Hope Springs Eternal



In Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl describes hope as the key to survival amid the horrors of a concentration camp.  Hope is not sentimental optimism, but in the words of Marianne Kara “Hope is a discipline.” When we hope, we face reality because God is found in what is real.  We know that things may not turn out as we want, but we strive valiantly regardless.  God is faithful, and there is meaning in all circumstances.  When we hope we live generously and gratefully in the present because we know deep down that all will be be well–not perfect, but well. With every word or deed steeped in hope, the future opens up to reveal a present beyond our imagining.


This week we are remembering that forty years ago the death penalty was reinstated.  We are celebrating the Week of  Prayer for Christian Unity, and last week Dylan Roof was sentenced to death in South Carolina.

The news reports talks of the coldness in Dylan’s eyes, of his flat tone, he is portrayed as ruthless,  but if you look close enough you can see in those eyes a scared kid, raised on hate, not hearing much of love and diversity, and driven by a force of evil, which overcame him.  Dylan is a broken human being, and rather than send him to death, he should receive life without parole, and in the years in prison be given a chance to see his wrong, to come to an inner peace, and through that peace to become the child of God that deep down he is.

Pope Francis says: “Capitol punishment is cruel, inhumane, and an offense to the dignity of life.  There is no crime in the world that deserves the death penalty.”

This Friday, rather than watch the inauguration at 9:00 a.m. come join us at 350 McAllister Street, in San Francisco, CA at the Earl Warren Building as we Vigil Against the Death Penalty.

Sr. Margaret Magee speaks to us in these words:

“Our Franciscan char-ism and spirituality calls us to be Chris-tic peacemakers, instruments of peace. Francis of Assisi was truly a man of peace and reconciliation. Francis lived, embodied, and witnessed the person of Jesus Christ by breaking down barriers and seeing all people and all creation as sister and brother. In doing so, Francis became visibly marked by the wounds of Divine Love, the stigmata.  May we be the visible instruments of God’s presence opening doors to reconciliation, creating new relationships and new ways of building up the Kingdom of God.

Let us hear those words, let us try to live those words out in our lives.

Come Join Us! Let us remember the Fortieth Anniversary of the Reinstatement of the Death Penalty! Let us remember The Week of Christian Unity! Let us remember Dylan and all those on death row! Let us remember the victims! Let us seek new ways of building up the reign of God! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Franciscans Against the Death Penalty



Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw


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