Search Results: Thomas Merton

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  • EDUCATION

    Teaching public issues in Catholic schools

    • James O'Brien
    • 08 March 2018
    65 Comments

    I was in a lecture with 50 pre-service teachers preparing to transition into the profession. One student spoke up saying he was afraid to teach in Catholic schools, fearing he'd be reprimanded if he said 'the wrong thing'. In fact, a church school comes alive when teachers and students breathe an air of freedom.

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  • RELIGION

    Discerning the place for the churches in the great moral questions of the age

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 November 2015
    2 Comments

    'The crisis of child sexual abuse in our societies has required that our institutional procedures be more transparent and that we learn from the ways of the world in exercising power openly and justly. This means we have to restructure some of our church arrangements so that power is exercised accountably and transparently. All of us who have positions of influence and power in institutional churches need to be attentive to the voices of those who have suffered within our institutions.' 'Discerning the place for the prophetic voice and pragmatic cooperation of the churches in the great moral questions of the age', address to the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania conference, 26 November 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Pope Francis is not an anti-Capitalist greenie

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 October 2015
    4 Comments

    Francis knows there are all sorts of issues inside and outside the Church where for too long people with power have tried to keep the lid on, in the hope that the problems and complexities will go away, often by parodying those who see the problems or complexities as small 'l' liberals or cafeteria Catholics. He delights in being joyful and troubled while contemplating big problems, calling people of good will to the table of deliberation reminding them of the kernel of the Christian gospels. He has the faith and hope needed to lift the lid without fear and without knowing the answers prior to the dialogue occurring.

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  • Mindfulness an alternative to fear in face of security threats

    • James O'Brien
    • 01 March 2015
    9 Comments

    With fear mongering talk of a national security emergency from our Prime Minister, perhaps we need practices which help us engage our reality with gratitude rather than panic.  We speak of health of mind and body as we are increasingly conscious of the mental health challenges we face as a community. Amidst the unrelenting busyness and worry of our days, the merits of pausing in silence are becoming clearer. Silence in mindfulness and listening to loud music while exercising are two interesting parallel experiences in our society. There’s a key question here about whether in our moments of silence or music listening we are seeking to forget our day or rest in gratitude for it. Read more  

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Sitting in the doors of the powerful

    • James O'Brien
    • 12 August 2014
    18 Comments

    Religious leaders used methods of non-violent protest to respond to the Federal Government's 'No Way' campaign that aimed to discourage Afghan asylum seekers. Calling their movement 'Love Makes a Way', their strategy started to take shape: sit-ins in the electorate offices of federal parliamentarians, asking that justice may 'roll down like waters'. Nonviolent direct action changes hearts.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Best of 2013: Transformed by a boring Brussels Mass

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 06 January 2014

    The coughing is getting worse; it sounds like the pew behind me is hosting a cardiac arrest. English theologian James Alison described mass as 'a long term education in becoming unexcited', a state that allows us to dwell 'in a quiet place' that 'increases our attention, our presence'. In Brussels, becoming 'unexcited' seems important.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Exasperated American's note to crazypants Republicans

    • Jim McDermott
    • 03 October 2013
    13 Comments

    That's right — the House Republicans shut down the government because they oppose universal health care. Which for the rest of the world is like crazy talk gibberspeak. Opposing people's right to have health coverage is like opposing Disneyland — in fact it's even weirder, because you can at least imagine someone saying 'I just don't like giant smiling mice'. Who in their right mind would say 'I just don't want people to have health care'?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Transformed by a boring Brussels Mass

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 24 January 2013
    15 Comments

    The coughing is getting worse; it sounds like the pew behind me is hosting a cardiac arrest. English theologian James Alison described mass as 'a long term education in becoming unexcited', a state that allows us to dwell 'in a quiet place' that 'increases our attention, our presence'. In Brussels, becoming 'unexcited' seems important.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope's advice for Gillard and Abbott

    • Michael Mullins
    • 29 January 2012
    16 Comments

    Last week Pope Benedict said silence and words are ‘two aspects of communication which need to be kept in balance’. This insight could help political strategists charged with explaining why political leaders are failing to connect with voters.

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  • RELIGION

    Dorothy Day's gospel with teeth

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 November 2010
    22 Comments

    It is 30 years this week since Catholic radical Dorothy Day died. She was a quirky woman who lived on the margins of Church and United States society. Her life was lived in harsh conditions, but the way she put its elements together was sweet and attractive.

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  • EUREKA STREET/ READER'S FEAST AWARD

    Money doesn't make babies happy

    • Stephen Wright
    • 30 September 2009
    6 Comments

    We are terrible at caring for the planet because we are terrible at caring for each other. And we are lousy at caring for each other because we don't seem to have any idea of where the roots of human emotional sustenance lie. We might begin to look at our obsessive love of money and power.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    'Silly impulses' of religion

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 14 August 2009

    The lecturer's joke about religion is met with laughter. Here, 'faith' is the jester. In dismissing faith, we dismiss people for whom faith is central to the search for truth. We exclude them from that task of imagination and creation.

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