Stories I’ve Found, 9/27/2013

Interesting stories I’ve found lately:

Pope Francis on the power of money, in his own wordsAt the Wednesday Papal Audience this week, he talks about the need for unity and the perils of a privatized Church. 

David Gibson gives his 5 things we’ve learned about Pope Francis from the blockbuster interview last week, and they seem pretty accurate. 

An interesting personal take on Pope Francis’ ministry as seen through the lens of the Prodigal Son by Dr. Gregory Popcak. 

Inspired by Pope Francis, Meghan J. Clark writes about how we are One Human Family, and how one piece of legislation before Congress undermines that. 

Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese gets us warmed up for the meeting next week of the G8: the Cardinals Pope Francis is gathering to map out comprehensive reform of the Curia and the Church. 

Pope Benedict speaks from his cloister to an Italian atheist mathematician. He denies personal complicity in covering up child abuse in the Church, and challenges some of the author’s assertions about the nature of God. I found this quote interesting: “If you want to substitute God with Nature, the question remains: What does this Nature consist of? Nowhere do you define it and it appears rather like an irrational divinity that doesn’t explain anything”

Jeremiah 29:11 Is Not About You is an excellent post by Jonathan Merritt that unpacks a popular verse that’s frequently misinterpreted in a solid way.  It’s easy to pull individual verses from Scripture that seem to say what we want them to say; looking at context gives us a better idea of God’s intentions.

The Redemption of A. M. Homes unpacks some excellent fodder for reflection on redemption.  It’s an interview with the author about her new book May We Be Forgiven, and I’ve put the e-book on my iPad for my next reading project (am I up to date or what?).

Omid Safi calls out The Nonsense of “Mistaken Identity” Hate Crimes.  Amen, brother.

The discovery of a First Century Synagogue in Midgal (biblical Magdala) promises new insight not only to Jewish worship of that era, but also early Christianity.  It may be where Jesus met Mary Magdalene, however let’s not press too deeply into that, Mr. Brown.

Rebecca Sharbaugh shares some very charitable attitude in her Letter to a “Conservative” Catholic.  I hope this spirit of Reconciliation will take root more deeply in the Church and the world.

The Real Paradox of Individualism is a very deep piece about the nature of human society, but it has some important points to make.  I’m going to have to read this again, because the insight it has is that important.

Escaping the Cycle of Scarcity is another deep thought piece from the New York Times that has something important to say about the nature of poverty.  I think the concept of bandwidth, and the role is plays in making bad decisions, is an important insight.

It’s long past the graduation season, almost the polar opposite, however I just discovered this graduation address by George Saunders in the NY Times blog and it’s fantastic. An easy read with an excellent lesson: “. . .err in the direction of kindness.” 

While we’re on graduations, David Foster Wallace gave a commencement address at Kenyon College in 2005 that’s extremely profound as well.  “I wish you more than luck.”

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