Spiritual Reflections: The inscription explaining Jesus' execution, "This is the King of the Jews," has the power to indict everyone who contemplates it.
We say: The symbolic doors of mercy, unsealed and opened in Rome and in dioceses and parishes around the globe have urged conversion and renewal while there is still time.
Francis Chronicles: "What must we do with bothersome people?" the pope asked. First, look in the mirror and see "if we, too, may sometimes prove to be bothersome to others."
NCR Book Club: Most people know the life story of Francis of Assisi, mystic, miracle worker, founder of the Franciscans and saint. At least, they think they know his story.
Sunday. Vickie and I stay in bed till 10 a.m. She lies on her back just like she did before she fell asleep, arms crossed over her chest, head straight, eyes fixed, like a sarcophagus of Cleopatra. What she sees, I do not know.
I put my cheek against hers, as warm as a baby's. I turn her face to mine and smile. "Good morning, Sunshine." Her eyes come to life, her face glows. I kiss her cheek over and over and snuggle up close like a family dog that just jumped into bed. We just lay there. It is our morning prayer.
Take and Read: The Diary of a Country Priest presses readers to confront the dark underside of humanity. The novel's protagonist (and readers) earn hard-won enlightenment.
Spiritual Reflections: Although the desire to assign places for others in the afterlife is tempting, the sacred texts summon our attention and our energies elsewhere.
At the peak of his 40-year career, radio broadcaster Paul Harvey (1918-2009) was heard on 1,600 radio stations by 24 million people weekly. He was best-known for what he called "The Rest of the Story." In that segment, he'd feature some well-known person or event and then supply his listeners with some added and perhaps previously unknown information that completed the story and made it all the more fascinating. Hence, the rest of the story.
Soul Seeing: 3.5 million Americans are homeless each year, including 1 million children on any given night. That seemed impossible to me. Then I met Jen.
There is an atmosphere in two of today's readings that Catholic blogger Todd Flowerday calls "an interlude of mercy" (catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/reconciliation-lectionary-wisdom). The phrase well captures a sense of God's patience with us sinners as we figure out how to respond to love.