South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

Saturday, June 15, 2019

God bless our Fathers with Pastor Carlos

God bless our Fathers

Not too long ago the roles of mothers and fathers were clearly defined: fathers were the “breadwinners” and mothers were the ones actively involved in the parenting of their children. Nowadays, in most families both parents work. Some mothers complain to me wishing their husbands would be more present to their children.

I have been watching the lectures of a human behavioral biology class from Professor
Robert Sapolsky from Stanford. They’re freely available online. I am learning all kinds of interesting facts. For example: babies recognize their mothers very quickly from various factors like odor cues, and also from having heard their mother’s voices in the womb.

I have also learned that compared to all other species, human babies do most of their maturing outside the womb, and so during infancy and childhood fathers can play a huge role in the development of the child. Human beings are social animals. We learn by modeling behavior. Studies have shown a correlation for both boys and girls in what great positive impact good fathers can have on their children: in how they feel about themselves, and how they develop.

The other day I was speaking with a dad at the appreciation lunch for our catechists. He was telling me how he wakes up at 3:00 AM for work, so that he can be free in the afternoon to pick up his son from school. He was telling me how he’s been talking to his older child about various careers available for her.

This dad is not the only one. I have great admiration for the fathers in our community who in casual conversation have shared about sacrifices they have made in their careers, in order to be more present to their children.

I cannot help think of my own father. I will always be grateful that he taught me how to ride a bike, how to fly a kite, even for the math problems I did not like growing up, but he used to give my sister and I during summer breaks from school; I am also grateful for bringing our family from Colombia to this wonderful country so that we could have a better life, and especially for instilling in my sister and I the sense of making the world a better place. It was thanks to the many conversations he initiated with me about my future, that I became open to discerning a religious vocation.

May God bless all of our dads, grandfathers, stepfathers and godfathers!

God bless, Fr. Carlos, OSA

Friday, June 14, 2019

Calvary Lutheran Church with Joseph O'Brien
We’ve developed a number of wonderful outreach programs, such as Cycling to Hope. A team of people refurbishes used bicycles and bicycle parts, donated to us to help provide them to people in our community who don’t have transportation. Either homeless people or unemployed people who want to get to a job interview — or even to a job.

At the Table by Peter J. Leithart
Christians go to church to eat and drink. 
This is nothing new. From the beginning to the end of the Bible, 
through a complex history of liturgical change, there is one constant: 
The people of God always worship at the table.

Maryland has created a truth commission on lynchings

Catholic bishops stop short of mandating lay involvement in abuse investigations
Religion News Service: The inclusion of lay people is a moral "commitment" but not mandatory in the resolutions the bishops adopted Thursday morning on how to deal with sexual misconduct.

How giving water to illegal immigrants became a religious freedom issue
Deseret News: The Trump administration has brought some faith-based volunteers to court as part of a broader crackdown on illegal immigration.
The New York Times: An Arizona teacher helped migrants. Jurors couldn't decide if it was a crime.

Southern Baptist historic gavel a reminder of racist legacy
Religion News Service: The gavel which opens the annual meeting of the SBC is named for John A. Broadus. He was a slaveholder, a believer in white superiority and a founding faculty member of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

6 things I wish people understood about atheism in America
Vox: 10 percent of Americans identify as atheists -- but there's a lot that people don't know about us.

Maryland has created a truth commission on lynchings -- can it deliver?
The Conversation: Despite the prevalence and seriousness of the practice, there has been an "astonishing absence of any effort to acknowledge, discuss, or address lynching." Until now.

Clergy abuse leads to fall-off in visible acts of faith

Clergy abuse leads to fall-off in visible acts of faith: U.S.: 27 percent reduced Mass attendance and 26 percent cut donations
Pinterest blocks Live Action and Bible verses: Whistleblower tells of “pornography block list”
Border Patrol outsources to Coachella’s Catholic church: Our Lady of Soledad feeds, clothes, arranges travel for asylum seekers

Why the Church Exists with Mark Galli

The Elusive Presence: Why the Church Exists

It’s not for the sake of the world, or so I argue in my next installment of this online series:
We need to make a distinction between one task the people of God are called to perform and the very ground of their being, the very purpose of their life together. We are by all means to love the neighbor. One way we love them is through acts of mercy and justice. But this does not mean that the church exists for the sake of the world.
This may seem like a fine distinction, but as I’ll show in future essays, it makes a significant difference in how we live together as the people of God.
How Many People Own a Mobile Phone?
There are about 5.3 billion people age 15 and older on the planet. How many have a mobile phone? I would have guessed a third to a half. Turns out to be 94 percent, or about 5 billion people:
There’s an old joke that the career of an analyst progresses from Word to Excel to Powerpoint. That’s pretty much what’s happened here over the last 20 years: first we discussed what might happen (“imagine if everyone had a phone!”), then we tracked the numbers of what was happening, and finally we draw diagrams and bullet points of what that means. That’s where we are now - we try to work out what it means that almost everyone on earth has a phone or a smartphone.
Winning the Culture War Does Not Trump Christian Ethics
In recent weeks, the cultural right has been arguing about whether or not Christian conservatives have the luxury of remaining civil in the culture wars. David French has been arguing “yes” in the National Review. Recently Sohrab Ahmari, the op-ed editor of the New York Post, wrote a full attack in First Things on what he calls “Frenchism,” arguing against liberal proceduralism. That’s the idea that we best flourish in society when, while disagreeing on the ends, we agree at least on the political and rhetorical rules on how to argue about them. Ahmari argues,
Conservative Christians can’t afford these luxuries. Progressives understand that culture war means discrediting their opponents and weakening or destroying their institutions. Conservatives should approach the culture war with a similar realism. Civility and decency are secondary values.
This controversy is a conservative one, but I think Alan Jacobs’s reply in The Atlantic to Ahmaris would also apply to progressive Christians, who in frustration over racism, the environment, or whatever, are tempted to abandon civil discourse for radical and destabilizing action. Jacobs:
If you are centrally a political conservative and you also happen to be a Christian, then perhaps you may set aside certain Christian commandments in order to achieve your primary ends. But if you are centrally a Christian and secondarily a political conservative, then you have certain obligations that you cannot ignore. … Respect and love require a commitment to conversation, and “conversation requires civility”—even when people do not reciprocate that civility.
Matthew Schmitz, senior editor at First Things, then wrote “Sohrab Ahmari Is Right,” arguing “Civility and decency are admirable things. But like beauty, charm, wealth, and learning, they may be turned to good ends or bad.”
I think Schmitz and Ahmari protest too much. Civility and decency are to be equated with niceness. To be civil means to love others as one wishes to be loved, and when we are not so loved, it means to turn the other cheek. Strong words and bold action against injustice are, in fact, decent and civil things to do. Civil disobedience is a powerful moral tool precisely because it is civil. And yet, such love in the public square will not always win the day. But the point for the Christian is not to win the culture war. The point is to transcend the culture war by faithfulness to our Lord, who had more than a few things to say about how to react to people who mistreat and malign us or those for whom we care.
An Apology for Paper Maps
If you’re planning a long drive this summer, you may want to read “7 Reasons You Should Still Keep a Paper Map in Your Glovebox.” It’s not just about maps but also the difference between electronic and paper media and what they do to us and for us. (Just don’t pass this along to my wife, who continues to have a love affair with all things printed on paper. I don’t want my glove compartment overflowing with maps.) ;-)
Being Dads
The video “Stuff Dads Never Say” is full of well-honed dad clich├ęs, except reversed. It makes for a humorous Father’s Day reflection. Happy Father’s Day, dads.
Grace and peace,

Mark GalliMark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today

God is Shouting, “Baptism Saves!”

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Pro-Lifers Aren’t Hypocrites

Michael Oh on Christian Leadership

An Apology to the Christian 99%, from the 1%
An Apology to the Christian 99%, from the 1%
You don’t exist to help professional ministry leaders fulfill the Great Commission. We exist to help you do it.
Michael Oh
“But will they listen?”
I sat across the table from a friend, Bill Pollard, who had a hopeful but slightly doubtful look on his face. I had just shared with him the Lausanne Movement’s vision to convene more than 700 Christian workplace leaders from more than 100 nations.
Bill loved the vision: to mobilize Christians in the workplace as God’s instruments to bring kingdom impact in every sphere of society. However, he wondered whether some church leaders would have questions ...
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An Historian and a Prophet

Gender Theory’s Tyranny of the Will

Jim Russell

A jarring dose of reality is currently rocking the already-distorted world of “LGBT-friendly” Catholics across the globe, courtesy of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education’s new resource, “Male and Female He Created Them: Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education.” What’s the earth-shaking reveal found in this document that […]

An Historian and a Prophet

Scott P. Richert

“I am an historian, not a prophet.” ∼ John Lukacs Clamat enim quodammodo omnis historia, Deus esse (“In a way all history cries aloud that God is”). ∼ Pope Leo XIII For more than 60 years, from the mid-1950s on, John Lukacs wrote and spoke on the passing of the modern age. With his death […]