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Showing posts from February 21, 2021

In the Dragon's Cave

A raw bone turned under foot. The pirate saw it and stopped.  "What are you getting at!" said the loud one. He was still. The bone was something. A kind feeling came into him and he sunk.  It was in his hands and he had tears on his face. What had he seen? The loud one reacted first. They had to all of them be quick, not knowing when the She-dragon would return. On the boat, at the first glance the Captain saw it had been true. The boat 'twere weighed down with the eggs. "Had ye no room then? for where is the man called Justin?" "He was beside himself" the loud one said truthfully. "There be strange things in the lair of the dragon," he told them when they still listened. Justin gradually felt a throbbing in his head. He saw above him the cave and he grew chilled. "Have no fear man," spoke the Dragon. The Dragon had only just returned, and though she smelled his presence she had followed the scent of her eggs to the water, roaring.

St. Blaise, a physician who was tortured

A children's book composes the image of Bishop Blaise seated before his hermit's cave wearing the gold, red and green of robe, tall Bishop's hat and shepherd's staff. Two crossed candles aflame recall his physician background, the patron of veterinarians is depicted surrounded with a wolf, warthog and even a bird on his knee. For her birthday my daughter was delighted at the zoo. Thanks to pod friends who hosted us to Stone Zoo we ambled around lifting the girls to see even closer the sloth, the macaw parrot, into the miner's barrel where, in a scene made like a mountain mine, a jaguar stalked awaiting his next meal. The snow white owl had our attention when we heard the big cat's growl.  Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.  Bart Tesoriero writes in Lives of the Saints that Saint Blaise, whose feast day was February 3, fled from persecution of Emperor Diocletian into the hills. A refugee from persecution, the bishop lived as a h

Celebrating the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)

And Next Steps. 70 attended a gathering hosted by Ralph Hutchinson  and officers of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA).  Jack and Felice Cohen-Joppa of The Nuclear Resister lift up their wine glasses from Tucson, AZ. "It took us 75 years, but now we have a Treaty!" We raise our glasses, in Chicago, in Los Angeles, in Brandywine PA, upstate New York, and MA because the faith in our convictions ----the nearing reality for a world without nuclear weapons--in the words of the Joint Interfaith Statement on the Treaty: We rejoice at the possibilities of a new world that this Treaty ushers in. At a time when the world desperately needs fresh hope, the TPNW inspires us to continue to work to fully eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons, and to create conditions for peace, justice, and well-being. 44% of us tonight said our energies were to organizing faith communities. Marge Van Cleef said, "Back in the '80s and '70s the Church was involved, it's st

Weeks or Months--The Biden Executive Action 'to Review' Guantanamo

 For ongoing prayer, let's acknowledge success won by the Open Letters to Biden and especially the letter by former prisoners Mansoor Adayfi, MoazzamBegg,Lakhdar Boumediane, Sami Al Hajj, Ahmed Errachidi. In the coming weeks or months, according to a news release, advisors are preparing for Biden to sign an executive action to review Guantanamo. We know that will mean taking seriously the above authors absolutely spot on demands. They are spot on because we know how to do this. Just to get specific in prayer, borrowing the language of the letter: 1. All those cleared for release are immediately repatriated to their home countries, as long as they are safe from arbitrary imprisonment and persecution. Action Step: Sign the Reprieve petition for Abdul Latif Nasser (Repatriation has real issues with it --that's where demand #2 and #3 will come in.) 2. The office for the special envoy is reopened and suitable countries are sought to restart the resettlement process for those unable

RIP Ibrahim Idris

So ill--in an isolated instance of seeming compassion, Government allowed Ibahim Idris repatriation to Sudan, where he died in the care of his mother, age 60.  He never married, never found work. Welcome back, dear reader. It's good to meet and pray. This evening we recover to the attention what can never be easy to notice, what will at best offer a momentary surrender. The reward for mourning the death of someone in our family, the reacquaintance with colleagues at the memorial of an employer--at times of loss we have little to take from such moments, except each other. I suggest again, that's why we are here. One of the beautiful portions of our tradition is the litany--I'm not so much a singer as the Peace Poets, but their teaching style when we take up a new verse for an action--like a litany, we say it over and over together.  "A Beautiful Sound" we sing, It is the breaking of chains! ... let them go home, let them go home, let them go home today! --you can l

Disarmament Learning--A Story of Fr. Louis Vitale, OFM

  The man in front of me had been a monk for fifty years or more, head of his religious order for a time. Bald in the classic Franciscan way, a crown of white hair. In the courtroom Louis Vitale was admitted to give a statement, having declared himself guilty of trespass. The room waited, two dozen or more in the gallery, the Judge in his first year assuming these cases from the local military base, looked on. Behind him a portrait, the Henry Clay of the great Compromise of 1850, serene as if stepping off a mare on a ride past the plantation willows. The councilor beside me had taken to farming, in his quasi-retirement, the sweltering years seeking relief for those on death row, concluding with some successes due to the advent of DNA samples cracking open cases long since closed. This was not our turn, but as co-conspirators, I stood waiting for my case to be called. Fr. Louie would be brief. "I once flew in the Air Force," he began, "then they sent me to shoot down a pl

RIP Sr. Dianna Ortiz, OSU

 Dear Sister, Dianna, God--you once advised,  "Call out to the rest of us,  'What meaning does love have  if you allow torture to continue  unopposed?'" The Idaho summer lay on the lake, air touched with sweetgrass. I recall the retreat your book The Blindfold's Eyes insinuated through the fence of my life.  It was not homework. Your voice was easy to follow, fall in love with, even as marks left by burns smoldered into the fabric shirt of my identity.  You'd let despair drip into the page, sought in every corner the girl sunk back. The tense pit of the bodies--the Alejandro you testified to anyone who would listen.  You bared your back, then your invisible wounds too. With your words, you led us. I, who never sat so still, as you on the Lafayette park, in protest.  O, Dianna. With your blessing once, kneeling at the table of a School of America's Watch conference held for the first time at Georgetown in November 2010.  The corridor where sponsors tables l

Who is (Navalny?) a modern-dayJohn the Baptist?

   One may be christened so, as an opposition leader by the New York Times. "They transformed me from a person who was 'technically alive,'" Mr. Navalny wrote, "into someone who has every chance of again becoming that Highest Form of Existence in Modern Society: a person who is able to quickly scroll through Instagram and knows, without thinking too hard, where to put likes." Perhaps, not as otherworldly as John the Baptist after all. Recovering from his poisoning, the flash of wit was perfect copy last September for the rise of a Western media darling.  "He is a boor" countered Russian journalist Dmitry Babich, "a man of bad taste." US Russia relations are in a state of fog. The propaganda filling US media outlets is tantamount to Totalitarian Liberalism, Babich said in an interview with Regis Tremblay, a documentary filmmaker from Maine currently in Yalta, Crimea. "Ideologists view the world through the very narrow prism of their i