• On bowing and raising our heads

    At the end of every Roman Catholic liturgy, there is an invitation given to the people to receive a blessing. That invitation is worded this way: Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing.

    The idea behind that, obviously, is that a blessing can only truly be received in reverence, in humility, with head bowed, with pride and arrogance subjugated and silent.

  • Forever being ahead of our souls

    Sometimes nothing is as helpful as a good metaphor.

    In his book “The God Instinct” Tom Stella shares this story: A number of men who made their living as porters were hired one day to carry a huge load of supplies for a group on safari.

  • Only in silence

    The Belgian spiritual writer, Bieke Vandekerckhove, comes by her wisdom honestly. She didn’t learn what she shares from a book or even primarily from the good example of others.

    She learned what she shares through the crucible of a unique suffering, being hit at the tender age of 19 with a terminal disease that promised not just an early death, but also a complete breakdown and humiliation of her body en route to that death.

  • My top books for 2015

    Taste, as St. Augustine said some 1,700 years ago, is subjective. That should be acknowledged upfront whenever someone recommends a reading list.

    In my case, I need to state too that I’m not a full-time critic. It’s not like I’ve read 200 books this past year and these rose to the top. I read when I can, follow book reviews, am fortunate enough to live with academic colleagues who tip each other off on good books, and I have friends who will occasionally tell me that a certain book “has to be read.” From out of that, comes this list.

  • 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.

Page 3 of 26

Voices

Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision in United States v. Texas

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Our nation’s ongoing failure to address the immigration crisis is a humanitarian tragedy. For more than a decade, state and local governments, Congress, the President, the courts — and now the highest court in the land — all have failed in their responsibilities to address this issue. 

Events

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June 25, 2016

  • Saturday, June 25

    Los Angeles Foster Care and Adoption Information Meeting, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Children’s Bureau Foster Care & Adoption, 1910 Magnolia Ave., Los Angeles. Discover if you have the ability and resources to help a child in need. To RSVP or for more information, call (800) 730-3933. To request an information packet, go to: www.all4kids.org/program/foster-care.

     

    His Mercy Endures Forever, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Grand Ballroom, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Presented by The Sower Metanoia. Speakers: Fr. R. Tony Richard from New Orleans; Lay evangelist Jesse Romero; Fr. Ismael Robles; Sower prayer ministry leader Sandra Burroughs, Noel Diaz, founder of El Sembrador. Praise & Worship- The Sower Band. Donation $25/person (Buy 3 tix get a 4th free). Info: (877) 714-5679, Spanish (818) 700-4938. Get tickets at www.sowermetanoia.com.

     

    New Rite of Matrimony Workshop by the Archdiocesan Office for Worship, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., St. Junipero Serra, 5205 Upland Rd., Camarillo. Speakers from the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship and the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC). Implementation of the new rite begins Sept. 8, 2016, and is mandated as of Dec. 30, 2016. To register, go to: www.fdlc.org.

     

    How Can This Man Give Us His Flesh to Eat?, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., St Madeleine parish, 931 East Kingsley Ave., Pomona. The many prophecies, antetypes and allusions to the Holy Eucharist and Holy Mass found in the Torah and in the Gospels--along with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. A mini-retreat conducted by Tidings columnist Sean M. Wright. Register at the parish. Info: (909) 629-9495. 

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