The scene generally looks the same: after my older son and I pick up his brother at preschool, I have a choice to make. Do I take the shorter route, the one that winds down MacArthur and through the center of town, complete with stoplights and traffic and grit galore? Or do I take the back roads that take a few minutes longer but guarantees a glimpse of the magical view?
In terms of my life circumstances, I couldn’t possibly have less in common with the ammas who fled to the desert for spiritual growth and exploration. I have a marriage, a parish, and two kids. And a dog. And chickens (maybe they had chickens in the desert?).
While “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is an animated cartoon about characters who look funny, who make silly noises and often pratfall, Linus’s recitation of Saint Luke’s verses is its solemn core. For a few moments, the story’s busyness is suspended to make room for a larger and more eternal story.
If you want a teenager to run away from church go ahead and teach them about the virgin saints. If you want teenagers to see the power they hold and the faith they can embody tell them about the the fearless arguers, the brave truth tellers, the rebel saints.
I am shaken by the anger and hatred people are expressing today at white supremacist rallies, on social media, and in YouTube clips.
This anti-immigrant sentiment is contrary to Christian values; it is inspired by ignorance, hatred, and fear. But it is also true that immigration is a very complex issue. Many people prefer to shout cheap slogans (“Build the wall!”) rather than exploring the many shades of gray that immigration issues entail. We have a lot of work to do, as individuals, families, and communities, to create a climate of truth-telling and civil discussion around immigration.
Here are a few suggestions of things you can do.
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