Your Faith

Do I really have to talk about Jesus?

Dear Father Joe: To be a good Christian witness, is it enough to be a good person – or do I have to talk about Jesus?

Thank you for your question: It’s an important one. Often, when we imagine ourselves talking about Jesus to co-workers or friends, it comes across as an uncomfortable requirement, instead of an organic reality that comes about from living our faith well. What I’d encourage us to do is get us out of the either/or idea and into the both/and.

Priest, pastor, nun, brother: How are these roles different?

These questions sure made me do some research! It’s funny, but I found that there were some elements to this that I simply didn’t know. One of the first things I discovered is that there are official terms and designations and there is the way we talk – these can be two different things! Think of what happens when you want to blow your nose: you ask for a Kleenex. What you are really asking for is officially called “paper facial tissue”, but we all call it one brand of paper facial tissue: Kleenex. (Massive props to the Kleenex marketing department).

Mercy begins with spiritual conversion

And he told them a parable, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?”…

“Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.” (Lk 6:39,41-42)

Lily of the Mohawks, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Feast Day July 14

Tekakwitha, born in 1656 to a Christian Algonquin mother and Mohawk father, embraced a life of gentle service to others from an early age. She and her family contracted smallpox when she was a child; she was scarred from the disease and lost her family to it. Although her uncle took her in, he treated Tekakwitha as a slave. She found solace, however, in listening to the “blackrobes,” or Jesuit missionaries who visited her village, and would meditate often on their teachings.

Pope Watch July 2016

Visit with Muslim scholar

After five years of silence, Pope Francis met with the Grand Imam of the renowned Al-Azhar mosque and university in Egypt on May 23. Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib and the pontiff met at the Vatican to promote inter-religious dialogue and peace. Talks between the head of the important Sunni Muslim mosque and university had been discontinued in 2011 after a speech by Pope Benedict XVI which linked Islam and violence. “Our meeting is the message,” Pope Francis told the Grand Imam as he greeted him.

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