Showing posts from June, 2018

Catholic Identity: A Balancing Act? -- Sightings (Martin Marty)

I am an alumnus of a small Christian College, which at the time still had the trappings of a Bible college, though it had regional accreditation. Over the years it has become a Christian liberal arts college. The curriculum still includes required courses in Bible and such, but not to the same degree as during my day. Most mainline Protestant church related colleges keep connections with the sponsoring denomination, but religion doesn't play a significant role in the curriculum. it might contribute to the values of the institution, but these are not ideologically disposed.  That is probably becoming increasingly true as colleges seek to reach out to more secular students. Thus, as Martin Marty notes, there is less relationship between ideology and identity. He raises that point in connection with the struggles of Catholic universities to balance the two. It is an interesting question, not only for Catholics but all religiously affiliated schools of higher education. Your thoughts …

The Depth of God's Reach (Michael Downey) - Review

THE DEPTH OF GOD’S REACH: A Spirituality of Christ’s Descent. By Michael Downey. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018. Xii + 131 pages.

What took place between Good Friday and Easter morning? Did Jesus just lie thereon that stone cold slab in the tomb? Scripture is rather silent about the events of Holy Saturday. While some churches may have an Easter vigil, Saturday is largely a day of silence. There is one important word that speaks to Holy Saturday, and that is the Apostles’ Creed, which cryptically and intriguingly speaks of Christ's descent into Hell or Hades or perhaps even better the place of the dead. The confession that having died and buried, Christ descended to the dead is not continued into the Nicene Creed. While this confession lacks firm biblical support—there are a couple of allusions to Christ's engagement with the dead but nothing explicit—it does speak to those missing hours between Good Friday and Easter Sunday? What occurred on Holy Saturday? Could it be that …

How the Mighty Have Fallen - A Lectionary Reflection for Pentecost 6B ( 2 Samuel 1)

2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
1 After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag.  17 David intoned this lamentation over Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 (He ordered that The Song of the Bow be taught to the people of Judah; it is written in the Book of Jashar.) He said:  19 Your glory, O Israel, lies slain upon your high places!
How the mighty have fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath,
proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon;
or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice,
the daughters of the uncircumcised will exult.
21 You mountains of Gilboa,
let there be no dew or rain upon you,
nor bounteous fields!
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
the shield of Saul, anointed with oil no more.
22 From the blood of the slain,
from the fat of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
nor the sword of Saul return empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!
In life and in death they were not di…