My friends at @americamag are wearing purple on #SpiritDay to show their support for LGBTQ youth who are often the target of bullying. Bullying and harassment can lead to despair. And LGBTQ youth are several times more likely to attempt suicide. Stand with them and for them!

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More from @JamesMartinSJ

16 Oct
I hope not! Bill Bryson can really *write.* For the uninitiated, try "A Walk in the Woods," "Notes from a Small Island" and, my favorite, "In a Sunburned Country."

Also, "The Lost Continent" includes one my all-time favorite passages of writing....…
Bryson, touring the US in the 1980s, is talking about Cleveland's "Renaissance," which did not overly impress (The city has obviously improved since then, so don't be upset if you're from Cleveland, just enjoy the prose).

He writes:
"What I can say is that the view up the Cuyahoga as I crossed it on the freeway was a stew of smoking factories that didn't look any too clean or handsome. And I can't say that the rest of the town looked such a knockout either. It may be improved, but all this talk...
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
Gospel: One of the best books on Jesus for contemporary Christians is Amy-Jill Levine's "The Misunderstood Jew," which looks at the lazy stereotypes about first-century Judaism that have been passed along by well-meaning Christians. E.g., the Pharisees were all hypocrites... Image
In her book, Prof. Levine points out that what little most Christians know about 1C Judaism comes from the Gospels, which were concerned painting Jesus in a favorable light, not his opponents. So we end up with a skewed (and limited) view of Jewish practice at the time....
As she writes: “In New Testament classes, many students get a single lecture, or half a lecture, on the four major parties of Jews mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus: Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and Zealots"....
Read 8 tweets
6 Oct
To those who have asked me, sincerely, how President Trump's "Do not be afraid of Covid" differs from Jesus's "Be not afraid," some thoughts:

First, Jesus often told his followers "Be not afraid." In fact, that phrase brackets his earthly life. I.e., the Angel Gabriel...
....says that to the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation. And after his Resurrection, the Risen Christ says it to his disciples. It's one of the few phrases Jesus utters several times in the Gospels. He is encouraging his followers to turn away from fear and rely on him. But...
....Jesus is not telling us to ignore the reality of human life. That is, God does not ask us to check our brains at the door and be stupid about our bodies. We don't jump off of tall buildings expecting not to get hurt. We don't drink poison expecting not to get sick....
Read 7 tweets
6 Oct
Gospel: Today's reading, in which Jesus tells busy Martha that her sister, who sits by Jesus's feet, has chosen the "better part," is often unfairly used to denigrate active people (Lk 10). But, as I see it, Jesus isn't favoring action over contemplation. Rather, he's telling...
...Martha, who is "anxious and worried about so many things," that there is a time and place for everything. Jesus is visiting the two sisters, so it's time to be with him. It's fine to be active--after all, someone had to cook that meal--but there is a time for contemplation.
Image: "Christ in the House of Martha and Mary," by Vermeer.
Read 4 tweets
5 Oct
Gospel: Today's Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10) is beautifully exegeted in Pope Francis's encyclical #FratelliTutti: "The parable shows us how a community can be rebuilt by men and women who identify with the vulnerability of others....
....who reject the creation of a society of exclusion, and act instead as neighbors, lifting up and rehabilitating the fallen for the sake of the common good....
At the same time, it warns us about the attitude of those who think only of themselves and fail to shoulder the inevitable responsibilities of life as it is."
Read 4 tweets
30 Sep
"Racism is a sin that constitutes a serious offense against God."

St. John Paul II

St. John Paul II was not the only Pope, or Catholic leader, to oppose racism, racial discrimination and white supremacy.
"One of humanity’s greatest challenges today is to end racism."

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
"Men rightly consider unjustifiable and reject as inadmissible the tendency to maintain or introduce legislation or behavior systematically inspired by racialist prejudice."

"Octogesima Adveniens" St. Paul VI
Read 8 tweets

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