How can the American church respond to brothers and sisters who suffer at the hands of ISIS?
"In a key study done in Beijing, very interesting differences were found in these two self-processing regions in religious Christians compared to non-religious subjects. In non-religious people, self-judgments (judgments about traits people believe describe themselves) were clearly associated with increases in the 'It’s About Me' brain area. Religious Christians, however, did not show increases in the 'It’s About Me' area when making these kinds of self-related assessments." Jeffrey M. Schwartz explains the effects of religion on an interesting part of the brain.
"Mary the Mother of Jesus is a 14-year-old middle-eastern girl, about to become a political refugee, shameful to her family and her betrothed, the kind of person that 'gets put away quietly.' We would ignore her, at best. Maybe we would do much worse." Evan Rosa considers Mary's "Magnificat" and her humility in this Advent reflection.
Accepting that there are different points of views is key to conflict resolution.
Michael Wright suggests, "Poetry can help us name subtle spiritual experiences. The right poetic metaphor can create new contemplative space in our minds and hearts, and as we begin to read poems with spiritual themes, a path comes into focus that can guide us from exile to kinship."
How can our home be conducive to friendships, both within the family and then outside of the family?