National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

April 12-25, 2013

All things new

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I believe each human being has a vision of a new world, a world different from the one in which we’re actually living, a world free from the pain and frustrations we’re daily forced to endure. Such dreaming seems to be an essential trait of human nature.

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Responding to his voice

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Practically none of our Scripture writers take pen to papyrus unless there are problems in the communities for whom they write. Surfacing these problems is one of the main tasks of biblical exegetes. There never was a “golden age” of faith; each generation of believers had difficulties putting their faith into their everyday lives, difficulties that continue to pop up generations and centuries later. That’s why people of faith eventually saved these particular writings. They helped them understand the implications and pitfalls of their own faith.

Awaiting the surprises of a merciful God, like Francis asks

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My first take on Pope Francis was that he is masterful in the use of symbols. More recently, I'm asking myself if his core strength is a simplicity and transparency so attuned with the Gospels they shine through him, preached almost without words.

Most NCR readers I've spoken with seem to take one of two approaches to this young pontificate, both encouraging, one more guarded.

The landscapes of Dark Ages

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Historian Paul Collins didn’t intend it as such, but his The Birth of the West is partially an antidote to Thomas Cahill’s informative and entertaining, if overweening, How the Irish Saved Civilization.

04122013p17pha.jpgTHE BIRTH OF THE WEST: ROME, GERMANY, FRANCE, AND THE CREATION OF EUROPE IN THE TENTH CENTURY
By Paul Collins
Published by PublicAffairs, $29.99

Pages

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September 12-25, 2014

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