Prisms: The Jubilee Year for Priests began on the solemn feast of the Sacred Heart, Friday, June 19, 2009, and will conclude on that same feast day, June 11, 2010. During this celebratory year, as a priest I hear the call to be reflective about my living of this vocation and its witness and mission.
Prisms's entire text
The Mystical Element of Religion
Lawrence Barmann draws from Friedrich von Hügel's writings that religion, if it were to be fully developed in an individual, must have three interacting elements—the institutional, the doctrinal, and the mystical. He is emeritus professor of Theological Studies at St. Louis University.
Excerpts: "The traditional teaching was that purification of the natural man was achieved by turning away from the particular, by abstraction and becoming increasingly absorbed in the general. . . . The Baron himself thought that the best of the whole work was volume two, in which he developed in detail his theory of Christian mysticism. . . . The mystical element uses the resources of both the institutional and doctrinal elements to build a full, more integrative concept of personality."
What Does It Mean to Be a Priest?
Martin R. Tripole SJ finds that the definition of priesthood by Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, along with Pope Benedict XVI's understanding that the "purpose of every priest's mission is one of worship." integrates the traditional elements of a priest's identity. Fr. Tripole writes from the Jesuit Community at St. Joseph's University in Merion Station, Pennsylvania.
Excerpts: "According to Benedict, the priest today must be, as Vianney was, a "forceful witness to the gospel" and not simply a teacher. . . .The expression in persona Christi is most often used in reference to the words of consecration in the Eucharist. . . . Aquinas sees the priesthood to be primarily in "the offering of the Eucharist.". . . Benedict seems to understand worship and mission as related to each other in such a way that neither is complete without the other.
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Past and Present
Early Church Models of Some Elderly Ministries
James J. Magee reports on facilitating reminiscence groups of semiretired women religious, inviting them to see how early church history can infuse them with imaginative century-spanning attentiveness to the needs of others. He is professor emeritus of gerontology in College of New Rochelle in New York
Excerpt: "Early Christians used 'widows and orphans' to represent all those who were needy, marginal, or opressed. . . For Paul, each community would have its opportunity to aid another and so emulate the "graciousness of our Lord. . . .Our group discovered that Paul's analogy of the body—showing the rationale for helping all in need without preference—was made most use of during the 3rd century. . . . Unity within the mystical body includes both members within each community and all communities together."
Medieval Nuns of Morienval: Midwives of a New Day
Deborah Smith Douglas shares the wonder and appreciation for the first diagonal stone rib at the abbey church at Morienval that marks the visionary courage and openness to change of an unknown 12th-century abbess. She is author with her husband, David, of Pilgrims in the Kingdom (2004). <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excerpts: "That wobbly 'X' in the ceiling at Morienval presaged a whole new day for architecture—taking the weight from the vault onto its own narrow shoulders. . . This new abbess knows from her own life as a Benedictine nun, and her responsibilities as abbess, the importance of flexibility to living strength."
God's Irresistible Call Invites Us to Hope
Juliet Mousseau reflects on her call to enter religious life to find the wholeness and the joy that comes from living according to the image of God that lives within us. She can be reached through her email address: <email@example.com>
Excerpts: "Choosing religious life means making prayer my primary commitment. . . .The process of discernment and the beginning of formation have been incredibly blessed times for me."
To Imitate the Angels' Purity: Ignatius's and John Paul's Counsel
Vincent L. Strand SJ comments on St. Ignatiaus Loyola's brief counsel on chastity in the light of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Vincent entered the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus in 2005 and is in first studies at Fordham University. His is address is Ciszek Hallo; 2502-06 Belmont Avenue; Bronx, New York 10458.
Excerpts: "One of the pervasive anthropological errors which John Paul attempts to overcome in Theology of the Body is the dualism that understands the human person to be his or her soul, rather than the soul and body together. . . Inasmuch as celibacy anticipates the life of heave, celibacy does not call one to withdraw into oneself, but rather invites a person to a life-giving communion with others. . . In asking celibate persons to imitate the angels' purity, Ignatius can be understood to be calling us not simply to aboid sin, but rather to be sanctifying our concupiscent desires, working with God for our body's redemption."
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M. Evelynn Reinke SND allows us to enter with her into the wisdom reflections of three Old Testament women— Sarah, wife of Abraham, Elizabeth, wife of Zachary, and Anna, widow in the temple. Sister Evelynn can be contacted through her email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excerpts: "You can bring mellowness, wisdom, unconditinal love, gifts your youth couldn't afford."
Cardinal Newman and Don Bosco
Leo J. Heriot SDB compares life events in two important churchmen of the 19th century—John Henry Newman and Don Bosco of Turin. Father Heriot writes again from Don Bosco House; PMB Government Buildings; Suva, Fiji Island.
Excerpts: "As a seminarian, John Bosco found strength and direction in the person of Gather Joseph Cafasso. . . .He then is perfect who does the work of the day perfectly, and we need not go beyond this to seek perfection."
Scripture Scope: Theological and Spiritual Observations on the Psalms
Eugene Hensell OSB continues his Scripture essays, a regular feature of each issue of Review for Religious. Fr. Hensell travels about giving retreats and workshops his home is at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana. His email is: <email@example.com>.
Photosynthesis, by Mary Alban Bouchard CSJ – 69.2.172
Voices Heard on the Way of the Cross, by Irene Zimmerman OSF– 69.2.194-195 to view these poems
Haiku for Pentecost, by Patricia Schnapp RSM – 69.1.96
Living in God's Providence: History of the Congregation of Divine Providence of San Antonio, Texas, 1943-2000 by Mary Christine Morkovosky CDP. Reviewed by Charlotte Kitowski CDP
Book • Shelf • Life
To read the mini reviews by Philip Fischer SJ