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Detroit Mercy is Catholic

How does God approach the world?

Over the centuries Catholic theology has understood that God always begins with love for the real world, its beauty and tenderness, its violence and malice. Theologically, this means that when God works to heal the world's wounds, the healing always flows from a love that is already alive. The healing is never a pre-condition for becoming love-able. This theological principle can be found in the Book of Genesis where God finds all of creation good and in the life of Jesus. In the healing stories of Jesus, in every case but one, the welcome to the one needing healing happens first, only then does the healing happen. Thus, in Mark 1:40-45, the leper comes close to Jesus, asking to be healed, but Jesus touches the leper first, and then heals. The healing is not a pre-condition for Jesus welcoming the leper. In only one story does the healing precede the welcome. The woman who sneaks up behind Jesus in a crowd (Mark 5:24-34) and touches his prayer shawl from behind is healed. Jesus' reaction is instructive; he goes crazy. The Greek verb says he "whirls around," looking everywhere to find her. For anyone to be healed of their trouble without being welcomed is for Jesus a denial of the nature of God. That's why he is frantic to find and welcome the woman.

This is not easy theology

Nonetheless, the relentless drumbeat of human bad behavior has often tempted people to imagine that we must first defeat evil where we can, and create enclaves inside of which good can thrive. Catholicism emphasizes the longer view and works to integrate the many different textures of the human condition into the life of faith.  The process of human conversion is understood to be gradual and life long for everyone. At their best, Catholics engage the world with patience, courage, love and a durable sense of humor.

A Catholic University

A Catholic university like Detroit Mercy sees its commitment to strong research and equally strong teaching and to service as a sacred calling. Detroit Mercy studies the glories of creation in literature, science, the arts and the professions. Detroit Mercy also works to heal the world's often brutal wounds as one part of its primary commitment: to serve God's love for the whole of reality.

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