The Lord speaks to us through Scripture in the ancient Christian practice of lectio divina. The measure of this contemplation is our response: Our heart, stirred by God’s word contemplated in silence, moves our will. In seeking to know God in this way, we are moved to go out and share the Good News.
Poetic language shakes us out of the everyday, so we see familiar things in new and surprising ways. In the same manner, vocal prayer should jolt us out of rote and banal repetition, lifting our minds and hearts to that which transcends language: God. A new translation of the English prayers we use at Mass, faithful to the original Latin, may bring us closer to the ineffable.
In a compromised age, rulers whose public policies align with their cherished beliefs are regarded with contempt. But nine centuries ago, one such ruler inspired a nation with his dedication to the cross of Christ. Though he failed to reclaim the Holy Lands for Christendom, King Louis IX’s efforts to instill sanctity in the hearts of France’s people won for him eternal glory.
In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI raised a few eyebrows when he seemed to agree with Luther’s doctrine that we are saved by faith alone. But the pope was far from reversing centuries-old Catholic teaching on the subject. So how are we to understand his statement? By recognizing that charity—a free gift from God the Father—is an expression of living faith.
"Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols."
~ Six companions of Justin Martyr, martyrs all; speaking to the Prefect Rusticus after he threatened them with "torture without mercy" unless they sacrificed to the Roman "gods;" from the trial transcript by Tatian (A.D. 165).