Category: Reading Notes

A Monk In The World: Cultivating A Spiritual Life by Wayne Teasdale

“The homeless live in virtually every city and town around the globe, representing a sixth of humanity — or about a billion souls.  Like ghost, they haunt the busy thoroughfares of the world.” If you read nothing else in this post except this quote that is okay.  Please contemplate and pray for these billion souls in whatever spiritual tongue you possess and cherish. Teasdale … Read More A Monk In The World: Cultivating A Spiritual Life by Wayne Teasdale

The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton

  Book Review:  A collection of anecdotal stories, parables, or sayings from the Hermits of Scete as collected by and scribed by Thomas Merton.  The Hermits formed an important thread in the fourth century by capturing Christian contemplation and prayer as they sought out solitude in the desert. The humility and passion of these Hermits exceeds current day monasteries.  I like the story where … Read More The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton

“Can We Write a History of Jesus?” by Rev. Jerome Murphy O-Connor[i]

A gem of a presentation by Rev. Jerome Murphy O-Connor that in 11 brief pages or about 25 minutes of lecture tackles the slippery slope of historical criticism of scripture, its history, and impact on the current day church.  Rev. O’Connor describes the descent of the validity of scripture in light of literary and historical criticism and the re-emergence of scripture, or the ascent, … Read More “Can We Write a History of Jesus?” by Rev. Jerome Murphy O-Connor[i]

Magnanimity, Mindfulness & God

“This virtue of the great and the small, which always makes us look at the horizon.  What does magnanimous mean?  It means having a great heart, having greatness of mind; it means having great ideals, the wish to do great things in response to what God asks of us.  (It means also)……..to do well the routine……daily actions, task, meetings with people  –doing the little … Read More Magnanimity, Mindfulness & God

The Divine Comedy: Purgatorio by Dante

“The natural was ever without error; But err the other may by evil object, Or by too much. or by too little vigor.” The above quote in canto XVII humanizes existence in purgatory.  Purgatory does not move far enough away from the horror of the Inferno and the disproportionate time assigned in purgatory is a hell in and of itself.  Still a vivid and … Read More The Divine Comedy: Purgatorio by Dante

Why Pope Francis recommended Dante?

Catholic Herald article on Dante and Pope Francis support reading:  “Dante is ‘a prophet of hope’ and ‘herald of the possibility of redemption’, says Pontiff Dante’s Divine Comedy is more than a literary masterpiece, it is an invitation “to rediscover the lost or obscured meaning of our human path and to hope to see again the glowing horizon on which the dignity of the … Read More Why Pope Francis recommended Dante?

Imposters

Donald Trump Divides God’s Voters? An opinion piece in the NY Times had this catchy title.[i]  I had a visceral reaction of disgust to this piece as I did the night before watching the GOP political debate (notably absent Trump).  I felt as if I was waking up to a news story of a church sacristy being robbed of its vestments and sacred vessels … Read More Imposters

The Truth

“The truth is not grasped as a thing; the truth is encountered.  It is not a possession; It is an encounter with a Person.”  Pope Francis, May 15, 2013 General Audience One word:  Truth.  We assume and lay claim to the truth everyday.  We defend our sense of the truth as if it was absolute, irrefutable, and natural.  We take for granted that our edifices … Read More The Truth

The Divine Comedy: Inferno

“All hope abandon, ye who enter in!” The Inferno, constructed in “Terza rima” poetic verses, has unyielding descriptions of hell clothed in “live actors” of people in Dante’s time and other historical figures.  Depressingly he fills the rafters of hell with politicians, poets, clerks, warriors, and popes.  Seemingly no one escapes the gates of hell in this horrible imaginative creation of Dante.   To … Read More The Divine Comedy: Inferno

For further reflection

. At Vienne (1311–1312) the council condemned the Knights Templar in the language of “anger and wrath” reminiscent of the prophets.37 Pope Julius II’s decree in Lateran V (1512) against the cardinals who had attempted to depose him minced no words: “We condemn, reject and detest, with the approval of this holy council, each and every thing done by those sons of perdition.”38 The … Read More For further reflection

Internal Power

The Lord God did not counter the threats of history with external power, as we human beings would expect according to the prospects of our world. His weapon is goodness. He revealed himself as a child, born in a stable. This is precisely how he counters with his power, completely different from the destructive powers of violence. In this very way he saves us. … Read More Internal Power

Improve Church

I am a cradle born Catholic post Vatican II.  At times I have visited other denominations many years ago at the height of youthful disenfranchisement with my own church, but by and large I found the Catholic doctrine is solid – our delivery still remains an issue!  What our priest say after the Gospel is read is also key.  If I were pope, I … Read More Improve Church

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