As the Thanksgiving festivities wind down, I find myself increasingly disturbed by the seeming reversal in attitudes and actions relative to racial justice and equity in the United States. Just a year ago, over half of American voters wanted a return to healing our race wounds and learning to live and love one another.
Spirituality & Love
Spirituality & Love — what we offer to readers on this topic... — what we offer to readers on this topic...
See our Resource Pages for additional information on each topic.
Contemplation. As a faithful Christian in a world where the politicized face of Christianity doesn’t always reflect my viewpoint, I seek to publicly share the values I hold dear as a follower of Christ. In this post, I want to share some reflections on what I consider the fundamental basis for my Christian faith: love.
I don’t think much about how faith has driven my 40-year involvement in community development and social justice work. But indeed, faith is what keeps me going.
As I reflected on our new topic – the connection between faith and loving others and working for social justice – I realized my thoughts on this topic mirror what my niece Meredith Heneghan posted here about faith more generally: “To have faith is to have faith, and that’s really it.”
girls Catholic high school I attended. I took a Biblical Studies class with Sister Linda, a witty, straight-talking nun with a thick Boston accent and refreshingly pragmatic approach to teaching the Bible.
Over the past few months, I have explored the different ways guest contributors and I experience faith. In one post, I talked about the ability to “wait for it.” A friend recently shared how her efforts to grow in patience have led her to see patience as the practice of empathy. Since patience is not a strength of mine, her comment got my attention. I was reminded of how my impatience often comes from a belief I know better or best in most situations and an accompanying unwillingness to wait for or respect someone else’s approach. I now see that a corrective act of faith is to believe everyone is entitled to a personal point of view. In this more open response to alternative approaches, I know I don’t have to accept unacceptable situations. Rather I believe that I can make a choice in a way that is empathic and respectful without attacking what is different.
Last week I shared a post by guest contributor Eileen Doud where she shared her faith in Jesus. Oddly to some, this was the first time my exploration of faith directly mentioned Jesus. I say “oddly” because I was raised as a Catholic, studied for a while to be a Catholic priest and continue to be a practicing Catholic. I do believe in Jesus and, at the same time, believe there are many names and ways of conceiving of a power greater than me, the divine, the Big Spirit or God.
Second day of fall, the rain has pelted my hometown. I had an appointment with the auto repair shop and, since it was raining furiously, I wore a waterproof Helly Hansen jacket; and brought along a waterproof backpack, courtesy of Eddie Bauer. Neither helped. Drenched to the bone, I reluctantly left my car at the shop and walked to the aquatic center to swim! Clearly, this was a morning of “iffy” decisions!
The posts for the past several months have focused on the many ways that faith is experienced and guides lives. Focusing on faith has led me to revisit some of my own beliefs and to look more deeply at others’ beliefs.
A friend of mine lost his wife recently after a three-year battle with cancer. Anytime we saw Bill and Margaret together, their total and deep love for each other was obvious. Talking with him and hearing his devotion and connection to her was inspiring. Now as he grieves his loss, he is alone in the same home, taking the same walks, eating meals at about the same time. And yet it is all different. And profoundly sad.