After the end of the Soviet Union, both the pro-Western Russian elite and the vast majority of the population had the hope of becoming part of the Western community, or rather, of becoming once again part of Europe after having travelled a different path since the October Revolution. It was thought that Russia would naturally follow this route.
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It is helpful to understand this agreement as a true harmony of notes. That is to say, the beginning of a composition that has yet to be developed. This is not, then, the conclusion of a process, but it is a real starting point that needs to be implemented through instruments of control and improvements to the text.
The internet allows us to access a wealth of information that was unthinkable a few decades ago. On the web and on social networks this information is created and exchanged in real time. A user may be disoriented when faced with such a quantity of news and data that corresponds to multiple points of view, each of which attempts to establish itself as truth.
In The Gambler, Dostoevsky describes Alexey’s human drama after playing: “The player is a victim regardless of his social class, a victim who becomes an executioner for others and for himself.” In the history of gambling, the “what,” the “how” and the “where” reveal the relationship between politics and the gaming industry, between culture and the values of a society.
The religious congregation to which I belong, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, has had a long relationship with the indigenous peoples of North America. Admittedly it hasn’t always been without its shortcomings on our side, but it has been a sustained one, constant through more than one hundred and fifty years. I write this out of the archives of that history.
How ministering with a parish's youngest and oldest members reveals the mystery of God. When I first started going to my parish about four years ago one of the things I was looking for, other than a schedule of Masses in English (I live in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in Upper Manhattan), was community—though I freely admit I hadn’t a clue what community meant.
Seventy years ago, Chinese communists ended a long-running civil war with victory over the Kuomintang, charted a course that secured China's borders but turned the country inside out and wrought havoc across the region as successive leaders sought to impose their will.
We quite naturally tend to think of the word “Christ” as Jesus’ second name. We think of the name “Jesus Christ” like we think of names like “Susan Parker” or “Jack Smith”. But that’s an unhealthy confusion. Jesus didn’t have a second name.
How do we communicate in a polarized society? How do we promote unity, encounter and reconciliation while remaining faithful to diversity? What is the attitude, the mindset required to be good communicators in a context where polarization seeks to impose itself on every public or private discussion?
Soon after World War II, the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention, a legally binding multilateral treaty, defined who is a refugee, what rights they have, and established the obligations of nations in their regard. In the broader field of migration, however, apart from a convention on migrant workers, until now there has been no comparable international agreement regarding migrants in general.
A topic like Luther’s vocation does not capture the attention of his biographers. It is taken for granted. Everyone talks about it, but only in a generic way. In truth, the facts are not so apparent. Luther entered the monastery when he was 21 years old, after a storm. On July 2, 1505, while returning to Erfurt from Mansfeld where he was visiting some relatives, he was caught in a storm near Stotternheim, a few kilometers from home.
It’s no secret that today we’re witnessing a massive decline in church attendance and, seemingly, a parallel loss of interest in religion. The former mindset, within which we worried, sometimes obsessively, about sin, church-going, and heaven and hell no longer holds sway for millions of people.
“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.”
What does the Bible say about “power”? The subject is current and of great interest, but not at all simple. Anyone searching for the word “power” in the Old Testament would be disappointed: it does not exist in Hebrew. Is that because Sacred Scripture does not provide any cause for reflection about power? Far from it.
According to Isaac the Syrian, a famous 7th Century bishop and theologian, a person who’s genuinely humble gives off a certain scent that other people will sense and that even animals will pick up, so that wild animals, including snakes, will fall under its spell and never harm that person.
The internet, while it offers enormous possibilities on many levels – information, data, speed of contact, time saved and relationships improved – also renews long-established problems of the offline world (solitude, pornography, violence, theft, viruses) but on a qualitatively different scale. Like any new development, digital technology cannot solve a problem without creating new ones.
Jesus says that if we follow him, the cross, pain, will find us.That message is chronically misunderstood. Maybe we would understand it better if Jesus had worded it this way: The more sensitive you become, the more pain will seep into your life. We catch the connection then. Sensitive person suffer more deeply, just as they also drink in more deeply the joys and beauties of life.
We live in a culture that idealizes youth and marginalizes the old. And, as James Hillman says, the old don’t let go easily either of the throne or the drive that took them there. I know; I’m aging. For most of my life, I’ve been able to think of myself as young.
Imagine this: A man, entirely careless of all moral and spiritual affairs, lives his life in utter selfishness, pleasure his only pursuit. He lives the high life, never prays, never goes to church, has numerous sexual affairs, and has no concern for anyone but himself...