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Spirituality

Hope and hard work: U.S. priest trusts Christian unity is possible

The issues dividing Christian communities have changed over the past 50 years, but a Philadelphia archdiocesan priest working in ecumenical dialogue at the Vatican is confident that Christian unity is possible.

"We are people of hope. We trust we have the same Scriptures, the same belief in Christ," said Msgr. Gregory Fairbanks, an official at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Transformation

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German pastor and social activist Christoph F. Blumhardt once said that it is not enough to celebrate Easter by saying, "Christ is risen." It is useless to proclaim this unless we can also say that we have died with him and that we have also risen with him ("Christ Rising," from Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter, The Plough Publishing House, 2003). Jesus has come from God to live in our midst as one of us. He has endured and conquered the finality of death. He has laid the foundation for a new life and a new world order.

Survey: When science and faith collide, faith usually wins

Believers don't buy the Big Bang, God-less evolution or a human responsibility for global warming. Actually, neither do many Americans.

But a new survey by The Associated Press found that religious identity -- particularly evangelical Protestant -- was one of the sharpest indicators of skepticism toward key issues in science.

Receive what you are

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Students of Scripture must be well versed in the principle of Uhrzeit als End-zeit. Many of our sacred authors employed it. The German phrase can be translated as "The beginning is actually the end." The technique is used when one is trying to direct his or her readers' eyes to a future goal that the author is deeply committed to instilling in their minds and hearts. But instead of just stating, "This is what I expect you one day to become," the writer paints a picture of an ideal past in which those longed-for qualities were already present and practiced.

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