We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics. My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”
Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe
Buddhists, Jews, Zionists and us Catholics.
When we learn from other religions, I think it strengthens our faith. When I made a two-week Buddhist retreat in Japan, I learned of their appreciation of nature, the treasure of a meditation garden and the desire to be one with the Supreme Being. But I saw no Buddhist orphanages, hospitals or facilities for caring for the poor. I returned home a better Catholic.
I had an aged Jewish client, who confided at lunch one day, “I am Jewish throughout. When I read the list of victims from a catastrophe, I am indifferent until I see a Jewish name—then I cry.” I said, “If a gunman entered the restaurant and said he would kill all but ten people and you were to select the ten, whom would you pick?” “All Jews,” he replied. “But what is the ten Jews were all in their late 90s? “I’d still pick the Jews,” he quickly replied. Upon later reflection, I admired his loyalty, even though it was limited to one breed of humans.
Recently I renewed friendship with a Zionist friend who spoke only about his several trips a year to Israel, his working on a commission to improve the Israeli reputation at the United Nations, relief funds for Jewish refugees, and the importance of the powerful Jewish lobby in Congress. I asked him, “If American were in conflict with Israel, as an American citizen which country would you support.” He quickly side-stepped an answer with, “That will never happen.” I had to acknowledge his devotion to a single and very limited cause. And it made me appreciate with pride the word “catholic” which defines the scope of my Catholicism.
My Zionist friend turned the light on my joy in having a faith that is concerned about all of God’s people, regardless of their identity or locale. Hurrah for the openness and all-inclusiveness of our Catholicism!
Other religions, thank you for waking me up to the ecstasy of being a Joyful Catholic! (what are thoughts about other religions? Let me hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org)
Other recommended Catholic blogs
Recommended readings – The Week May 14 issue has two interesting article. One points out that in during the first decade of this century, the number of Catholic has increased 12%.
The other is about kooks Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, who are planning to arrest the Pope when he visits Britain in September for “crimes against humanity.” (Comment: fellows, you don’t have much to do, do you?)
The article on population growth in the May-June Mother Jones should be required reading for our top church leaders in their lofty site in the stratosphere, out-of-sight of reality.
Last week, the winner of the autographed gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, is Mildred Andrews, Key West. FL The correct answers are:
1. Peter, James and John were the three apostles Jesus chose to go to the mountain top and experience the Transformation.
2. The Swiss Guards have been serving the Pope for over 500 years, beginning in 1506.
3. St. Joseph of Arimathea is the patron saint of undertakers. _________________________________________________________
Here is this week’s quiz. Who will be the book winner?
1. Who is responsible for electing the new Pope?
2. What was the period of the Crusades?
Send your answers to email@example.com
Catholic World News reported that in the seven years since the Iraq War was launched, 2,000 Christians have been murdered and 600,000 have fled Iraq. (Fellow Americans, don’t forget who initiated this war.)
The ultra-conservative Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz in Lincoln, Nebraska, celebrated his 75th birthday. He has done a splendid job in recruiting new seminarians, but in regard to the role of women in the church, he is as old-fashioned as knickers. He is the only bishop in the US to insist on having only male servers at Mass. Two generations from now, the old fellow will be spinning in his grave when we finally have female deacons.
George Neumayr, editor of The Catholic Report, wrote “The Church should fight back not by defending the indefensible or hatching some contrived PR campaign, but by restoring holiness and orthodoxy to the priesthood, which is the one authentic reform that these self-appointed reformers of the Church most fear.” (comment: to this, I say “Amen!”) – The May Atlantic has a full-page ad by The Teaching Company for recordings on “Explore the History of Buddhism.” Wouldn’t it be great is they had one for “Explore the Roman Catholic Church.”