Blessed are the peacemakers, said our Lord Jesus Christ, for they will be called children of God. Seemed pretty straightforward to me. I like peace. Peace is good. Simple.
Then, over the last couple weeks or so, a few things I experienced built up to disturb my peace. Images on my magic rectangle. Good friends in the toughest times. And the need to protect a learning community that calls itself family. All of a sudden, I saw violence all around me, crazy and senseless, and I wondered, How can I possibly make peace out of all this? What can one person do in the face of violence, fear and suffering?
If a person could make peace, I guess, that person would certainly be a lucky dog. Is that what you meant Jesus? That humanity was such a stranger to peace that it was Vegas-odds against bringing it into the world?
Catholic tradition is that purgatory doesn't exist in material space-time. We can pray for souls in purgatory and we can ask souls (saints) for prayers, because we are all United and eternal in God's care.
'Time off purgatory' came from a misunderstanding of indulgences, which used to be described in years. So building a chapel could be a 5 year indulgence, a Cathedral, 50 years. The years did not refer to time in purgatory, but to the equivalent time on Earth doing penance.
Pope Francis has expressed the Catholic perspective on the distinction between proselytizing and evangelization. The sense in which it's meant is a key point for discussing the word.
'Proselytizing' to me means the aggressive pressure of a religious message, part of a program directed solely towards accumulating members in one's own religious group. This could be Jehovah's Witnesses knocking on the door, being made to sing Christian hymns before being fed at a soup kitchen, or a society making it inconvenient or stricter penalties for not belonging to the majority faith.
Pope Francis, whom all Catholics see as an authority on the subject, says no to this form of witness.
Ryan LeBlanc, B.A., B.Ed., M.A, is a career classroom teacher, learning leader, and workshop facilitator. Now, his cutting-edge educational methods and years of practical experience with thousands of learners is available through his comprehensive online courses.