National Catholic Reporter
A lay Catholic weekly, bi-weekly during the summer, that contains global up-to-date coverage of news of interest to thinking Catholics.
Bread for the World
A national faith based organization founded to lobby Congress on behalf of the hungry throughout the world.
Road to Recovery, Inc
Road to Recovery, Inc is the initiative of advocates for victims of sexual abuse. Advocacy is two-fold: 1. To provide a path for the healing of victims; 2. To confront perpetrators and those who cover up the sexual assault of minors and vulnerable adult.
A timely Catholic weekly published by the Jesuits. American keeps us up to date on both news and opinion relevant to timely issues and events.
This link will keep 'parishioners-at-large' in touch with current creative liturgy sources and resources that respect a variety of 'traditions' within the Church.
Voice of the Faithful
A 'movement' of lay Catholics 'inspired' by the abuse scandal calling for greater accountability of bishops to 'Catholics in the Pew.'
Survivos' Network for those Abused by Priests or Religious
A National Network of self-help support groups for people abused by clergy or religious.
Vital information about the disclosure of sexual abuse and related issues affecting Catholics in the pew and the manner in which Bishops continue to exempt themselves from accountability
A 'lay' Catholic weekly publication with an accent on an intelligent analysis and commentary on curent issues, trends and concerns of interest to Catholics.
Bill Moyers and Company
A must link for all who desire to be kept informed of the truth about 'truths' communicated by the commercial media and the political pundists who hsve another agenda that makes truth a precious commodity.
+ First Week of Advent
“There’ll be some changes made, for sure.”
Readings: Isaiah 30:19-21m 23-26 Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6 Matthew 9:35-38, 10:1, 5a-6-8
The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst. [Isaiah 30:20]
At the sight of the crowds his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. [Matthew 9:36]
As a ‘pastor-at-large’ I have the opportunity to minister to a wide variety of people of different religious traditions and of no religious tradition. However, most of the folks who seek me out are Catholics, many of whom are on the margins – hanging in but suffering the pain of disillusionment with a Church that seems distant from them. Some have moved into a Diaspora or desert hoping that in time, they will be able to find a place at the table. Others ‘shop’ for a parish in which they may feel more “at home.” These folks are not bad people looking for an easy way to heaven. They are good people who identify strongly with their rich Christian heritage but whose experience with the ecclesiastical institution has become more and more legalistic and in some cases, antithetical to the message of the Gospel.
The well-known canonist and author, Father Ladislaus Orsy, SJ once wrote : “We live as long as we hope; we live as much as we hope. Loss of hope is a loss of life.”
Hope is not based on what we can see but on the utter conviction that the God Jesus has not and will not leave us orphans, wandering in the desert, lost at sea, as it were. The sun does not stop shining when clouds cover the earth.
The Vatican Council redefined the Church “the people of God” – a pilgrim people on a journey. When Jesus came upon people who felt excluded from the kingdom, he found a way to include them. Jesus insisted that everyone have a place at table. So must we.
Pope Francis has taken up this theme in his conversations and in his most recent eloquent papal exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel.” He proposes a Church that is not isolated from the mess of life; a Church that indeed that renders itself vulnerable to the mess and the message of welcome and inclusion; a Church that stretches beyond the convenient and safe dogmas and doctrines that are sometimes used to separate rather than to unify.
We are all partners with Christ in the work of creation that continues to evolve into the future with the hope that somehow, somewhere, unity may take place based not on my truth or your truth but on God’s truth.Daily Scripture Archive»
Is there a prophet in your life?
God reveals himself in stages and only over time do we get it right. And it is clear that God has revealed himself time and time again through prophets and prophecies, both ancient and new.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say about prophets and prophecy: “Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts. The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation that will include all the nations. Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord will bear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Judith and Esther kept alive the hope of Israel’s salvation.” [Part I, Chap 2, n 64] It’s interesting that the Catechism names only women as “holy examples” rather than all the Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Minor Prophets, among them: Daniel; Josiah, Micah and Malachi among others.
We experience many conversions in life some more dramatic than others, many of which are triggered by an official or unofficial prophet.
The ‘official prophets’ are those who speak with the authority of a legitimate church or religious body. Some Catholics might list among them figures such as John XXIII, for sure!! John Paul II and now Benedict XVI, the Dali Lama or Billy Graham. But there are other official ‘maverick’ prophets within the ranks of Church officials – even some bishops such as Bishop Tom Gumbleton who has frequently stepped out of the ranks to challenge both his colleague bishops as well as Catholics and citizens at large to a more consistent application of the Gospel of life to war and capital punishment and most recently to the issue of greater justice and charity toward people of same sex orientation. His brother is gay. He has also been an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual abuse by clergy. A priest in high school abused him. His prophetic statements have resulted in his mandatory retirement but his weekly homilies are available on the Internet courtesy of the National Catholic Reporter.
But there is a host of other prophets, men and women, who although they may not speak with the authority of a religious institution, nevertheless speak with great credibility even to Church authorities. They are worthy of our attention. Some of them are members of a religious community or institute though they may not speak for that community. Erie Benedictine, Sr. Joan Chittister is a well-known irritant to many official church ‘men’ and not a few folks in the pew. Priest and moral theologian, Charles Curran must surely be listed among the most well known prophets in both the Catholic and Protestant traditions and has unnerved not a few Vatican Officials with his writings on sexuality. He too was dismissed from his theological chair at Catholic University and now holds a teaching position in Southern Methodist. Yet, he remains a Catholic priest and engages a wide audience among Catholic scholars and ordinary folks like you and me.
Some people consider Andrew Greeley a prophet.
The ancient prophetic tradition was essential to Judaism and was an ever-present corrective to both kings and religious leaders. Unfortunately, religious institutions have done away with the role of the prophet or at least have tended to dismiss prophets as dangerous to the institution.
Of course Thomas Merton was and remains one of the greatest contemplative prophets of our time.
Politicians – congressman among them—can serve as prophets. However few and far between, they are the ones who stand tall not only as statespersons but as men and woman of the highest moral caliber in a wasteland of moral compromise and ineptitude. I’m not referring to those who use their office to evangelize or use their religion as a subtle obstacle to suppress the free exercise of religion by those of a different religious persuasion.
But there are still more unofficial prophets among us – editors, columnists, reporters, sociologists, ecologists, human rights activists, physicians, attorneys, counselors, college professors, high school teachers, and of course, seasoned grandparents of every persuasion.
Even pastors and preachers can be prophetic on occasion but they too often pay a high price for speaking the truth. Martin Luther King was a prophet for sure!
“This I Believe II – More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women” edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman in association with NPR is a marvelous little common sense book for the common man and woman. It is a series of very short essays that touch on the ordinary with an extraordinary twist. I dare say that these simple self-disclosures are having a significant impact on the lives of many readers.
Prophets get us to think and to do our homework. They do not think for us or tell what to think. Prophets prick our consciences and call attention to the moral dimension of every issue be it political, social or institutionally religious. They demand our attention and call us to integrity. They often inspire but can also get under our skin. Some pay a high price for speaking the truth but ultimately, they direct our attention to what is noble and good for us as individuals, as a community of faith and as a nation.
Is there a prophet in your life?