Viewpoints

TWENTY SOMETHING | Listening at the keyholes: how to love better and learn more

When two 20-somethings slung a wire across rooftops in Boston, they were hoping to hear each other's voices transmitted across that line. It worked, and they did, but in the process, they also picked up a far more exotic sound: powerful radio waves emitted from the sun.

Alexander Graham Bell was 26 and working in a fifth-floor attic when he spoke those famous words into a mouthpiece: "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."

The message to his assistant was transmitted, Bell wrote in his journal: "To my delight he came and declared that he had heard and understood what I said."

FAITHFUL FAN | CBC football team tackles a much tougher assignment

Football players at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis recently joined the national conversation on prejudice, race relations and social justice.

The topic affects all of us, their coach said, and the players courageously came together to talk about a difficult subject.

The best part was that the players, who represent diverse ethnicities and backgrounds, came away feeling better because they opened up about the topic. They also felt it brought them together, and they put out a message of the need for unity.

INTELLECT AND VIRTUE | Don’t mess with Mother Nature

Catholic children learn the corporal and spiritual works of mercy (seven each) about the same time they learn the seven sacraments. Most works of mercy come directly from the Gospel, especially from the description of the last judgment. They include feeding the hungry and visiting the sick, for example, as well as admonishing sinners and bearing wrongs patiently.

The works of mercy neatly reflect the fact that we're both flesh and spirit, and both are important.

FOR THE JOURNEY | Follow Pope Francis’ example of ‘Mercy Fridays’

The photos were all over Facebook.

They showed Pope Francis, clad in the typical hospital green scrubs and a surgical mask, visiting the newborn section of an Italian hospital. This included the intensive care unit in which five little ones struggled for survival due to early births or other complications.

Facebook users love stories about babies, dogs and cats. If you get all three in one story, users really eat it up. But if instead you bring in a smiling pope dressed in hospital scrubs holding a baby, that's a winner as well.

BRIMMING WITH HOPE | Planning for Transition at Kennedy High School

Last week the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced that this will be the last school year for John F. Kennedy Catholic High School. The decision was made with regret and after a great deal of analysis and discernment.

MAN OF THE HOUSE | Reflections on the Year of Mercy: Be a door of mercy to others

I noticed a curious phenomenon shortly after the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy began in December. Virtually every day, in something I read or heard, the word "mercy" appeared. The reference was purposeful at times, something written or said relating to the Jubilee Year. Other times it was in a selection from Scriptures that seemed noticeable because the word was prominently on my mind.

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