Young Voices: I don't want to let Pope Francis down for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. But first, I have some questions. Like, what is mercy, exactly?
Viewpoint: During the Year of Mercy, Catholics can become better acquainted with God's mercy by deliberately encountering Islam, another religion that takes God's mercy as its central focus.
Wherever construction or demolition is taking place, there is often a crowd of onlookers whose curiosity has drawn them to the site. They look on, usually silently, as gigantic machines haul debris away while other heavy equipment carries all the supplies that will eventually become a new edifice. They look on as roads are paved and lines are drawn to ensure the safety of future travelers. They look on as bumps are smoothed and sharp curves are rendered less dangerous.
Faith and Justice: Advent, my favorite time in the liturgical year, looks to the future. Because Advent is about the future, it is also about hope.
Although the four weeks of Advent focus on waiting for Christmas, the church celebrates plenty of major feasts with customs, traditions and even special foods during the month of December.
When my husband and I decided to build a small addition onto our house, I learned a new term: permeable. Permeable means capable of being penetrated, especially by water. It refers to the amount of square footage a property is required to have that is not cement or a solid, impenetrable surface.
In a cold and fallow season of waiting, watching and wondering, it is not surprising to find ourselves reflecting on the past and looking toward the future, taking stock and hoping for something better to come. Advent is the season of promise par excellence. We willingly wait. We anticipate the birth of Jesus and all that symbolizes for us, and we do so in the light of promises extending back to the Hebrew Scriptures and beyond.
Peace Pulpit: We should start with ourselves and our own communities and our relationships with other people by reaching out in love even when love is not shown to us.
Who are you? Where do you come from? What do you know? What have you accomplished with your life? Those are more or less the questions one is supposed to answer on a résumé. Although some are tempted to creatively enhance the narrative, in the end it's vital that the person described by the responses be recognizable as the one whose name is at the top of the page.
Esmeralda Saltos, the designated pastoral minister to the Catholic population at Tacoma's Northwest Detention Center, visits immigrant detainees as a work of mercy.