Commentary

Pope Francis’ call to action on the climate crisis

In May of 2015, Pope Francis released his encyclical Laudato Si’, the Italian title taken St. Francis of Assisi’s beautiful “Canticle of the Creatures”: “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.”

Finding God in all things

There is, to be sure, a stress within the biblical tradition that God is radically other: “Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior” (Isaiah 45:15) and “No one shall see [God] and live” (Exodus 33:20). This speaks to the fact that the one who creates the entire universe from nothing cannot be, himself, an item within the universe, one being alongside of others. But at the same time, the Scriptures also attest to God’s omnipresence: “Your Wisdom reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well” (Wisdom 8:1) and “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there. … If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast” (Psalm 139:7-12). This speaks to the fact that God sustains the universe in existence from moment to moment, the way a singer sustains a song.

Immigration policies cause anxiety, trauma for our Latino neighbors

I bet you didn’t know that on any given day of the week you will find Latino families in South King County, gathering in one of our thrift stores to be educated, counseled and protected from a very cold world. Centro Rendu was born out of love for our immigrant Latino communities that suffer from daily exploitation, indifference and hostility. It is named after one of our founders, Sister Rosalie Rendu (a firebrand), a radical Daughter of Charity who gave her life in service to the powerless and taught the poor how to fight for their dignity.

Seeing abortion

We stand at a pivotal point in the great moral debate over abortion in our country — not because new arguments have emerged, but rather because laws so breathtaking in their barbarism have been passed, and a film so visceral in its presentation of the reality of abortion has found a wide audience. As John Henry Newman reminded us, assent to a proposition is rarely a matter of acquiescing to rational demonstration alone; instead, it often has to do with the accumulation of argument, image, impression, experience, and witness.

Stand beneath the cross with Mary

This Lent I’ve been focusing on the seven sorrows of Mary, which span Jesus’ infancy through his death and burial. The scene that comes back to me over and over in prayer is that of Mary cradling her deceased Son on her lap — the image known as the pietà.