An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.
Monday, September 26, 2005
What is the effect of torture on our Christian spirit? To what extent does our silence in the face of ongoing brutalization of Iraqis in the name of our "safety" cause us to become brutalized? To what extent are we brutalizing our Lord when we break the legs of Iraqis with baseball bats? I would really like to start a conversation on these questions because I don't see any conversation about torture and Christianity happening on other blogs. If you know about such a conversation or blog, please let me know.
Our Lord is crucified with the people of Iraq - he stands with them in mute authority while they are degraded as he was degraded - to prove the omnipotence of the truly degraded. May we pray for a love like his and the ability to act on it.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Sunday, September 11, 2005
How many times have we given ourselves permission to be a little materialistic, just this one time? We deserve it, just like Bush deserves his bike rides. And maybe it's true that first time, but soon the tenth and twentieth time have long since passed and we've ceded the right to permanent selfishness, establishing a new level from which to devolve further. And suddenly we find ourselves imitating attitudes we secretly despise, but the secret grows more and more hidden until we no longer recognize it as our own.
To share God's life is to encounter a level of being that calls humanity to ever higher levels. These days it is often very difficult to distinguish spiritual and material processes, so debased has our understanding of humanity become through technical dominance. This dominance enslaves our understanding of the meaning of compassion. We break this slavery only through love for the least among us.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
James Moore once again, "The water has washed away the scales from our eyes and now we have seen where our decisions have led us. Every vote we have ever cast for every charlatan selling tax cuts and less government has had an affect on lives in New Orleans." Indeed, much has been washed away and it is time for us to gaze steadily at what the generation of the 60's and 70's has become. The fads that caked like toxic mud on our consciences are all starting to dissolve and soon the core of our ideals will reveal its emptiness. For a thousand reasons that seemed incontrovertible at the time, we accepted mini- and then micro-substitutes for those original ideals. How many of our generation managed to convince themselves that the high-tech revolution of the 90's was the fulfillment of the ideals of the 60's?
James Moore: "The fault is ours; those of us who gave two terms to the PR president by casting our votes and believing we could get something for nothing...Our silent support and inattention to detail makes possible illigitimate wars and corrupt contracts." Like the PR president, we needed to live balanced lives, without reflecting on who would pay the price for that balance. The balance always came by feeding off the capital of past generations. That capital has worn thin and may soon wear out like the ozone layer that protects us from the radiation burns of our folly.
James Moore: "New Orleans is a symptom of something far greater than simply inadequate federal response. Our government, and all of the great institutions that have maintained our democracy, is dying. And we have let it. We have not listened for the truth." We always owed ourself more than to listen to the truth. Indeed we have enjoyed ourselves - we have lived the good life.
How is it that the generation that prided itself on its honesty and self-insight has become incapable of admitting error? Before you start to explain away what I have said as "guilt tripping", please explain to me what real guilt would look like.
"The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger and rich in compassion." Let us ask for forgiveness for the times when the false religion of wealth and power has entered our hearts and we accepted it gladly. And let us ask that George Bush repent of and be forgiven for his neglect of the poor and the defenseless and that in this forgiveness he may find the blessings which come from service to the poor in spirit.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
To be a Christian means to accept an inescapable responsibility to the poor. The scenes along the Gulf Coast are the result of the systematic abandonment of this responsibility. The people in charge of this government don’t believe in government and so it is logical that they can’t carry out effective government policies. For them, dependence on government assistance is the result of personal moral evil and must be expunged, or else the weak themselves must be expunged.
Let us pray that God will hear the voice of the poor.