In the past year, my family has driven to my sister-in-law’s house in Fayetteville, Arkansas, multiple times. Once, we drove out through the plains on I-40 before heading north in the Ozarks, but usually we stop to see my mother and father-in-law in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on the way.
Is spiritual direction intended only for a small elite group, composed of clergy and nuns and a handful of laity with special vocations? Not really. Direction is for serious Christians generally, whether cleric, religious or lay. But since that is seldom said these days, it needs explaining.
Does Henry Higgins hold the key to settling the same-sex marriage debate? Not quite. But in the wake of the Supreme Court decision declaring a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it’s well worth considering what Higgins has to tell us.
What are you worth? This question can be answered in many ways. You might consider your finances, or what you contribute at work or in your family. You might consider whether you are worth more or less than others in various ways.
Each year since 1974, the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) has provided a theme or motto for National Catholic Schools Week. I have a few favorites: 1995 and 1996, “Catholic Schools: Schools You Can Believe In,” and 2002, “Catholic Schools: Where Faith & Knowledge Meet.”
Back in the mid-1980s, I was working as a director of religious education at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in western Maryland.
The persecution of the Catholic Church and other morally conservative religious bodies has begun in the United States. As predicted, it isn’t — thank God — bloody persecution like the persecution of Christians in many countries. But it’s real persecution and likely to get worse.
Not long after St. John XXIII’s social encyclical Mater et Magistra made its appearance in 1961, a wisecrack began making the rounds among Catholics who’d taken umbrage: “Mater, si; magistra, no” — “mother, yes; teacher, no.” In other words, the Church has a maternal relationship with her members but is not their teacher on matters of an economic, political and social nature.
Who would have imagined on Feb. 23, 1977, the day of his appointment as Archbishop of San Salvador, that the highly conservative Oscar Romero — who was suspicious of the Catholic Church’s involvement in political activism — would die a martyr’s death for courageously defending his people against the murderous assaults of the Salvadoran government, military and right-wing death squads?
The sanctuary in La Divina Providencia Hospital Chapel in San Salvador reminded me at once of being present at the site of Jesus’ crucifixion in Jerusalem. There is something very sacred about being present where innocent blood has been shed.
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