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  • As I write, it is July 4, Independence Day in the United States. This American holiday is always accompanied with parades, fireworks, flag waving and a heightened sense of pride of country. And this is all good – to a point.
  • To sanction or encourage certain wrongful actions, it is often necessary to manipulate language. The plain meaning of words can get in the way of convincing others they should tolerate or participate in wrongdoing, or otherwise embrace situations of evil or injustice. Verbal obfuscation becomes necessary to veil evident moral truths.
    We must be impressed with the probably correct estimate that in a century twenty rural families leave a more numerous progeny than a hundred city families. It is, therefore, a fact that the future will be with the church that ministers to the rural population.
  • Perhaps the jolt of being humbled by the discovery that we are lepers will make it easier to embrace the more difficult truth that sin has sunk deeper roots within us than any germ. It is so much harder to keep our souls clean.
  • Q and A on Catholic investing
    A broader driver appears to be increased interest in social justice issues — in many cases spurred by the younger generation — with particular attention paid to environmental sustainability, peaceful conflict resolution and various manifestations of inequality.
  • Sadly, only about 59.3% of Americans eligible to vote actually voted in 2016. Catholic turnout isn’t delineated but it’s probably similar.
  • Sheltering in place in the Redwoods
    Being a “lover of the place” is, at its heart, about seeking to recognize the immanence of God, since the medieval beginnings of the Cistercian reform. It has given a most definite environmental/ecological orientation to the lived experience of Cistercian monastic life, since the foundation of Citeaux in 1098.
  • As a reporter and editor, my great hope is that fence sitters in society, the “spiritual but not religious” crowd, read our stories and decide to throw their lot in with the church and let Jesus embrace them. If that’s ministry, I suppose you can call me a minister, a minister of stories.
  • n the Gospel of Matthew, there is a scene where the Pharisees and Sadducees, in their desire to test Jesus, ask him to show them a sign. In reply to them, Jesus says that in the morning when the sky is red and threatening you say that today it will be stormy. “You know how to judge the appearance of the sky, but you cannot judge the signs of the times.”
  • Allies for justice and peace
    To those who would carry out such deeds, we have advice: Don’t attack a partner in the cause of justice and peace.
  • What men get us into
    In our 14 years of marriage, he had never expressed a wish to go camping and kill an animal. I guess he had never been asked.
  • Then came the pandemic and all of that changed. My perfect schedule was gone. It was just me and the kids. At home. Everyday.
  • Got mirth?
    St. Thomas Aquinas, a doctor of the church, did write that both excess of mirth and a lack of mirth are sinful.
  • We are called to good sense, not extremism
    We have lost it as a country in how we are responding to the coronavirus. This is especially true when it comes to our nation’s response to religious practice.
  • ‘Tending to clannishness’
    The fruits of social intercourse among Catholics, composed of heterogeneous elements and naturally tending to clannishness, are both great and precious, not only to themselves and their progenies, but more particularly to the Church, before which we are, as we should be, all equal.
  • The frightening Dicky Tapp
    Dicky Tapp didn’t go to school. He smoked, swore, spat, opened pop bottles with his teeth and liked to fight. I even heard that he carved his name onto his arm. That’s how tough he was — or so I heard.
  • A degree of compassion
    Faith has a voice through effective compassion serving immigrants and refugees.
  • Ever green fields
    As we approach the feast of Corpus Christi, we might also recall our own first Communion days when we loved Jesus so innocently and trusted that we would always live in a place where churches were crowded, children romped freely, and crosses are sunk sparingly into ever green fields.
  • Power and powerlessness
    A deep human cry roars through our cities. Once again, black men and women fear being indiscriminately killed by those charged to protect and serve them. They feel powerless.
  • This moment of judgment
    It was the juxtaposition of these images — murder and casualness — that most of us can’t get out of our minds. It is that scene that will memorialize this death-drenched year and has ignited a short fuse to a long-standing powder keg of grievances.
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