violence

PRAYER: Transformative Contemplation by William A. Clark

June 17, 2017

From Violence, Transformation, and the Sacred: They Shall Be Called Children of God An Encounter With Sacred Violence On May 1, 2011, while most of their professors were at home preparing for bed or already asleep, students at the small Catholic college where I teach participated in a dramatic demonstration of what must be called, “sacred violence.”  That night, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, for ten years the embodiment of “The Enemy” in the War on Terror, had been killed by U. S. commandos in Pakistan.  Many students had just heard President Barack Obama declare to the nation: “We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies.  We will be true to the values that make us who we [...]

ART: Window Seven — Fifth Sunday In Lent by Michael Sullivan

April 2, 2017

From: Windows Into the Light Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer) At times, I feel lost and abandoned, not really knowing where to turn or how to seek you.  When the darkness of life seems too great to bear, enfold me in your arms and let me feel your love surround me, that where you are, there I will be also. Amen. John 12:20-23 (Those who lose [...]

DIVINITY: Natural Woman

January 8, 2015

I think that perhaps what I have experienced recently in visions may be considered the sharpest turn in focus that I have ever experienced.  Yes, there have been an infinite number of times when, having come to the “end” of a vision quest, the ultimate revelation is so far from what I expected that it sometimes takes years – decades, even – to mull over, absorb, and understand. But, for the most part, the path has seemed a logical progression.  From this step to the next, perhaps a curve here and there, a moment to remember the rules of the road so as not to get too discouraged, and then the light at the end.  The finger of God pointing.  Here it is, Julia.  This is what you have been looking for. And then, of [...]

POETRY: On Living, by Nazim Hikmet

December 11, 2013

(Turkey) I Living is no laughing matter: you must live with great seriousness like a squirrel, for example— I mean without looking for something beyond and above living, I mean living must be your whole occupation. Living is no laughing matter: you must take it seriously, so much so and to such a degree that, for example, your hands tied behind your back, your back to the wall, or else in a laboratory in your white coat and safety glasses, you can die for people— even for people whose faces you’ve never seen, even though you know living is the most real, the most beautiful thing. I mean, you must take living so seriously that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees— and not for your children, either, but [...]

POETRY: War Cries

December 11, 2013

A Boy Against The Wall Sargon Boulus (Iraq Assyria) Leaning against the wall near the blackened brick-oven, the boy waves a blueberry branch lazily before his face, and buries his eyes in its leaves, too ashamed to tolerate their stares, that crowd of neighbors hovering over the walls like a bunch of crows, policemen’s badges flashing in the sun, and his father, still in his pajamas, in the middle of the yard, whipped like a slave. The Earth Is Closing On Us Mahmud Darwish (Palestine) The earth is closing on us, pushing us through the last passage, and we tear off our limbs to pass through. The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die and live again. I wish the earth was our mother So she’d be kind to us. [...]

POETRY: Poems Of Pain

December 4, 2013

To A Terrorist For the historical ache, the ache passed down which finds its circumstance and becomes the present ache, I offer this poem without hope, knowing there’s nothing, not even revenge, which alleviates a life like yours. I offer it as one might offer his father’s ashes to the wind, a gesture when there’s nothing else to do. Still, I must say to you: I hate your good reasons. I hate the hatefulness that makes you fall in love with death, your own included. Perhaps you’re hating me now, I who own my own house And live in a country so muscular, so smug, it thinks its terror is meant only to mean well, and to protect. Christ turned his singular cheek, one man’s holiness another’s absurdity. Like [...]

PRAYER: A Blessing For Terrorists by Pierre Pradervand

October 7, 2013

I bless those who are tempted to commit terrorist acts, whether out of despair, hatred, fear, lust for power, or any other tormented human motive. I bless them in their integrity, that they may discover that the wholeness in themselves cannot be reached at the cost of the wholeness of others. I bless them in their realization that love is the ultimate law governing the universe and mankind, and that their deepest honest longings can only be reached through the law of love. I bless them in their awareness that, deep down, they are children of the light, and that terrorist schemes are but an inversion of the light with no true cause, substance, or law behind them. I bless them in their understanding that the darkness they see or imagine can [...]

PRAYER: For the Sorrows of the World

September 30, 2013

From Standing In The Circle of Grief, by Blair Gilmer Meeks Prayer for Dying Children in Africa People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.  But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.  Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’  And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16) But when they saw the amazing things that he did, and heard the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ [...]

CHRISTMAS MEDITATION: The Christmas Gospel by Dorothee Söelle

December 27, 2012

When the angels had left them and gone into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.  When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.  But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:15-20) For many years I was so disgusted by the commercialization that Christmas has endured, so sickened by the terror of consumption, the [...]