Some months ago, as I was listening to the radio in my car, I was drawn into an interview with Julia Baird, one of the hosts of a television current affairs show. I didn’t know much about Julia, her relationship breakdown or her battle with cancer. I was also unaware of her interest in the spiritual, philosophical and religious life.
You have probably heard stories where someone had to convert to the faith of their spouse when they got married. Well, that’s me. But this might not be the type of conversion you are thinking of.
Christian singer and songwriter J.J. Heller sang: “Who will love me for me, not for what I have done or what I will become.” The lyrics speak of a yearning we all have - to be loved, just as we are.
Many years ago when I was in my early 30s, I received a phone call from our parish office asking if I would agree to have my feet washed at the Holy Thursday Mass. For those of you not familiar with the “Washing of the Feet”, it is a ritual reminding us of Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet when he was sharing his last meal with them, just prior to his death.
At the beginning of this month, the United Nations invites us to consider its World Environment Day theme of biodiversity. With drought, fire, storms and now a viral pandemic variously touching our lives in recent months, it seems the theme is more than apt.
Long before psychologists and mindfulness gurus were preaching the benefits of acknowledging and giving thanks for what life offers, the great faith traditions of the world strongly encouraged the practice as well. In our Catholic tradition, one of the prayer forms that is recommended is one where we give thanks to God for all that God provides.
I have procrastinated for the last two weeks about how to start this article. I wondered if I should write about COVID-19. Things seem to be changing so quickly, that today’s news is stale tomorrow. And hasn’t enough been written already? Aren’t we all getting a bit tired of the “C” word? But I figured that many of you subscribe to Faith Journey because you are trying to make sense of the Catholic faith, and how it might have a role in everyday life.
This issue of Faith Journey will arrive in your email inbox during the season of Lent. For those of you not familiar with the traditions of the Catholic faith, Lent is a period of six weeks. It falls between two important events in the Catholic calendar: Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday (which is three days before Easter Sunday).
I am writing this article in mid-January. The beautiful blue sky and gentle breeze I can see from my window belies what most of us have experienced over the past month or more. Parched earth, landscapes, homes and businesses ravaged by fire, choking smoke haze and most recently thunder and hail storms. And lives lost as a consequence.
In my final two years of high school, I failed English. This is an unusual thing to hear coming from a qualified English teacher and professional writer.
How did I go from loathing English in high school to loving literature and creative writing as an adult? Simply put: the Bible.