How would you descibe Christianity in one word? Eric Sammons tries and suggests communion.
For those who feel that there is no hope, over at the catholic portal Summa This Summa That, Pat Gohn has a piece which she describes as one that you should "file this in the if-you-are-going-through-hell-keep-on-going file. Hope is often lurking just beneath the surface of our fears or challenges".
While Kathy Coffey reminds us of the Spiritulaity of Work and Tim Muldoon looks at people who are adrift from the church.
Continuing on the articles about the wearing of the religious habit, Patheos.com continues a new series The Habit of Witness with two short articles here and here from women religious about their experences of wearing the habit,
Imagine the scene: a little café full of people, either bustling about or chatting at tables while warming their frozen hands around steaming cups of java. Two nuns walk through the door and it seems like all eyes turn their way. One patron calls out, “Sisters, you have made a lot of people happy today!”
We smiled our biggest smiles, the words warming our frozen cheeks. But what does one say to that?
I felt so small, so human, and so humbled that I just wanted to drop down on the floor and say, “I’ll try harder, I promise!”
Most nuns and sisters could tell numerous stories about people’s reactions to the habit — all good; all humbling; all manifesting how the habit speaks a universal language and points to the reality of God. People notice the wedding ring and wonder why I wear one, while children respond to the habit most perceptively, asking, “Are you God’s wife?” There are the smiles as people walk by, the waves from across the street.It’s breast cancer awareness month, and the Anchoress has reprinted a piece written a couple of years ago by Pat Gohn, about her own breast cancer, and the a deep and faith-filled friendship that came like a balm and gift to counter the medical chaos:
But the habit is primarily a witness to the person wearing it.
Sometimes friendships blossom where we least expect them — like in foxholes. That echoes my relationship with Judi. I was in a battle, but lacked experience. As a cancer veteran, Judi helped me adjust my armor while pointing out weapons to fight my fear. She spoke about her own suffering and struggles with faith, what it means to deal with utter darkness and then choose to reach for the light. Walking me through that minefield, Judi was a one-woman support group and mentor rolled into one.
Months went by. My treatment and recovery period yielded an excellent prognosis. Conversations with Judi changed from cancer to other subjects. We had Christ and cancer in common, but slowly found more.You’ll want to read it all, and if you know someone whose life has been touched by breast cancer, why not forward it to them? Especially if they’re feeling distanced from faith, because of it!
A couple of more reflections following on from the rescue of the Chilean (and one Bolivean) miners last week. Writing in the Huffington Post, Rabbi Elie Kaunfer notes how Chilean Miner Rescue, Celebration Gives New Meaning to Old Prayers and Edward Murray writes on how A Moment For Sacred Metaphors: How the Chilean Miners Helped To Rescue Us
In the world of ecclesial international politics this week, the Holy Father has announced his intention to create new members of the College of Cardinals, check out Rocco for the details and analysis of what it all means.
Given the context of Christian-Islam relations, an interesting reminder of some of the sacrifices made by Christians in the name of peace for people both Muslim and Christian.
And it seems that in the Eternal City, a Catholic pub opens in an historic Roman crypt.