Much has been written in the secular media on President Joe Biden’s overt Catholicism and how that might challenge the already complex and daunting tightrope walked by Catholics in the public square.
Since the year 1983, our country has deemed the birthday of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to be a federal holiday. For some, this is just another holiday to relax from work, get errands done, or to catch up with friends and family.
To his final days, Bishop Francis Xavier Ford MM was a faithful witness of the presence of God in his humble servant and the Lord continues to offer that grace to all who are willing to confide in the Spirit’s presence in their lives.
One of the most important things I have learned this year is that life itself is a lesson through which we learn every day.
Although the Church began our new year on the First Sunday of Advent, many are looking forward anxiously to the end of the calendar year 2020.
St. Francis surely was smiling upon us.
It was the perfect fall day for Frs. Erik, Sam, and Fred, Capuchin Friars partnered with the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, to welcome us all at the outdoor shrine of St. Anthony at Graymoor in Garrison, NY.
In Rome, on December 2 at the end of his General Audience, Pope Francis said:
“Today is the 40th anniversary of the death of four missionaries killed in El Salvador … On the 2nd of December in 1980, they were kidnapped, raped, and killed by a group of paramilitary forces. They were offering their services during the civil war and they were bringing food and medicine to those who had to flee, especially to the families that were the poorest. These women lived their faith with great generosity. They are an example for all of us to become faithful missionary disciples.”
Well, that is a presumptuous declaration to make as there has been a “year of Advent” since the first millennium. But, the truth is, so often I have let it pass unnoticed.
For people who like to know what’s what (and you know who you are!), it’s a bit of a challenge sometimes to accept the mystery that is at the heart of our faith. Yet there’s a profound beauty and comfort in that, too, because it is through the Sacraments, Mass, Scripture, and Prayer that our Trinitarian God reveals Himself to us slowly, lovingly, surprisingly, if only partially. It’s an ever-evolving relationship. And when it comes right down to it, isn’t that true of all intimate relationships?
Self-care for all Americans is on the top of our minds, especially as we approach the holidays. We are told we must not isolate ourselves because it’s not good for our mental health, and yet gathering together can be detrimental to our physical health. Navigating this time well is difficult and can seem like an impossibility.