Seventy. Sounds like a fairly big number. Mark Twain described it as “three score years and ten, the Scriptural statute of limitations — the expected lifespan we are granted according to the Bible.”
Today, the common question in spiritual circles is not, “What is your church or your religion?” but, “What is your practice?” What is your practice? What is your particular explicit prayer practice? Is it Christian? Buddhist? Islamic? Secular? Do you meditate? Do you do centering prayer? Do you practice mindfulness? For how long do you do this each day?
“A baby is God’s way of saying the world should go on.” My mother spoke this truth a thousand times while I was growing up. She said it every time we heard news of a friend or relative expecting a baby, but also each time the world darkened with terrible suffering or personal tragedy. She saw in each human life a great possibility: the prospect of new beginnings meeting the promise of hope.
We will never be adequately prepared for the coming of the Savior unless and until we feel in our bones that there is something from which we need to be saved. If we don’t require salvation, then Jesus devolves, very quickly, into one wise man among many, one more spiritual teacher in a long line of similar figures across space and time.
An unexpected headline in the New York Times recently caught my eye: “A Disrupted Thanksgiving Leaves the Turkey Business Guessing.” The article that followed discussed a question that is, according to the author, on the tip of everyone’s tongue – “Just how many whole turkeys will Americans cook this year for a holiday whose wings have been clipped by the pandemic?”
In the wake of the publication of Pope Francis’ most recent encyclical letter “Fratelli Tutti,” there was a great deal of negative commentary regarding the pope’s attitude toward capitalism and private property.
Every four years, Catholics face an intense dilemma in regard to the vote. There are ardently Catholic Democrats who wonder how their co-religionists could possibly choose a Republican candidate, and there are ardently Catholic Republicans who express precisely the opposite opinion.