Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Haven't done one of these posts in a while. Herewith, my Christmas wish list:

1. To build peace in my heart and soul in order to build peace, with the Church and with the state where possible, in society and in all the world. And, with God's help, to purge all violence from my thoughts, words, and deeds, to more credibly witness to Christ's work of extricating humanity from the pit of violence it has fallen (and is falling deeper) into today.

2. To renew my resolution to practice minority, that is, suffering solidarity with the poor, as a contemplative, from the seclusion of San Lorenzo Seminary. To learn how to do this more perfectly through the core spiritual and material practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving construed broadly.

3. To deepen a personal relationship with the Catholic Worker movement, beginning here with the folks of Beatitude House in Guadalupe, and continuing with the houses of hospitality of the Northeast when I move back next summer.

4. To acquire an intransigent obedience and loyal disobedience, each holy and pleasing to God in its part. To be one in the Spirit with the Church and yet unafraid to be a cause of division in this world, including not only the state and society of this world but also the Church in this world, because it is not for anything of this world alone I live, but the kin(g)dom of God.

5. To read some of the books my very smart, very faith-filled theologian friends in Boston are reading.

6. To host, for however brief a visit, a few of my sisters and brothers in the Spirit. This wish will in fact be fulfilled in a week and a half (see No. 3).

7. To pray the Lord's Prayer, really pray it, pray into it, and gain life and strength by it, life and strength to share with others. To pray and meditate on the Sermon on the Mount.

8. To renew my resolution to acquire Spanish. Can I move from liturgical Spanish to elementary conversational Spanish?

9. To continue raising the needs and concerns of disinherited peoples in our twice-daily petitions. This must be primarily for my own conscience and consciousness, and secondarily for my brothers. I must not become self-righteous; I must not become smug. I have no right. In a year when I am mostly removed from the suffering of others -- a suffering for which I am not guilty but for which I do bear responsibility as a son of empire's unmerited privileges -- how can I stay mindful that the way we live in the rich and wealthy United States is so unlike the way most others live the world over -- that the way we live in the United States is largely the reason most others live poorly?

10. To recognize it when people come to me in God's name bearing the image of Jesus Christ, speaking the words and doing the deeds of God. To receive others when they are coming as Jesus. To receive others even when they are not coming as Jesus. In all events receiving others as Jesus would receive them. And going out to meet others and greet them as Mary, the mother of God and the mother of all disciples, would do, even when no is waiting for me. Even when it seems like God is not waiting for me -- even if it feels like the God of light is not there at all, but is being the God of the abyss.

11. To continue working on my total human development -- physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual -- so as to improve the quality of my presence in our religious community. To review my progress in addressing my areas for personal growth as reported to me in my first formal evaluation.

12. To pray about the future and my personal future, and to live into the Hope that cradles all my hopes, all my ambitions, all my desires.

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