Four thousand non-violent federal prisoners were sent to home confinement due to COVID emergency. The simple math is emergency ends – they go back. The legal analysis says the same. Social justice advocates see this as an opportunity to broadly commit to action reducing arbitrary or unjust prison sentences. The Biden Administration has no clear path to do that legally or even case by … Read More Restorative Justice and Christianity
The National Shrine of Divine Mercy is always a stop for me if I am in the area of Stockbridge, Ma. The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, which receives tens of thousands of visitors a year who seek spiritual renewal through the sacraments. I wandered there a few weeks ago while visiting family in nearby N. Egremont. Two prayer services, one confession, one … Read More First Fridays
Anyone know the name Thomas Rousseau David’s Byles? In my minds eye he deserves human recognition as a saint. The United States Conference of Bishops sets the bar low, at least, post-humorously low: “All Christians are called to be saints. Saints are persons in heaven (officially canonized or not), who lived heroically virtuous lives, offered their life for others, or were martyred for the … Read More What makes a Saint?
My search for living a spiritual life has been hard fought. Not worthy of mention compared to the great biographies of Christian mystics or to the great sinners who eventually had a dramatic conversion experience. Here I am now on my God quest reading Catholic theology, early Christian writers, the lives of the saints and the primary source – holy scripture. Here I am … Read More God’s answer in the mail?
My church leadership is silent regarding Archbishop Carlo Vigano’s letter to Donald Trump. Donald Trump has referred to the letter to conservative news sites as evidence of his support from Catholics. Nowhere is it mentioned this Archbishop is hiding from the Vatican. I guess it is wise not to feed this news cycle or this disgruntled letter-writer priest in hiding. I will follow their … Read More Wolf or Sheep?
Some journeys can be slow. The book of Genesis finished this a.m. The importance of patriarchy and wisdom passed on from father to son is not lost in this book. Like modern times, fathers of the past had errant sons too. Jacob, while preparing for death, tells his sons, “Simon and Levi are brothers; Instrument of cruelty are in their dwelling place. Let not … Read More Morning Dew # 8
Esau gives away his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew. A steep impulsive decision considering the firstborn gets double or more of the inheritance when their father passes! A youthful and rash decision for immediate gratification. Jacob manipulated his brother’s immaturity to have the firstborn birthright. At first glance, we could interpret this as merely brotherly gesturing and joviality. However, the Old … Read More Morning Dew # 7
Poor Isaac asks his father, Abraham, “look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering.”[i] Think of the trauma Isaac must have felt as his father a short time later bound him up and prepared to kill him with a knife and burn him on the altar. There is no mention of Isaac’s response to his near-death experience … Read More Morning Dews # 6
Where was I again since I last wrote, someplace in Genesis with Abraham and his descendants making a mess of things and their covenants with God and with each other. Yes, that is right, I said you were dammed. Unfortunately, your fate has not changed since then; we are all still heading for a date with death. Our human flesh and our earthly existence … Read More Morning Dews – #5
This morning I am confronted by locked gates barring entrance to the most peaceful and gracious place detailed in Genesis, the garden of Eden: “So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24 This confronts me … Read More Morning Dews #2
As yet, the day is untouched by humans and probably the better for it. The COVID pandemic is cleaning the environment at rates never seen since the industrial revolution introduced massive pollution to our eco-system. The morning dew is on the grass, and everything is peaceful as we prepare to see the sunrise. I am naturally a P.M. writer. Today, however, I have been … Read More Morning Dews # 1