River on Fire



Ernest Hemingway tells us that “to be fully human means to take risks.”  Life is about taking risks, it is in the risks where we grow, where we gain strength, where we truly burn off our ego and embrace life and all living creatures with compassion.

Our culture seeks success in terms of financial gain, in terms of results, and the reality is when we  seek such success means we leave the most vulnerable people behind. We leave ourselves behind. We leave our humanity behind.

Risking means to walk with people, it means to put our lives on the line.  It means to give our all for the greater good of others. That is the call of Jesus. Risking means to put our egos aside and follow Christ into the hinder lands of life.

Damien said: “I make myself a leper with the lepers to gain all for Christ.”  A statement that sends chills down our spines because we know he has leprosy and will suffer much.

When we became a member of the Order of Christian Workers a long time ago we were given the religious name “Damien” after Damien of Molokai.  It has since become our legal name, and we wear it knowing it reminds us that we are called to be “different.” That we are called to become a street kid in the way we relate and live. We take risks, and in taking those risks we suffer but we become more fully human.

The River of Fire in the photo for us symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As we approach Pentecost let us invite that River of Fire into our lives, invite the River of Fire to engulf us and to push us to take risks for the poor, the homeless, the disenfranchised, those who hurt the most.  Let us enter into the River of Fire. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



Fr. River Damien Sims, Director/Pa

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