A Word from CTU
A Word from CTU is a monthly message from the faculty and/or staff of Catholic Theological Union that addresses an issue of faith that is relevant to experiences of the world. Part of the mission of CTU is to educate and serve the world beyond the church. We hope this will serve as one way to share our learning. We welcome your thoughts and comments about the author's reflection. Please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is hope? The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christian community at Rome reminded them that “hope that is seen is no hope at all” (Rom 8:24). Rather, hope is the patient and persevering expectation that God will bring forth good, even when there does not seem to be any visible evidence that this is actually happening.
Who are your heroes? Who is it that inspires you in the daily endeavors of your life? With the challenges that life presents, all of us stand in need of inspiration in order to face the tasks at hand and to remain faithful to our commitments. It seems that often we discover that inspiration in the memory of people - past and present-whom we think of as "heroic."
Believers or persons of faith should have little difficulty in seeing how their religious conviction affects and is affected by their daily life. Yet for many of us, our daily life is so busy and our world so noisy, that we have less time to reflect than we might like. Procrastination is our familiar companion. And good intentions - as the proverb reminds us - pave the road to hell!
All faith traditions have rituals and language surrounding those rituals that are important. Understandably there is great sensitivity to any changes in those rituals. On the First Sunday of Advent (27 November 2011), English speaking Roman Catholics will begin using a new English translation of the Roman Missal. In 1963 Vatican II affirmed that Latin was the official language of the Roman liturgy. At the same time it allowed the use of the vernacular. Because of the delicacy and difficulty of producing vernacular worship for the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Paul VI (d.
On Sunday, May 1, Pope John Paul II was beatified before hundreds of thousands in Saint Peter’s Square. On the same day Navy Seal commandos killed Osama Bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Two world famous men; two remarkably different lives.
What is happening to our world? It has been assaulted by the tsunamis that devastated parts of Japan last week and the countries around the Indian Ocean (2004), the tragic Hurricane Katrina (2005), floods in Australia that covered an area the size of France and Germany combined (2011), and the earthquakes that destroyed Northeastern Japan and Christchurch, New Zealand (2011). Many people believe that God is punishing us for our sins. Is this true?
I met Pedro and Juanita soon after I arrived at my new assignment as pastor of their parish. Like many (if not most) of the Mexican people who made up the growing majority of the parish, these two people were undocumented. They were unable to get driver’s licenses, or government help, or an income tax return, even though they were both working at factories and money was being taken out of their check each week. We were talking about the need for a change in our government’s immigration laws so that good, law-abiding people like Juanita and Pedro would not have to live in the shadows or keep looking over their shoulder every time they left home.
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” Robert Frost wrote a century ago. The reality of that poetic statement is never more evident than on the sides of the Wall—the Security Fence according to Israelis or the Apartheid Wall according to Palestinians—that separates Israel from the West Bank. To drive up the toll road from Tel Aviv to Hadara, the twenty-four foot high enclosure resembles the sound barriers built along our interstates. But cross into the area controlled by the Palestinian Authority and the Wall is filled with graffiti, demanding its demolition.
Did you ever think that God might best be imagined not by a noun but as a verb? This is something that has struck me in the last several years, and I have been fascinated by the discovery. While all the qualities of personhood are in God, rather than thinking about God as just some kind of “person” “up there” or “out there,” I’ve begun to think about God as a Movement, an Embrace, a Flow—moving through the cosmos and history, embracing wounded and suffering creation, flowing through the smallest subatomic particle as well as the most complex organisms.