Stories I’ve Found, 4/26/2013

Interesting stories I’ve found lately:

A prominent Jesuit in Rome sees continuity with Jesuit spirituality in Pope Francis’ approach to the Papacy.  Pope Francis’ preaching style gets unpacked here, including some nice sound bites.  Pope Francis gives his advice on preparing for the Last Judgement: serve the Poor.

Tom Erlich asks whether isolation was the prime motivating factor in the bombings at the Boston Marathon.  Whether it is or not, his portrait of isolation feeding a lot of our dysfunctions is very apt, I think.

Thomas L. MacDonald made an interesting observation in his blog post I Hope He’s in Hell: “Surely the Christian-hunter Saul should have been knocked from his horse and straight into Sheol for his sins, yet he became one of the greatest of all Christians. Weren’t there thousands of people better suited for the job of Apostle to the Gentiles? And wasn’t Jesus trying to tell us–and the early Church–something very important by selecting a man with blood on his hands to write half of his New Testament? Rather than sending him to Hell, He caught him up to the Third Heaven.”

I don’t have what it takes to do prison ministry; this story is about a remarkable priest who ministers in a Mexican prison with members of drug cartels.  Grace comes in unexpected ways.

GetReligion delves into two stories that the mainstream media are not reporting. The first is the situation of 2 Orthodox Bishops of Syria, who are being detained by parties unknown for reasons unknown.  They were on a humanitarian mission when they were taken, and their driver was killed. Pope Francis has called for their release, but this story hasn’t become general news. The second relates to the Gosnall case, and why mainstream news media insist on calling infants who initially survive abortions “fetuses”.  Are there no intelligent editors out there? This is why I seek my primary news from the BBC.

Leah Libresco explores the phenomena of modern corporate monasticism in What Good Is Sitting Alone At Your Desk.  Be sure and follow the links to Elsa Walsh’s Washington Post article and Leah’s On the Square piece.  This subject dovetails well with the previous article about the dangers of isolation, which can be common in life today. There’s a quote in the latter I think is perfectly on the mark: “Most careers aren’t vocations, so we need space outside them to grow and love.” Space to live and grow is important for us who are in vocations that are careers as well.

Leah led me to an interesting essay by Br. Hubert Kilanowski, O.P. on the Dominicana blog, distinguishing the difference between being a Christian and a Jedi. She also gives us an interesting little reflection on emotions  with a quote from Hindu tradition I think is quite good. I believe emotions are like storms that pass through our lives; we can confuse deeper motivations, like generosity, love or disillusionment, for emotions, but they’re not.

I’m not on Twitter and not planning to be anytime in the near future. The danger of people who like to preach on this medium is illustrated in this article on Richard Dawkins’ recent comments about Islam in this medium.  It also highlights the problem of commenting from infallible ignorance, and the overall dangers of shooting from the hip.

An update on the Pope Emeritus: apparently he’s relieved not to be Pope any longer.  I can understand that: there’s jobs I’m relieved not to have anymore.

There is hope in the world. A slideshow of 15 events Westboro Baptist Church promised to picket and didn’t show.  Of course, Brandon, MS found a way to short circuit them a couple of years ago.

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