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Entries related to: poverty

What Is Your View on Reality?

Everybody looks at the world through their own lens, a matrix of culturally inherited qualities, family influences, and other life experiences. This lens, or worldview, truly determines what we bring to every discussion. 
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Accepting God’s Unexpected Gifts

The word change normally refers to new beginnings. But transformation, the mystery we’re examining, more often happens not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart—chaos—invites the soul to listen at a deeper level. It invites, and sometimes forces, the soul to go to a new place because the old place is falling apart. Most of us would never go to new places in any other way.
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The Belly of the Whale

The word change normally refers to new beginnings. But transformation, the mystery we’re examining, more often happens not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart—chaos—invites the soul to listen at a deeper level. It invites, and sometimes forces, the soul to go to a new place because the old place is falling apart. Most of us would never go to new places in any other way.
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The Security to Be Insecure

At the time of the Second Vatican Council, we Catholics were very self-confident. All indicators of numbers, vocations, money, and influence were positive and growing. There was no reason to reform or self-criticize. Our identity was clear, our boundaries were clear, our sense of the absolute was grounded and founded. We knew who we were and, ironically, we were therefore free to criticize ourselves, even from the very top.
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Owning Our Cultural Biases

We’re living in a time when the far right and the far left in almost every institution are using the eccentricities and evils of the other end to justify their own extremes. There seems to be an emergence of reactionary and protectionist thinking all over the world, which then serves as justification for people’s overreacting on the political left.
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Hidden in Plain Sight

Saint Francis of Assisi stepped out into a world being recast by the emerging market economy. He lived amid a decaying old order in which his father was greedily buying up the small farms of debtors and moving quickly into the new entrepreneurial class. Francis stepped into a church that seems to have been largely out of touch with the masses. He trusted a deeper voice and a bigger truth. He sought one clear center and moved out from there.
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The Franciscan Spirit in Over-the-Rhine

In 2009’s Crazy Heart, Jeff Bridges won a well-deserved Oscar for playing Bad Blake, an aging country singer, failed father, drunk, and warrior poet. The film’s theme song, “The Weary Kind,” is playing in my office as I write this. Piercing the gravel-laden and unforgettable delivery of Ryan Bingham’s voice are the sounds of the neighborhood in which I work: police sirens, pedestrians, and blaring car horns fill the air. The chorus of the song reflects the journey of the film’s protagonist, but it’s just as true of the neighborhood I’m in: “This ain’t no place for the weary kind.”
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Reality Check for Our Children

“I want.” “Why can’t I?” “It’s not fair.” “Can I have?” Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I heard one of those phrases come out of the mouths of my four kids. I exclude my youngest only because, at the age of 2, she automatically wants everything.
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Saint Francis and Lady Poverty

Today we are immersed in a consumer-driven society. More always seems to be better. But Francis of Assisi believed differently. He knew that if we can rid ourselves of material burdens, we can be truly free.  
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Mother Teresa: Extending a Loving Hand to All

  On December 13, 1979, Mother Teresa went to the Iranian embassy in Rome. America was concerned with the fate of the hostages taken when the American embassy in Iran was seized by Islamic revolutionaries led by Ayatollah Khomeini. “I have come to see you about the American hostages,” Mother Teresa said. “I come as a mother who longs for her children. I am willing to go to Iran or to talk to the Ayatollah on the telephone.”
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