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The Unity That Only Eucharist Can Achieve?

When it comes to migration, does the Eucharist unite or divide us? One of my favorite lessons with my theology and ministry graduate students is to have them look out an assigned window, in clusters of at least three, for approximately five minutes, and record individually what each sees. Inevitably they learn about the limitations […]

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Image of God: Icon or Idol?

What does the biblical tenet of the human person made in the “image of God” teach us about our relationship to creation? What is it about the universe that so fascinates the human spirit? We turn to the sun during the day looking for warmth and reassurance, and to the night sky in wonder and […]

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John Zizioulas and the Priesthood of Creation

Influential Orthodox theologian John Zizioulas proposes that humanity’s proper role in relation to the universe is as “priest of creation.” What does he mean by this and what are the implications? Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ had its official public release in Vatican City on June 18, 2015. The experts invited to speak at this […]

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Caryll Houselander on the Eucharist

Through her own struggles with the Catholic Church in her day Caryll Houselander found a deeper relationship with Christ in the Eucharist. What might her experience offer us today? Frances Caryll Houselander (1901-1954), a British Catholic author, artist, poet, visionary, and mystic, wrote a number of popular books during her lifetime that had a deep […]

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Flannery O’Connor on the Eucharist

The Catholicism of the great twentieth century author Flannery O’Connor is well documented, but what can we glean of her eucharistic theology? Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964), one of the prominent American fiction writers of the twentieth century, was born in Savannah, Georgia to devout Catholic parents. In 1938, her family moved to Milledgeville in central Georgia. […]

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Frequent Communion: Reward or Spiritual Need? The Continuing Relevance of the Eucharistic Teachings of Pius IX and Pius X

Who were the voices promoting frequent communion during the First Vatican Council and ensuing years? Who are those voices today? Introduction Pius IX (1846-1878) and Pius X (1903-1914) have much in common and differ in many ways as well. Pius IX lived in a time of transition. New philosophies were affecting dramatic changes in the […]

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J. R. R. Tolkien on the Eucharist

J. R. R. Tolkien’s vivid imagination and creative literary powers were surpassed only by his deep, heartfelt Catholic faith. His love for the Eucharist connected him to his convert mother and ignited his hope for an imperfect world. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was professor of Anglo Saxon at the University of Oxford and the […]

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Is the Mass a Propitiatory or Expiatory Sacrifice?

The precise meaning of words is important in understanding how the Church sees God’s saving action in Jesus Christ and the meaning of the Eucharistic rite. Change is difficult, and perhaps never more so than when it relates somehow to the very heart of our religious practice. A change that has become a dividing issue […]

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Jean Vanier on the Eucharist

Everything Jean Vanier did was inspired by his faith in Jesus and his firm belief that Christ has a special place in his heart for the poor and marginalized. Becoming bread for others and receiving their offering was at the heart of his spiritual vision. Jean Vanier, born on September 10, 1928, in Geneva, Switzerland, […]

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Musings on the Church and Theology

The Church is changing and changing fast. What will the future Catholic Church be like? “The temptation is found, in present controversy and in our interpretation of the past, to clarify complexity by dividing the wheat from the cockle, the light from the dark, ‘us’ from ‘them.’” (Nicholas Lash1) “The Roman Catholic Church is not […]

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