Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

This Christmas, be present to the reality and meanings of God’s gifts to us. Eat hearty. Party wisely and well. Don't work too hard. Read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Oscar Hijuelos' Mr. Ives' Christmas. Watch Its' a Wonderful Life, Charlie Brown's Christmas, and While You Were Sleeping. Listen to Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon and watch Joyeux Noel.

Take a child to see Santa. Give generously to the poor. Sing Christmas Carols and drink hot chocolate with Marshmallows. Sled. Get lots of sleep. Students, play with your little brothers and sisters. Be nice to them. They look up to you. Help your parents. Do the dishes and clean the bathroom. Come back refreshed and ready for the second semester.

Walk outside at 2:00 AM on a freezing cold, starlit, 15o degree night, and experience the awesomeness of the universe. Go to Midnight Mass. Read the first chapters of Matthew and Luke.

Most of all, know that Christmas is the time of year when we remember and ponder the birth of our God who loves us so much that he becomes one of us. Vulnerable and wrapped in swaddling clothes, appears the one who saves us. Worship him these days. Know that Jesus is real and wants to be reborn again in your heart. The Lord has a mission for you. These days, listen to that inner voice of your imagination wherein God communicates.

Know that St. Ignatius was right: All is Gift! All of us here in University Ministries at the University of Scranton wish you a Blessed Christmas. Peace and Joy to you and all the world!

Peace and Prayers,

Fr. Rick, S.J

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Malloy on Faith and Science

Here's a chance to comment on my article on the relationship of faith and science for U.S. Catholic magazine.

Put your faith in science
Don't be afraid of the discoveries of dark matter and black holes. Science can shed a light on faith.

[Please take the survey that follows this essay.]

By Richard G. Malloy, S.J., author of A Faith that Frees (Orbis) and Vice President for Mission and Ministry a the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.

"How can you believe in evolution?" a Christian woman accuses me. I explain that I don't believe in evolution. I accept evolution as a scientific theory in the same way I accept the theory of gravity. In 2006 National Geographic News reported that only 14 percent of Americans thought evolution is "definitely true." A third rejects the idea. Only people in Turkey have a lower rate of acceptance of Darwin's discoveries.

Americans are becoming more and more scientifically illiterate. We often fail to distinguish between different kinds of knowledge-theological, philosophical, humanistic, and scientific. Scientific knowledge, by definition, is always revisable, but that does not mean it is untrue. All scientific knowledge is theoretical. A theory holds until someone comes along disproving the theory and offers a better explanation. Truth for science means "that which has not been disproven." The "law of gravity" is "just a theory" in which we have a whole lot of confidence.


Have a blessed Advent!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Sing a Song of Advent

In the mid 1990s, a young girl at Holy Name School in Camden, NJ, penned the following verse. For me, it's always been a harbinger of Christmas! During these delightful and dark December days, I wish you peace. - Rick

Sing a Song of Christmas

Baby in the hay

Shepherds in hillside

Kings from far away.
Star from heaven beaming

Turning night to day
Son of God redeeming

Loving sin away

Sing a Song of Friday

Crosses on a hill
Nails and thorns and whiplash
All gathered for the kill

Sing a Song of Easter
Tomb flung open wide
Bandages left lying

Angels there beside
Women come to weep for Him
Sent from there in Joy
Followers who trust Him

Death cannot destroy!

Sing a Song of Sunday

Christians in the pews

Gathered to adore Him

To hear the Great Good News

Then go forth to serve Him
Peace and Justice seek
Find him in the poorest
Love him in the meek!

- Charese Browning, 8th Grade, Holy Name School, Camden NJ, 1995