some anxiety, some worry about something that we should have done or should be doing, some unpaid bill, some concern about what we need to face tomorrow, some lingering heartache, some concern about our health or the health of another, some hurt that is still burning, or some longing for someone who is absent that mitigates our joy.
Jesus not only promised the coming of the Spirit, he also communicated to his disciples the day of the Resurrection as the first paschal gift, and the day of Pentecost as the outpouring of the Spirit on the young Church, gathered together in prayer around Mary.
Pentecost reminds us that the Holy Spirit is a power at work in a continually renewed universe, and is present in the innermost mystery of all things. Grace and science come together to offer a fuller picture of what is true: that God’s love is embodied in all humanity, and in the evolving world itself.
There are different kinds of power and different kinds of authority. There is military power, muscle power, political power, economic power, moral power, charismatic power, and psychological power, among other things. There are different kinds of authority too: We can be bitterly forced into acquiescing to certain demands or we can be gently persuaded into accepting them. Power and authority are not all of a kind.
Recent studies suggest that religious people tend to be happier and more fulfilled in their lives than non-believers. Here, a writer on religion and ethics assesses the evidence and identifies an essential component often missed.
Several years ago in an interview, John Allen asked me to draw up a list of what I considered to be the ten major faith and church struggles of our time. I took this as a healthy challenge and the list that follows is my own attempt to name the key faith and ecclesial struggles we deal with today.
The Catholic imagination — the imagination that allowed Shakespeare to sprinkle his plays with references to Catholic religious beliefs and practices in meaningful ways — also helped to create the fictive worlds of Denmark, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Illyria. The imagination that made him Catholic also helped make him the greatest writer in the English-speaking world.
There was some surprise in Justice and Peace circles recently at the sight of a job advertisement for the post of director of Caritas (Westminster) with a salary of £45,000 to £50,000 per annum. The post holder will "lead the Caritas work within the diocese with the aim of enabling the Catholic community of Westminster to respond appropriately to those experiencing poverty and social exclusion."
Hugo of St. Victor once famously said: Love is the eye. When we see with love we not only see straight and clearly we also see depth and meaning. Those searching for life through the eyes of love, like Mary of Magdala searching for Jesus in the Garden on Easter Sunday morning, see spring and the resurrection. Any other kind of eye, and we're blind in springtime.
When grace enters, there is no choice - humans must dance. W.H. Auden wrote those words and, beautiful as they sound, I wish they were true. When grace enters a room we should begin to dance but, sadly, more often than not we let some little thing, some minor mosquito bite, blind us to grace's presence.
For decades the first world has offered hardware to the countries of West Africa for the purpose of encouraging their entry into the digital era but what was born as an intelligent development project has in most cases become an expedient for dispatching electronic garbage and potentially dangerous rubbish for free
In her novel, Final Payments, Mary Gordon articulates an equation that has long influenced Christian spirituality, both for good and for bad. ... That equation between suffering and value has a long-standing history within spirituality and has strongly influenced us both positively and negatively.
“It’s a letter from the French king to his officials at the Vatican mentioning Wallace, but we don't know what his business was with the Pope. What we do know is that the document still fascinates, 700 years after it was written.” The life of Sir William Wallace was famously portrayed by Mel Gibson in his 1995 Oscar-winning film “Braveheart.”
Carol singing that is as much a part of the British Christmas as a trip to the shops is booming, precisely because it is strikingly old-fashioned. The carol concert has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance, in both concert halls and cathedrals, as well as local parish churches.
Behind the headlines, after the disastrous Brussels summit two weeks ago, were fundamental disagreements about economic theory between the British position and the rest. These differences can be traced back to theological disagreements between Catholics and Protestants at the time of the Reformation.
‘Young people are presented not as individuals, but as a menacing plague’ It is not, by common consent, a good time to be young. So it is in our nature to believe the worst of our young people. I find myself doing it far too often, even as a parent of two of them, but a couple of encounters in recent days have forced me to think again.