Spiritual Reflections: Our faith is based on a personal encounter with Christ, bubbling over into joyful expressions of our being so loved.
Faith and Justice: The November meeting of the USCCB is an opportunity for the bishops to get with the Francis program instead of rubber stamping their same old, tired agenda.
NCR Today: I think Francis has it right, "It is not by proselytizing that the church grows, but by attraction."
NCR Today: "The church’s outer form can be changed," Cardinal Reinhard Marx said. "For some people that sounds ominous but I don’t feel in any way threatened by that."
A Roman Observer: Many Catholics who are eager to see Pope Francis reform the Roman Curia have grown noticeably impatient with how long the project is taking.
Wake up and take action; Pope Francis makes this call in "The Joy of the Gospel," but it seems people "are still sleeping, caught up in a million secondary things," Archbishop Victor Fernandez said.
In his short guide on how to apply the pope's apostolic exhortation -- Evangelii Gaudium in Latin -- the Argentine archbishop said if the teachings in the document were taken seriously, church communities would see significant changes, renewal, life and new energy.
Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has been very generous with his words. There have been addresses, homilies, conversations, phone calls, interviews and writings, including an apostolic exhortation on "The Joy of the Gospel" (Evangelii Gaudium). Still, the pope has been silent or very reticent on certain questions.
A Roman Observer: Those clerics who are troubled by or pretend not to understand what Francis is "up to" were certainly not toasting the pope's Sunday homily.
With Francis, the "somewhat pessimistic basic mood" of the church has given way to a new joy, a spirit of optimism, and a new start, Cardinal Walter Kasper said.
Michael Sean Winters last week wrote in-depth and scholarly pieces on the October Synod of Bishops on the family. Anybody interested in learning everything that can be known in preparation for the synod needs to read these blog posts.