Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Towing the Line

A free Catholic press. Everyone whose name appears in print has certain feelings about the press. Everyone who was in search of the Truth.

I don’t like sweeps week stories conducted by my local news hatchet men and women on sexual abuse by church members. On my Christian denomination. I know the percentages. That American school teachers abuse children something like two to three times more than the stories on clerical abuse that have been headline stories over the last 20 years. Those stories seldom are aired. spotlight

I believe greatly in the Truth. I was schooled for the most part post Vatican II. In Roman Catholic institutions. My belief is in a collegial approach where conservatives and liberals engaged in open discussion find the Truth. With a powerful sense of identity and worth, my belief included transparency.

“Let thee without sin cast the first stone.” The emerging policy as to who can speak on Catholic campuses in Minnesota. In an atmosphere of academic freedom, without censorship. With a pope whose philosophy was spelled out long before the white clouds of smoke appeared indicating his election. He believed in pruning. By the nomenklatura. Mostly of those who looked at the Truth a bit differently than the victors. In the institution church. By the elite.

“Only individuals in good standing with the Catholic church can be invited to speak at churches or other Catholic venues or be considered for an award from the church, according to a new policy issued by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis,” reports the National Catholic Reporter. “The speaker’s writings and previous public presentations must also be in harmony with the teaching and discipline of the church,” the press release said.

The Washington Post reports that the 67 million American Catholics are sharply divided on religious and political issues including same-sex marriage, health care and abortion. Who exactly is Catholic? What does it mean to be a Catholic? The same question was recently addressed in England concerning what constituted being Jewish. Sarah Lyall wote in the New York Times an account of a controversy stemming from a Court of Appeal’s decision in the United Kingdom about the Jewishness of a boy trying to get into the Jews’ Free School in London. The secular court ruled the criteria for Jewishness must be “faith, however defined” — rather than family ties. Rather than blood. Who ever defined a Jew, or persecuted one on the basis of the frequency of attendance at the synagogue, was the question Roger Cohen asked this week in the New York Times.

The mass media seems to get a lot wrong. Like the Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom had about what Jews really celebrated during the High Holy Days. The Catholic theology seems pretty clear. People who advocate for abortion are not, whether baptized or not, in their hearts theologically Catholics. Shared belief was the basis of Catholicism. The problem concerning belief of when life begins is about the rights of non-Catholics in a land where Roe v. Wade is the law, in a nation where Catholics are minorities. In Congressional districts.

Recent comments by Francis Cardinal George suggested to Chicago Tribune writer Manya Brachear “that my colleagues in ‘media claiming to be a voice in the church’ should tow the line….George insisted that the bishops’ quest is not about imposing control, but clarifying Catholic media’s relationship with the church.”

Francis Cardinal George was a priest on the same college campus at the time I studied for four years. My sophomore year, I passed him twice a week as he was engaged in discussion with my sociology professor, James T. Ault PhD, as well as a Philosophy professor named Apostol. He is a man for whom I had the highest respect. And I still do. Cardinal George life is one of uncommon generosity in an often hostile uncomprehending culture. And Cardinal George is a representative of the church who actually meets the press.

Manya Brachear wrote: “Relations do not speak first of control but of love,” George said. “If there is a loosening of relationship between ourselves and those whom Christ has given us to govern in love, it is for us to reach out and re-establish connections necessary for all to remain in communion.”

Manya Brachear quoted Cardinal George: “Since everything and everyone in Catholic communion is truly inter-related, and the visible nexus of these relations is the bishop, an insistence on complete independence from the bishop renders a person or institution sectarian, less than fully Catholic.”

According to the Associated Press, Cardinal George said the issue would be taken up in Baltimore as part of a broader look by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ at what groups can legitimately call themselves Catholic. “If those relationships — which don’t mean control, they mean relationship — are now weakened, then we have to think of ways to enter discussion in order to strengthen them, and to redefine perhaps what are the criteria for a university or any other organization to consider itself Catholic,” George said in an interview ahead of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ meeting.

Cardinal George is on shaky ground to be invoking the need for “towing the line” by the media for the institution church which has lacked so much transparency on issues of cover ups of sexual abuse, over so many years. Or on the discussion over who is worthy to receive communion by those Catholics elected to public office. “Let thee without sin cast the first stone.” How about the bishop in Newfoundland who was arrested in August with porn on his computer? Was he worthy, any more? Who was worthy?

“Let thee without sin cast the first stone.” There is this dominant Catholic social justice concern. Underlying it all is about a fight against corruption. To be “fully Catholic.” And from the news stories, those bishops should be dropping their stones on issues like withholding communion. Like five of those bishops in Ireland. To start with.

And about the never ending story about sexual abuse. About the news from Ireland this week. Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin wrote to his people on Thursday: “The sexual abuse of a child is and always was a CRIME in civil law; it is and always was a crime [in] canon law; it is and always was grievously sinful.”

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin wrote: “Efforts made to ‘protect the Church’ and to ‘avoid scandal’ have had the ironic result of bringing this horrendous scandal on the Church today.”

Journalist who are called to Truth-telling, sometimes more nobly than found in an archbishop’s robe claiming to be ‘a voice of the church,’ have wounded the teaching authority of the Church. Catholic and non-Catholic journalists rightly inflicting pain, in self-defense of the masses, revealing the Truth.

Sexual abuse of a child was a crime in Ireland. Would the cover up in Ireland be a crime? Would the cover up by people in Rome who seem to think they are above human law be a crime? About that position of Bernard Law in Rome since he left Boston. Obviously, he was rewarded by his friendship with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Cardinal Law is still there. Still a cardinal. Towing the line. The former and the current Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith who have been overseeing all issues of sexual of abuse at least for the last 7 or 8 years. The former German cardinal and the cardinal from San Francisco. I do not know who oversaw the matter prior to 2001. Perhaps the Prefect’s boss.

In Ireland. In the United States. In Canada. Anywhere where children were sexually abuse. What is truly amazing is that you had no one blow the whistle on it all. A priest? A nun? Even within the hierarchy of the institution which has always used “the silence” within the operations of the Curia like “the silence” was used within the Cosa Nostra. I have this book about all these people who put their lives in danger to rescue Jews during the times of Hitler. If they were caught, the rescuer would have been shot. There were no such stories in the American Catholic Church? About blowing the whistle on these worldwide shenanigans, did not one person ever quit the priesthood in shame? Or had they? Over the leadership of the institution church. Over bishops, archbishops, and cardinals? The ones who had behaved too much like Pharisees, as depicted in the New Testament. The ones who worried about when John Paul II would be canonized, when he presided over all of this. Yeah, the prefect’s boss.
Over what kind of culture this had become? What kind of leadership had been shown? As an archbishop were asked every five years to renew their vow to the pope who had appointed him. To continue with the teaching authority in his part of the world.

About the search for Truth and towing the line. According to Cardinal George, Catholic universities, media outlets and other affiliated organizations that insist on independence from the church hierarchy are “less than fully Catholic.” Journalists, not towing the line, as so many bishops have done over the years.

Towing the line. In law. Or with academic freedom. With a powerful sense of identity, with a True concern for social justice, journalists were supposed to ‘tow the line.’

Yeah, exactly who again can speak on Catholic campuses?


Relationships Blogs - Blog Rankings


Those Quiet Carbon Imprints

Before he became pope, Cardinal Ratzinger was quoted in America Magazine as stating that the church needs to get smaller so that it can become purer. And the plans seemed to well be underway. Actually the comments were based upon Salt of the Earth, a full-length interview to a secular journalist, as well the 1985 The Ratzinger Report, a best-selling book/interview. In an article in 2005, Notre Dame professor R. Scott Appleby was quoted: “If it’s true Pope Benedict XVI prefers a leaner, smaller, purer church as he has spoken of before,” said Notre Dame professor R. Scott Appleby, “we could see a withering of certain Catholic institutions because they’re not considered fully Catholic. This might include Catholic colleges, hospitals, and other Catholic institutions.”

On November 18, 2009, RACHEL ZOLL (AP) wrote the following:

BALTIMORE — Fallout continues from the summer controversy over the University of Notre Dame awarding an honorary degree to President Barack Obama, who supports abortion rights. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops went behind closed doors at their fall meeting Wednesday to discuss, among other issues, what action they should take to increase oversight of the nation’s more than 200 Roman Catholic colleges and universities. Chicago Cardinal Francis George, president of the bishops’ conference, revealed this week that he had formed a task force charged with reviewing the issue. Its research included a look at what church law says about bishops’ authority over the schools. The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities has planned a similar discussion of canon law and bishops’ authority at the group’s annual meeting, set to begin Jan. 30 in Washington.

Religion Blogs

http://www.homeboy-industries.org/donate.php


Relationships Blogs - Blog Rankings

The Who

Signs of endings.

The markets. I am absorbed by the markets. At this point in time. Based upon the state of the world. When everything seemed liable to crash in the time of a megabyte.

In Russia. It all looked as if one hundred years ago that it was all over in a revolution. The 1905 revolution seemed a lot more real at this point of history, than it did reading the account when I was in college. And then the revolution in 1917. The fears of those times were never well conveyed by those history teachers.

In Spain in a civil war. I heard this Federico Garcia Lorca presentation Wednesday night, with an ending when I was required to get the flowers to give to the Master of Ceremony to present at the conclusion of the show. I barely made it with the flowers for the performers. The performers who were reciting compositions in fearful times.

Endings. Oprah. When Comcast wants NBC Universal. Time Warner. Disney. Viacom. News Corp. Those who control people’s lives, as measured by minutes. How did you spend your time? All powered by cable networks. What is the meaning of the hegemony? In this hegemony with all the change. Where the world was headed, without Oprah. The changing paradigm. When people thought they were supreme.

Endings. In the Amanda Knox trial in Europe now in its ninth month, there was on Friday the seven hour closing argument by the prosecution. Amanda Knox, the American roommate “hated” her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, a Leeds University student who came to Perugia to pursue her European Studies degree to learn Italian. A jury of six lay people and two professional judges was told, Ms. Knox “hated” Ms. Kercher for complaining about her personal hygiene, and for suggesting that she was promiscuous in her habit of bringing men back to their shared house. And so, the prosecutor said, Ms. Knox murdered her in “an unstoppable crescendo of violence.” Today lead prosecutor Giuliano Mignini read the Latin phrase from ancient Roman jurist Eneo Domizio Ulpiano, about justice. “Iustitia est constans et perpetua voluntas ius suum cuique tribuendi. Iuris praecepta sunt haec.” Justice is the constant and perpetual will to render to every man his due.

The end of the year. What were you thankful for? What had you seen? Where had your eyes taken you? Who had you touched? This year? Where had I found the truth? With the signs of endings. The times that you shared. Who you had met. At this point in time. Who you worked for. What you did. Jobs. Life. Who you had married. The things which were shared. The community ties.

The end of life. It was the Feast of Christ the King today. And just as only Mary really knew who was responsible for his birth, only Jesus and Mary seemed to know on that Friday who was responsible for his death. Who could believe him? The divine? So God was gonna learn through a new point of view a bit more about pain. Almost silently God had visited. And it was over. The divine. In human form. Who could believe in His silent presence? The humanness of Jesus. On the same earth that I walked on. Almost silently to the world. As quiet as a faith.

The Gospel reading is with Pontius Pilate at the end of life — not about the Final Judgment — where the world judged Jesus of Nazareth . . . under ancient Roman law. “Iustitia est constans et perpetua voluntas ius suum cuique tribuendi. Iuris praecepta sunt haec.” Bloodlines and DNA. Church and state and power. When Judaism is a comprehensive way of life filled with practices that affect every aspect of life, from morning til night, so very personally. When Judaism was based on bloodlines, on sacrifice, on suffering, and not based on evangelical door to door knocking. And there, Pilate with the law. In the clash of power of church and state, did history doubt that Pontius Pilate, representing the power of the Roman Empire, was real? When Pilate said to Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?”

On issues of accommodation, right or wrong. To judge right and wrong, to address good and evil, in the Truth about God and Creation. The problem with Truth, any truth, is in the ease about Truth. Is it too easy to state what exactly the truth is, and then the laws about the Truth? So what is it if anything which makes the Law True?

Bloodlines. Concerning that blood in the Jewish tradition, as in royal lines. Judaism which was then and now all about awareness that affects every aspect of life, from morning til night. And bloodlines. With perhaps a human concern about the purity in bloodlines. And so the awareness in relationships of the human, with the recognition of the divine. It was not just so much a religion as a recognition of, an awareness, about God, man, woman, and the universe FROM STORIES, but about everything. More about action than words. A religion about bindings, concerning that blood and the pain. And the proper way to worship.

Yes, the hardest stories of them all to write were those without an end. With the hundreds of little pieces that fit into the same spiritual holes, do you believe in ghosts? Note the shared sacrifice of those who carried a culture – educators, doctors, jurists which came out of one PLACE in a shared TIME – and the shared sacrifice of the ones who got so close in the intimate matters of family life.
 
In the romance between God and His people, did you feel the pain of trying to work on becoming more worthy? In being moved to sacrifice? Somehow. Like all religion, it was about the nod that came out of sacrifice. In kinship to the God who cannot die. In sacrifice. And passing on that kinship, just as Abraham had.

Here was the awareness of the conflict in the story with a need for endings. God’s awareness of the conflict and the need for story, since the time of Abraham. When Abraham challenged the meaning of his life, in the Akedah story, challenging God for all that He had given to him. And slowly all of his blessings had been taken away. In old age. In death. With no mention of a Resurrection to Abraham. What was next to come. Except that Sarah and Abraham had a son. Was Abraham really asking God in the Akedah , if he really had been chosen, about the future? His own future? By asking him to sacrifice his son, what about Abraham’s own future? Abraham with all of his awareness, at his end with a loss of vitality, with the suffering in old age, was the actual mystery in the harsh godless profane pagan world? Why did I have all this? And why was I losing it? It was the “Why me?” question. Had Abraham in the first place ever been worthy? Worthy of life? So why did I have all this … and what now?

With the sign of ending, “So are you the King of the Jews?” Reflecting on the meaning. Those descendants of Abraham. Reflecting on the meaning of making some kind of an offering to God. Like Abraham tried to make. When your relationships, based so much in sacrifice, with God and his Chosen People, with your parents or with your kids, with a kinship that involved not only blood but love. Seeing the pain and the suffering. Every year, the human suffering? And God somehow feeling so unworthy? As God was the artist in the time of Noah, wanting to destroy his own creation. Not at all unlike Abraham? What He had seen reflected in Abraham and all that time spent in his struggle. Trying to pass on a tradition. Beyond just the DNA. Like watching television from above. On High. Of the struggle. On earth. What now? In the real world?

When Pilate said to Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” With all of the Jewish guilt about being chosen? And then the suffering generation after generation, with stories of annihilation. A Chosen People, in kinship to the God who cannot die. A royal line. Passing on a way of life. In kingship, the Christ, the King. And in royal lines, finally deciding on the who. When the divine learned what it really meant to be human. And when humanity really learns what it means to have divine life.

The Christ, the King, and the end, at the end of a year. The divine. Always and everywhere. The signs of endings? The Resurrection and what it did ultimately mean for God to become human? This was his attempt to pass on tradition? Through a human. The Messiah. What had Abraham been trying to do? The fears of the times, never well conveyed by those history teachers. What was it like to face the end? Your own ending, with all of the associated suffering? Passing on ‘everlasting life.’ How to pass on another form of life, in sacrifice, in a form of human worship? Resurrection, as a form of inheritance. It was how a human had redeemed humanity. It was a struggle.

Almost silently, God had visited. Passing on a way of life. ‘Everlasting life.’ To those made in the image and likeness of God. Me. You. Amidst all of life’s pain, amidst all of the change, it was the end of another church year. What Larry Gillick calls “God’s continuation syndrome.” Where God is “always beginning over and over again to share over and over divine love” with you and me. And so another church year ends. Facing once more, Larry Gillick writes, the call of God “to allow ourselves to be loved, and still do something about this world.

The love lesson. Those feeling of always being unworthy. God in His incredible subtleness, day in and day out. Until you eventually figured some things out. About the Christ, the king. About me. A lesson about Thanksgiving. The incredible subtleness of the Creator that love is available if you believed in the stories of, in the lessons passed in family — of some form of family — that love, with awareness of the sacrifice which affects every aspect of life, from morning til night, was about Resurrection and forgiveness. And ‘everlasting life.’ And for me, in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, who learned of the incredible subtleness of God and with a divine form of humility had been willing to make the greatest of all sacrifice. And for Christendom who remain, the goal is to “live His ways of reverence, generous availability and non-apologetic graciousness.”

Copyright © 2010.

Visual Web Search

Religion Blogs

http://www.homeboy-industries.org/donate.php

On Faith and Morals

The age of terror started in the southern hemisphere years before September 2001. The twentieth anniversary of the killing at the University of Central America (UCA) in El Salvador of a housekeeper, her teenage daughter, and six Jesuit priests is next Monday. “Be a patriot! Kill a priest!” was an infamous slogan at the time, to terrorize the current generation into submission.

The United States Army School of the Americas (SOA) based at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia then and now trains Latin American soldiers in combat and counter-insurgency. The School of the Americas (SOA) changed its name to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC)in January 2001. The name of Archbishop Oscar Romero is included in the litany of the dead and disappeared, along with four American Maryknoll nuns, the El Mazote Massacre of 900 civilians at the Rio Sumpul, and tens of thousands of Latin Americans massacred, tortured, raped, or “disappeared” at the hand of SOA alumni. Or forced into refuge. Graduates of the SOA are responsible for the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. And Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wisconsin Diocese since 1999 has been allowed to serve since 2005 as an adviser to Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, on their advisory Board of Visitors. (Bishop Robert Morlino was one of eighty bishops who said he would not have allowed President Obama to speak at the graduation at Notre Dame.)

The annual vigil of prayer and protest against the School of the Americas very much involves the Catholic community. The time of protest outside of Fort Benning is once again at hand as students, religious, labor, human rights and social/global justice groups in solidarity with the people of the Americas, asking on November 20th through November 22nd in nonviolent action exactly what kind of country sponsors the School of the Americas, under any name. The current struggle of a nation coming to grips with the closing of Guantanamo Bay detention camps has precluded any self examination of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, which has continued under Clinton, Bush and Obama. In November, 2004, there were 16,000 outside of Fort Benning, protesting the continued support. After his election to president, Obama has resisted pleas to shut the school but he has promised to end torture.

On the eve of the week of Thanksgiving, with the National Conference of Bishops meeting in Baltimore this week voting on matter of the nature and purposes of marriage, I have to wonder about the Catholic part of Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wisconsin Diocese. If it is the responsibility as bishop to encourage Catholic institutions to “give public witness to the fullness of the Catholic faith,” as stated by Bishop D’Arcy of Fort Wayne about his pastoral presence at Notre Dame, I have to wonder how in the age of terror Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wisconsin Diocese can justify his participation in the existence of United States Army School of the Americas. If he is in communion with the faithful, his public witness to the fullness of the Catholic faith gives foundation to those that massacre, torture and force into refuge. How in the name of God could you lend support to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation? And then speak out with credibility on any other moral issue? How is he not censored by the National Conference of Bishops? Or by the Vatican? How is he allowed to speak at any Catholic institution?

With the massacred, tortured, raped, or “disappeared”at the hands of SOA alumni, I am uncertain about Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wisconsin Diocese ability to judge right from wrong. Why would anyone look to Bishop Morlino for any moral guidance? He also wrote at one time that only he, not his flock, should read The Da Vinci Code to be able to understand it. In a university town.

From the late 1970s into the early 1990s, in another age of terror in the southern hemisphere, the United States supported the Salvadoran government armed forces throughout their civil war, with ongoing persecution of clergy and repression of movements for social change. The November 16, 1989 Jesuits martyrdom in the El Salvador civil war was hardly the only instance of repression. It was no different sponsoring the School of he Americas than being a sponsor of Al-Qaeda.

Since September 11, 2001, the age of terror was a lot more personal. In the southern hemisphere years before September 2001, the tax dollars of the American people were used to terrorize a generation into submission, in places where the number of victims well exceeded that American number of dead on September 11, 2001. Away from the lights of New York.

In solidarity with the people of the Americas, on November 20th through November 22nd the protesters will reveal the radiance of their own discovery, no thanks to Bishop Morlino. It was Joseph Campbell who said that preachers “err by trying to talk people into belief. Better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery.”

In other news President Obama announced that he does not intend to sign an international treaty banning land mines saying, “we determined that we wouldn’t be able to meet our national defense needs, nor our security commitments to our friends and allies if we signed this convention.”

Watch the video on the below link which explains how it is those Jesuits in the Society of Jesus, lost their lives. It is of note that at a younger age, Robert Morlino left the Society of Jesus.


LINK https://carmenpampafund.org/get-involved/donate

The New York Times reported on February 25, 2005 that more than 42% of Bolivians live on less than £1 a day and in rural areas the situation is even worse, with nearly three out of five people living in extreme poverty. Through the Carmen Pampa Fund, you can do something about it.
https://twitter.com/midwestjesuits/status/531161827636703232?refsrc=email

UPDATED Link: http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice/police-deny-soa-watch-permit-annual-protest-gathering

http://ncronline.org/news/global/clear-voices-silenced-remembering-murder-six-jesuits

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imQbZco1ir8

POST SCRIPT: Loyola Law School Professor Bill Quigley of the School of the Americas Watch Legal Collective has provided a summary of 429 pages of documents that the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund received under a Freedom of Information Act request. According to the National Catholic Reporter, these documents obtained by Washington D.C. lawyer Mara Verheyden-Hilliard for her client The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund demonstrate that School of the Americas Watch was investigated and infiltrated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for at least a decade, from 2001 through 2010.

The 429 pages of documents — which were obtained by Washington D.C. lawyer Mara Verheyden-Hilliard — show this nonviolent human rights organization was under surveillance by the FBI’s counter-terrorism division as well as Homeland Security and “a consortium of law enforcement agencies,” that attempted to criminalize dissent in the best tradition of the USSR.

“In comments to The National Catholic Reporter, Quigley said the FBI surveillance has had a chilling impact on some SOA Watch activists.”

I am not sure that Mr. Quigley ever read that there were seven thousand priests executed in the Civil War in Spain, for taking mostly only one side in the internal war, in what was mostly practice for the major powers, in the big war to come, of fascism versus Communism. In Spain, the Church took the side of what was was seen as traditional power with General Franco, with long-lasting repercussions for the next generations . . . like forced conversion had always been a part of the Spanish Empire since the days of the Inquisition.

http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice/report-fbi-infiltrated-nonvoilent-protest-outside-georgia-army-base

And this was as it had been living in Russia on the other side of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. In the 1930s, Stalin was not exactly the savior of anyone, after mostly all religious practice of the Orthodox Church in Russia had been exterminated, per Serge Schmemann’s book, Echoes of a Native Land.  First by Lenin, as was the plan, after the Civil War in parts of Russia following the Revolution.  So behold the danger when a monarch is tied to one religion, or if not one One God, one perspective of One God. 

That Was the River, This Is the Sea

Sailing in a strange boat, heading for a strange shore,
We’re sailing in a strange boat, heading for a strange shore,
Carrying the strangest cargo that was ever hauled aboard.

Karen Armstrong was on “Speaking of Faith” eight days ago. She mentioned in an interview that the one thing the time spent in a nunnery does is help you concentrate on what is being asked of you. Although at the time she entered the convent, there was no focus by nuns in training on theology and theologians. In formation. “You go through a process of deconditioning. And then comes a form of reconstruction. You become oriented over time to something within.” Disciplined practice. It sounded a lot like the U. S. Marines. Ritual. Formation. Some of it came from religious practice.

Seasons and cycles that spur us on to change. To move. A Catholic education. I had one. The cost these days was beyond comprehension. The collective moment toward God.

There is a discomfort in the developed world over prayer. Or just to beg? Animals that we are, with the communal nature of prayer. Was there discomfort in letting the divine nature overcome the animal within? When half the populace did not worship on any given weekend. In the communal part of prayer. Prayer and begging.

I was at a silent auction on Friday night for the St. Joseph Worker Program, a one year volunteer experience for women….Turning flesh and bodies into souls. At a silent auction on Friday night there were 10 women from Grinnel College, Luther College, St. Olaf College, and the University of Minnesota. Of Catholic universities, there was one from Loyola and one from the College of St. Catherine.

November. Seasons and cycles that spur us on to change. To move. In search of the divine. Building up an institution through donated people and money. The need for young nuns and young priests in the world. And for the St. Joseph Worker. The program placed the women into places addressing the needs of the poor and marginalized. Payment included of room and board plus $100 a month. It seemed for these lay women the start of the begging part. Of prayer.

Formation. In search of the divine. And the personal nature of prayer, in a collective moment toward God.

The financial cost of the formation of all the young…..building up an institution…when the institution had so much conflict with the real world. Classical music in the age of divorce. Formation. Helping you concentrate on what is being asked of you. When I can’t get there on my own.

We’re sailing on a strange sea, blown by a strange wind
We’re sailing on a strange sea, blown by a strange wind
Carrying the strangest crew who ever sinned

I was out with two cousin after the silent auction. I heard Theresa’s story on Friday night. About selecting a high school, and the choice she was given about high school. And when she made the wrong choice, she was commanded where to go. By a father.

Twenty-four hours later there was a story from a different Theresa, on Saturday night. About selecting a college. A niece of this friend had not been talking about her college selection process. People do not change, I said. I never sought counsel about the choice of a college. Of those life decision, I told the story of my own announcement where I was going to a college out of state. My own choice when announced was not that well received. By my dad. It was German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer who said that the first half of life “gives us text, and what follows supplies the commentary on it.” Since I was paying, I did not need to seek parental approval in the last stage of formation. When Judaism or Christianity is a comprehensive way of life, a well formed choice like a well written prayer is part of the lifetime search of the divine. I believe that parents in such a family should not select the college. Fourteen years later my father saw the affect of my college decision which added some chapters to his life story. It was the beginning of an answer to a prayer that was ongoing for almost the next 14 years. That college decision had decided a lot. If you believed that life involved movement toward God than a parent had to let a child select the college, based upon financial considerations and talent.

Those life decisions one day soon woul make a difference. You become oriented over time to something within. That was a mystery in the search of the divine.

After that silent auction on Friday night I heard another story from cousin Theresa . She had two children born in the most affluent time in world history. It was not their fault when they were born, but her children did not share in the affluence. One had a new addiction to the worst drug out there. I heard the news around Halloween. There was a 6 month wait to get into a treatment center. When in all probability her daughter would not live 6 months with her heroin addiction.

Treatment centers. Formation. Where you go through a process of deconditioning. And then comes a form of reconstruction. And a lot like Karen Armstrong, you become oriented over time to something within.

I learned by the age of 32 how much my prayers can make a difference. And it was not just my prayers. Prayer and begging. In search of the divine. And the personal nature of my prayer, in a collective moment toward God.

Regarding this addiction, there had to be some heavy weight praying going on, knowing her family. Having heard the news her daughter had been accepted into treatment this week, leaving the restaurant at the end of the night, cousin Theresa said as she reached her car the song playing as we went out the door was the song that her daughter heard that made her choose to go into treatment. It was a lot like that moment in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” when the bell rings. When you become oriented to something happening. Only a lot more real than that Frank Capra movie and a lot like those words of Michael Scott:

We’re living in a strange time, working for a strange goal
We’re living in a strange time, working for a strange goal
We’re turning flesh and body …into soul.
“Strange Boat” written by Michael Scott of The Waterboys

Relationships Blogs - Blog Rankings

On Faith and Morals

The age of terror started in the southern hemisphere years before September 2001. The twentieth anniversary of the killing at the University of Central America (UCA) in El Salvador of a housekeeper, her teenage daughter, and six Jesuit priests is next Monday. “Be a patriot! Kill a priest!” was an infamous slogan at the time, to terrorize the current generation into submission.

The United States Army School of the Americas (SOA) based at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia then and now trains Latin American soldiers in combat and counter-insurgency. The School of the Americas (SOA) changed its name to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC)in January 2001. The name of Archbishop Oscar Romero is included in the litany of the dead and disappeared, along with four American Maryknoll nuns, the El Mazote Massacre of 900 civilians at the Rio Sumpul, and tens of thousands of Latin Americans massacred, tortured, raped, or “disappeared” at the hand of SOA alumni. Or forced into refuge. Graduates of the SOA are responsible for the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. And Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wisconsin Diocese since 1999 has been allowed to serve since 2005 as an adviser to Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, on their advisory Board of Visitors. (Bishop Robert Morlino was one of eighty bishops who said he would not have allowed President Obama to speak at the graduation at Notre Dame.)

The annual vigil of prayer and protest against the School of the Americas very much involves the Catholic community. The time of protest outside of Fort Benning is once again at hand as students, religious, labor, human rights and social/global justice groups in solidarity with the people of the Americas, asking on November 20th through November 22nd in nonviolent action exactly what kind of country sponsors the School of the Americas, under any name. The current struggle of a nation coming to grips with the closing of Guantanamo Bay detention camps has precluded any self examination of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, which has continued under Clinton, Bush and Obama. In November, 2004, there were 16,000 outside of Fort Benning, protesting the continued support. After his election to president, Obama has resisted pleas to shut the school but he has promised to end torture.

On the eve of the week of Thanksgiving, with the National Conference of Bishops meeting in Baltimore this week voting on matter of the nature and purposes of marriage, I have to wonder about the Catholic part of Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wisconsin Diocese. If it is the responsibility as bishop to encourage Catholic institutions to “give public witness to the fullness of the Catholic faith,” as stated by Bishop D’Arcy of Fort Wayne about his pastoral presence at Notre Dame, I have to wonder how in the age of terror Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wisconsin Diocese can justify his participation in the existence of United States Army School of the Americas. If he is in communion with the faithful, his public witness to the fullness of the Catholic faith gives foundation to those that massacre, torture and force into refuge. How in the name of God could you lend support to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation? And then speak out with credibility on any other moral issue? How is he not censored by the National Conference of Bishops? Or by the Vatican? How is he allowed to speak at any Catholic institution?

With the massacred, tortured, raped, or “disappeared”at the hands of SOA alumni, I am uncertain about Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wisconsin Diocese ability to judge right from wrong. Why would anyone look to Bishop Morlino for any moral guidance? He also wrote at one time that only he, not his flock, should read The Da Vinci Code to be able to understand it. In a university town.

From the late 1970s into the early 1990s, in another age of terror in the southern hemisphere, the United States supported the Salvadoran government armed forces throughout their civil war, with ongoing persecution of clergy and repression of movements for social change. The November 16, 1989 Jesuits martyrdom in the El Salvador civil war was hardly the only instance of repression. It was no different sponsoring the School of the Americas than being a sponsor of Al-Qaeda.

Since September 11, 2001, the age of terror was a lot more personal. In the southern hemisphere years before September 2001, the tax dollars of the American people were used to terrorize a generation into submission, in places where the number of victims well exceeded that American number of dead on September 11, 2001. Away from the lights of New York.

In solidarity with the people of the Americas, on November 20th through November 22nd the protesters will reveal the radiance of their own discovery, no thanks to Bishop Morlino. It was Joseph Campbell who said that preachers “err by trying to talk people into belief. Better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery.”

http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/jesuit-threatened-human-rights-work-speak-soa-watch-vigil

POST SCRIPT: In a coup led by Gen. Romeo Orlando Vásquez Velásquez, a two-time graduate of the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), the military overthrew a democratically elected president in 2009. After the coup, the administration of Barack Obama has allowed the training of Honduran officers to continue at the school despite federal law requiring suspension of U.S. military aid and training should a military coup occur in a nation. Consequentially, people of Honduras have fled their homes for the north as the murder rate has spiked — its 2012 murder rate was 90.4 per 100,000, per statistics furnished by the United Nations. With Honduras now the murder capital of the world, Honduran youth make up the highest number of migrants seeking out entrance into the United States … with so little discussion on the interpretation about what should be legal or illegal.

Migrants. Flesh and blood nomads in search of something. Immigrant people. “Mostly they are the same lives. The same stories, over and over,” wrote David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker. As we endow our lives with stories, the importance was in the binding from the relationships, in stories about unconditional love. When your relationships were so alive, when you personally sacrificed something, as your prayers became so alive … and you wanted others to then have the same experience, with God’s intervention in the relationship. Mostly there were the same stories, generation after generation, with a great restlessness. Carrying the fire, with your own tradition, in search of the Promise Land.


LINK https://carmenpampafund.org/get-involved/donate

Joyce Horman, Charlie Horman
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joyce-horman/missing-charlie-40-years-_b_3893645.html

Connections

A girl without any real religion background in her family life. It was not her fault. It was the way the cards were dealt. What she had written about her boyfriend could just as well had been addressed to God. Because those relationships really were not much different. When you felt as if you might be understood about 33 percent of the time:

“I wonder why I desire. For Him to know about me. I wonder why I desire His pity, for Him to feel sorry for me. I wonder why I desire for Him to have pity. And in that way, help me. It is a bit sickening to me. For this desire is not me. For it is not truly like me to desire so crazily.”

“It is okay that I am just releasing just a thought. The thought may be a feeling of insecurity. It is me stripping away delusions. They say it stems from low esteem.”

“Love and that strange mixture of enmity and esteem.” This girl acknowledges her desire stems from low self esteem. “Because in the end all that is necessary is connection. Because you cannot make anyone feel anything, you cannot make anyone do anything. Every soul makes a decision for itself. Connection is not about giving or taking. Connection is about everything. Connection is about extending. The decision is to extend, to connect. That is the choice. That is the purpose.”

Exposed to the secrets within, God did not understand true expression? God did not understand her prayer? When all that she asked was this connection. She was asking for His connection to her? From what she called low esteem which once had been named humility. “Why don’t you do it first? And I will follow.”

To have a claim to God. Through a tradition. “I have come here to love. It is now the time. The time to release myself. To release myself from all the hurt and anger, the pain and sorrow. It is time to commence life. Because I have a need to love and be loved.”

See http://trpimir.blogspot.com/2009/10/stripping-away-delusions.html)


Relationships Blogs - Blog Rankings

Religion Blogs

Hooking Up

Seasons. Ritual.

Kids. The step progeny. Those one sport specialists. In this specialized world.

The specialized world. The specialist working at the Board of Trade. During the hockey season. The never ending hockey season. Or name the sport. And then hockey camp. Traveling teams and these one sport specialists. Hockey moms. Married to hockey dads. For a while.

In a world without relationships. It had now become a world of polygamy, just without the vows. Awesome. With a generation which did not know how to place adverbs. Or where. Those step progeny.

“I didn’t marry nearly as many times as I could have.”

The state of the world as described in Tom Wolfe’s Hooking Up. These grown kids. The conflict in a megabyte world that kept moving fast. The desire to stay. The attraction. The urge to go. Into such a profane world. In the specialized profane hockey world. Or the real world. Of relationships. Or lack thereof.

Seasons. Ritual. Stirred or bored.

Stirred in relationship. Not for money. For others. Mr. Law. Allan Law.

Cared for. Mostly just those with a blood relationship. Or those in one way adopted. Mr. Law. See
http://www.startribune.com/local/west/69486467.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsZ

Stirred or bored. By the seasons. The choice to either ritualize the seasons or to one day face snowballing boredom. The choice to ritualize in relationships.

Hooking Up. The specialized world was in recovery. The specialist. Even plumbers and repair people. Paying for all those $30,000 to $50,000 weddings, for kids of mostly common people. Or not. Tom Wolfe. Hooking Up.

Tom Wolfe. Back to Blood was the working tile of Tom Wolfe’s book scheduled to be released in 2009.

The desire to stay with an author, or to move on. By a reader. His literary agent. His publisher. Somewhere in the last few years, Tom Wolfe was unable to agree on terms for a new novel with his publisher of 42 years.

To write. For the profane world. Stirred to express an understanding. Stirred in relationship. When hooking was no longer a two minute penalty.


Relationships Blogs - Blog Rankings

On Those Preferential Choice Ballots

The news.

Newspaper publishers. Airlines. Book publishing. Financing it all. Running out of money. Bankruptcies … With time-based deadlines . . . for reorganization.

Affection. Towards books. Those public displays of books. And a concern about the future of the book business. Heading toward a future where it may be impossible for writers to earn a living. A future which looks more and more where publishers will have the same difficulty to survive as a newspaper.

Consciousness. Sleeping. Recognition. How consciousness changes by sleep, per a BBC test. Photos. Memory. The results. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/tmt/instructions_1.shtml

The results. Knowing who I had never met, I scored a perfect 100 percent. Forgetting the part when I had met 29% of the people, whether Part I or Part II. And forgetting 22% of the people I had seen in this test.

Consciousness. When consciousness changes. The recognition of, an awareness of all of this. The holiness of shared experience. In imbibing wine. In breaking bread. I had attended a college class re-union at the 25 year mark. People I had shared freshman year with had told stories late into the night. My roommate from that year was in rare form. A friend who live 2 doors down was unable to make it. I sent him a note, telling him how many people commented upon how much he was missed. He sent me a letter with a Christmas card. It was the last time anyone from college had heard from him. He died around St. Patrick’s Day 2007.

Vanishing. The letter. His letter expressed how college had been the best years of his life. Who he had met. College. When the consciousness level changes. From studies. From imbibing. The changing consciousness level was the holy part of youth. It was all about my first emergence into the world. It was about the world. And learning of the need to change the world. And the “how.” It was only in deciding “the how.”

Vanishings. Newspaper publishing. Airlines. Book publishing. Banks. Their employees.

Finance. Running out of money. And now bankruptcies. Time. Dealing with deadlines. Vanishing traditions. The “how now” question. It was deciding “the how” now.

Vanishings. There was an election today in St. Paul. And in Minneapolis … without a Republican on the ballot among 12 mayoral candidates. St. Paul voters were asked to decide whether we should have preferential choice elections. Minneapolis already had it. Voting with a number, one through three, for our favorites. Minneapolis had witnessed the end of the 2 party system. The Republican Party had died there over the last 40 years. It happened in all of the big cities. When the electorate did not feel a party was responding to the needs of the people. This preferential choice election issue reminded me a lot about the state of the Christian world. Last night I watched the leader of the Orthodox Church in a world of 300 million Orthodox Eastern Catholics on The Charlie Rose Show. He gave the history of the break up of the Orthodox from the church of Rome. On this eve of an election when political parties and religion factions had lost to a large degree their meaning to the working stiff.

When levels of consciousness change. When there was too many choices, the affection was lost. Like the affection for books. Those public displays of books. The changing level of consciousness when reading. Or at work. Losing a sense of time. Losing my sense of self. The holiness of it all was a level of prayer. The “how” now. How I shared myself at work. How I shared myself with others. In such a small way. Today.

The affection level. Of consciousness. And a concern about the future of the book business. And education. The holiness of it all. Reading. Writing. So that I was not just a commodity. Running out of money, like a newspapers dying. Beyond 2012. Consciousness of the future, with a fear that the year of nothing seemed to be fast approaching.

Consciousness. Writing. Reading books. The holiness of it all. So that I was not just a forgettable vanishing commodity. Books as public displays of affection. In these days of reorganization, of cyberspace, we all wrestled with the internal and the external manner of public display of affection. As consciousness changes so often without an awareness or the recognition of the effect of all of this change. The little concern for private lives, as public safety overrode everything, including the declarations of independence.

Relationships Blogs - Blog Rankings


Relationships Blogs - Blog Rankings

<a href="

On The Day of The Dead

In the world of Chinese Astrology, the Mayan long calendar will come to an end on December 21, 2012. It is a pretty big deal when any 26,000 year astrology cycle (the Precession of the Equinoxes) comes to an end.

The primary purpose of Chinese astrology was fortune telling, with a focus usually on what will happen to people in various stages of their lives, on a particular day or in a certain month or in a certain year. In this case those Chinese astrologers were suggesting a transition period was believed to be coming, a lot larger than the Y2K problem.

The intrigue. Just when I was coming to grips with the intrigue over the transition to Y2K that seemed to involve the age of terror and the conflict of the western world with followers of Mohamed. Now comes the Chinese and the intrigue over the coincidence that the Year of the Dragon and the end of the Mayan calendar fall within the same year. 2012. The real question was whether after the Year of the Dragon, in 2012, whether the world end?

All of us where I lived had come out of schools where the purpose was to teach us how to think, to piece together all the fragments of life until they worked to form a picture, like on the old game show “Concentration,” where you could figure out the puzzle. Somehow the pieces seemed smaller and smaller, and to figure out the big picture was much more difficult and taking this generation more time. And the puzzle was a lot larger than I ever comprehended.

I had never studied ancient Maya. I now come across some internet expert who tells me of these dedicated stargazers. During the 26,000 year astrology cycle (the Precession of the Equinoxes), the Earth moves approximately 2166 times through each of the twelve zodiac signs. I did not ask who was doing the counting. But this expert indicates that it was the belief of the Mayans, the Sumerians, Tibetans, and Egyptians that the coming of a new world begins on December 21, 2012. Large monuments as a warning were left to society that people might prepare for the transition. Their calendar ended on December 21, 2012, if not the world.

The good news was that no documentation, at least from a Chinese astrology perspective, indicates in 2012 the world will end, after the Year of the Dragon. The year of the Dragon is the grand Karmic sign, typically a year of positive developments. Or large disasters. So what does this all mean in the world of astrology? Or to me?

Chinese astrologers believe that a person’s time and place of birth set parameters, boundaries within which a person has more or less freedom. What happens within these boundaries is influenced not only by “free will” but also by external factors such as financial status of the family, the culture, and the local economy. Though not a strict determinist, balance plays a central role in Chinese thought. A Chinese astrologer will address a specific duration of time, or what people should do. A Chinese astrologer does not believe a person’s fate is sealed in stone at the moment of birth.

The struggle from generation to generation of off-spring. With the external and the internal world. To have the courage to write the story for these times. To raise a family in these times. In the quest for a Living God, I was fortunate enough to have had a good tour guide.

Significance. Meaning. The life of a Chinese astrologer as a tour guide was not going to be as easy in 3 years. Those Chinese astrologers who had relied on the Mayan calendar were going to be the ones in transition. Somehow I expected this was not going to be very funny the sooner the date approached.

When we are all in exodus. In exodus, from our origin, trying to recapture a past. To explore what may occur in 2012 – The Year of the Dragon – when “2012 could be a most auspicious year indeed,” states one webmaster.


Relationships Blogs - Blog Rankings

<a href="“>