It was Christmas morning 2004. Together with different associates we left for St. Boniface Catholic Church within the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. I used to be the primary to enter, in all eagerness to see the church decorations. Our cause to go to that church was to serve the homeless, and after Mass to have a dialog with Franciscan Fr. Louie Vitale.
Seeing all of the pews occupied by homeless folks sleeping soundly, I spontaneously exclaimed: “Wow, what a beautiful ornament!” Since there was no Mass at that hour, I sat silently and my coronary heart sang, “Silent evening … all is calm and all shouldn’t be shiny. …”
My reflections on that incident led me to write down the next peace meditation: Kindly maintain your bodily eyes closed and inside eyes vast open.
Allow us to recall a quote generally attributed to the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata: “If there isn’t any justice for the folks, let there be no peace for the federal government.”
Throughout Creation we harken to the message of the angels, “Glory to God within the highest … and on earth peace …” (Lk 2:14). Thanks for the COVID-19 pandemic, issues are falling aside all over the place. Individuals all over the place are wrestling by means of traumatizing circumstances, private catastrophes and distressing world occasions, depravity; painful relationships, persistent sickness, addictions, deaths of family members, unemployment, monetary pressure; struggling warfare, genocide, hunger and displacement.
This world actuality should change our outlook. Allow us to think about folks all over the place praying “Give us today our every day bread …” and getting bombs as an alternative. Whereas Jesus, the Bread of Life, invitations us to “Put your sword again …” (Mt. 26:52).
The Emmanuel got here to provide peace to the disturbed, and by his radical stand he disturbed the powers that be. Supporting the manufacturing of nuclear weapons will defeat the message of Jesus. Primarily based on the precept of nonviolence, organizing actions like peace and justice for all will open an area for “residence for all, meals for all.”
We not can take the truth emotionally as God’s will however have to step out and enter a brand new realm, impressed by our mental meanderings. To ensure that Jesus to maneuver in, we have to undertake a brand new worldview of main an itinerant life. Ensconcing ourselves behind secure partitions of establishments will defeat Jesus’ imaginative and prescient.
Maybe the ministry of “evangelization of peace by means of justice” is inviting us to open vast the doorways of our prestigious establishments, together with the church buildings, seminaries, group halls and theologates for peace and justice meditations, motivational packages to arrange princes of peace and justice for all.
Jesus the divine nature, born amidst nature — in a secure — inviting us to dwell a lifetime of poverty. Poverty doesn’t imply residing in distress. Actual poverty will lead us to introspectively think about our pointless hoardings and amassing of wealth. Poor Jesus turned wealthy by emptying himself for the poor.
Church properties all over the place are frequent properties constructed on folks’s cash, principally tax-exempt cash. Maybe it’s time for us to vary the pews, sitting in round preparations to meditate on the phrase of God … which could step by step result in One-ing of the Church.
Typically I really feel that the devoted have tolerated too lengthy the trusteeship of 1 man: the parish priest. It’s time to kind a workforce, governing the church property for the frequent good of all.
As an alternative of promoting the convent buildings on church property or leaving them vacant, provide them to deal with inter-religious meditation companies.
The period of pandemic well being and environmental emergencies like biodiversity loss, the local weather disaster and species extinction is asking us to restore our disconnection with nature. Gone are the times of limitless greed, manipulation and management violating planetary boundaries, destroying the integrity of bionetworks and distinct species.
By invading the habitats of different species to deploy vegetation and animals for worthwhile greed, now we have invited the viruses. By producing poisonous food products which are nutritionally hole, genetically engineered and processed with artificial chemical substances, now we have fallen victims to lethal ailments.
It’s time to consider within the God of common and bodily legal guidelines who’s the one “aspect” within the universe: Every part and everybody is part of that substance, conserving us all in the most effective of our “components.”
I bear in mind studying a quote someplace “When the final tree is minimize, the final fish is caught, and the final river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you’ll understand, too late, that wealth shouldn’t be in financial institution accounts and you can’t eat cash.”
Our pandemic Creation has introduced a brand new gentle of interconnectedness and solidarity amongst folks of excellent will (Isaiah 9:1) who fearlessly advocate for peace and betterment of all — together with creation, the place peace and concord are inbuilt.
The doorways of St. Boniface Church are open to the homeless to sleep through the daytime and attend Mass. Vitale advocates for what he calls “sacred sleep”: “Individuals have rights to sleep, eat, defecate, no matter,” he says. “They must do what they must do and now we have to assist them to share what God has given to all of us.”
Jesus, being born within the secure, introduced radical reformation by means of his daring motion confronting the heavy-handed folks in excessive locations of authority. Within the realm of non secular disciplines, Vitale’s actions resemble Jesus’ instance.
Not too long ago I got here throughout a witty aphorism: “Each dogma has its day.” Possibly it’s time to change our dogma to embrace a Cosmic Christ, pervading the whole universe. Let the advocates of all these outdated, uncreative doctrines fade into stupor so that each one could sing: “All is calm; all is shiny!”