Emmanuel Magazine Archives
This issue introduces us to two men who lived in the energy of Vatican II. As a young auxiliary bishop, Marcos McGrath attended the first session of the council, was inspired by its agenda, and dedicated himself to renewing the local church he served in every aspect of its life and mission, particularly with regard to the role of the laity. Basil Pennington was a Trappist monk and one of the founders of the Centering Prayer Movement that promoted an ancient form of scriptural prayer for a new age. The Eucharist was important to each of them. James Kroeger, MM, concludes his reflection on the missionary challenges of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, challenges applicable everywhere in our world. I suggest reading “A Celtic Prayer” in the Eucharist & Culture section as a starting-point. Let us be gentle with the Eucharistic bread Christ blessed for us!
I believe you will find this issue of Emmanuel filled with rich, diverse fare . . . as well it should for two months that include the end of winter Ordinary Time, the great penitential season of Lent, the Sacred Triduum, and the beginning of Easter Time.
I would especially like to call your attention to an article written by Peter J. Riga, whose work appeared in this journal two or three times a year. He died suddenly in March 2018. Weekly, an envelope or two would arrive from Peter, often addressed only to “Emmanuel Editor, Op-Ed.” He wrote on a wide range of topics: politics, society, morality, church discipline, theology, and spirituality. How fitting that one of his last pieces sent should be entitled “Can We Offer Our Sufferings?” May he now offer his praise in God’s presence!
In this issue care of creation is explored through a eucharistic lens. Liturgist Gil Ostdiek, OFM opens up the ecological dimensions of the presentation of the gifts in his article Care of Creation: A Eucharistic Call to Action. Scripture scholar Dianne Bergant, CSA offers a reflection upon the meaning and consequences of the biblical notion of humanity made in the “image of God.” John Christman, SSS presents a unique Orthodox vision of care of creation. Michael DeSanctis reflects upon the role of creation in shaping Catholic sacred spaces. Julie Tragon offers a practical guide for living out the vision of Laudato Si’ in a parish setting. While Martha Ligas and James Menkhaus offer a beautiful reflection upon eucharistic contemplation derived from nature and poetry.
“Breaking bread on the journey” is the theme of this issue of Emmanuel. This theme touches upon the complex interrelated realities of migration, Eucharist and justice. Robert Stark, SSS sets the tone with his article of stories of encounter along the US-Mexico border. Theologian Carmen Nanko-Fernández offers a thoughtful inquiry into some of our theological assumptions in her article, The Unity That Only Eucharist Can Achieve? Scripture scholar George Smiga provides a homily on the Holy Family as refugees. As August 2nd is the feast of Saint Peter Julian Eymard his eucharistic spirituality is featured in an article by Darren Maslen, SSS entitled, Triangularity: The Shape of Eucharistic Hospitality. Indeed, Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s eucharistic spirituality informs the mission of Emmanuel, “to see all reality in the light of the Eucharist.”
Redemptorist Dennis J. Billy continues his series on authors and Church figures who wrote on the Eucharist, in this issuing focusing on the late Jean Vanier, one of the founders of L’Arche and a man of extraordinary grace and consistent witness to the dignity of every person. There are other articles and features for your reflection and prayer as we move into the rhythm of a new pastoral and academic year.
As we bring another publishing year to an end, our issue offers quite a variety of articles for your reading and prayer. You will find Michael DeSanctis’ winsome “A Crib Fit for a King” and John Zupez, SJ’s examination of language and liturgy, “Is the Mass a Propitiatory or Expiatory Sacrifice?” There is Part II of James Kroeger’s reflection on popular piety and Dennis Billy’s continuing series on the Eucharist in the writings of various theologians.