Sunday, November 19, 2017

In ‘Still Pilgrim,’ a reminder of why prayer works so well

In ‘Still Pilgrim,’ a reminder of why prayer works so well

The title of Angela Alaimo O’Donnell’s new volume is both a paradox and an invitation.

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Still Pilgrim
by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (Paraclete Press, 2017)
The title Still Pilgrim is both a paradox and an invitation. As Christians we are called to be pilgrims—to move and journey both within and outside ourselves—and yet we are also called to contemplate. Angela Alaimo O’Donnell quotes both T. S. Eliot and Psalm 46 to show that stillness is a deliberate action in an endlessly moving world. In O’Donnell’s poems, stillness means devotion.
Every poem in this book is a sonnet, the poetic form best suited to paradox. O’Donnell’s method and style is flawless; it is easy to forget her verse is metered, rhymed, and crafted by form. Still Pilgrim reminds us why prayer works so well: Cadence makes for clarity.

US Catholics join pope in press for more ambitious climate action at COP23

US Catholics join pope in press for more ambitious climate action at COP23

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Spirit of communion needed in church, world, pope tells priests


Spirit of communion needed in church, world, pope tells priests

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Stop preaching about your vacation and move on from ‘selfie sermons’


Stop preaching about your vacation and move on from ‘selfie sermons’



 
Have more sermons become selfies? Are you hearing more homilies composed of anecdotes about the preacher himself and an increasingly familiar cast of his friends and family?
This is unfortunate. Predictable vignettes from the preacher’s childhood or extraneous accounts of his vacations reveal unnecessary details about the speaker rather than clues concerning Scripture.
This method of preaching seems so habitual that many homilists appear to be on autopilot. Perhaps the presumption is that chronicling his life is the only way to relate personally to the congregation. However, personal stories are not always necessary, and when they are presented as mere reflex, they can be quite uninteresting.
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Quinn's examination of Vatican I and infallibility is his final gift

Quinn's examination of Vatican I and infallibility is his final gift

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NCR Podcast: Vatican conference on nuclear disarmament; recap of USCCB plenary meeting

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NCR Podcast: Vatican conference on nuclear disarmament; recap of USCCB plenary meeting

New book looks at intellectual history of Francis, and why he is 'pope of polarity'