"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, March 20, 2008

Seventh Station of the Cross--Jesus falls the second time under the weight of his cross

"We see Jesus falling beneath the cross the second time. Despite the help of Simon of Cyrene, the cross has crushed Him once more, and Roman soldiers have beaten him down. Let us see Jesus in the Beqa’a Valley, outside of Hebron, now.

It is 1998. Just before sunrise, the Israeli military had come in the name of the State of Israel, gun and demolition orders at ready, driving out the families, forcibly holding them back while the bulldozers smash homes that had been rebuilt with the help of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions… In the piles of rubble, the families sit crushed.

It means nothing that these Palestinian families have held the land for generations. Above them, on the top of a hill, the settlements continue to expand, clearing this area of Palestinians and taking their land." - Christian Peacemaker Teams

In the spirit of penance, let us confess to God that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed.

For the thousand daily betrayals that allow me to accept war inwardly and outwardly -

Lord, have mercy.

For accepting the spirit of routine that makes horror banal -

Lord, have mercy.

For laughing as the media satirizes moral passion in the same way as soldiers laughed at Jesus -

Lord, have mercy.

For letting my tolerance for violence and other blasphemies grow endlessly without protest -

Lord, have mercy.

For colluding with the majority who make a god of false security -

Lord, have mercy.

For deceiving myself and my neighbors about the criminality of the empire whose fruits I enjoy -

Christ, have mercy.

I accuse myself of letting murder become a distant routine enabled by my silence and cowardice.

I accuse myself of bracketing off concerns about justice until they fade and die.

I accuse myself of succumbing to media propaganda that makes the deliberate infliction of pain on another seem normal.

I accuse myself of consciously ignoring what I know to be true because acting on it would be inconvenient.

I accuse myself of making eloquent excuses for my inaction while my brothers and sisters suffer.

I accuse myself of seeking religious consolation while neglecting the justice and truth that must be its foundation.

I recognize that the god I truly worship is my own comfort and that I ignore the violence necessary to maintain that comfort.

For these and all the sins of my life, Christ have mercy. Open my eyes to the depths of my sin so that I can at last experience the blessing of repentance.

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