Archive for October, 2011

“Are We Going to Hell In A Hand basket?”

October 31, 2011

Luke 14:12-14  Today we celebrate the 7 billionth human being born. Cuts are being made in budgets, people are suffering–and I wonder if we are going the hell in a hand basket. I have friends when I see them–who have more then enough–talk only about themselves, and making sure they keep theirs.  I walk out on the street and I see people sleeping in doorways.  I am reminded of our Gospel today”:  . .rather when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.. ” For me giving a blanket, a pair of socks, some food is all I can do–and that is enough, for one less person suffers much. My esolve on this All Soul’s Day is to give of whatever I have–until all is given, until I am worn out. Praise be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Between Times

October 27, 2011

 

In the last analysis, the service the Christian does is not his [hers, etc.], but Christ’s. Therefore he must not feel too keenly the burden of responsibility, because at the end of the day all he can say is, “We are unprofitable servants.” This knowledge, far from inhibiting action, actually releases the Christian from that appalling feeling of responsibility that has driven so many high-minded humanists to despair, even to suicide… Work done conscientiously by the Christian is his share in Christ’s service; but it is Christ’s service, and therefore the Christian need neither be proud because it has succeeded or overwhelmed because it has failed. The service of Christ is supremely expressed in the apparent failure of the Cross.
   – Anthony T. Hanson (1916-1991), The Church of the Servant

 

Ultimately we can run to and fro, but everything we do will end.  The service of Jesus is supremely expressed in the apparent failure of the Cross.  It is Christ who will bring whatever we sow to fruition. We can never do enough. People have pushed me through the years to do more, to get more money, goods, and services, and I have retained the pastoral ministry that I began some 17 years ago–for it is in each person that Jesus is present, we can do what we can, but it is Jesus who does it, we are his conduits.  I am thinking of 17 year old Billy who has severe problems. His mother calls me everyday, he calls me, and it is in the listening and the presence that my work is done–not in the doing. For ultimately all the “doing” will be endless.  The reason I do not despair is simply that I see myself doing my part in the between times, and when I am gone someone else will come along and do theirs–for it is up to Jesus in the end.

Between–Hope

October 25, 2011

Romans 8: 24″We were saved  by hope.”  Last night I saw people without shoes or socks; I saw people who were dirty, shivering, have not eaten all day; high on drugs–people who are broken, who are ignored by society–and yet there is hope. The Gospel for today says the reign of God is like a mustard seed, and Paul tells us “we were saved by hope.”  For me the food I gave each person, the pair of socks, the blanket is a sign of that hope.  Each time each of us touches a life beyond our on–that is hope. Reading Dorothy Day’s “Letters” I am reminded how little things have changed in the last 80 years, and yet how they have–for their are many catholic workers who are the mustard seed. We each do our part and when we pass on, someone follows us–for we were saved by hope.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Between–the Dirty Rotten System

October 21, 2011

Luke 12:54-59: . .”how is it that you do not know how to interpret the present time.”  I voted by absentee ballot this week,but this is the last ballot I will cast. Dorothy Day was correct about the “dirty rotten system”.  Not one of the Mayoral candidates has mentioned homelessness or really anything to do with poverty–not one. And then the killing of Kadafy.  Obama apparently is rejoicing.  It makes me sick to my stomach with our official rejoicing over the killing of people, rather then bringing them to justice and let them face trial. It was really tore at my heart to read how he was so brutally killed,no matter what he has done, by people who represent the new government. What kind of government will they be–if they can be so brutal.  And to have American officials rejoice made me sick, it tells me what kind of country we are becoming.  There is no justification for killing, none what so ever. I picket every week in front of the State Office building against the death penalty, and I have been spat upon, yelled at–to follow Christ is to support life, to support justice.  Thomas Kempis said “Lord give us a true sense of judgment, and the wisdom to see beneath the surface of things.”  A friend of mind says that politicians will never change–well that is not true, they can, but the reality until one begins looking beneath the surface, looking to what is life giving, rather then for the votes, like Dorothy I will not support “dirty rotten system.” It has taken me years to understand her reasoning, but now I do.

“Living in the In Between Times”

October 20, 2011

Romans 6:23 “God’s gift is eternal life in Christ our Lord”.  The one thing I have learned from the Berrigan brothers in reading about them and following their lives is that I am not going to change the world, and maybe not even the person next to me. The only person I can change is myself. And what I am working on now is simply living life moment by moment, and trusting in Jesus to carry me through each day.  All around me I see pain. This morning Cody, a 22 year old, was at my door, cold, needing food; last night I spent the evening, feeding kids, and then trying to find William, 17 year old whose mother was kicked out of her apartment. She wanted me to get him committed to the hospital–but the problem is unless he is suicidal it can not be done. There is little I can change, but I can be a presence, I can give them a moments love, and move on to the next.  I am reminded of the promise that Christ gives us–eternal life–but that gift begins now, and how we live it  now in the between times.  And so I live out eternal life by seeking to love the one’s I come in contact with, not worrying about numbers, but the one, and about keeping my own life focused in the moment, living day by day.

Between Times–The Feast of St. Luke

October 18, 2011

luke 10:1-9: “God’s reign has come upon you.:”  Today we remember St. Luke, and for us he lived long, long ago, but his story is as real today as it was when he lived.  The reign of God is in our midst if we but see it–but the laborers are few.  In  a recent article we are told that in the Tenderloin people have a life expand ten years less than in the rest of the City. There is starvation, drug use, homelessness, disease in the midst of plenty. We over look the pain our midst and yet the reign of God is present in the agencies that are in the Tenderloin, but the laborers are still few. People asked me why I do not have someone to work with me–simple–I have had no volunteers who want to live in voluntary poverty, raise money to live on, and give their lives in service.  I am asked why I have no partner or why I choose not to have one–it is because all my energy and time is given to the One who calls me to this work. St. Luke is real for me. He is not in the stain glass of a church building, but he is in the lives of the people I serve, for he brings Christ in his word. We live in the between times—between life and death, Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!”

“Between Times’

October 15, 2011

In Between”: St. Teresa of Jesus” There was an article in the Examiner yesterday on the stagnation of the homeless situation. I think of Teresa’s words: “Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that ;you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one glory, which is eternal.  If you do this, there will be many things about which you will care nothing.”  If we concentrate on the needs at hand–if we stop worrying about ourselves and share what we have with each other equally; if we stop judging others for what they believe but see all of us as a part of the universal God–then life materially would become much easier for the world at large and for us our eternal lives would really become alive.  I see Gary, a young black man, sitting on my corner every day, one day he went with out his seizure meds because he could not get it. He had a cist removed from his face yesterday, and they put him back on the streets.  He has social security, but can not get a room for 600.00 a month- but he is “proviced for” with sarcasm.  We have one short life, one death–let us remember that when we vote, when we see each person on the street, when we spend our money. We are in between life and death–let us use it the best we can.

Returning

October 11, 2011

Returning” Romans 1:16-25  I was reading a blog this morning by a college student–I smile when I read it–he sounds exactly like me through the years–smug, believe I have it all–when in reality all I have is the moment, and the moment in which to live faithfully, and what I am learning is that only through giving away ourselves in totality to the service of others is that we truly find life. Giving ourselves away in non-violence–by not doing violence nor partricipating nor supporting violence, and by living simply–that for me is returning to the essence of our creation.

Between Times

October 10, 2011

“Beween” We are always between–between our birth and our death.  I am reminded sometimes of how are simply carrying the torch for a short time, a quote says it well:

People come and go; leaders, teachers, thinkers speak and work for a season, and then fall silent and impotent. Christ abides. They die, but He lives. They are lights kindled, and, therefore, sooner or later quenched; but He is the true light from which they draw all their brightness, and He shines for evermore.
   Alexander MacLaren

There is only Jesus.

Between Times

October 2, 2011

Between”: Fall is beginning, it is cooler, summer is over and now we begin preparation for the holidays.  We are in between times, and yet what the people I serve, live with, work with, love are always in between times–always looking for a place to live, their next meal, and simply for a place to belong. In many ways I live my life in the between times–always on the move, always raising money, always on the road to the Jerusalem