Teresa Berger is Professor of Liturgical Studies and Thomas E. Golden Jr. Professor of Catholic Theology at Yale. Her newest monograph, titled "@ Worship: Liturgical Practices in Digital Worlds" is published by Routledge (July 2017). Berger has also written extensively on liturgy and gender.

Ocean Lament

Am I the only one who experiences a profound disconnect these days between our lives of prayer (and what we think is important to bring into God’s presence) and the catastrophe happening in the Gulf of Mexico? The intercessions at my parish this morning, beautiful as they were, did not seem to know anything of the ecocide taking place in the ocean off the Louisiana coast and reaching into the fragile coastlands and all life-forms that depend on them, humans included.

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Of Baptism, Belonging, and Being Ashamed

As someone who has had her own struggles with the Vatican, its offices, and its highest ecclesial court (over teaching appointments at Catholic Faculties), I experience the current crisis in ecclesial governance and leadership as nothing particularly new. What sustained me then continues to sustain me now: the insight that my baptismal belonging to this church always also means the willingness to be ashamed of what I belong to. Belonging and that willingness go together, there is no belonging — not even in the Church — outside of that pain.

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Asking for Forgiveness

How do we ask for forgiveness authentically? What is needed for the sound of our asking to ring true, and deeply so? (I remember a spectacularly naïve request for forgiveness I received a few years ago, and I still cringe in pain). One thing I do know: being able to say, straightforwardly, the words “forgive me” is a step in the right direction. The simple words say so much more than “I am sorry.” For one, “forgive me” voices a direct request to another, who by these two words is rendered visible as the one who has been wronged.

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