A Thought for the Week
June 18, 2013
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [June 30, 2013]
Most parents that I have known throughout my life, including my own parents, have great interest in trying to imagine what their child will grow up to become. If the boy or girl is sports-minded, their hunch is that the big leagues may be in store or at least the Olympics. If the young teenager is skilled in math or science, the word comes down from above that they are willing to send him/her to MIT, no matter the cost. Finally, if a youngster shows any signs of piety, the immediate prediction will be seminary or the convent.
Most of us know from experience, of course, that this youngster will change his or her mind a dozen times before settling on something that truly fits their character or their deepest hopes.
Posted by Cindy Lentine at 02:13 PM.
June 17, 2013
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time [June 23, 2013]
For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of Garry Trudeau, the premier American social and political satirist of our age who writes a cartoon each day for more than 1400 newspapers around the country. It is titled Doonesbury. Those who know Gary Trudeau’s style eagerly await his daily commentary on some element of contemporary life in America. He has no shame in portraying the idiosyncrasies of some of the best-known personalities and human situations of the modern-day scene.
At the moment Mr. Trudeau is doing a series of cartoons in which his usual cast of characters is returning to their college class reunion. Those of us who have returned to our own reunion will remember the usual humor that accompanies these events: the names forgotten, the faces misplaced, the surprise at the success of some and disappointment in the failure of others. A frequent phrase one might hear would be: “What’s the world saying about you these days?”
Posted by Cindy Lentine at 02:51 PM.
June 14, 2013
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time [June 16, 2013}
I am writing this reflection in late May after having just read several articles in the New York Times and The National Catholic Reporter on discrimination. Not by chance the articles concerned the place and the role of women in the world today. The article in the Times commented on the consequences of the disastrous collapse of the garment factory in Dacca, Bangladesh, killing over a thousand workers, mainly women. The columnist made the point that these women had made their way from distant farming communities, coming to the city in order to support their families, many earning scarcely more than $30.00 each month.
By contrast, American and European Union high-end stores (The Gap, Benetton Wal-Mart, J.C. Penny and others) sell such garments made by the women for an average $30.00 each. It is an issue of immense inequity at the expense of women-workers in Third World countries.
Posted by Cindy Lentine at 09:15 PM.
June 03, 2013
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [June 9, 2013]
When one reflects a bit on the trends of human nature, the comings, goings and doings of ordinary folks in the world, our ways often seem to fall into two basic patterns, the ordinary and the extraordinary. In ordinary circumstances people simply seem to get along on the strength of their own abilities, making a living, being responsible to the family in the work place and the church. Indeed, there even seems to be a bit of competition in those fields. Many say, “well, I like my neighbors, but, at the same time, I need to take care of myself first; I can’t be worrying about the neighbor next door or the person next to me in the cubicle across the aisle; they have their responsibility; I have mine; that’s simply the way life works.”
But we also have noticed the way people react in life’s extraordinary, unexpected moments. Consider two events that have occurred in America in recent times: One, the tragedy of 9/11, the death of over three thousand people and the destruction of property beyond counting. We all remember how ordinary folks responded on that occasion: firemen and women, first responders and just ordinary folks who pitched in and helped wherever they could, often at the cost of their own lives. Competition and individualism were nowhere to be found. People were people, suffering and struggling. It made no difference whether they were friend or foe. Someone needed help and it was gladly and freely given. They realized that such a tragedy could happen to anyone, anytime. Suddenly community became more important than individuality.
Posted by Cindy Lentine at 10:13 AM.
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ [June 2, 2013]
In my occasional, quiet, reflective moments, I have often thought about the power, the meaning and significance of human actions, actions that we take part in practically every day but rarely admit to their power to help us discover what life is all about.
Today is the feast of Corpus Christi, Latin for the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Why would we want to dwell on a reality such as this? Think about it: Could it be that a Catholic feast such as this might have some resemblance to an action in which we participate every day, indeed an action without which we die? I believe so.
First of all, there is a theological principle behind this that insists that there is sacred meaning, mystery connotation, in practically all that happens in the world each day, especially all that affects human life. Our whole Christian sacramental system is built on the assumption that the natural, the ordinary, the human is the basis for understanding the holy, the mystical in our daily life.
Think then about the ordinary action of eating which just happens to be the foundation for the Feast of Corpus Christi.
Posted by Cindy Lentine at 09:32 AM.
May 22, 2013
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity [May 26, 2013]
Each year as the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity rolls around in our Catholic liturgical calendar, I sit down before my IMac computer in fear and trembling. What can I say about God? What can I say about the eternal Divine One that will make any difference in the lives of those who by accident may choose to read these words?
The author who once suggested that more heresies are proclaimed from the pulpit of churches on this festival day than on any other day of the year was probably at least partially correct. I have no way of proving that assertion, of course; indeed, it may well be true but for the wrong reasons.
Anyone who assumes that he or she can say anything intelligent and definitive about God is assuming a great risk.
Posted by Cindy Lentine at 01:03 PM.