Prisms: In the middle months of a secular calendar year, we find ourselves in what is identified as "ordinary time" in the church's liturgical year. The ordinariness of time is caught up in our usual round of family of community life, of work and recreation, of the accustomed interaction of friends, neighbors, and fellow-workers. The church's ligrugical year reminds us that God is always present to us both in the ordinary and in the moment.
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A New Challenge
Koinonia and the Church in the Digital Age
Daniel P. Horan OFM reflects on the role technology currently plays in both supporting and challenging Christians in ther fellowship (koinonia) as church. Fr. Horan has written on Franciscan theology, philosophy, and spirituality. He writes from Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Maryland. <email@example.com>
Excerpts: "The fellowship in writing is mostly clearly seen in the way that early Christian texts, were shared among the early believers. . . . We can understand Christian Koinonia as being both a communal or material unity and a sacramental unity."
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Beyond Frontiers, Deep and High, Near and Far
Hedwig Lewis SJ probes the inclusive meaning and reach of frontiers for spiritual enhancement and effective ministry. The term frontiers, contained in Decree three of the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus has gained popularity among many religious. Fr. Lewis writes from St. Xavier's College in Ahmedabad, India. His website is http://joygift.tripod.com.
Excerpts: "Frontiers have to be recognized in ther vriety and diversity. . . .To Cross frontiers demands a strong faith, courage, openness to others, and a willingness to take risks. . . . The Ignatian magis brooks no comfort zones: it expands our horizons and opens up ever-new frontiers within the heart and the world around it. . . . Our outreach program must begin from the heart."
Models of Spirituality
Elizabeth Seton's Spirituality of the Cross
Judith Metz SC explores a central element of St. Elizabeth Seton's spirituality: her realization of the inportance of losing her life for the sake of living in closer union with Christ. Sister Judith is the archivist and historian for the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati at Mount St. Joseph, Ohio. Her email address is: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excerpt: "Elizabeth Seton was committed to living in imitation of Jesus. . . The tears, prayers, and anguish Elizabeth suffered during her long watch with her sick and dying husband led her to a deeper identification with her suffering Savior. . . Dwelling under the Shadow of His Cross we will cheerfully gather the thorns which will be turned hereafter into a joyful crown. . . . Among Elizabeth's writings is a meditation on 'the communion of the cross.'"
A Rare Humility and a Future-Facing Myth
Avis Clendenen finds in an aging sister's simple tale a vision of the humility that our dangerously narcissistic culture seriously needs. She is professor of religious studies and the Sister Irene Dugan RC Scholar in Spirituality at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. <email@example.com>
Excerpts: "Sister Betty saw the Second Vatican Council as Pope John XXIII did. . . North American culture itself is in the grip of a marcissism epidemic. . . Cultural narcissism is destructively shaping a collusive and self-promoting way of living. . . Humility is the ancient ever-new virtue that keeps us rooted in our earthiness and able to savor our human limits as gifts."
Living Religious Life
Religious Life as an Acceptable Sacrifice
Robert Nogosek CSC proposes that in order for religious life to be authentic disipleship it demands of us an ongoing reevaluation of what is required to be a lving sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Father Nogosek has been a theology professor and a parish pastor. He lives in Notre Dame, Indiana. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excerpts: "I began to see that progress in union with God involved seeking what was called 'the perfection of charity.". . . Jesus is walking on the waters of today's world, and invites us, like St. Peter, to get out of our boat to join him. . . . The presence of the Holy Spirit is felt mainly in our actions. . . . We are challenged as religious to evaluate how we form ongoing community life, and what sing value it provides for others."
Coping with the Genuinely Difficult Religious
Jeffrey Mickler SSP brings together some observations and practical suggestions on how to deal with problematic religious. He lives in Canfield Ohio and his email address is: <email@example.com>
Excerpts: "I have seen very religious persons try to cure themselves of this irritability. . . . I think a miracle is required to overcome these temperaments. . . . A religious priest who is a Sherman tank might use the homily to impose his ideas on the community. . . . The main task in comping with silent and unresponsive persons is to get them to open up.
The Liturgical Year: History or Mystery?
John M. Samaha SM examines the movement of the liturgical year in order that we might enter more fully into this time of grace.
Excerpts: "What Jesus did historically during his earthly life, he continues to do sacramentally through the liturgical mysteries he celebrates in and with his church. . . . The chief function of the liturgy is to bring us divine life now."
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Discipleship and Clinging to God
Damian C. Ilodigwe writes on how letting go opens us to tru discipleship, and we are invited to detach ourselves from wayward affections in order to attach ourselves to God. Fr. Ilodigwe writes again from St. Peter and Paul Major Semingary in Nigeria. His email address is: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excerpts: "There is correlation between self-denail, the reality of the cross, and discipleship. . . Detachment is always in view of being filled by God."
Scripture Scope: Reading and Understanding the Prophets
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>.
Equinox, by Kathleen Atkinson OSB– 69.3.254
You who calmed . . . , by Mary Jane Higgens RSM F– 69.3.280
Gamble, by Irene Zimmerman OSF– 69.3.296
Freely Have You Recived, by Patricia Schnapp RSM– 69.3.308
Vita Consecrata, by Andrew Hofer OP– 69.3.315
Staying in the Fire, A Sisterhood Responds to Vatican II. by Phyllis M. Kittel with a forward from Sandra M. Schneiders IHM. Reviewed by Eileen Jaramillo, Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.