Like many others, I was deeply distressed to learn of the recent revelations concerning Jean Vanier. He was a person whom I much admired and about whom, on numerous occasions, I have written glowingly. So, the news about him shook me deeply. What’s to be said about Jean Vanier in the light of these revelations?
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Inculturation and Reform: Our reflection outlines how evanglization connects inculturation to reform of the Church and focuses on the Church in Asia. In the name of aggiornamento, critical areas are identified for inculturation in relation to religious dynamics in Asia.
The renowned spiritual writer, Ruth Burrows, begins her autobiography with these words: “I was born into this world with a tortured sensitivity. For long I have puzzled over the causes of my psychological anguish.”
Unfortunately, to our loss, too many spiritual biographies don’t begin like this, that is, by recognizing right at the start the bewildering, pathological complexity inside our own nature.
What does it mean to be a citizen in today’s Western societies? There is often talk of a certain discomfort with the responsibilities that come with citizenship. Why? We will look here at three areas where we spend our daily lives as citizens.
The Bible begins with the garden planted by God in Eden (cf. Gen 2:8). It ends with the evocation of a garden-city, the heavenly Jerusalem: “In the middle of the city square and on either side of the river, there is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev 22:2).
In the development of Old Testament ideas, the theme of fraternity has a rather consistent development, in which the implications of being members of the same family must be taken into account, even when the texts do not always employ the terms sister or brother.
We are growing ever more distrustful of words. Everywhere we hear people say: “That’s just talk! That’s nothing but empty words!” And empty words are all around us. Our world is full of lies, of false promises, of glittering advertising that doesn’t deliver, of words never backed up by anything.
Today, sociological and statistical research conducted by the most important international research institutes describes a general and unexpected “return to the sacred” and a renewed presence of religions in the public sphere. The theory of secularization is no longer able to reflect the multifaceted aspects of our contemporary societies.
Human communication inevitably and inseparably combines nonverbal and verbal elements. Most people intuitively understand this and, even if they take the processes for granted, they seldom have any difficulty communicating.
Thirty years ago, John Jungblut wrote a short pamphlet entitled, On Hallowing Our Diminishments. It’s a treatise suggesting ways we might frame the humiliations and diminishments that beset us through circumstance, age, and accidents so that, despite the humiliation they bring, we can place them under a certain canopy so as to take away their shame and restore to us some lost dignity.
The year 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The United Nations resolution of November 29, 1947, had established that two independent and sovereign states would be created from the Palestinian territory, ex British Mandate: one Jewish and one Palestinian. This resolution created the so-called “partition plan” that met with opposition from Arab countries. It was never actually implemented.
We’re invited both by Jesus and by what’s best inside us to become big enough of heart and mind to know that it’s a sin not to give a compliment, to know that even though biblically we may do capital punishment we still shouldn’t do it, and to know that we’re better women and men when we are bigger than any slight we experience within a given moment.
April 30 and May 1, 2019, have become part of Japan’s modern history. They will be remembered for the abdication of Emperor Akihito (the only abdication in the last two centuries), the ascent to the Chrysanthemum Throne of his son, Naruhito, and for the beginning of a new “imperial era,” along with a new period for Japan’s traditional calendar (now beginning from year 1).
I’m not someone who’s easily upset by religious jokes. Humor is supposed to have an edge and comedians play an important archetypal role here, that of the “Court Jester” whose task it is to deflate whatever’s pompous. Religion is often fair game. Indeed, I appreciated the wit in this wisecrack.
United Nations Assembly (1959), and later in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), signed over time by 196 countries of the world, states: “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”
One of the most deeply rooted symbols in people’s imagination today is the association between happiness and wealth with its many derivatives (consumerism, power and accumulation). Even when the dream is never realized, the conviction remains that it is the lesser evil. As Woody Allen says, “If money can’t make us happy, forget about poverty.”
The campaign against human trafficking is one of the most important and urgent global social responsibilities of our time. In order to deal with the exploitation and violence on which trafficking depends and which it promotes, it is necessary to examine the phenomenon of coercive labor and other dehumanizing working conditions.
Most of us have heard of St. Therese of Lisieux, a French mystic who died at age 24 in 1897 and who is perhaps the most popular saint of the last two centuries. She’s famous for many things, not least for a spirituality she called her “little way”. What’s her “little way”?
Life must be protected throughout its entire development, and the Academy is urged to address the issues posed by global bioethics and technologies, proceeding with discernment and fostering dialogue in the plurality of scientific wisdom traditions, religious perspectives and worldviews.