Repairers of the breach

Incontro con S.S. Kirill

Viaggio in Messico – Incontro con S.S. Kirill 12-02-2016 @Servizio Fotografico – L’Osservatore Romano

“As the Russian Patriarch and the Pope huddle right now inside Havana airport, I keep thinking of the old Yiddish proverb: ‘Two mountains can’t come together, but two people [mensches] can. – A barg mit a barg kumt zikh nit tsunoyf, ober a mentsh mit a mentshn yo.’ – Meaning: There is always a way for people to find common ground.” My friend Dina Tsoar, on Facebook today

Today I woke up very early and I immediately went to my phone to read more about the unprecedented meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis that took place in Havana yesterday.  While this seems a blip in the news to most of the world, this is incredibly significant. I suppose if you are reading this blog, you will be inclined to agree, but I’m astounded by seeing more photos of Pope Francis in a sombrero on social media, than with Patriarch Kirill!

The full text of their joint declaration, an almost unimaginable thing, can be found at this link. Their prayers and pleas for unity, peace, justice, and more are quite moving and are worth the time it will take to read the declaration. It is astounding and a cause for joy! Remember that Jesus came so that as Jesus said: “so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.”

As it happens, I wrote the daily reflection in Give Us This Day today. Now these assignments can come up to a year in advance, so I it was done some time ago, and who knew that this moment would be in the news. When I wrote it, my entire focus was on Continue reading

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Let’s talk…

Pope Francis Why Throw RocksPope Francis arrives in the US today, and there is so much chatter and commentary, disagreement and discord, that it might become very easy to miss his – and ultimately God’s – message to us.

Something he said in Cuba on Monday struck me:

“If you are different than me, why don’t we talk?” Francis asked the crowd. “Why do we always throw rocks at that which separates us?”

Some questions for reflection, and please do comment if you wish…

  • How can we find pathways to conversation with those with whom we disagree?
  • How important is it for each of us to be “right?”
  • What is the danger in changing our minds or hearts?

Laudato Si’ you soon!

PopeQuote0615-e1434644573760Yesterday I spent far too much time reading *about* Laudato Si, and not enough time reading Laudato Si. Add to that, many feelings and emotions about the Charleston church shooting, the fire at the church of the Loaves and Fishes, and about a million other things.

I’ll be making my way through the encyclical and I will offer some thoughts and reflections about the document and what I think it means to all of us. Here are a few initial thoughts….

1. We have to explore all parts of the encyclical, and not just the parts that appeal to us. Notice I say explore – meaning opening our hearts and minds and not reacting immediately. (Although what great temptation!) For example, that a Muslim mystic is referenced (Footnote 159, Paragraph 233) is as important as what is found in paragraph 120, regarding abortion.

2. Unbridled capitalism is as bad as communism.

3. That everyone is likely to find something that they disagree with in the encyclical tells me that God is truly present and as challenging as ever.

4. We all basically need to drastically revise how we live. How likely is this? Yeah, that likely.

5. Reread #1 above.

6. Keep breathing. Go deep. Ask more questions rather than give more answers.

Laudato si you soon! I’ll be back with more.

Rejoice in God’s mercy

JUBILEE-YEAR-OF-MERCYToday we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Lent – a day meant for rejoicing. Not unlike King Cyrus declaring the return to Jerusalem to our beleaguered Jewish ancestors during the Babylonian exile, Pope Francis brings us news to make Laetare Sunday especially joyful this year!

From America Magazine:

“In a surprising and far-reaching decision, Pope Francis has announced an extraordinary “Jubilee of Mercy” that will extend from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016, and will involve the Catholic Church throughout the world.”

As we pass the midpoint of Lent we are encouraged to Continue reading

Pope Francis’ Festivus Greeting

il_570xN.197243707It would appear that Pope Francis has broken out the Festivus Pole, and began the airing of grievances.Please know that I take no credit for this thought, my social media friend, theologian Natalia Impertori-Lee made the analogy on her Facebook page; I’m crediting her and flying with it here – gratefully.

In case you have missed what the Pope said yesterday, he used his second annual Christmas address to the Roman Curia as a grievance airing Continue reading

The Church of Mercy – A book by Pope Francis – UPDATED

We have a winner. Chris Grace will receive a copy of The Church of Mercy. Thank you all for reading and participating.

church-of-mercy-bookcover“Let us ask ourselves today: are we open to God’s surprises”? Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy

Pope Francis’ name seems to be on the lips of many people. There are so many Catholics who are invigorated by his words and way of life. One of the things that is most surprising is the number of non-Catholic friends who bring him up, and generally with great regard. As I have said in other posts, he has not changed on iota, not one element of doctrine, but he has changed the way that people see the Church, and how people see the papacy.

The Church of Mercy, A Vision for the Church, by Pope Francis (Loyola Press, $16.95, 150pp.) brings together homilies, papers, and audiences from our beloved “Bishop of Rome.” This treasure trove of communiques from the first year of his papacy offers readers a chance to truly spend time with Francis’ as he presses Continue reading

Mercy matters

imagesmer·cy ˈmərsē/ noun noun: mercy; plural noun: mercies1.compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. “the boy was screaming and begging for mercy”
synonyms: leniency, clemency, compassion, grace, pity, charity, forgiveness, forbearance, quarter, humanity…

Mercy. It is not a new word, but we seem to hear more of it lately. I feel as if I do, anyway.

Mercy matters. Mercy is at the heart of Christ. God if rich in mercy – go read the definition next to the photo again. There is so much evidence for Continue reading