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Showing posts from February 14, 2021

Setting our bodies on the arc of justice

What, when sin has us ensnared, we cannot clearly think--nor explain what happened. Spirituality experts will describe the effect of sin in colorful shadings, diagnosing one's malaise, for instance, or confusion. The clouded judgment that delays an important decision. The glimmering opportunity, so perfect, as to detract one from a momentous commitment. The evil spirit will show you the arc of justice is a wonderful and heroic journey.  "Confusion can be a sign of the evil spirit," said Fr. Eugene Delmore, SJ director of an Ignatian Spirituality program. We were both new to Yakima, Washington. I a novice and he in transition from some decades in Bethel and other Alaska towns. He said this about confusion--perhaps I hadn't any serious decision to make then--as we crossed a Yakima street to visit the jesuit volunteer house. I had to take my eyes from his craggy forehead to look both ways, though no traffic was in the vicinity I knew. What can it mean to be confused? &qu

The Dragon's Story

Once she raised two eggs on a cliff on the moor. Word spread the Dragon had not been seen. Was she gone? Had she taken ill? Who would protect them! Armed bandits were the first to plan their raid on the nearby villagers. First they sent out a search party. As they neared, they saw she was in her lair. "Why are you here? I should ask you," the Dragon said. "I am the dragon but I fly no more. I fly no more yet am the dragon still." They thought she said, "I cannot fly now." They reported she was roosting eggs. That she did not fly. "Were they golden?" "How do you know?" "Is it true they have magic power?" On they talked until they believed it must be worth the risk. Now the Captain was a pious pirate, the best of the lot. He had risen as chief of them having some schooling in him before he ran from home and lettered, he added arithmetic, and map reading, and had made himself useful until he knew several of the seven seas. He was

Ash Wednesday Litany of Repentance

     (Prepared by Art Laffin, used with permission) Last year, members of the faith-based peace and justice community in the DMV area gathered near the White House to hold an Ash Wednesday Liturgy of Repentance.  Sr. Ardeth Platte, OP.  Ardeth can be seen in the front left corner of the photo bending down marking the street with ashes. Ardeth Platte-Presente! Introduction Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time for personal and societal repentance, radical conversion and transformation. Living under the brutal occupation of the Roman empire, Jesus declared: "The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel."   Living in the U.S. empire, which is responsible for so much needless death and suffering in our world, w e need to heed Jesus' proclamation of repentance and conversion now more than ever.  During this Lent, we call on Jesus, our crucified and Risen Savior, and summon the cloud witnesses--past and present--as we pray for repentance a

First Sunday of Lent

Recalling the covenant "for ages to come" (Genesis 9:8-15), the first Sunday of Lent draws on the ancient story of cleansing, the great flood.  Violence answered by God's wrath at injustice--filtered by St. Peter is fitting to draw our own prayer regarding Guantanamo. For example, he writes of the patience of God as Noah built the ark (1 Peter 3:18-22). It would have been a bold and daring undertaking by "a few persons, eight in all." Women and men building a future without torture, putting together plans and building the means to close Guantanamo.  The eight builders refused to be complicit in all that had gone awry, and in their collective determination found in God's voice the strength to resist ridicule, (as John had been proclaiming "the kingdom of God is at hand, Repent!" down came tear gas cans, the crowd about him was dispersed with pepper spray, rubber bullets, tasers, and so while they took John into incarceration), Jesus came proclaiming

Announcing articles of Lenten exercises

A gathering prayer in anticipation of the release of prisoners from Guantanamo, inspired too by Mansoor Adafi, Don't Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantanamo. New York: Hachette, forthcoming August 2021 .  Let us act now, in part, joining in the SPIRIT. If once or ever in need of company on a journey If at your heart drawn chords of love,  it seems no one is tugging,  The guides--be they a child, or Mansoor Adafi,  are many. Be they the idle though, should-ing thought, The sugar-plum fairies dancing in your head or A man gotten his growth spurt between forced feedings in Guantanamo-- Few, the scenes of true reconciliation. We come weary, beleagured, closed and hurt, avoiding "forced-feeding"  choked up it has spread throughout the land .  What is the gratitude of Lent, we might ask as we open ourselves. Who is kindness itself. Since we aim into the heart of God in each prayer, support our ambition, reaching from the chair to take with gentleness, and grace, needed cha