In 1985, Nobel Prize winning author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, published a novel entitled, Love in the Time of Cholera. It tells a colorful story of how life can still be generative, despite an epidemic. Well what’s besetting our world right now is not cholera but the coronavirus, Covid 19.
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When Francis spoke of the Church as a “field hospital,” he did not intend to use an engaging, rhetorically effective image. What was before his eyes was a “piecemeal world war.” The global crisis takes various forms and is expressed in conflicts, trade disputes, barriers, migration crises, failing regimes,...
More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it. The Prophet, Jeremiah wrote those words more than 25 hundred years ago and anyone who struggles with the complexities of love and human relationships will soon enough know of what he speaks.
A group of economists, theologians, Jesuits and lay experts from all over the world, summoned by the Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology and the Secretariat for Higher Education, met at the General Curia of the Society of Jesus and drafted a document titled, “Justice in the Global Economy: Building sustainable and inclusive communities."
In recent years the Society of Jesus has been questioning how to serve the Lord and the Church in the social, political and economic context that the world has been experiencing during Francis’ pontificate. The starting point of our discernment – which has involved all Jesuit communities and all our apostolic works – is the “unity in diversity” of our cultures, languages and traditions.
We all fear judgment. We fear being seen with all that’s inside us, some of which we don’t want exposed to the light. Conversely, we fear being misunderstood, of not being seen in the full light, of not being seen for who we are. And what we fear most perhaps is final judgment, the ultimate revelation of ourselves.
“A bishop who became the Gospel”: this is the expression that Monsignor Agostino Superbo, the postulator of the cause of beatification, uses to define Don Antonio Bello, paraphrasing the latter’s own definition of a bishop. In fact, at the beginning of his episcopal ministry, Don Tonino said: “I would like to be a bishop who becomes his people, a bishop elevated to the dignity of the people.”
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?
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).