Creator Mundi features blog posts with inspirational ideas and religious information.
This tense time from Election Day to Thanksgiving Day is telling us much about the “Soul” of our nation. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, every created living thing – plant, animal, human – has an anima, that is, a “soul” which “animates” matter and makes it into a living thing. The anima, the soul, of our nation is We the People.
We the People. We are the ones who compose and animate our great nation through our own lives, our labor, our families, our neighborhoods, our cities, our counties, and our states. And we as the people of the United States are now struggling to find that common ground where we can stand with one another to identify and promote that common good which binds us together and challenges us to move forward as one people, united in purpose and resolve. Perhaps our national feast day of Thanksgiving will be that common ground.
Perhaps giving thanks to our Creator who is the Founder of our feast on Thanksgiving Day will be a new beginning for all of us. For in giving thanks to God, we acknowledge that we are not God, and that we as a people and nation have indeed been blessed more abundantly than we could ever have asked or imagined. To give thanks is to say that we are all still on our pilgrim path and still in need of God’s providence — each of us, and all of us together, as We the People, the citizens of the United States of America.
Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving Day!
Every Christian is familiar with the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion (Eucharist). “Sacrament” comes from the ancient Roman term sacramentum, a soldier’s oath of allegiance to the Roman Emperor. Tertullian, a 3rd-century Christian theologian, argued that just as the soldier’s oath is a sign of beginning one’s new life as a soldier, so too are the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion (Eucharist) sacraments of initiation, sacraments of beginning and deepening one’s new life as a Christian.
Being born or naturalized in the United States (14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) is the civic equivalent of Baptism. Voting is the civic equivalent of Holy Communion (Eucharist). For just as Christians renew and deepen their identity as Christians by partaking in Holy Communion (Eucharist), so also do U.S. citizens renew and deepen their identity as U.S. citizens by voting.
Saint Augustine of Hippo defined “sacrament” as a visible sign of an invisible reality. If the Christian sacrament of Holy Communion is a visible sign of the invisible reality of ever-deepening communion in the Body of Christ, so too then is voting a visible sign of the invisible reality of our becoming ever more Americans, ever more U.S. citizens. Voting is a visible sign of the invisible reality of our ever-deepening initiation into, critical reappropriation of, and growing relationship with the U.S. and its Constitution.
Voting is then indeed a “civic sacrament” — the sacramentum in its original meaning as “oath of allegiance” — not to an emperor, but rather to know, defend and support the U.S. Constitution. As such, voting is the ultimate, absolute, and necessary expression of our U.S. citizenship. By voting, we as U.S. citizens commit ourselves to the American Experiment; to the never-ending project of forming an ever more perfect Union; to “government of the people, by the people, for the people” (Lincoln); to the battle for the Soul of our Nation, to “America, you great unfinished symphony” (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton).
Conscientious, deliberate, and well-informed voting is voting one’s conscience. Voting one’s conscience is an inalienable right, a patriotic duty, a sacred trust, a holy obligation, a moral imperative, an essential engagement, an awesome responsibility, a conscious commitment to the Common Good, and the beating heart of our democracy. Voting is and must be the complement, consequence and culmination of public protest. We make the world we strive for and want to see ever more real by our act of voting.
Item # cmc100 — Available for sale: https://www.creatormundi.com/product/voting-is-a-civic-sacrament-medallion-coin/
The Pope’s Apostolic Letter Admirabile Signum on the meaning and importance of the Nativity scene:
Available from Creator Mundi:
While traveling in Germany and Holland I was fascinated by other people’s lives and their ways of being in the world. I want to share with you three observations that speak to the generosity of the heart.
First, in Holland, I needed the assistance of a dentist. It was almost 6 pm when my family called a local dentist in this neighboring little Dutch town. The dentist invited me to arrive close to 7:30 pm. In a most friendly manner, she repaired my tooth and asked for Euro 23.00 ($25.30).
Second, in Munich, I visited my childhood friend, Ursula, who is now suffering from Alzheimer’s. We spent the day together. That evening while sitting across from her at dinner, she turned to her husband and said she planned to call me tomorrow since she had not seen or spoken to me for the longest time. Her husband pointed out that I was sitting across from her. I realized my visit was meaningful for her only at the moment rather than as a memory we both could share.
Last, Ursula’s son Daniel, a physician, was taking a leave of absence, interrupting his professional commitments and opportunities so he, his wife and their daughter could tend to the needs of his aging parents. They seemed to be the happiest people on earth. I was reminded of the saying: “Never let a hardship be lost.”
So much more to share …
Many folks are walking the Camino. Did you know there is also a Hildegard of Bingen Pilgrimage by foot? It is a journey of 85 miles through meadows and hills.
We were reminded of Thomas Merton’s SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN
Massimo Faggioli, PhD
If it weren’t being used by the pope, “Pontifex”— Latin for “bridge builder”— would be an apt Twitter handle for church historian and professor Massimo Faggioli. The Italian-born theologian and Vatican II expert helps the different worlds of European and American Catholicism understand each other.
After years of study at the universities of Bologna and Turin, research in the Vatican archives, and teaching in other countries, Dr. Faggioli came to the United States during the 2008 presidential campaign. He was promptly tapped to write articles for European audiences, explaining the religious aspects of US politics, and for American audiences, explaining the qualities unique to Catholicism in this country. That task continues.
“Having had a more universal experience of Catholicism, I try to cast light on ideas that are distinctly American, some of which may be worth questioning,” Dr. Faggioli says.
The 2013 election of Pope Francis catapulted Dr. Faggioli, then a faculty member at the University of St. Thomas, back onto the international stage. He provided expert commentary for respected US and European media outlets, and has continued to do so since coming to Villanova in 2016.
In addition to bringing his European perspective to the classroom, Dr. Faggioli draws upon it as he writes what will be a trilogy of books on Francis’ papacy. Unlike many scholars in the US, he “follows what the pope says and does directly from Vatican sources, without having to rely on translations. It’s fascinating.”
SR. Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD
With doctoral degrees in Pharmacology and Theology, Sister Ilia Delio is eminently qualified not only to speak authoritatively about two distinct fields but also to show that, contrary to popular opinion, science and religion can work together. Since fall 2015, she has pursued this calling as the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova.
Sister Ilia has deep roots in both fields. The Newark, N.J., native had been researching a drug for diabetic neuropathy when she decided to enter the Sisters of St. Francis. The community sent her to Fordham University, where she earned her second doctoral degree, this one in Historical Theology. The convergence of her interests in cells and souls transformed her. “I was like a fish who had finally found water.”
In her various posts at prestigious institutions, most recently, Georgetown University, Sister Ilia has developed new ways of understanding how God is present and active in an evolving, dynamic universe. Her awardwinning books go beyond academia to show people how they can “reclaim a living God for a living world of change and complexity.”
More than anything, “Avengers: Endgame” is about the redemptive power of human imperfection
We have just received a new bronze plaque quoting Richard Niebuhr’s advise:
GOD, GRANT ME THE SERENITY
TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE,
COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN,
AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
Image to follow soon…
Until you are ready to make every day sacred you will probably miss the Easter moments. https://mythguidedlife.org/p/cr7C
We though many are one body in Christ.
Love bears it out even to the edge of doom.
Early in the morning, on the first day of the week, while it was still dark…
Mary stooped to peer inside…
…the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first…He saw and believed.
John 23: 3-4
LET US SING A NEW SONG, not with our lips but with our lives..
We welcome this Papal document to accompany us on our Christian pilgrimage…
Caring becomes my way of thanking for what I have received;
I thank by caring all the more for others and the conditions of their existence.
~~ Milton Mayeroff
|Until 4-10-2019 (five Wednesdays)||5-Week Retreat: The Lord Goes to His Suffering for My Sins||Ignatian Spirituality Program Denver||https://ignatianspiritualitydenver.org/retreats/calendar/|
|Until 4-20-2019||Collaboration Quilt Exhibit||Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Golden||https://www.denver.org/listing/rocky-mountain-quilt-museum/3832/|
|Until 5-26-2019||Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze||Denver Art Museum||https://denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/jordan-casteel-returning-gaze|
|3-19-2019 for 7 weeks on Tuesdays||Hebrew Experience Class Part III||Assumption Parish, 2361E, 78th Ave, Denver||https://www.assumptiondenver.org/the-hebrew-experience|
|3-30-2019||2019 Annual Conference featuring Martin Laird||Contemplative Outreach of Colorado||http://www.contemplativeoutreach-co.org/classes/other-offerings/78-classes/328-twenty-sixth-annual-conference|
|4-18 to 4-21-2019||Easter Triduum Retreat||Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House, Sedalia||https://www.sacredheartretreat.org/silent-weekend-retreats.html|
|4-26 to 4-28-2019||Black Catholic Annual Retreat||Office of Black Catholic Ministry of the Denver Archdiocese; held at Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House, Sedalia||http://www.sacredheartretreat.org/silent-weekend-retreats.html|
|4-27-2019||Catholic Women’s Conference of Denver||CU South Denver Event Center||http://denvercatholicconference.com/women/|
|5-2 to 5-5-2019||Spring Intensive Retreat||Contemplative Outreach of Colorado, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House in Sedalia||http://www.contemplativeoutreach-co.org/retreats/spring-weekend-intensive-retreat|
|5-5 to 8-25-2019||Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America||Denver Art Museum||https://denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/serious-play|
|5-9-2019||R.E.A.D. Club (James Cone’s “The Cross and the Lynching Tree”)||Benet Hill Monastery||http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eftxofmqefe29f9a&llr=446slgdab|
|5-10 to 5-12-2019||John Philip Newell presentations||St. John’s Episcopal Church, Boulder||https://heartbeatjourney.org/locations/st-johns-episcopal-boulder-colorado-usa/|
|5-12 to 11-17-2019||Eyes on Jonathan Saiz||Denver Art Museum||https://denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/eyes-jonathan-saiz|
|5-14- to 5-16-2019||John Philip Newell, School of Celtic Consciousness||Shambala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, CO||https://heartbeatjourney.org/events/colorado-school-of-celtic-consciousness-shambhala-year-one/|
|5-17 to 5-19-2019||John Philip Newell, School of Celtic Consciousness||First United Methodist Church, Colorado Springs||https://heartbeatjourney.org/events/colorado-school-of-celtic-consciousness-colorado-springs-year-i/|
|5-21 to 5-23-2019||John Philip Newell||Casa del Sol, Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico||https://www.ghostranch.org/retreat/listening-for-the-heartbeat-of-god-g190514/|
|6-2-2019 to 5-3-2020||The Light Show||Denver Art Museum||https://denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/light-show|
|6-20 to 8-4-2019||Bravo Vail Music Festival||Vail||https://www.bravovail.org/|
|10/21/2019 to 2/2/2020||Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature||Denver Art Museum||https://denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/claude-monet|
We all have “stuff.” Don’t you? Are you cleaning out? Cleaning up? Gratitude enters into that, too! Here is Marie Kondo’s insight …:
Have gratitude for the things you’re discarding. By giving gratitude, you’re giving closure to the relationship with that object, and by doing so, it becomes a lot easier to let go.
~~ Marie Kondo
How about letting go of 20 items you no longer need and replace them with just one – yes, one!: