For some, this pandemic-enforced retreat has been an opportunity to connect more deeply with family and God – to give time to conversation and prayer so often crowded out by the busyness of our lives. Many have maintained their connection to Mass and parish by live-streaming; others, who can’t normally come to Mass, have enjoyed Mass coming to them at home.
HOMILIES AND STATEMENTS
“Let us not despair; it is a blessed cause, and success, ere long, will crown our exertions. Already we have gained one victory: we have obtained, for these poor creatures, the recognition of their human nature, which for a while was most shamefully denied.
The Moirai or Fates were the good luck gods of the ancient world. People experienced many aspects of their lives as beyond their control. So much depended on where and when and into whose family you were born. On forces of nature, weather, accidents and plagues like COVID.
‘All humanity is being put to the test’ says the Vatican’s bioethics thinktank, the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV), in Global Pandemic and Universal Brotherhood: Note on the Covid-19 Emergency.
“To act on the belief that we possess the knowledge and the power… to shape the processes of society entirely to our liking – knowledge which in fact we do not possess – is likely to make us do much harm.” So said the Austrian-British thinker Friederich August von Hayek in his 1974 Nobel Prize acceptance speech.Hayek was an economist, political philosopher and social theorist. Having survived fighting in the First World War and being infected by the Spanish flu, he dedicated his life to building a better world through economics.
The Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons of 1274 was one of the largest the Church ever held. Presided over by Pope Gregory X, it was attended by five hundred bishops, observed by kings and ambassadors, and advised by another thousand prelates and periti. On the agenda were the conquest of the Holy Land and the reunion of the Eastern and Western churches, and so it welcomed representatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople, of the Byzantine Emperor and even of the Khan of the Tartars.
It was the most consequential wedding in history and it nearly didn’t happen. Mary’s marriage was threatened by misunderstanding and gossip, but righted by an angelic visitation and Joseph’s acceptance of her innocence (Mt 1:18-25). In the Joseph window here in St Mary’s Cathedral, Mary is dressed in the white and gold of a virgin queen, her long golden hair crowned with a floral tiara and rosary roses at her feet.
Australia breathed a collective sigh of relief when 14-year-old William Callaghan was found on Wednesday on a mountain north of Melbourne. William, who is autistic and non-verbal, was on a camping trip when he ran ahead and got lost, spending two nights in freezing conditions, in treacherous terrain, without food, water or protective clothing.
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We Christians didn’t invent monotheism. The ancient Zoroastrians proclaimed a single uncreated and benevolent god of wisdom. The Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep IV, father of the famous Tutankhamun, took the name Akhen/aten after joining the Atenist sun worshippers and he sought to impose their monotheism on all Egyptians.
In January this year NBC premiered a sit-com about a young computer programmer who, through a freak accident, develops the power to hear people’s innermost thoughts and feelings as classic songs. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a quirky, funny series that doesn’t shy away from deeper questions raised by people’s ‘heart songs’, as Zoey calls them.