Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Axial Age

"Christ, through his Incarnation, is interior to the world, 
rooted in the world even in the heart of the tiniest atom."
Teilhard de Chardin

I finished reading today John F. Haught's The New Cosmic Story: Inside Our Awakening Universe.  I found it difficult but exciting.  He begins by pointing out that a shift in human consciousness began between 800 and 300 BCE, in what has been called the "axial age."  At that time and without any communication between them, persons in China, India, Persia, Judea, and Greece simultaneously developed the spiritual foundations of humanity.  In the book Haught argues that this interior development is as important as the exterior developments of evolution.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Oldest Enduring Republic

"...that government of the people, by the people, for the people 
shall not perish from this earth."

In the midst of a war that threatened to split the nation, Lincoln encouraged us to work together to make our form of government endure. We are the oldest enduring republic in the history of the world, fifty very different states, amazingly large geographically   Our union endures only if we citizens cherish and protect it.  As we celebrate the beginning of our nation, we pray that we might work to be what we name ourselves - united states.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Still There

"....proof through the night that our flag was still there."

(You have to click on the picture to enlarge it.  Is there a metaphor there somewhere!)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Commonweal

In his Farewell Address George Washington was already warning the country about the dangers of political parties.  He argued that they "gradually incline the minds of men to seek security...in  the absolute power of an individual."  The partisanship  that we are trapped in today distracts us and our politicians from working for the common good.

Friday, June 29, 2018

SS. Peter and Paul

As I finished my morning swim I noticed that the reflections of the sun off the ripples in the lake were running up and down the day lilies, making them shimmer.
Today is the very old feast of SS. Peter and Paul.  Christians have been celebrating it on June 29 since the third century.  The Acts of the Apostles ends with St. Paul in Rome.  Tradition has it that St. Peter also ended up in Rome, the center of the Empire.  They both died there for their faith in the mid-60's, Peter by being crucified upside down, Paul by being beheaded.  To me St. Paul represents the force for expansion and newness; St. Peter represents the force for holding together and tradition.  Both forces are crucial for the survival of any movement.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Feed My Sheep

The Sea of Tiberius, John's name for the Sea of Galilee.
Almost at the end of John's Gospel (21:1-23) the Risen Jesus asks Peter three times, "Do you love me more than these others love me."  Peter answers three times, "You know I do."  Jesus three times says, "Feed my sheep."  Jesus makes it clear that leadership among his followers is founded on love and humble service.   Pope Francis tells church leaders that they should "smell like the sheep."  (This passage is never scheduled as the Gospel for a Sunday.)

Monday, June 25, 2018

Enduring Nation

I started this morning to reflect on Independence Day.  The first speech I spent time with was Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.  While he speaks directly of  "a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," he doesn't mention slavery.  But the war was fought over whether one person can own another person or whether they are equal in the eyes of God. Lincoln says, "Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."  We endure, but there are still people who think that there is not room in our country for people who are not white.