Light for the World — February 2015
The Light of Christ Shining Through the Nations
Catholics & Cultures is a new program developed by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture of the College of the Holy Cross. Its goal is to encourage comparative study of Catholic life as it is being lived around the world today. In addition to comparative studies of Catholic culture, this site aims to provide resources for teaching about the richness and uniqueness of Catholic life in our world.
The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World
The Synod of Bishops and Pope Francis have asked members of the Catholic community, from both the Western and Eastern churches, to read the draft document prepared at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family last October in Rome and to respond with comments and insights drawn from their own experience of the Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World.
Canticle of Simeon
An old man, Simeon, lived in Jerusalem. He was "just and pious" and "the Holy Spirit was upon him." Simeon came to the temple on the day Jesus' parents took him to the temple to present him to the Lord. He sang this song of joy upon seeing the child. We join with him in singing it to this day.
This version is from Hangad, a group of young Filipinos. Hangad means "desire".
The Feast of the Presentation is celebrated on February 2.
Interfaith Solidarity - Muslims and Christians Sharing Lent
In a movement begun by Bassel Riche, 28, Muslims around the world are joining Christians in celebrating Lent by giving up something they would otherwise enjoy. Riche's inspiration for this campaign came from the experience of having non-Muslim students join with Muslims in fasting for Ramadan at The University of Houston.
Riche notes that prayer and fasting have been shared activities by Christian and Muslim communities in the past. This new campaign, with its #Muslims4Lent tweets, has been picked up in countries as diverse as Great Britain, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, and the United States.
Read more about this initiative ...
Ask Theologika - How Long is Lent?
How long is Lent? I’ve heard that it’s 40 days, but when I counted the days on a Lenten activities calendar there were 46. What’s that all about?
The season of Lent is 40 days. However, the number of calendar days from start (Ash Wednesday) to finish (Holy Saturday) is not 40 days. Sundays, the day on which we celebrate the Resurrection, do not count as days of Lent.
Read more ...
Spirituality in Daily Living: Sant'Edgidio communities
The Community of Sant'Egidio is an international movement counting over 60,000 individuals on five continents who gather for common prayer and offer friendship and support for and with the poor in the cities where they live. The movement began in Rome in 1968 at the Church of Sant'Egidio. No one is considered too poor or too marginalized to be a member of the community. All join together in work and prayer to bring the light of hope into the world.
Mensaje del Santo Padre Francisco para la Cuaresma 2015
El Santo Padre Francisco, en su mensaje para la Cuaresma en 2015 dice que la Cuaresma es un tiempo de renovación, un «tiempo de gracia». Nos recuerda que Dios nos amó primero y nunca se pone indiferente frente a lo que nos está pasando. Sin embargo, nuestro corazón se cae en la indiferencia fácilmente, especialmente cuando lo que pasa en el mundo no nos afecta directamente.
Growing: From the Celebration of Light into Lent
The arrival of Lent always seems too fast. Christmas season is short yet so intense. We get a brief few weeks of Ordinary Time to ponder the baptismal experience of Jesus and his response, and then, BOOM, here we are in Lent again! It sometimes feels like maybe we should just postpone it for a few more weeks. But then I think a bit further and decide that maybe 2000 years of tradition have something to tell me/us today as well.
Light -- Physical energy and symbolic meaning
Light is fascinating. At Christmas time we are enthralled with the lights all around us: candles and Yule fires. We feel safe in life. Light is beautiful to us. Epiphany and the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas) bring news of a light for the nations that has come into the world and been witnessed.
Read more of Dr. Susan Mahan's insights ...
Liturgy: A good homily sheds light
One of the biggest changes that Vatican II made in the liturgy was replacing the sermon with the homily. Sometimes the words are used interchangeably, but they are very different. The sermon in the Tridentine or Pre-Vatican II liturgy was a time for teaching and making announcements. The homily, on the other hand, is a more conversational approach to this pivotal part of the Mass that bridges the Liturgy of the Work and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Pope Francis' Lenten Message 2015
Pope Francis, in his 2015 Lenten message, reminds us that Lent is a time of renewal, a "time of grace." He reminds us that God loved us first and is never indifferent to what happens to us. However, we too easily become indifferent to what is happening in the world when we are not directly affected.
Just for fun
Answers may be found in Ask Theologika
Looking Ahead: St. Patrick's Day Treat
One of the great things about being Catholic is getting to celebrate the feasts of the saints. Every new day could bring with it a reason for a party! Some saints are associated with certain nations or ethnic groups yet their feasts are celebrated more widely. Saint Patrick is one of these.
Praying with Our Holy Father - Light for those who suffer
General Intention: That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.