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30 Jul

MTD is Selfish

In 2009, Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith published Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults.  Smith researched teens and young adults about their faith lives.  What do young Americans believe? Does God affect their lives?  From his data, Smith establishes that the faith lives of young Americans can be described as "moralistic therapeutic deism (MTD)." These are the tenets of this understanding:

First, a God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on Earth. Second, God wants people to be good, nice and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions. Third, the central goal in life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself. Fourth, God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem. Fifth, good people go to heaven when they die.

29 Jul

Mary, the Mirror of the Church

Karst is a type of terrain characterized by hidden rivers and lakes.  Typically the terrain consists of limestone, as this easily erodes, and the section of stone underneath the surface has been dissolved.  Most cave systems in the world are karst areas.  Likewise, there are "karstic" rivers, which can flow below the ground at points.  If the soil is dense, the water will be on the surface; if porous, it will be underground. 

 

22 Jul

The Routine of Love

Do you have daily routines that ground you in something you consider important?  A ritual of sorts that makes you recall your motivating factor or your original desire for something or someone?  I, for instance, try each morning as soon as I wake up to make a sign of the cross and then nod in the direction of the only picture I have in my bedroom: that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  It reminds me of why I am a priest: because I love Jesus Christ more than anything in the world. 

15 Jul

Little Li

Little Li grew up in communist China in the 1950s. Taught by nuns in her local parochial school, the ten-year-old once asked the nuns why Jesus didn't instead say, "Give us this day our daily rice?" One day communist soldiers came into the village and, after ransacking the school, ordered everyone into the church.  The commandant blasphemed Christ and had his soldiers fire at the tabernacle.  He then proceeded to take the ciborium out of the broken door and fling all the consecrated hosts over the church.  After locking Father Luke, the pastor, inside a coal bin in the church, he threatened that anyone who went into the church would be shot. 

08 Jul

The Balanced Community

Some people crave privacy, others the company of others.  Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who spent three years in Nazi concentration camps, yearned for solitude.  Crowded in barracks and observed constantly by guards, prisoners were never alone.  Frankl wrote:  "It is well known that an enforced community life, in which attention is paid to everything one does at all times, may result in an irresistible urge to get away, at least for a short while. The prisoner craved to be alone with himself and his thoughts." (Man's Search for Meaning, 61). 

01 Jul

The Best and the Brightest

The Best and the Brightest is the title of David Halberstam's 1972 book chronicling the Kennedy administration. I keep it on my shelf and look at it whenever my ego inflates and I feel smart.  The title is satirical. Characters like McGeorge Bundy, Dean Rusk, and Robert McNamara, who composed JFK's cabinet and staff, were part of the intellectual elite.  They were Ivy-League graduates, PhDs, Rhodes Scholars, and successful CEOs. 

Has a bright beam of sunlight ever drawn your eye to our stained glass windows, and you found yourself wondering what story they tell? They really do tell a story; we share it with our virtual tour.

Church Windows