Weekend Reading

Jim Martin, SJ, on finding God in hard times. An evangelical compares three versions of the Anima Christi prayer. What Nathan O’Halloran, SJ, learned in 2009. Jake Martin, SJ, on Crazy Heart. Joe Koczera, SJ, on Alfred Delp’s idea of happiness.

Resolutions?

I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions, but because my calendar now says 2010 I can’t help but think a little about them. I just finished a review of Christopher Jamison’s fine book Finding Happiness, which is perfect for those of a resolution frame of mind. Written by a Benedictine abbot (of Worth Abbey, in Sussex), the book looks at the development of the philosophy of happiness in the West, from the Greeks into […]

The Grace of a Cheerful Heart

Let us seek the grace of a cheerful heart, an even temper, sweetness, gentleness, and brightness of mind, as walking in His light, and by His grace. Let us pray Him to give us the spirit of ever-abundant, ever-springing love, which overpowers and sweeps away the vexations of life by its own richness and strength, and which above all things unites us to Him Who is the fountain and the center of all mercy, loving-kindness […]

Christmas Pageant

Two nights ago I witnessed an annual event which has become one of my favorite events of the entire year: the Christmas pageant at my daughters’ school. We have the best music teacher ever there, and what she gets the children to do is magnificent. Last year, it was drumming modeled after the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics; this year it was a walk through salvation history with song and dance. (My 4th grader […]

Happy Holidays?

I often flinch inside when someone wishes me “happy holidays.”   “What’s wrong with saying ‘Merry Christmas?’” says the annoyed inner voice. Nothing, of course, but nevertheless I’m trying to get over my flinching. Hardly anybody who says “happy holidays” does so out of disrespect for the Christian feast.  They do it out of politeness.  There are some people who might receive Christmas greetings uncomfortably, and a tiny handful who are actively hostile to Christianity.  But […]

See Who Has Created These Things

Last Wednesday, we had a blizzard in Omaha and Creighton University was closed.  Nine inches of snow was whipped by a ferocious wind onto roofs and in doorways.  Suddenly, in the midst of my busy week, I had a day of enforced nothingness.  I always dream of a day with nothing scheduled and now here, in the middle of Advent, I was handed that day. After my husband left the house, I thought that maybe […]

Christmas Carols and Unexpected Grace

The other morning while running on a treadmill at the local gym, I was jarred out of my early morning daze by a line sung by Chanticler, a famous men’s a cappella group who were performing for the Today Show.  The line that stirred me was one I, like many of you, have heard and sung a hundred times or more: “”¦Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel”¦” This familiar phrase from […]

Faith and Action

Ignatian spirituality owes a great debt to Aristotle. Not a surprise, really–Ignatius absorbed the theology of Thomas Aquinas, who imbibed the philosophy of Aristotle (by way of his teacher, Albert the Great, and in conversation with Muslim and Jewish philosophers, who had been using Aristotle for centuries). Here’s my thumbnail sketch; it’s on my mind because my freshman seminar is reading Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Everything we do is oriented toward some goal. We reach our […]

Married Every Day

I went to a funeral Monday morning;  the mother of a friend.  She was about 95 and left behind a grieving husband who will turn 99 next month.  They had been married for 73 years.  I sat in church and pondered that kind of love and commitment.  Seventy-three years?  For those of us who have been married a long time, there are days you wonder if you will make it seven years, then you wonder […]

Sacred Time

This evening, Saturday, at Vespers, the Church begins its observance of Advent. He is coming! I marvel at the way the Church has, over its history, sought to mark sacred time. The philosopher Charles Taylor observed that there is something remarkable about how the Good Friday we observe this year is in some way closer to Christ’s crucifixion than, say, the midsummer day of last year; we enter into an imaginative place that brings the […]

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