Remembrance Day falls on November 11 each year. It is the anniversary of the suspension of fighting after World War I — but it’s a day when we remember all those who perished in war. In many private homes and at official gatherings, a minute’s silence will be observed.
As a young adult, I used to hang out with Christians from different denominations. Often I was the only Catholic, which made me a source of intrigue, interest and sometimes ridicule. At these gatherings, a question often directed to me was: “Are you saved?” This baffled me at first. Did they mean was I going to heaven when I died? Wasn’t this God’s decision, not mine?
Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with a group of people, only to discover you hold a fundamentally different view on a certain topic? Sometimes the difference doesn’t really matter, and it can be fun to share opinions about favourite brands or stores, television shows, movie personalities and the like.
Recently I got into a discussion with a young man in his 20s about the sort of people Jesus associated with. He had read that Jesus was quite counter-cultural for his time as he would mix, and even eat with, tax collectors, prostitutes and lepers, who were regarded as ritually unclean. This behaviour would have put Jesus at odds with the social norms and, in some cases, in direct violation of the Jewish laws.
At the end of June, the Catholic Church will celebrate the 10th World Meeting of Families. Catholic families from across the globe will gather in Rome to pray, share and learn. The hope is that at the same time, in every diocese in the world, similar gatherings will occur. This is a huge undertaking, and it reflects the significant value Catholics place on family life.
This edition of Faith Journey is arriving in your inbox in the fourth week of the Australian federal election campaign. For those of you who love the rough and tumble of politics, there will be plenty of media banter to fill your days. For those of you less interested in politics, it’s probably wise to turn off all your devices and connect with friends and nature!
Have you heard the expression, “to carry one’s cross”? Its original meaning relates to Jesus carrying his cross – the cross on which he died. It’s a familiar saying among Catholics and it means to shoulder a burden – be it grief, illness, loss of a loved one, and so on. But more particularly it means to carry the burden with acceptance, without hatred of the oppressor, indeed, to let it go. And, can I say, it can be a really hard thing to do.