Monday, December 6, 2010


Fritz Eichenberg--Christmas 1954

At the end of last week's, I mentioned a prayer--here it is.

Hope for Advent 2010
Prayer To Live Mercifully

O God,
Teach me
Not to envy,
to hate,
to justify,
to imitate,
to support,
to ennoble,
or to kill for,
Those who take the food from the table of others and then teach contentment,
Those for whom the taxes are destined, who demand sacrifice,
Those who eat their fill, who speak to the hungry of good times to come,
Those who lead humanity into the abyss, calling
Hate, love,
Unfaithfulness, faithfulness,
Lies, truth,
Slavery, freedom,
Too much, not enough,
Homicide, heroism,
Evil, good.
And, O God,
Teach me
when I have food, to remember the hungry;
when I have work, to remember the jobless;
when I have a home, to remember the homeless;
when I am free, to remember the imprisoned,
when I am without pain, to remember the suffering,
when I am loved, to remember the unloved,
when I am living, to remember the dying,
when I am dead, to remember the living.
And remembering, help me to destroy
my complacency; bestir my compassion, and thereby
spend my time and my eternity
doing good upon earth, helping
by word and deed, by prayer and sacrifice of self
those who cry out
for what I take for granted.
Amen. ---Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

In this holy season of Advent, our corner of the world is extremely unprepared for the birth of the Savior born in a stable. Jesus' birthday is expected to help Wall Street and Wal-Mart, but He will not be looked for in a cave in Palestine, nor be heralded as the one to cast down the mighty from their thrones, and exalt the lowly. Lk 1:52

Its not that the mighty and lowly, are in permanent conflict and disdain, they just don't know each other. According to the Wall Street Journal, the wealth gap in America is greater than at any time since the roaring days that led into the Great Depression. This great divide is not good for any of us.

"I realize in Christian practice today, Advent for most is nowhere near as relevant and as important as Christmas shopping."—Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

uring my college summers I worked and lived in the migrant farm labor camps around Capac, MI as part of a Our Lady of Mount Carmel church project. The experience of these living conditions, and Mexican-American hospitality, have changed my middle class life forever for the better. After college at Cristo Rey Community Center in Lansing MI, while organizing for farmworker and welfare rights, I found myself partnering with national Vista volunteers who were from families of New York Times columnists and Hollywood insiders.

Cross -- Art from El Salvador

The rich were meeting the poor and serving each other's needs for change. Today we should re-double this national service, across-the-gap cooperation. A local group, Opportunities for Community & National Service, is being formed to promote this. Call 810 982 2870 to help.

ere in our increasingly poor Port Huron area we are blessed with so many, in church and community, who generously pursue this Gospel truth--that it is in giving of ourselves that we receive.

Let the Magi meet the shepherds at the manger in Bethlehem, take to heart the Savior's good tidngs of great joy, and together lead out from there, to make a more perfect interdependent world.

Illuminations by Kathy Brahney

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