In Laurence Cossé's A
Corner of the Veil, a French novel translated into English in 1999, a
society of priests known as the Casuists come upon the proof of the existence
of God. (The proof is a document mailed to the editor of the society's
magazine, a point of fact that endeared the book to me right away, since I open
the Century's mail.)
This collection of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's writings for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany are drawn from his sermons, letters and other writings. There's a poignancy to these daily readings, since many come from his prison writings prior to his execution.
I was the only woman in a seminary course on negative theology. One day, a young man raised his hand and asked, “What about an ordinary housewife? How could a person like that live this life of prayer?”
The American Family Association has published this year's
"Naughty or Nice?" list. It measures which businesses
support, marginalize or censor Christmas by how often they use the word
"Christmas" in their advertising. Concerned Christians then know which
businesses to support and which to avoid.
A study of HIV-positive men and women showed that those who engaged in spiritual practices had a two to four times greater chance of survival than those who didn’t. The researchers began interviewing people at the mid-stage of their disease. The researchers asked participants whether they prayed, meditated, went to religious services, were grateful to God for what they had, or believed that God could forgive them for wrongdoing. The findings showed that the way people focus on the meaning of life and relate to God can affect health, even in the case of HIV. Roughly one-fifth of the participants engaged in “positive spiritual reframing” of their disease, seeing it as a way God was using them, for example. These people had a survival rate four times greater than that of the others (Atlantic, May 6).