"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.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

On Our Knees

To be a Christian is to suffer and forgive, not to seek vengence, to take on additional suffering rather than refuse to feel the sufferings of others. So we cry out with the wounded Lebanese and Gazan Palestinians and ask the Lord to heal their wounds, which means suffering for him and for us. We take their suffering into our hearts - we do not push it away. In their faces, we seek our own, and above all, we see the face of Jesus. We hear the crack of every bomb blast and in them, we remember the words of Isaiah, "He took our infirmites and bore our diseases." Our worst disease being the pride that makes other human beings our necessary if unwilling sacrifices to our safety and security, a goal as illusory as the rhetoric we use to justify it. We cannot find Jesus' healing power in outrage and million dollar missles, but in a power that does not come from magic or technology. "Jesus' healing power is not to be found in his supreme power over sickness and disease." Listen carefully here - the power we are dealing with is not miraculous as we have come to think of that term - an unknown spiritual technology. "His power to heal is the power of his suffering. He heals by 'carrying' our sickness. 'Through his wounds we are healed' (Isa. 53:5). His passion and his self-surrender on Golgotha are the secret of his healing of the sick." Jurgen Moltmann, The Spirit of Life.

Are we willing to open our hearts to this suffering? Can we take on the wounded, weak, helpless, and disabled human life which God has made a part of his eternal life? Do we have the courage to stand with despised and say, "This is my family!"? "God heals the sicknesses and the griefs by the making the sicknesses and the griefs his suffering and his grief. In the image of the crucified God the sick and dying can see themselves, because in them the crucified God recognizes himself. Through his passion Jesus brings God into the God-forsakeness of the sick and into the desolation of dying. The crucified God embraces every sick life and makes it his life, so that he can communicate his own eternal life. And for that reason the crucified One is both the source of healing and consolation in suffering."

"The top United Nations aid official today made an urgent appeal for a 'humanitarian truce' lasting at least three days between Israel and Hezbollah to allow children, the wounded and the elderly to escape the fighting and food, medicine and other emergency supplies to get through to the conflict zones." Unfortunately, our Christian President and his devout administration have damned those children to quick and slow deaths. Such simple humanity is deleted in the drive for absolute security, "Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon proclaimed that 'maximum firepower has to be used.' As justification, he cited the meeting in Rome, from which 'we have in effect obtained the authorization to continue our operations until Hisbullah is no longer present in southern Lebanon.'" We hear the deafening applause of our Christian brethern to this butchery and wonder we have so few priests in the Catholic Church.

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