Monday, October 28, 2013


I feel like most of the people of the Gospel story who are invited to the King’s banquet.  I’ve a field to buy, or a friend or relative to bury.  I’d like to remain steadfast behind the plowshare of peacemaking, but human concerns constantly deflect.  What do we do when we see clearly what is right and what is wrong, but live among so few that see the same thing, admit to it, and do something about it?  What is the clear path to salvation for a whole society?  How can change of heart, mind and action be accomplished-- together?  Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.  To board the ark again seems such sad surrender for a remnant that is promised its faith can move mountains.
  Noah Releases the Dove - by Chagall
There is hope—we are taught to pray with these words. "Thy Kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  In the recent Syria situation our spirituality helped us dodge the bullet of escalated violence.  Pope Francis led the world in a vigil of prayer, fasting, and the word of the Gospel, to turn away from war, toward the nonviolent way of Jesus.  The U. S. didn’t attack Syria.  {This enraged our erstwhile oil allies, the Saudis, because of their Sunni vs. Shia battle across the whole region.}  From an offhand remark of Secretary of State Kerry, to a proposal batted back by Russia—it was then agreed by Syria, its chemical weapons could be destroyed.

Pope Francis Leads Prayer Vigil mass in St. Peters Square for Peace in Syria on September 7, 2013--AFP-Getty Images
Worldwide prayers were answered.  Inscrutable God’s designs, but this deeper war averted, a blessing that could be welcomed by both liberal and conservative Americans.  How do we now deepen this faith in Jesus’ nonviolent love, which does save the world and solve its problems?

In our Port Huron area, we invite you be part of this upcoming course.
A series of monthly teachings, provided by Holy Trinity Adult Faith Formation and Pax Christi
Second Thursday of each month
 Starting Nov 14th, 7 pm in the Thomas Merton Library at St. Stephens Center
Music / prayer, to begin and end each session
First session
November 14 – The problem of Syria: A practical way of prayer-study-action peacemaking
·         The current example of Pope Francis – a review by Michael McCarthy of media coverage
·         The statements and teaching of the modern era Popes, from Pope John XXIII to the present—a slide presentation by Deacon Dennis Crimmins
·         Time for discussion and prayer—handouts for further study and prayer

The Pharisee and the Publican -- Lk 18:9-14
Syrian refugees fleeing the violence in their country make their way to a refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq July 31, 2012
In all our efforts, on all sides of political questions we must heed scripture’s admonition.  This Sunday’s Gospel {Lk 18:9-14} ends with the words, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  How are we to take this in the land where U.S. “exceptionalism” is insisted on, and proclaimed to all the world?  We’re Number 1!  We must pray for wisdom, and remember these other words of the Gospel as the holy days of Christmas approach.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
 and has lifted up the lowly.
 He has filled the hungry with good things,
 and the rich he has sent away empty.   Lk 1:46-55
                From Mary’s “Magnificat”, as she is expecting the birth of her baby Jesus Our Savior.

The Visitation by Weninger



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