In many of my courses, I assign students a final project instead of a final exam. Students choose a particular ethical issue to apply what they’ve learned from the semester, aiming to raise awareness about the issue and motivate others to care enough to speak and act in the pursuit of justice. When I first started teaching, many of these projects focused on issues like homelessness, hunger, immigration, sweatshop labor, human trafficking, or environmental degradation. In the last few years, the focus has turned in a decidedly different direction; now, most projects focus on self-care, mental health, and suicide prevention. In their reflection papers, students share the heavy burdens they carry, often due to anxiety, depression, exposure to trauma, and sometimes suicide ideation. In these moments, I think about Thomas Merton’s insight that the church is not just the “Body of Christ,” but a “body of broken bones.” He lamented all the ways we are unwilling to take up “the sacrifice and the sorrow that are the price of this resetting of bones … the pain of reunion.” Merton identified a key reason for this body of broken bones as unworthiness (which we assume for ourselves as well as others). So many people are suffering—many who feel invisible and unheard—and I am reminded all the time that this includes my students.
In all my years of going to church, the only times I have ever heard a sermon about racism was when the priest was black. I have never heard a white pastor give a sermon […]
Thomas Merton wrote: “Presumably everyone in the country wants peace in one way or other. But most Americans have prior commitments — or attachments — to other things which make peace impossible. Most people would rather […]
In the wake of Barack Obama’s 2008 historic election as the first black president of the United States of America, pundits, reporters, politicians, and scholars scrambled to declare the race question over. In its congratulatory […]
The following article reflects only the view of the author, and not the opinions of all Daily Theology contributors. When I was an undergraduate at Boston College, the Campus Ministry office sold “Educated by Jesuit” T-shirts […]
In September, less than two months before the election, Shark Week X asked, How Would Jesus Vote? As John Slattery wrote, the question could be rephrased as, ” What would Jesus do, right now, in the […]
As Christians continue the journey of Lent, and as a great many today celebrate Saint Patrick’s day in a tumultuous, fearful, and sometimes even hateful political and social context, I’d like to take a moment […]
While it is tempting to set Donald Trump up as being the as the Anti-Pope Francis, such a view is both simplistic and dangerous. Such a binary ignores the profound depth of the pope’s message and his continuity with the Catholic-Biblical tradition.
In the year 399 in Constantinople, the wealthy government official Eutropius, a man known for his lavish lifestyle and attempts to strip churches of their right to serve as a sanctuary for the persecuted, entered […]
When I was a high school campus minister, I had several students who would come into my office and ask: “I have this friend who is gay, but their church tells her it is a […]