Showing posts from June, 2012

Remembering Our Call: One Body in Christ

I don't think that it would shock anyone to say that these are highly charged times in the United States and in the Church. Many Catholics find themselves at odds over social and political issues, economic policies, the military and war, the role of the Church in secular society, and on a host of official Church teachings. More and more, it seems, these divisions manifest in bitter arguments and stringent defenses of our positions.

In the wake of Pentecost, though, we may want to take time to reflect upon what joins us together as Christians. Summer is a time when Maryknollers travel to various parishes in the United States, celebrating Mass and inviting parishioners to join in the mission of love to those most in need. It is a reminder, for me, that, despite all of the disagreements, we are a people moved by the love of God to be servants to the world. When we love and serve those outside of our comfort zones, we challenge ourselves to look with compassion, to avoid judgment…

Stepping Beyond Our Fear of the Poor

It is important for us to view ourselves as good people. According to Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, this is a key factor in whether and when we engage in dishonest behavior. In a recent NPR story, he explains that while most of us engage in dishonesty to a small degree on a regular basis, it is important for us to be able to rationalize it: again, we need to believe that we are good.

The second interesting point that he makes is supported by a study in which adults were tempted to lie about scores on a math quiz. Basically, they were allowed to grade their own quiz and self-report how well they did, "earning" a dollar for each correct answer. On average, people would report two more correct answers than they actually got. But, when people received tokens for their correct answers, which they would then exchange for dollars, the numbers doubled. This points to a trend, Dr. Ariely explains, in which the further removed w…