To My Sister (and any incoming students who happen to be reading this),

BY DOMINICK WONG

Dear Esther,

I’m sorry for making your name visible to everyone who follows this scrappy, little, Christian magazine… but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to publicly embarrass you (winky face).

This letter is being written a week from your first day at Cal and, honestly, I envy you and the boatloads of jittery excitement that just drip off of every text asking: “do you think I need three binders or one?”, “is sixteen units too many?”, “what if I don’t have enough time to walk to my next class?”

As you know, I’m speaking here from the opposite side of the college experience. Having just graduated, my feelings towards the future are characterized less by excitement than they are by… dread, haha. Four years (give or take) at the, “Number One Public University in the World Go Bears!” hasn’t afforded me any greater certainty of what I’m supposed to do with my life.

So believe me when I tell you that, in many ways, I feel no better off than you for having completed my college education. And yet, I have confidence that God has brought me to this university for a reason; that He has used this crazy crazy place to grow me in ways that might, in turn, inform your growth. Continue reading “To My Sister (and any incoming students who happen to be reading this),”

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The Justice, Glory and Gospel of God

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BY ANDREW SUM

If we are to understand anything in this world, we must understand it the way God ordains it. It follows that if we are to understand justice in any sense, we must understand God’s absolute justice as revealed to us in His Word.  In doing so I hope that a theological foundation would be laid, upon which the Church might proceed with regards to the issue of justice here on Earth without crumbling under the weight of secular influence. Some might argue over the practical implications of such a study, “What does this have to do with human suffering? How does this affect those in poverty? What about prison reform? I don’t need your pie in the sky theology, give me something practical!”   Continue reading “The Justice, Glory and Gospel of God”

Dear Orphan

BY EMILY PALMER Dear orphan, Do not despair. You are my beloved. The world may overlook you; you may feel utterly alone. But I am with you. I know the number of tears you have shed.  You lack parents in this world, but I have adopted you as my child.  I am watching over you. … Continue reading Dear Orphan

Social Justice and the Eucharistic Life

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BY MONICA MIKHAIL

“The hungry are perishing, the naked are freezing to death, the debtors are unable to breathe, and will you put off showing mercy until tomorrow?”

– On Social Justice, Saint Basil the Great

The celebration of the Eucharist—union with Christ by partaking in His Body and Blood—was central to the identity of the early Christian community. The Mystery of the Eucharist, which means ‘thanksgiving’ in Greek, extended beyond its immediate celebration and permeated all facets of the early Christian life. The early Christian community attained a deeper understanding of the reality of the world by their continuous participation in the sacramental life of the Church. Through the liturgy of the Eucharist, they were able to see beyond the ephemeral nature of the present world and experience a taste of the everlasting Kingdom. Because the early Christian community centered itself around this mystery, they could not neglect the social injustices within their society. They strived to have their community and society mirror the complete flourishing in the age to come by addressing social needs despite this world’s temporality. They attempted to create an image of the Kingdom here on earth. A new and radical mode of living resulted from this awareness of their unity with Christ and each other through their communal participation in this mystery. Continue reading “Social Justice and the Eucharistic Life”

It is Well

BY JENNIFER YIM A pearly-white picket fence borders a two–story house, offering the impression of a safe embrace. The fence stands waist high—not actually providing protection or keeping intruders out, but there’s no real threat in this neighborhood anyway. Or this city. Maybe even in this state. Really, it stands to keep the squabbling puppies … Continue reading It is Well

Refugees & Ambassadors

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BY ELIZABETH KHOURI

I’ve spent the past few semesters working with refugees. I used to be surprised at how much I identified with their stories, until one day I realized that, in a way, I, too, am a refugee. A refugee is someone who has been forced to leave his or her home country and cannot ever return due to a threat of persecution. God created me (and you) to live with Him in Eden, characterized by what Cornelius Plantinga calls “universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight.”i In Eden, people would encourage and truly treasure one another. Students would freely rejoice in the academic success of another, even in curved classes. Government officials would always tell the truth and cooperate with one another. Trains would always be clean and on time. No one would ever go to bed with an empty stomach. Each human would vibrantly, exuberantly reflect the glory of God through his or her own inimitable experiences and essence. All humans would look to God, walk with God, lean on God, and delight in God. Eden is our home country; it is what we were created for.

Continue reading “Refugees & Ambassadors”

Abortion and Social Justice

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BY ALLEN HUANG

When I arrived at college, it took me a while to join my school’s pro-life group. I could theoretically wrap my head around the idea that terminating fetuses amounted to taking innocent human life. The thing was, being at a very socially conscious college opened my eyes to the myriad types of other suffering and affronts to human dignity in the world.

Continue reading “Abortion and Social Justice”