Apr 05, 2005
Slow to answer: The reticence of Jesus
One of the paradoxes of Jesus as he is portrayed in the Gospels is his way of combining candor with reticence. As understandably concerned as we are with what Jesus said, it is striking to consider all that he did not say, along with the many times when he spoke by indirection. “He did not speak to them except in parables.” “He answered her not a word.”
Shared solitude: My life as an oblate
Becoming an oblate—literally “one who is offered”—means joining a particular Christian monastic community as a kind of lay associate. An oblate takes no vows but does affirm the intention to live by a modified version of the order’s rule, while continuing one’s “ordinary life.”
Oblature is a tradition that dates back to the ninth century. In 2000 Catholic News Service reported that there were more than 25,000 lay associates of U.S. Catholic religious orders—which represented a 75 percent increase in five years.
Gathering in expectation: Worship: Act one
On the night before he died, Jesus gave instructions for how the church was to stay together and remember him. His instructions were these: eat together.
Where I'm at Sunday: The church year, new and improved
Treasuring the freedom that allows us to honor our unique traditions and keep up with the times, we propose these special Sundays in the church year and offer accompanying liturgical resources:
Where I’m At Sunday, May 8 (formerly Confirmation Sunday): The youth of the church will reflect upon the hypocrisy of organized religion. They will show no interest in the Christian faith, but they will be invited to share their feelings and subsequently be received into full membership.
Video ventures: Two alternatives to 'Alpha'
Since Alpha appeared in 2001 in Great Britain, several efforts have been made to create alternative versions of that popular evangelistic video series. Though approaches differ, the new versions are generally inspired by Alpha’s success in helping seekers to learn about the Christian faith, and in helping churches to offer a compelling overview of the faith in an informal, encouraging setting.
The opening scenes establish the unforced style of Nobody Knows, a heart-rending film by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda about four Tokyo youngsters who are abandoned by their mother. The mother (played by the actress You) appears before a new landlord in the company of her sober, alert-eyed 12-year-old son Akira (Yûya Yagira); gift in hand, she explains with engaging self-effacement that they’re alone and that she hopes they can count on the couple to watch out for them.