One night when we were building our church in Magadan, Russia, in 2000, I woke up after a terrible nightmare. I had seen the church finished but it was empty and cold. No people. I woke up in sweats and literally fell to my knees and begged God to not let this happen. I wanted a church full of activity and people of all kinds.
For 18 years I have written letters exploring the Scriptures, month after month, hoping to find some new and astonishing insights. You long-patient readers have doubtless been hoping for the same result. Why then do we continue to explore the Word of God month after month?
Long before it became today’s fashionable trend, Jesus espoused the importance of “mindfulness.” Pay attention. Life is short. Sometimes it’s particularly hard to be fully mindful during busy December. For Christians, Advent is a time to pause and ponder the incredible truth that we have a God who entered human history in all its messiness.
CatholicAnchor.org Editor’s note: This interview by Nikolay Syrov with Father Michael Shields was originally published in Moscow. It is reprinted here with permission. When and how did you come up with the idea of setting up a mission to Magadan? Father Shields: I didn’t. God did. I came to Magadan first in 1989 and fell…
So, what should we say regarding those two words — intelligence and wisdom — that we use so often in common conversation? Intelligence, obviously, is that human ability to understand something, to separate it from or compare it to something similar. It is the brainpower we are born with that guides us safely throughout our lives and helps us find our place in the world community.
Restoring hope — this is our pledge at Catholic Social Services this winter and every year. As we look around our community now, we see a great need for hope and for a sense of home for so many. It is important to be connected with family and loved ones, to feel supported and able to make safe and healthy choices for yourself and for those you care about.
Social Security Disability Insurance is generally a permanent condition in that once in the program, only about 28 percent ever again engages in paid work. The concern involves those recipients seeking at some level to return to work and enjoy the simple human dignity of contributing towards their own needs.
Another image I have this time of year, especially when we hear of so many communities devastated by storms, is how people come together when a shared crisis occurs. Individuals and communities all over the country and the world have offered assistance and prayers to those suffering from destruction and loss. As Catholics we understand the need to offer relief to those in vulnerable situations. We try to give them hope that recovery is possible.