Column: I am surprised and shocked when Christians defend corporal punishment. It seems to me that followers of the Prince of Peace should be practicing peace.
NCR Today: This is a prayer for all taking part in the synod, particularly those with the power to shape not only the synod's discussions, but its conclusions.
When the eighth-century prophet Isaiah had a harsh truth to communicate to his contemporaries, he wrapped his message in a ballad -- a love song that told of God's love and Israel's repeated infidelity. He warned of judgment and well-deserved punishment, but he sang of these realities, and thereby created an opening in the hearts of those who might otherwise have turned a deaf ear.
When Americans aren't busy praying for themselves or their own needs -- and most of them are -- many are seeking divine intervention on behalf of a favorite sports team or the golden ticket in the lottery, according to a new survey.
About 13 percent of Americans who pray say they pray for sports teams, compared with about one in five (21 percent) who say they have prayed to win the lottery, the new survey from LifeWay Research suggests.
Celebration Publications: Thérèse of Lisieux, in her brief but intense contemplative life, brought the flame of divine love to earth in her own heart.
Not everyone's happy with God's forgiveness.
When I preached on these three readings years ago while in residence at our cathedral, I got lots of feedback -- little of it positive. One man, for instance, came up after the Eucharist and angrily informed me, "I didn't like that sermon about forgiveness at all." Then, whirling around as he was going out the door, he yelled, "Thank God my two teenage boys didn't hear that [expletive]! If they had, I'd never be able to control them again!"
The Peace Pulpit: We tend to want to put our relationship to God in a way that we feel we merit something. Not true; God first loved us.
Book review: David Dow's engaging new memoir, Things I've Learned from Dying, dispenses wisdom gleaned from observing three deaths.
Soul Seeing: I wish people would offer those who struggle with depression the same compassion they offer to friends with socially acceptable illnesses.
I have to be honest: I think this selection from Isaiah is one of the most disagreeable readings in either Testament. Who wants to be reminded that God does not share our opinions? In some way, this teaching seems to trump even the command to love our enemies because "God's ways" question enmity itself.