The Nearest Thing to Heaven

I just ran across this interesting article.

http://time.com/5441961/the-nearest-thing-to-heaven-a-statues-lesson-of-faith/

The author includes a statement that resonates with me, but I have not seen elsewhere:  “The declining role of institutional religion has, I think, led to a serious loss of community, as the religious participant has given way to the ever more atomized consumer.”

Institutional religions all seem to have their negative characteristics, but I think it is too easy for us to under-appreciate the underlying spiritual and cultural benefits.  I think I will purchase Neil Macgregor’s book and see what other insights he has.

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About Pope Francis

Red Letter Living

One of the primary reasons for looking into the Jesuit order is that I am fascinated about how different the Pope Francis is from those who proceeded him. That is, at least those in my lifetime. He just seems so focused on Jesus, and I wonder why? Since he is the first Jesuit to become pope, I thought I might gain insight into him by studying the order he came from.

One of the first things I discovered from other sources is how massive the Roman Catholic Church organization is. I never dreamed that the hierarchy was so complicated. They call organizations like the Jesuits, orders. Different orders are for purposes of being. The below chart gives you an idea of the complexity. If you look down the list you will find the Jesuits among the “Clerics Regular” with an identifier of “S.J.” .

I googled about everything imaginable to…

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