David Quinn gives his opinion about the impact of faith during the crisis in his column in the Irish Independent - Why there were no athetists in the mine. And Nuala O Loan reminds us that despite what some people think, Religion is not a Problem.
And one of the great quotes of the week had to be:
"There are actually 34 of us, because God has never left us down here."- 19-year-old Chilean miner Jimmy Sanchez, in a letter sent up from the mine Tuesday. You can read more about Jimmy here.
At the same time, it also reminded us in Ireland that the element of folk religion, where it is part of the everyday fabric of our lives is something we need to rediscover with the example of the miners as they remembered to invoke their patron saint - St Lawrence (see pic)
And the Anchoress gives a quick reflection on the example of Mario Sepúlveda Espinace who returned from the depths bearing gifts....for others.
"[He]crested the top of a hole from which he thought he might never escape, and his first instinct was to give. That’s a thing worth writing about, and thinking about and praying about. I wish I had a picture of that moment! How huge and resilient is the human spirit?"
Back to the Synod about the Church in the Middle East, John Allen gives some interesting coverage and insight into the issues being raised by the Patriarchs and Bishops at the NCR blog with discussions about the role of the Eastern Churches in the universal church, the need to allow them to ordain their serving priests in Europe and North America as is their tradition and right, and interesting perspectives from Muslims and Jews about the relationship between the three Abrahamic faiths.
If you want to read more about the different Eastern Catholic Churches, CNEWA has a special magazine out this month with various articles about our Christian brethren in the Middle East.
The issue of tolerance and the role of Christianity in a secular society was sort of summed up during the week by Madeline L'Engle
"We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it."In her regular Tuesday column, Elizabeth Scalia (aka The Anchoress) discusses how although we live in a tolerant society, for many of the social "lepers" around us, there is still a vast amount of intolerance.
Bishop Paul D Etienne reminds us on his weekly blog how we need to rediscover a centre or a Core of Life to our everyday existence.
Of course, Sunday 17th is the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop and in case you missed me, Sacred Space 102fm has had a series of bits and pieces about Mary during the week which you can find here. And make sure you tune in on Sunday morning for our interview with Sr Margaret O Sullivan about this great Australian Saint.
During the week we nearly forgot the memorial of Blessed John XXIII - Good Pope John and you can catch up on some reflections and favourite speeches of this beloved Pope here. with a quick biography of him here and one his most famous impromptu speeches.
"When you head home, find your children. Hug and kiss your children and tell them: 'This is the hug and kiss of the Pope.' And when you find them with tears to dry, give them a good word. Give anyone who suffers a word of comfort. Tell them 'The Pope is with us especially in our times of sadness and bitterness.' And then, all together, may we always come alive -- whether to sing, to breathe, or to cry, but always full of trust in Christ, who helps us and hears us, let us continue along our path.”
In a challenge to the world, former Czech president and Nobel prize winner Vaclav Havel gave a speech in which he challenge the prevailing culture and predicted that the "First ‘atheistic civilisation’ is heading for catastrophe".
Holding onto faith can be difficult at times, but sometimes people of faith should be thankful for doubt. And Pope Benedict XVI speaking in Rome during the week noted that "It is the faith of the simple that knocks down false gods"
An unusual journalistic endeavour this week on the Pat Kenny radio show, a journalists take on a pilgrimage to Knock.
Given our spiralling unemployment rate, the Anchoress gives us some inspiration in the form of a Rosary for Jobseekers.
And through out it all, perhaps we need to remember that we need to live in the now, struggle to live in the present moment and that sometimes it is important not to do anything,