faith

MAN OF THE HOUSE | Little simplicities offer big lessons

On a pleasantly warm evening, 8-year-old Colin and I are hanging out in the front yard of his house. And my grandson gives me a spiritual lesson.

"Aw," says Colin, looking at their well-groomed lawn. "Where did all the dandelions go?" Immediately, I think: Dandelions are weeds. Weeds are bad. I wish my lawn didn't have so many of those dastardly weeds. But ... "I wanted to pick some of them," he says.

FOR THE JOURNEY | Volunteer corps offer experiences to build faith

The Jesuit Volunteer Corps was young — and so was I — when I arrived at a remote Alaskan village to teach school at a Jesuit boarding school for Native Alaskan students as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Cell phones and the Internet did not exist. In the village of St. Mary's, and in other villages on the far-flung Alaskan tundra, there was no television reception. A phone existed for the village — just one — and it was in a man's home.

POPE'S MESSAGE | God promises the ‘impossible,’ asks people hope against all hope

Pope Francis greeted a child at his general audience March 29 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. In his catechesis talk, the pope looked at how Abraham’s faith is held up as a model for everyone in St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans (4:16-25).

VATICAN CITY — Hope is not built on people's predictions, assurances or line of reasoning, Pope Francis said.

Real Christian hope "is not based on our word, but on God's Word" and promises of salvation and eternal life, the pope said at his general audience in St. Peter's Square March 29.

Continuing a series of reflections on how the apostle Paul describes the nature of Christian hope, the pope looked at how Abraham's faith is held up as a model for everyone in St. Paul's Letter to the Romans (4:16-25).

Faith and science closely linked

This artist’s concept shows what the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system may look like, based on available data about the planets diameters, masses and distances from the host star. The system has been revealed through observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) telescope, as well as other ground-based observatories. The system was named for the TRAPPIST telescope. The seven planets of TRAPPIST-1 are all Earth-sized and terrestrial, according to research published in 2017 in the journal Nature.

Recent headlines about the TRAPPIST-1 solar system and its seven Earth-sized planets have created quite a buzz among astrophysicists, astronomy lovers and the general population.

Surrounding a dwarf star, the system is relatively close at 40 light years from earth, and three of the planets are in the so-called habitable zone, which means a TRAPPIST-1 planet "easily could have developed a life form," Jesuit Father Robert J. Spitzer said Feb. 27 at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

With an important caveat.

Faith leaders urge communities to show care for their neighbor

Utah march shows support for refugees, immigrants, celebrates diversity
Marchers participated in Utah’s March for Refugees Feb. 4 in Salt Lake City. The march began at the Wallace Bennett Federal Building with a chain of children, representing diverse cultures and upbringings, holding hands.

The march was a reaction to President Donald Trump’s executive order that prohibited travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days and barring all refugees for 120 days.

People of different cultures, religions and beliefs sent a message to lawmakers and to the world that the lives of refugees and immigrants matter and they are welcome in Utah.

WASHINGTON — A coalition of interfaith leaders from the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington gathered at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington on Jan. 31 to announce a vision statement for religious communities in the local area.

The statement, released a day before the start of the United Nations' annual World Harmony Faith Week, arises from the communities' "trust in God and belief that good government is exercised 'under God.'" It also called upon their belief in "our responsibility to serve humanity," which calls them into community.

AN EDITOR’S LIFE | Church teaching, faith formation and broad appeal guides our coverage

Readers frequently write or call to ask why we didn't cover an event or why we published a story. Often these aren't neutral inquiries — they're frequently complaints about news judgment.

The tone of these messages seems to have changed in recent years. Now, rather than simple inquiries, messages are infused with angst — "disgusted," "disturbed" and "disappointed" frequently appear. But ultimately, readers are simply curious about why certain stories are news worthy and others aren't.

The answer is easy: there is no easy answer.

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