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.
+ 5th Week in Lent
We all need a hero and heroine or two.
Readings: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95 Response Daniel 3:52-56 John 8:31-34
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed: ‘Blessed be their God of Shaddrach, Meshack and Abednego: he has sent his angel to rescue his servants who, putting their trust in him, defied the order of the king, and preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their own. [Daniel 3:95]
Who is your hero or heroine? We all have at least one. Perhaps it’s a canonized saint. More likely, it is a relative or friend, alive or dead, who has inspired you to greatness or at least to perseverance in your day-to-day efforts to be faithful to your ideals.
Our heroes and heroines are/were not perfect. Even those who have been canonized were not born saints. Some of them were notorious sinners whose sins and failures became occasions for conversion. And there are no living heroes that do not have an Achilles heal or in the words of St. Paul, “a thorn” to keep them humble.
Martin Luther King was more than a ‘king’ in name. He was a hero and in the mind of many, a saint. But he was not perfect. As he struggled for the freedom, he succumbed to human weakness but in the end he paid the price that comes to martyrs.
There is great sadness when a ‘hero’ falls. The sadness is not that politicians and other prominent leaders including religious leaders have succumbed to moral failure but that they fight so hard to cover up their wrongs.
Jesus is the hero of heroes whose only Achilles heal was his powerlessness in the face of opposition. It was this powerlessness that empowers us to be faithful and not to succumb to the easy way out in deference to titles of honor and monetary rewards that accompany narcissism and idolatry.
Jesus was a true son of Abraham who though tempted in every way possible, remained faithful unto death.
It is only when we are willing to suffer the loss of all in deference to truth and integrity that we in fact gain all.Daily Scripture Archive»
*_The Greatest Story Ever Told_*…
must be told over and over again through the lens of our own human experiences both joyful and tragic.
It was a cold, snowy weekend in February of 1974 — Presidents’ Weekend, I think. I had been invited numerous times to make a Cursillo (pronounced ‘cur-see-yo’—an extended ‘Cornerstone weekend) but for several years, I ducked it. I had heard a great deal about it from others; I knew it was special kind of retreat but I couldn’t get anyone to fill me in on the details. I wasn’t a high risk-taker in those days. All they would tell me is “you have to experience it to understand it.” I had heard rumors about long talks called ‘rollos’ (pronounced ‘royos’) and late night discussions, lively music, good food and lots of laughs. Sounded more like a cult than a retreat. After running out of excuses, I finally mustered up enough courage to risk it and despite some residual reluctance arrived at the doors of St. Bonaventure Friary on Ramsey Street in Paterson. A team of hospitable men of different shapes, sizes and personalities greeted me and other ‘candidates’ warmly. I was not much into this ‘touchy-feely’ stuff and certainly not ready for men hugging one another!
It turned out to be one of the most significant weekends of my life. More than a retreat, it was a journey for the soul and left me with the feeling that I had experienced Christ in a new way in this very diverse group. Appropriately enough, the theme song for the weekend was “The Lord is Risen to Life!” I can still hear the sound of our voices around the Eucharist table. It was a new version of an ancient church emerging after Vatican II.
The weekend was very structured with no detail left unattended. At the closing, in the presence of family and friends who came to welcome us back to the real world, new ‘cursillistos’ (pronounced ‘cur-see-is-tos’) were invited to offer a public witness or testimony to our experience, if we felt moved by the Spirit to do so, of course. Several testified, I among them, and made a commitment to continue giving witness to our experience by living the Gospel more faithfully and more fully whatever our call and career.
Although the theology of those days was rather simplistic in hindsight and although my spirituality has changed dramatically since that time, the experience still energizes me today.
The twenty-first chapter of John’s Gospel is a culmination of the journey of Peter and the other disciples with Jesus. I suppose one might call it an extended three year “Cursillo” or ‘Cornerstone Retreat’ with Jesus in the lead. In the mind of many biblical scholars, this chapter was not part of the original composition but was added later as an epilogue to the other twenty chapters. It is what is called a ‘post resurrection story’ inserted to reinforce belief in the reality of the ‘real presence’ of Jesus after his death and to emphasize the essential connection between the historical Jesus and resurrected life among his followers and among us as the Body of Christ.
This is what John the Evangelist wanted us to know: As a rabbi and itinerant preacher, Jesus drew the disciples into the circle of God’s love and sent them out to draw others into the circle of that love by breaking the bread together and telling the Jesus story over and over again, living the Jesus story and then lowering their nets, as it were, for a catch.
The annual liturgical cycle which begins each year at Advent, culminates with the Easter feast but continues to germinate until Pentecost at which time we are invited to commit ourselves once more to witness to our faith in the same risen Christ living in our community and within the Church. As with Peter, there is much to forgive within each of us as individuals and within our Church as a worldwide community. It was a wounded ‘church’ then and is a wounded church today from top to bottom. Peter’s triple denial was dissolved by his triple confession of love and loyalty. Peter’s love was made stronger by his own weakness — so much so that he would be crucified upside down for his crucified Master.
In March of 2009, the Center for Action and Contemplation in New Mexico to which Father Richard Rohr, OFM is attached, sponsored an interdenominational symposium entitled the “Emerging Church.” Led by five major presenters from different traditions, it engaged participants in a wide ranged exploration of the history of the Christian Church within the context of religious belief within our Jewish roots and in our relationship with other non-Christian traditions. As familiar as we are with our Christian Catholic Christian heritage, we are still an emerging church in a very mixed up world. The titles of the presentations were rather instructive in themselves:
The Great Emergence. The Church is more a movement than an institution and is energized as it moves forward century after century. Any attempt to freeze it’s structures within a walled-in institution will ultimately fail.
The Historical Jesus: What you focus on determines what you miss.
Standing Contemplatively in an Active World
A Plea in Love: When you are silent, you are not neutral.
Harmonizing without Homogenizing.
In a world which increasingly says greed is good, more is better and do what you want no matter who gets hurt in the process, just don’t get caught, we need some folks who will stand up and shout, we are not alone in this universe and certainly not on this planet. But we’d better do our homework before we get up and shout whatever the occasion.
How appropriate that John’s gospel should conclude with the words, “There are still many other things that Jesus did, yet if they were written about in detail, I doubt there would be room enough in the entire world to hold the books to record them.”
How about we give life a new try this week with a turn of faith instead of a twist of fate.