A recurring theme in the Gospel passages read during Easter Season, and especially at celebrations of the sacrament of confirmation, is Christ’s promise of the Paraclete. On four different occasions (John 14:16.26; 15:26; 16:7) within the Last Supper discourse of Jesus as reported in the Gospel of John, we find a reference to this unique gift. The word is unusual enough to evoke some playful references to a “parakeet” on one’s shoulder, as if that were the point of reference when speaking of the Holy Spirit!
Periodically I am in a conversation about a contemporary neuralgic issue of one type or another, and someone suggests returning to the Gospel for direction. Obviously that is an important point and compelling as well, but not quite as simple as it may initially sound. The Gospel is framed as reflection of and witness to […]
Earlier this month I had the good fortune to attend the annual meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America. The chosen location this year was Halifax, Nova Scotia, as a tip of the hat to the Canadian members of the group, and the chief planner for this year’s meeting was our own Fr. Bryan Massingale, priest of the archdiocese and a professor at Marquette University.
The theme chosen for the gathering was “Impasse … and Beyond,” a recognition of the many theological conundrums over the centuries and again today … which seem to go so far and then be stymied. As a matter of fact, the actual wording of the conference’s theme was originally provided by Sr. Constance Fitzgerald, a remarkable contemplative Carmelite nun from Baltimore whose poetry and prayer offered possibilities for opening new paths to solve ancient theological dilemmas. Her mature voice, quiet and confident, was electrifying. Like many others in attendance, I almost felt the need for silence rather than a theological response from a different voice!
It seems as if the calendar pages flip over more quickly than ever and suddenly the prospect of Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent rise over the horizon once more. The catch word for the season, of course, is “Repent/metanoeite” (Mark 1:15)! It is very easy for us to automatically assume that the conversion […]