Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summons and Unsettling

Lectio Divina

How narrow the gate ... that leads to life.

Matthew 7:14

There is no compromise with the Sermon on the Mount. We who follow Jesus must use only the means Christ gave us to bring God's love and justice into the world. May all Christians remain faithful to the means Jesus gives us to build peace and work for justice, and let us not be tempted to use coercive power and violence to resolve conflicts and solve social problems.


Read a little more of Caught by Jesuit Fr. Michael Kennedy of the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative. His vignettes of life at California state prisons and juvenile halls are tough reading, both in content and (unfortunately) form -- his writing is ungainly. I may be putting this one down.

Done with America; going to open National Catholic Reporter. The Capuchins are much on the pages of NCR, with features on Bro. Charles Chaput, archbishop of Philadelphia, and Bro. Sean O'Malley, cardinal archbishop of Boston. (Click here and here.) And the Province of Saint Joseph has made a splash by releasing an audit it conducted voluntarily of its personnel files in order to document how it handled allegations of sexual abuse over the last 80 years. (Click here and here.) I invite you to read these articles and draw your own opinions.


Although the path is clear for me to begin new adventures in faith as a vowed religious with the Capuchins, I am feeling pessimistic these days about the world, and the United States in particular as a purveyor of violence. The so-called "compromise" that lawmakers in Congress have arrived at in order to pass a bill to reform our immigration policy -- increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, retributive measures in the form of back taxes and denial of social benefits paid into, intrusive surveillance of employers and employees, a lengthy process toward citizenship -- trades on the misery of millions of families. It is a comprehensive reform bill; it is not even close to being a just and humane reform. God forgive us for putting sovereignty and the security of a border over humanity and the safety of millions of women, children, and men who cross the border illegally not because they want to, but because they have to in order to survive.

We cannot pass a farm bill because we refuse to spend the money we must to feed millions of hungry neighbors. We cannot pass an infrastructure bill because we refuse to spend the money we must to repair our roads and bridges. We should not pass an immigration bill that puts border security above human rights, but we will spend the money -- taken from the pockets of the poor immigrants themselves! -- to prevent any more of their kindred from coming here. God will not bless us for what we are doing.

This morning, continuing our history lessons on the Capuchin provinces of North America. This afternoon, watering the grounds and slowly composing and designing the newsletter. This evening, in a few moments, reading the news of the Church and the world and reflecting.

After today, eighteen days left in California. Life here is serene, and God continues to speak to me through and in spite of me. But life here is also moving too slowly. Our lingering and gazing on the transfigured Jesus is coming to an end. I hear the summons. It's time to go!


A little warm, a little breezy. Calm out there, but within God stirs an unsettling storm.

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