Weaving It Together
I appreciated the focus on the new evangelization in the April 22 issue. “Mass Evangelization,” by Scott W. Hahn, proceeded further and deeper into the eucharistic mystery and its call, “Do this in memory of me.” Cultic practices rightly understand the central place of the Eucharist in our lives. It is not the end point; rather, the beginning and nurturing point.
“Do This in Memory of Me,” by the Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, makes this point—confirming the wisdom of What Happened at Vatican II, the great work by John W. O’Malley, S.J. The primacy of Jesus is the unifying source of all of the council’s documents. These express the work of the Holy Spirit in enlightening and inspiring all of the people of God to holiness by following Jesus and being open-ended and open-minded in doing what Jesus asks.
Loving one another is the essence of doing this “in memory of me.” It finds expression in every aspect of life, and we celebrate it as a community when we gather at the Lord’s table. This energizes us to take up our cross anew in building the kingdom of justice and peace, an effort that is resisted, rejected and ridiculed by every form of violence, all rooted in refusals to love. These represent the “Other Gods,” of which Richard B. Patterson reminds us, the many idols that snuff out life.
Thank you for “Mass Evangelization.” It altered my much earlier impression of Professor Hahn’s theological bent.
I believe, however, that the selection of the cover for the April 22 issue does his article a disservice. The cover conveys the Eucharist as having the purpose of providing the church with an “adorable object” in the host. His article appropriately portrays the Eucharist as the action of the people commissioned for evangelization. The cover undermines this.
Eucharistic adoration is a viable consequence of and in continuity with the activity of God’s people celebrating the paschal mystery in union with Christ. But the pre-eminence of adoration, portrayed on the cover, skews our eucharistic faith and the power of Professor Hahn’s article.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
I enjoyed “Other Gods,” by Richard B. Patterson (4/22), but personally I would include sports as one of our prime “other gods” in today’s world.
How many parents take little Johnny or Janie to soccer, softball, football, tee-ball and so on instead of to Mass on Sunday mornings! I like sports but more and more realize they have taken over almost as a national religion. It may even border on an addiction. We treat our athletes like gods, so why are we surprised when they try to act like the gods of mythology?
In the artwork included with the article, the Heisman trophy was appropriately included among the trophies depicted.
The Peace Issue
I’m writing to express belated gratitude for your April 8 issue. “A Vision of Peace,” by Drew Christiansen, S.J., a review of “Pacem in Terris” on its 50th anniversary, was immensely helpful and set the tone for the entire issue. And “Lethal Responsibility,” by George B. Wilson, S.J., on reframing gun control, continued your important recent contributions to the current national debate.
I was especially impressed with “The Cost of War,” by Margot Patterson. In just one page she gives a scathing overview of the dimensions of current U.S. militarism, starting with the folly of the war in Iraq and stressing that the same people who urged that war now urge warlike responses to Iran and North Korea, further expansion of our bloated defense budget and continuing unconditional support for Israel.
Her final paragraph, on our annual $3 billion dole to Israel “for the privilege of funding an occupation that everyone else in the world regards as immoral, illegal and provocative,” is, I believe, the clearest and best condemnation of U.S. policy toward Israel-Palestine ever written in America. As she says, “This is a ‘special relationship’ one would think we could do without.”
Left in Awe
Re “An Aperture for Grace,” by Jerome Miller (4/8): This meditation on Sandro Botticelli’s “Annunciation” is, for me, an extended poem on life, beauty, divine grace and holiness. It left me awed!
In “The Ties That Bind” (4/29), the editors wrote, “Women in every social class are choosing to delay marriage.” How should the church respond?
It seems that people sometimes avoid marriage simply because of how expensive weddings can be. My practical tip: Each diocese should have reception halls and caterers available for the poor “at cost.” The couple could have access to these things only upon the recommendation of a pastor.
By listening and utilizing their stories as a source for theological reflection.
Education and invitation, just like Christ and Mary.
Marya Ross Jauregui
Educate, counsel and be patient. Respect the primacy of conscience mentioned in “Humanae Vitae,” but also respect what’s mentioned there about the life-giving power every person has.
Paul Christian Stokell
The fact that Scott Hahn is writing for America magazine is absolutely amazing. Hell has either frozen over, or something is different about America…. Three cheers for America magazine!