• The meaning of Christmas: Connecting the dots between the crib and the Cross

    The Gospel stories about the birth of Jesus are not a simple retelling of the events that took place then, at the stable in Bethlehem. In his commentaries on the birth of Jesus, the renowned scripture scholar, Raymond Brown, highlights that these narratives were written long after Jesus had already been crucified and had risen from the dead and that they are colored by what his death and resurrection mean.

  • Sex and our culture

    No generation in history, I suspect, has ever experienced as much change as we have experienced in the past 60 years. That change is not just in the areas of science, technology, medicine, travel and communications; it is especially in the area of our social infrastructure, of our communal ethos.

  • The hiddenness of God and the darkness of faith

    When I first began teaching theology, I fantasized about writing a book about the hiddenness of God. Why does God remain hidden and invisible? Why doesn’t God just show himself plainly in a way that nobody can dispute?

  • Lacking the self-confidence for greatness

    We all have our own images of greatness as these pertain to virtue and saintliness. We picture, for instance, St. Francis of Assisi, kissing a leper; or Mother Teresa, publicly hugging a dying beggar; or John Paul II, standing before a crowd of millions and telling them how much he loves them; or Therese of Lisieux, telling a fellow community member who has been deliberately cruel to her how much she loves her; or even of the iconic Veronica, in the crucifixion scene, who amidst all the fear and brutality of the crucifixion rushes forward and wipes the face of Jesus.

  • Our Muslim brothers and sisters

    This is not a good time to be a Muslim in the Western world. As the violence perpetrated by radical Islamic groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram becomes more and more prevalent, huge numbers of people are becoming paranoid about, and even openly hostile towards, the Islam religion, seeing all Muslims as a threat.

  • ‘Metanoia’ — a better state of mind

    We all have a bias. The late Langdon Gilkey used to put this in a gentle, more palatable way. We don’t have a bias, he says, but rather a “pre-ontology,” a subjective stance from which we look at reality.

  • Displacing ego and narcissism

    The Buddhists have a little axiom that explains more about ourselves than we would like. They say that you can understand most of what’s wrong in the world and inside yourself by looking at a group photo.

  • The stigma of suicide

    Recently I read, in succession, three books on suicide, each written by a mother who lost one of her children to suicide. All three books are powerful, mature, not given to false sentiment, and worth reading: Lois Severson, who wrote “Healing the Wound from my Daughter’s Suicide: Grief Translated into Words,” lost her daughter, Patty, to suicide; Gloria Hutchinson, who wrote “Damage Done: Suicide of an Only Son,” lost her son, David, to suicide; and Marjorie Antus, who wrote “My Daughter, Her Suicide, and God: A Memoir of Hope,” lost her daughter, Mary, to suicide. Patty and David were in their mid-20s. Mary was still a teen.

     

  • Innocence, complexity and sanctity

    Some years ago, I officiated at a wedding. As the officiating priest, I was invited to the reception and dance that followed upon the church service.

  • Caring for our soul

    What does it profit you if you gain the whole world but suffer the loss of your own soul?

     

     

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Voices

The world as it should be

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Catholic social teaching gives us a vision of the world as it could be and as it should be. ... The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most radical doctrine in the history of ideas. If the world believed what Jesus proclaimed ... every society could be transformed overnight.

Events

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May 26, 2016

  • Thursday, May 26

    ACCW Meeting, San Pedro Pastoral Region, Southeastern District, St. Raymond Catholic Church, 12320 Paramount Blvd., Downey. Registration 9:30 am - Speaker Deacon Douglas Johnson. Mass at 11 a.m. Luncheon $12/ person, check payable to Alice Avery, 19126 Pricetown Avenue, Carson, CA 90746, Contact:  Alice Avery (310) 637-1364 or Verna Harmmer (562) 633-2503

     

    15th Conference on Mental Health and Spirituality- “Looking Over the Horizon”, 7:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., Los Angeles Convention Center. Keynote speakers: His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang, Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB, Dr. Martin Southard, Director of Doctoral Social Work Program, University of Southern California. $50 Registration fee covers, breakfast, lunch and snacks. For more info: Destiny Walker (213) 639-6396 or mhasconderence@dmh.lacounty.gov. Presented by: Los Angeles County Dept. of Mental Health

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