The Word Among Us

Lent 2004 Issue


As we did in our second article, we want to continue in this article imagining that we have traveled back to the year a.d. 63. This time, we want to imagine that the Apostle John is sitting with us, telling us what it was like to be on Calvary as Jesus gave his life for us on the cross. More »

Can you recall a special moment? Perhaps it was your wedding day or the birth of your first child? Maybe a distinct moment of intimacy with Jesus holds a special place in your heart. Have you ever noticed how, whenever you are reminded of this special event, your disposition changes? Don't you feel as if you're reliving part of that event and feeling all over again the joy and excitement that you felt when it first happened? More »

For centuries, drama and good storytelling have had the power to grab our imaginations and move us in our innermost hearts. Even today, a gripping novel or a powerful movie can stay with us for a long time after we have finished it—and the very best have had so strong an impact that they have changed the way we think and act. More »

Special Feature

Deacon Al O'Brien is the Director of Criminal Justice Ministry in the diocese of Beaumont, Texas. He carries out his work with the help of a half-time secretary and roughly a hundred volunteers who go into jails once a week to lead Bible studies, rosaries, or talk with inmates. "This may sound like a large number of workers," he says, "until you know that 25,000 people are locked up in this diocese." More »

In addition to his devotion to the passion of Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi was also known for the peace and joy that marked his life—a peace and joy that came from his loving surrender to God. Wherever Francis preached, people were moved by the witness of his life to repent of their sins and embrace Jesus with the same kind of simplicity and humility that he showed. Eventually, Francis' way of living the gospel was captured in a prayer that has come down to us as the "Peace Prayer of St. Francis." This prayer is so well-known because it describes the way we all want to be. We know we don't measure up. We know we fall short in so many ways. And yet we also sense that a life of peace and joy is possible as we learn to rely on the power of the Spirit in our lives. More »

At a conference several years ago, I was responsible for a display of children's books. All throughout the afternoon, parents approached and bought books for their children. Occasionally a parent would tell a child to choose any book on the table—but only one. The smallest children inevitably chose the same book: The Stations of the Cross. I had thought that the image of the crucified Jesus on the cover would frighten them, but in their innocent simplicity, they could see beyond the horror of the cross to the love it expresses. More »