The Way of Beauty

September 23, 2015

Pope Francis: Missionary of Mercy and Peace

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The warm familial approach of Pope Francis imitates the way Jesus was present to others. The early disciples followed Jesus because he spoke the truth with mercy, a message of compelling beauty.  They followed Jesus because he went about performing deeds of mercy while offering a message of compelling beauty.  His disciples were willing to die for him and his message. This week Pope Francis will experience the eagerness of public figures who will jockey with others for a place near...

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September 16, 2015

Mercy

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Mercy is active compassion.  This concise definition from the Encyclopedia of Catholicism drives the Hebrew Scriptures where the title “Lord of Mercy” is often ascribed to God.  In the Christian Scriptures, mercy assumes wide meaning from “God the Father of mercy” to the mercy we must offer to one another.   Pope Francis has worked among the poor, serving and accompanying them, advocating and defending them.  His witness of mercy speaks volumes. And the world has taken notice....

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September 09, 2015

Catholic Education IV: Grace under Pressure

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Catholic education is pedagogy of values and principles that prompt our students to aim high for excellence.  It also prepares them for inevitable setbacks that come to all of us. Hardships and even tragedies always surprise, they bewilder, and seem undeserved, especially when they befall children.  Where Grace under Pressure Abounds   Grace under pressure can form part of this week’s lessons of inspiring narratives. The attacks on Sept. 11th, 2001 saw police, firefighters, and...

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September 02, 2015

Catholic Education III: Fully Alive for Virtue

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

“I have come that they may have life, life to the full (Jn 10:10),”—the assurance of Jesus.  In the second century, St. Irenaeus of Lyons gave the Church an equally-beautiful verse echoing that of the Jesus:  “The glory of God is man and woman fully alive, and the glory of man and woman is the contemplation of God (Against Heresies 4:20).”  It has been quoted countless times through the ages. To be fully alive is to develop one’s gifts within the context of a virtuous life.  The end goal...

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August 26, 2015

Catholic Education II: Quality and Non-Quality

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In November 1980, Barbara Tuchman, a noted historian and twice-winner of the Pulitzer Prize, published a controversial essay in the New York Times Magazine entitled “The Decline of Quality.”  Her piece commands attention for all associated in any way with the education of our youth. Tuchman argues that, despite our improved material progress, the decline of quality permeates our culture.  Not a politically correct statement to make outright. Craftsmanship, the arts, morals, politics,...

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August 19, 2015

Catholic Education I: Jesus the Teacher

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The new academic year is just around the corner. For the next few weeks, this column will address some topics concerning the education our children and young adults irrespective of the type of school they attend or their grade level. All of them deserve a quality education second to none. They are our national treasure, the future of this country.  Their education must be our highest priority, and no child must be left behind. Not one. Christian educators look to Jesus the teacher as...

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August 12, 2015

Lessons from the Mozart Playbook

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

From the end of July and for four weeks thereafter, the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center dominates other musical offerings in New York City.  This essay will take us for a quick tour behind the scenes of Mozart’s life.  Can you size up the man behind his music and gather up a few lessons for your own life? A Quick Overview of Mozart’s Early Life   What do you make of a child who at four begins to compose at the keyboard and notate music before he can read and write?  What...

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August 05, 2015

Beauty Rising from the Ashes

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Tomorrow and this Sunday, the Church celebrates the feasts of the Lord’s Transfiguration and that of St. Teresa, Blessed by the Cross.   The Transfiguration is a day when the adjective radiant enjoys prominence.  There on Mount Tabor, Jesus’ face and garments become radiant with light, and Peter, James, and John are also drawn into this luminous mystery.  “Lord, it is good for us to be here,” Peter speaks for the others.  They would prefer to taste the sweetness on Tabor rather than...

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July 29, 2015

'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.'

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

“Light of the World,” a nineteenth-century painting by the Englishman, W. Holman Hunt, perhaps best captures the human narrative. The Painting and Its Symbolism In this unconventional and highly personal work of art, Jesus, crowned with thorns, stands outside a door and knocks.  He is asking for permission to enter. The door can’t be opened from the outside because it has no handle on it.  The rusty nails and hinges are overgrown with ivy and weeds, presumably because the door...

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July 22, 2015

The Apostle to the Apostles

By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

She followed him as a disciple.  She stood with his mother at the foot of the cross.  The burial too.  She announced the resurrection to the disciples. Nowhere in Scripture is she identified as a prostitute.  Not even as a sinful woman.  In Protestant faith-traditions, the Bahá’i, the Roman Catholic, and the Christen East, her feast is celebrated today.  This is St. Mary Magdalene, “the apostle to the apostles.” The Name Mary in the New Testament For Jews, the name Miryam or...

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