When Jesus said "Blessed are the poor (or poor of heart)" he was not praising poverty as such. Quite the contrary: he was warning us that the kingdom of God (or of heaven on earth) would never be realized, much less possessed, by the avaricious or the greedy.
Here are a few final thoughts I have on why nobody wants to go to Church anymore and what the Church and leaders must do to reverse the decline and maybe even reclaim some of the 35 million Americans who have departed.
My friend, you did not show up to be a pastor or a lawyer, journalist, or missionary, or a mechanic or server at Waffle House. You are here instead to awaken out of all illusions. The illusions cause the suffering.
From the moment I first turned the television on, I couldn't get comfortable with the heroism narrative. The Boston Marathon bombings didn't speak to me of the goodness of humanity in the face of evil, but the corruption of our species and the ways we try our best to control it.
I decided to consider the existence of a loving, omnipotent deity of my understanding Who was different than the Great Intimidator of Catholic upbringing. I listened carefully for the voice within me, which I believe is the God voice that is in all of us, for divine direction.
The science of evolution poses some thorny problems for Roman Catholic tradition. But a new book gives me hope the topic will be more deeply explored by Catholic theologians (and publishers) in the future.
Do you know the story of Adam and Eve? If we truly understand what took place on that day in the Garden of Eden, it would help us understand a lot about what we are supposed to being doing here in this world.
This myth justifies hardheartedness (or often condescending paternalism) toward those whose poverty must be their own fault, and it allows those who believe it to congratulate themselves for their hard work and responsible life choices.
The absolute justice of God and His unswerving commitment to righteousness are more than abstract qualities. They have concrete manifestations in the way He deals with people and in the manner He dispenses judgment.
For some people, every day is already a painful reminder that they are made of dust. For these people, sin is not so much about pride, but rather the failure to have a healthy sense of self-esteem and love for oneself.
It is a sad day indeed when a faculty member of one of the leading Christian colleges in the nation is threatened with the sack by his president for trying to stay true to the faith of his parents and to the demands of reason and evidence.
There are many different religions in the world, and they make contradictory claims. They cannot all be true. Why therefore should we think any of them true? Is it not just a matter of chance what we believe?
According to Christian theology, God reveals Godself most fully in the person of Jesus Christ. As such, it follows that sin is the closet, or the resistance to revealing ourselves fully to God and to others.
Gregory Bateson once cautioned us young people that if we were ever going to have a psychotic episode, we should try not to do it while in America, lest we get swept into its so-called Mental Health system and never return.