Nonviolence . . . Human trafficking . . . Women . . . . The elderly . . . Immigrants' rights . . . Housing. . . Children . . . Prisoners' rights . . . Health care . . . World Hunger . . . Globalization, as it affects Latin America . . . Care of the earth . . . Seamless ethic of life

Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author's and should not be ascribed to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes or its members.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Frederick Buechner: Possibility of Miracle

LIKE MOST THEOLOGY, most fiction is of course also at its heart autobiography. In the case of this scene I, as the novelist, was being quite direct. In just such a place on just such a day I lay down in the grass with just such wild expectations. Part of what it means to believe in God, at least part of what it means for me, is to believe in the possibility of miracle, and because of a variety of circumstances I had a very strong feeling at that moment that the time was ripe for miracle, my life was ripe for miracle, and the very strength of the feeling itself seemed a kind of vanguard of miracle. Something was going to happen—something extraordinary that I could perhaps even see and hear—and I was so nearly sure of it that in retrospect I am surprised that by the power of auto-suggestion I was unable to make it happen. But the sunshine was too bright, the air too clear, some residual skepticism in myself too sharp to make it possible to imagine ghosts among the apple trees or voices among the yellow jackets, and nothing like what I expected happened at all.This might easily have been the end of something for me—my faith exposed as superstition which in part I suppose it is, my most extravagant hope exposed as childish which in part I suppose it is—but it was not the end. Because something other than what I expected did happen. Those apple branches knocked against each other, went clack-clack. No more. No less. "The dry clack-clack of the world's tongue at the approach of the approach of splendor." And just this is the substance of what I want to talk about: the clack-clack of my life. The occasional, obscure glimmering through of grace. The muffled presence of the holy. The images, always broken, partial, ambiguous, of Christ. If a vision of Christ, then a vision such as those two stragglers had at Emmaus at suppertime: just the cracking of crust as the loaf came apart in his hands ragged and white before in those most poignant words of all Scripture, "He vanished from their sight"—whoever he was, whoever they were. Whoever we are. 
                                                                         - Originally published in The Alphabet of Grace

Friday, March 24, 2017

International Day of Mine Awareness

The use of anti-personnel mines as a weapon of war was outlawed in the Ottawa Convention. The USA is committed to end the use of such mines (except on the Korean Peninsula). Furthermore, the USA contributes billions of $$$ to many countries to remove mines and to rehabilitate victims. The State Department’s annual report, To Walk the Earth in Safety 2016, provides current information about the program.

El Nino and Flooding in Peru

El Nino and Flooding in Peru
In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis speaks repeatedly about the devastating effects of climate change and its impact on those who are most vulnerable, those who live in poverty. El NiƱo is causing torrential rains in Peru’s coastal regions with widespread flooding and mudslides. At least 78 people have lost their lives with untold damage to property, displacement of 100,000 people.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Toward a Sustainable Lifestyle – Call to Conversion

During Lent the Church challenges us to be converted, to turn more fully to the Lord. We hear many cries for help; may we also listen to the cry of Mother Earth. The Franciscan Action Network promotes Climate Justice, and invites us to join the People’s Climate Movement. Consider as Lenten reading Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ and this six-week Reflection on Care for Our Common Home (from Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus).

Friday, March 10, 2017