Jeremiah Protege

I WEEP

I WEEP

I weep,
I weep,
weep for the sins,
the sins of my shepherds!
My shepherds who would
play – who is the greatest –
play power games
with my body!
My blood!

A sacrilege!

My body torn and nailed,
Nailed on the altar of sacrifice –
My Cross!
My blood spilled with water
flowing down the Cross –
The Altar of sacrifice!

My Body
My blood finds
Its tabernacle within,
within each,
within every friend –
my people!
Each one, all as one!
You in me and I in you –
Tabernacle to the world!

Degraded!
Degraded is my Altar of Sacrifice!
That place where human power died!
The Altar – Divine life embracing all!

I live –
I move –
I have my being
within my people!
My people, confused –
mislead sheep!
Mislead in the name of shepherd authority –
Shepherd, called to carry home the lost-
strayed sheep!

I weep!
I weep –
My people.
See me –
find me,
on the Altar of sacrifice in your midst!
The Altar, centre of my Sanctuary –
Center of my church!
Eat my body
Drink my blood –
Find me within you!
Find me within the body of faith –
The community of living Love –
Living mercy!

Earthly tabernacles
will fall apart –
like the tents in the desert –
even as they dance
from place to place –
within a church.
Churches will not be
left stone upon a stone!

But you –
you,
My people,
My Tabernacle!
Will live forever!

My Altar
My cross of sacrifice
in the midst of my living tabernacle
My Church!

Euthanasia and Public Funding of Catholic Facilities

Euthanasia and Public Funding of Facilities

For many, many years our care facilities and our schools were supported by the Church and charitable donations. Then, it was deemed by some that the public should be funding these institutions through government monies. This idea was supported by the fact that many people, with or without faith, were using our care facilities and schools. This gradual acceptance of government funding was taking place during a much more benign time in our society – both in faith and morals. Care of the sick and dying was seen generally, as a work of mercy and love – participating in the merciful love of God! To educate the young was seen as a participation in nurturing them in the mind and heart of God, so that they could serve God’s world in all its facets.

Gradually, what was seen as a good idea for meeting all the needs in healthcare, and education, began to become something sinister as the morality of society began to disintegrate. Along with the deterioration of faith, the funding was becoming overwhelmingly public money. Many of us could see the handwriting on the wall. We could take the message of Daniel’s vision of the four beasts (Dn 7), pointing to various generations of social upheaval, and apply it to the compromised and lived faith within society. One of the tenants put forward by people, that cannot be avoided because it is socially true, is this – the one who pays the piper calls the tune! This is true in the education sector and it is true in healthcare!   The government states how its money is to be spent. The government may not be morally right, but they are legally right in the demands they make on funding. We are in a time of reckoning: “Pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s!” (Mk 12:17)

I believe that Christians, and in this case, we who are Catholics, are at a very important juncture in our lived faith. We are meeting a day of reckoning, one that we have been sidestepping.   We have diplomatically negotiated with governments, but we have also compromised with the powers of government, as far as we can – sometimes to our painful detriment, and the watering down of faith. We are now, as Church, with all our warts, and sinful behaviour – especially sexually – being challenged to decide who we are going to follow. Will it be God, or the gods of the world? We can truly hear the statement: “I put before you life and death. Choose life that you may live!” (Deut. 30:19 ) This is not simple at all! The Lord promised to send the Holy Spirit to be with us – to lead us to all truth – but not without persecution. Some of the persecution we have brought on ourselves, because we have chosen the wide road over the narrow road! But the Holy Spirit is more powerful than any human spirit, if we are willing to listen and follow.

Maybe we are going to have to give up our hospitals, palliative care facilities, and nursing homes entirely. We cannot play both ends against the middle, constantly juggling, sidestepping issues, living our faith as thought it were a chess game. “Say ‘yes’ when you mean ‘yes’ and ‘no’ when you mean ‘no’ Anything more that this comes from the evil one!” (Matt. 5:37) We need to come to terms with the fact that freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech are on life support systems in our land! We can try negotiation with the various levels of government. But not negotiations that mean watering down our faith – and settling for momentary stop gaps!
We can begin small again. Start places for the dying – as Mother Teresa did – for people with incurable diseases, for the elderly, street people – treating them with dignity, love and mercy. This means not just declaring that life is sacred from conception to death, but living it. It will not be a money making business! It will be a spiritual endeavour that produces peace and true dignity. This is what our hospitals and schools were when we pioneered healthcare and education! Maybe, as in the past, such actions will inspire support from those who have money to give, and, or become spiritually inspired to give of their expertise.

When a law is evil it does not have to be obeyed! And it cannot be obeyed, if we are to remain intact in our true humanity – not just flesh and blood with a head attached – but flesh and blood, attached to God as co-creators with Him! We have gradually forgotten this, as we became proficient, and worldly successful in our medical and educational endeavours.

We are living in missionary territory both in healthcare and in education. Those of us who are now senior citizens grew up in an education system that was supported by our churches – our parishes and our families. Times were economically very tight. We had to live simply. If we could do it then – we can discover with the Holy Spirit how to do it now – sanctifying all the technology that man has created. Maybe, just maybe, the opportunity is afforded us to live simply the beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount and the Last Judgement in all of their profoundness of teaching – being willing to accept with trust and joy the suffering that enriches the endeavour.

YOU ASKED ME

YOU ASKED ME

Friend-
You asked me yesterday if I was sick.
Today
I can answer your question very differently.
I am totally devastated!
Sick to the depth of my being!
Crying almost inconsolably!

The Mass trumps everything!

This fact,
and remembering to pray –
to pray for the sins of our leaders –
these thoughts helped me
to remain in the Church!
to remain for the Mass!

A slight consolation –
really –
not a consolation at all-
I met others who felt the same way.

I,
I feel like a voice crying in the wilderness.
A good thing that it is Lent
and I can be in the Garden with the weeping Lord! 

How backwards
upside we have things!

The Lord is screaming!
Screaming at us –
“Look after my poor, destitute,
war ravaged people!”
And we –
we sinfully throw away money
on needless,
re-organizing
of the Lord’s sanctuary! 

The Lord would be happy to live in a tent!
He could not care less,
if the tabernacle is –
in an outside chapel,
a side altar, behind a Holy of Holies veil,
or behind the altar –
or if there was a tabernacle at all!
The tabernacle circling –
circling around the church building
for centuries! 

It is the people of God
who are the sanctuary,
the tabernacle,
the Church!

Have we learned nothing –
nothing at all
from the last 3 years
years of utter destruction of ancient shrines,
churches,
basilicas
and other holy places? 

Unmentioned in the Sunday homily –
the devastation of the Jews!
Why?
Because Pilate mixed the blood of people he had slain
with the blood of sacrifice!
We!
We are doing a comparable deed! 

Rather than bind their wounds,
feeding and housing them,
we,
we are
taking the blood of the martyrs
and refugees of ISIS –
their ancient sanctuaries destroyed, desecrated –
and pouring that blood –
and pouring it into our coffers!
Oblivious to the cries of the Lord
for his ravaged people!
Pouring their blood into our coffers!

To refurbish our sanctuary –
that contains our Altar of Sacrifice –
the primary structure in our church!

No! Not the tabernacle –
the primary structure in the Church!
No!
It is the ALTAR of sacrifice!

How much more blood
to be spilled before we are converted!?

If we were before the Judgement Seat today –
how would we answer the questions
asked in Math. 25, –
the Lord asking us about the homeless,
hungry, destitute, naked ?

 

SCOTT

SCOTT

Warm eyes that dance in greeting
Framed in rugged , ruddy face
And anxious smile .

Love me please!
believe me please!
That I may love me –
believe me!

What you see is what I have.
Body devoid of stillness –
a soul of great desire –
unfulfilled!

Be convinced!
This smile –
this cultured voice-
these social manners
honed.
No – not to deceive you
but me –
but me !
In those dark
those frightening recesses
hollowed out over years,
over years –
to hide, to hide
to hide –
no, not from you –
no! No! No!
But the scarecrow in me!
Deep within
it screams with laughter
that must be drowned!

Surely goodness,
remembered mores –
eternal truths,
Will soothe the inner scream,
guide the wavering steps –
bathe with salve
almost felt upon the yearning flesh,
in the communal bath of acceptance,
smiling welcome –
drowning the howling inner scream.
Oh! Yes!
I am normal! One of them all!
Yes!

I belong!
Yes?
Yes-
Oh, Oh – but I must –
mustn’t I!?

I?
Tell me!
Soothe me!
I would know what I cannot
in that inner, restless darkness!
Honed how –
I do not know!
Why?
Honed why?
In suddenness it coils, chokes, cries!
Relieve me!
Calm me – Please!

All will be well!
All will be well?
Lord!
Lord! You –
You love me –
Don’t you?
Don’t you!

Isn’t it –
Isn’t it true!
O tell me!
As I wander in your house.

“You are my child!
“I know you!”
“I love you!”
“So Precious to me!”

Oh! Oh but I am afraid –
afraid of me,
afraid of you,
afraid, afraid of –
afraid of life.
Afraid of what I yearn for!
Afraid! Oh yes –
Afraid of being afraid!

I don’t want you to know.
But! But!
Save me! Please!

PURPOSE OF LENTEN ALMS GIVING

The Purpose of Lenten Alms Giving

There is a radical thought that has been making its way around my soul. In perspective, this is how the thought has developed and finds its conclusion. It has to do with the truth that Christmas and Easter are dependent on one another. Easter is the greatest feast in our faith – the revelation of its greatness beginning back in the Book of Genesis at the promise of a redeemer born of a woman. We know that the Son, born of Mary at Christmas, was the promised redeemer, through the events of Holy Week culminating in the Resurrection. All that Jesus proclaimed and lived eventually led to his arrest and death – it was so counter culture, so counter the lived faith of his people – especially the Religious Leaders. Attempts by Herod to kill Jesus in his first years of life, failed. The rage of Herod, threatened in his kingship, along with the rage of the Leaders of the Jews thirty some years later, stemmed from basically the same motives – threat to political power, to cultural position and to religious prestige.

Now with this background I want to challenge our feeding the secularization of the event of these two Solemnities of our faith which are actually one event – the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We begin our solemn
celebration of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus with the celebration of his birth – Christmas – God become man and dwelling among us. Let us remember that the announcement of Jesus’ birth upset the social equilibrium. For most people who ‘celebrate’ Christmas, whether religiously or secularly, it isn’t Christmas unless there are gifts and a big dinner –with decorations and a tree. Social security and plenitude is central to the feast. All of this has become the fabric of wintertime – a winter holiday celebration that brings big bucks into the economy. Society lives on an emotional high, or low depending on the state of their family. The economic preparation for the winter holiday begins in October reaching a frenzied pitch by December – parties, parties, parties – at home, at work and at church. The economy is given a boost, lending establishments flourish as usury has a hay day!   So much worldly expense for one who was born into poverty! And we, Christians are well ensconced in the economic frenzy!

We declare with high acclaim, our redemption – the redemption of the whole of creation – in the solemn celebration of His death and resurrection – Easter. The latter takes place almost entirely as a liturgical celebration within our faith life. And even though there is profound liturgical celebration – Easter like Christmas, has succumbed to secularization. In some ways it is even more horrific, because the secularization of Easter has been allowed to invade the fiber of our faith – the education of the young in the faith! For many, so called pragmatic reasons, we have allowed what were called and celebrated as ‘Easter holidays’ to become ‘spring break’. When this ‘spring break’ occurs is decided upon by the public education sector.

We run our catholic education – with 50% support from the government. Why do we succumb to the secularization of Easter? Is it fear of losing the support?
If the students are not in class for the holiest week in our lived faith, then Holy Week is up for grabs, jostling for importance against the price of airline tickets, holiday resorts and the like. Are our churches packed with families coming to celebrate the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday? No! Why not!
Are whole families present for Good Friday Liturgy? No! Some will say – “We have to put in an extra celebration.” If we were truly living Holy Week we would have to put in 3 or 4 celebrations!
Do believers understand that Holy Week is actually one continuous celebration, lasting for 3 days embracing every human emotion and spiritual challenge to love, mercy and forgiveness!? – it is heaven on earth in indescribable reality! Why are we not proclaiming this truth in our lived faith?

The teachings of Jesus, both verbally and in his lived experiences, give us the guide for the daily living of our faith. We find the main teachings in the Sermon on the Mount which of course includes the Beatitudes, and within the Last Supper Discourse and the Last Judgement. All of these teachings summarize Jesus’ parables, and responses to various situations and events. The teachings have their great exclamation point in the total gift of love, lived out in his final Passover week, culminating in the Cross and Resurrection.
Has the extraordinary become so ordinary to us that it is okay to call it ‘spring break’. Christmas is the ‘holiday season’.

The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus is the ground upon which our lived faith is planted. How is the birth, the death and resurrection of Jesus being lived? The word ‘lived’ encompasses the reality of daily life within the world –that is the living described in Acts, – “See how these Christians love one another” (Acts 4), and more than just one another – everyone – take the story of the Good Samaritan as an example. And since Christmas and Easter are the bookends of our faith, they are holding up the lived faith 365 days of the year!

There seems to have developed a perception that we have fulfilled the call to recognize the poverty of Jesus, at his birth by giving out ‘hampers’ to some needy amongst us – given out sometime during advent. And this suffices looking after the needy in our faith and secular community. Jesus’ whole life was lived in poverty! He died in poverty – material, and communal.

We have somehow deduced that the poor among us should find deep thanksgiving within their hearts for eleven months (from Christmas to Christmas) – and if they cannot, or even if they can, then they should take a deep breath, put on a smile, try hard not to become red in the face, swallow deeply, and go to the food bank in sickness and in health. And, when the collection basket comes around on Sunday, try not to turn red in the face as they pass it on.

In all of this we forget Jesus’ simple words to the Disciples who were aware of the need to feed the crowd. They wanted to send them away – maybe they could find a store, maybe they had some money to buy bread. Jesus’ response was very radical! It is very rarely referred to in the living out of our daily faith!

Jesus’ response was “Feed them yourself!” Yes, the disciples were dumb struck! It could only be accomplished with prayer and a profound personal /communal faith relationship with Jesus, and with each other.

In other words it demanded something very much ‘other’, than our normal assessment of how to do the works of God! The disciples had to take from very meagre supplies, forget about themselves, and believe that the Lord loved them, and all the others, in a very unusual way. Common sense – whatever that is – dictates what the disciples suggested. In our vernacular it would be – ‘send them to the food bank’. Common sense says that one packs extra for a journey – not trusting that you will be given what you ‘need’! Not the directives of Jesus to take nothing extra with you. Common sense says that you make sure that you are going to be welcomed at your destination, with a roof over your head. Again, not the directives of Jesus about staying wherever you are welcomed, eat whatever you are given, move on when you are not welcomed. Common sense does not say that “Your light will shine” when “you deprive yourself” for the hungry, homeless, those in darkness – not only at Christmas but everyday of your life.(Is 58) Commonsense does not say that in a life of constant giving your internal “Wound will heal over”, and “your waters will never run dry”. (Is 58) The same chapter warns that you will feel like a ‘scorched land’, but “the lord will always guide you and satisfy your needs”. And, are we ever good at rationalizing this! Somehow, we tend to apply this verse, about feeling the scorching heat of the reality of living in faith and trust, to those who are living daily on the brink of having nothing. Common sense says that the teachings of Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount, the Last supper discourse, and the Last Judgement passage are all crazy, unlivable teachings – making no sound economical sense for a progress, secure society.

Lent is forty days of telling us to turn around – ‘Convert’ – ‘change’. When one delves into all the Readings for the season of Lent, there is a radical challenge being issued to all facets of our daily life, and our secular values.   Isaiah 58 is often used, as are other passages giving the same message. So, why then do we not heed the message of Jesus’ total self giving to death, – forgetting himself, giving his all, by taking up our cross, and the cross of all who suffer want and need – as the First community of Christians did – and as the early Father’s of the Church tell us to do? Why do we not hear the call for a profound heartfelt response to such an all pervasive, wrenching act of self-giving love?

Why do we not respond in utter Mercy to the most merciful act of Jesus – by attempting to feed and clothe the naked within our midst at Easter!? This is the end and beginning of all alms giving! It is our Christian call to live the Beatitudes, to take to heart the Last Judgement (Mt. 25), and thus strive to build a just world. The word ‘just’ scripturally means ‘to be at rights with God’.

If we cannot do this within our local community of faith where we rub hearts, minds, and bodies in a family of faith, with Jesus and with one another, then, we are missing the very personal, familial question of Jesus in the agony in the garden – “Are you sleeping? Can you not watch with me one hour?” Jesus uttered this to his community of apostles! Jesus is carrying the pain of sin with all of the division, isolation, fear, and selfishness that it spawns – even amongst those whom He dearly loves! The pain is worse when it is inflicted by those who are ‘friends’, fellow members in the family of faith. We do the same when we turn aside from those suffering among us – especially at Easter. We probably are saying something to the effect – “After all, we did it at Christmas, so why do we have to do it again!” We are missing the point! The meal of all meals to be celebrated, happened in the Triduum! It is the meal that we are called to live in communal thanksgiving! It was prefigured at the multiplication of the loaves. The powerful, merciful, soul searching liturgies of Holy Week should be propelling us out to all around us! It is our way of taking to heart, and living the ‘washing of the feet’, becoming ‘one’ in love as the Father and Jesus are one! To go out to our brothers and sisters in need at this time of ultimate merciful love is the living expression that we know that we have been forgiven, been reborn! It is announcing new life, washed in the Blood of the Lamb; new hope – He is alive! We have seen his glory! (John 1:14) Imagine spreading this message at Easter. Such a message would go out to all the world.

Jesus has called together all of his loved ones to journey with him through the Passover from worldly sin, by spilled blood and tears, torn flesh, mockery and death – to new life – renewed love, mercy, forgiveness only accomplished by the values He lived. These values had little to do with feeling good, with mushy feelings that come with being able to count hampers given out. Jesus fed us with his very flesh and blood during this Triduum week – Jesus who had nowhere to lay his head – not only at his birth, but throughout his life! The one place he had to lay his head in life, was on the cross as he was nailed to it! Then there was no pillow! Only a crown of thorns! And, this pillow of thorns came the day after teaching us – imploring us at the Last Supper discourse – to live as one, to care for one another, wash one another’s feet, to be friends with one another! Why do we not live this in a very dramatic, outgoing, visible, physically demanding way at our Passover to new life, celebrated every Easter? It is not a time to take a ‘spring break’ it is a time to live radically all that Jesus taught and did. It is the time for profound mercy that can only be lived in a profound loving, faith relationship with Jesus – spilling over into loving him within all his friends! This is very counter culture – not caught up in what has become a secular hype of Christmas. At Easter our faith is calling us to respond to the call given to the rich young man – “If you would be perfect – go sell all your belongs, give the proceeds to the poor – and then come follow me!”   Follow him where? Follow him to the Cross! Lived daily!

Easter is the time to evaluate our living faith in the face of the crowds, and those lost in the crowd. Are we living our life to have two, or multiple tunics; numerous sandals, the best possible ‘haversacks’ designed with numerous pockets for all types of conceivable items, cards to all the best dining spots at home, and around the world, assured always of the best of dining (in the face of knowing deep within that the best dining is Jesus himself); calling cards to Hotels, motels, resorts and the like – living esteem with the Jones. And of course bank cards are a must. They assure that we never have to touch, or look upon the unclean – or be touched by them! Is Easter bringing us to the point within, that yearns to daily meet the face of Jesus in the vacant faces of those who intellectually, spiritually and psychologically have little or no foundational meaning in their lives – those who have become cold, calculating, cruel and consumed by fear? – This is the crowd that Jesus wept over because they were like sheep without a shepherd! Are we a part of the crowd, or a part of its healing?

In worldly terms – how utterly simple is our saviours call! It is a prophetic call to proclaim the loving, merciful call of Jesus given to everyone, everywhere. And, he had a preferential love of the poor, as nearly all of his teachings proclaimed. So, again the question begs to be answered – where is our lived, merciful love of Jesus that he dramatically proclaimed at Easter? Why are we not visually living it within our family of faith so that it over flows into our society. What a way to spend the celebration of Easter for 50 days! Our whole preparation for Easter is supposed to entail prayer and alms giving. Surely the alms giving is not to refurbish churches, or enrich parish coffers. Surely these things will come if that is what the Lord wants. And if it is what He wants, the fulfillment of these plans will come as a result of our responding to the needs of his people. It is in giving that we receive. Bread caste on the waters, comes back to us in the tide of love. Building bigger houses and barns is the work of fools. Lk 12:16-21)  Jesus does not care where the tabernacle is in the church, or whether it is within the church, or in an outside chapel. Such things are as changeable as whims and traditions. He does care that we are his living, loving, giving, caring tabernacle – church! He does care that we are willing to carry him within us, as we carry his cross in the day to day dying in love for him, and his lost and forgotten sheep. He does care that we hold the mangled, maimed people of his world, personally loving them with His love flowing from us – from hearts that were stone – that have been turned to flesh by his redemptive love. It is this daily living and giving that is the alms giving of Lent. Let us learn from his first followers to love one another, to look after the physical needs of one another, to share all that we have with one another – since what we have is all gift! This is the sign that we have repented, are forgiven, are converted, have been reformed by the 40 days with him in the desert. Not just an esoteric giving, but a living reality – bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, care for the sick, homes for the homeless, welcome for the stranger, forgiveness for the sinner – all right within our midst within the community of faith.  This is true evangelisation. This is the shining of Easter from the depth of our being – from the poverty within, and its resultant simplicity within our lives. Such living is responding to the designation that Jesus gave us – “friends”! Not a passive word, but a designation of a mission to be lived.

We know by the Agony in the Garden that He expected his friends to be near, to be one with him in his time of suffering, and fear, as he faced the horrors present in life. He showed us how to reach out as he journeyed with the lost, fear filled disciples on the road to Emmaus. The disciples lived this friendship in the first years of the church. Not easy years. They were despised by the Jews, looked at with fear by the Romans, and were ultimately persecuted because their living love resulted in growth in numbers, becoming a political threat.   Our dynamic living of Easter has hardly reached this point yet! But if we radically take on the care of those in our very midst, within each and every parish, we will be winning the hearts and minds of people. By such living, we will then have opened our minds and hearts to prophetically respond to the challenge of euthanasia and abortion. By giving we will learn how love works – how it gives life – by being willing to die in love.

Are we prepared for this lived alms giving, reaching out to touch one another from our meagre personal resources – knowing that the miracle of God’s love will provide – basketsful left over, and hearts that are radiant because our light is shining. (Is. 58) “And none of their members was in want”. (Acts 4:34) Yes, they were persecuted for their lived faith – and the faith grew and spread! The blood of the martyrs, mingled with the blood of Jesus, bringing life.

This is the radical faith that our prayer and alms giving is calling us to. At this very moment, the very life blood of our country is calling us to this radical life, lived daily, that we may be strong in faith, and wise in the Holy Spirit to meet the challenge of life before us.

On Not Voting With Conscience

In Canada our ruling Liberal Party has told its elected members that they cannot vote by their conscience in the issue of Euthanasia.  They must vote as a group to support the Supreme Courts decision for Euthanasia.  It is impossible to fathom that all of these elected men and women could be so willing to sacrifice there souls for a
position in Parliament. They, of all people, know first hand what it is to exercise their right as citizens to vote – the importance of freedom within democracy.

If one cannot vote by one’s conscience on the two primary issues of life – that is the beginning of life, abortion, and death – then everything in between is up for grabs. The murderer does not have to live by his conscience, nor the rapist, nor the thief, and on throughout the whole of life. Conscience is negated and life is up to the whim of the moment because the only one respected – if that word can even be used – is myself – at this particular moment. When conscience is gone life becomes mayhem. One is free to say that the only thing worth protecting is my status. This is what the so called ‘whip’ voting is – a protections of my status as an elected official! So I am free to take life if I deem that my status, as I perceive it, is being threatened.

We do not live in a communist state yet! No one can force me to vote against my conscience! I do not have to say ‘yes’ to a whip vote knowing that the whip vote is going to declare that the taking of a life is legal. No one can force me to take a person’s life! If I believe that euthanasia is wrong, then when I go against my conscience on a vote of life and death – effectively I am saying ‘yes’ to killing another! This has ramifications for all of life. If the Government of our land can use protection of one’s elected position as a reason to vote for killing, then, why should anyone be barred from using the same argument of self protection for any action!

Eventually, fear has to become the way of life within the land, as no one can be trusted, and law cannot even be enforced – if it even exists. How can law exist in a conscience – less world! Everyone becomes a law unto himself. No one, nothing is sacred. Nothing has meaning – except as I deem it to be so! If the nation’s parliament can behave that way, it becomes the example to be followed by the citizen’s of the land.

And, if our leaders can be so easily ordered to vote as they are told to – what is to become of us as a nation?  It is a total misuse of the term ‘Vote’.  And it is treating people as robots, or useful cogs in a wheel.  Killing at the beginning of life, and at the moment of suffering, become the measure that defines how we view mankind.
Humans become  viewed by their usefulness as cogs in an efficient wheel, workers for the state.

God be merciful to us sinners!

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An Abortionist’s Nightmare?

An Abortionist’s Nightmare?

If Mary were an unwed mother today, would the demand be on her to have an abortion?
Would the fetus be used for parts, to further man’s control over the production of humans?
What would be discovered as they dismembered the baby?

Would anyone in the slaughter house –
(one cannot in honesty say ‘abortion clinic’ –
‘clinic’ has to do with health and well being) –
would anyone have a Pauline experience of the Lord –
“Why are you persecuting me?”
Surely –
Surely there are some abortionists who have twinges of tampering with the divine.
Surely some abortionists must have moments of seeing themselves on the table, –
their mother, their sister, their grandmother, their aunt.

Surely some Catholic abortionists,
at least one or two,
have had it cross the periphery of their mind
or imagination –
that this woman could be Mary, –
this baby could be Jesus?
And with this fleeting thought there must be nightmares.
There must be nightmares that scream out “Why are you persecuting me!?”

Maybe the nightmares are present!
Maybe the nightmares scream out in warped voices –
“Ha! Ha! Ha! You are a god! You control life and death!
You are a god! King of the garbage dump of life!
The latest in recycling depots!”

And you writhe
and you twist
and you turn
your insides becoming knots that will not loosen.

You find yourself, –
the self appointed controller of life and death, –
dying within.
A scream struggles to find passage through a twisted gut!
The world around gradually, slowly loses all colour,
brightness and life, and fresh air.

Gradually,
slowly a distorted scream makes its way out –
retching its way through twisted vocal cords.
In panic the realization comes that you,
you are being aborted,
you are killing yourself!

Within the nightmare there is a tiny light.
It is on the other side of the door.
Crawling,
you reach for it.
Gasping, you grasp the handle to throw the door open.
But, but –
the light is reaching for you.
Your mother, sister, aunt, grandmother –
Mary – has a hand extended,
reaching out to you.
With her is your brother,
Jesus –
the one you would have dismembered for parts.

Your name must be Rachel,
as you weep ,
weep for the children you have dismembered.
The weeping is cleansing.
It is a baptism!
It is new life.
The salted tears flow!

“Go and sin no more!”
“Go and catch people! Rescue them from the deeps of the world!”

“Me!?”
“Yes!
You !
You are reborn to new life!
Come into the light!”

Pray, pray that such nightmares happen!
Pray, pray that such new life happens!

And It Was Night

Tuesday of Holy Week

John 13:30 “And It Was Night”

 

“And it was night”. This phrase brought to mind the Book of Genesis chapter one – the creation story. In this story everything was “day” as opposed to “night”. This phrase “And it was night” from the Gospel Reading for Tuesday of Holy Week, gave me a jolt today. We hear the same Readings year after year and they are still never the same! We are never the same. We are never in the same internal state. We are always spiritually in a different place, and it is always in the place we are at, in any given moment, that the Lord speaks to us. Today the juxtaposition of the “night” in the Last Supper scene and the “day” in the Creation Story was like a quake within. The first Creation Story, Genesis Chapter One, is so powerful, so full of promise, full of hope and new life. There is no pain in it. We can relive it every time we go out for a walk in nature – day or night. In the early morning we can sing – “Birds of the air praise the Lord”, “Sun, praise the Lord”, “Clouds of the heaven, praise the Lord”, “All God’s children, praise the Lord”; and at night we can sing – “Stars of the heavens, praise the Lord”, “Night and day praise the Lord”, “All beasts wild and tame, praise the Lord”. We can sing the creation story at anytime of the day. “Evening came and morning came, the first day”, “…. the second day”, and so one. And, this story from Genesis Chapter One, we hear in four days time at the Easter Vigil.

But, now, on Tuesday of Holy Week we hear “And it was night”(Jn. 13:30) Not like the night the shepherds heard the angels sing “Glory to God in the highest Heaven, and on earth peace for those he favours!” (Lk 2:14). And not like the night that the three wise men saw the star: “We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage”. (Mt. 2:2). But, the “night” of John 13:30 had begun as the duplicity of Herod was unveiled.  In Matthew, chapter 2 we heard of another night, after Jesus’ birth with a warning dream. An “angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream”, telling him to “Escape into Egypt”, because Herod intends “to do away with him, (Jesus)”. (Mt. 2:13).

And there is an account of another night. Nicodemus came to Jesus at “night”, out of fear of his fellow Pharisees. Nicodemus, it could be said, was in a twilight zone. He recognized that Jesus “came from God, as a teacher, because no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him.” (Jn 3:2) Jesus tells the hesitant believer, Nicodemus , “though the light has come into the world people have preferred darkness to the light, because their deeds are evil”. (Jn 3:19) In John 11:13, Jesus tells his disciples “Those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them”. Nicodemus was stumbling. The stumbling of Nicodemus found its birth in our first parents. In the Second Creation Story, Genesis chapter 2, “in the cool of the day (that is the evening or night)” the Creator walks in the Garden and meets Adam and Eve in the night of their sin. He promises that through an offspring of a woman good will prevail over evil, (Gen 3:14,15) that is ultimately life over death, day over night, but not without travail.

Now in Holy Week we are brought face to face with the stumbling of the followers of Jesus, and ultimately us. His friends and followers have been at times ardent believers in him and at other times stumbling and awkward. Some have left him. Those who are with him at the Passover meal are the die hard followers, fearful, confused but none the less with him. That is, except for one. Somewhat like us. Deep down we know that he is the “light of the world”, that he has “the words of eternal life”, and like the Apostles we say “To whom else shall we go. You have the words of everlasting life.” We know the truth. We are compelled by Jesus, his message, his way of life. But, around the periphery of our heart there is a nagging hesitancy when the chips are down. There is a darkness, a night, a confusion, a disconnect, between what we know from life and what he calls us to.   We, with the apostles, struggle. Night is not that far from any of us.

In the night in the first garden, the Garden of Eden, God mercifully told Adam and Eve, that the night of their own doing would be overcome. Sin would not prevail. Now in the night, Jesus and his followers would enter another Garden, Gethsemane. In the Garden of Eden, the Father would call out to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” In Gethsemane, Jesus would say to his friends, the equivalent of where are you. “Have you fallen asleep? Could you not watch with me one hour?” Like Adam and Eve, the test is presented and darkness takes over. We stumble in darkness, in the night. The Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane are two sides of the coin of promise, forged in the darkness, by love. The immensity of this love will be experienced in Triduum events of Easter! The fullness of day and light!

Popes Homilies

Here is a link to the Zenit site.  You will find the Popes daily homilies and all the latest news from the Holy See.

https://zenit.org/articles/category/pope-and-holy-see/

This is a wonderful way to spend a few minutes reflecting on the Liturgy of the Word for each day of the year.