Something More of Us is Required

Alton SterlingA Facebook post (July 9) from Michelle Alexander, the author of the ground-breaking The New Jim Crow

I have struggled to find words to express what I thought and felt as I watched the videos of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being killed by the police. Last night, I wanted to say something that hasn’t been said a hundred times before. It finally dawned on me that there is nothing to say that hasn’t been said before. As I was preparing to write about the oldness of all of this, and share some wisdom passed down from struggles of earlier eras, I heard on the news that 11 officers had been shot in Dallas, several killed from sniper fire. My fingers froze on the keys. I could not bring myself to recycle old truths. Something more is required. But what? Continue reading

Sr. Megan Rice: People are miseducated about nuclear weapons

On July 28, 2012, Society of the Holy Child Jesus Sr. Megan Rice, 86, along with two other activists in the Transform Now Plowshares movement, broke into the government’s premier nuclear storage facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The three were convicted in May 2013 for damaging federal property and obstructing the national defense of the U.S. Rice was sentenced to 35 months and was released May 16, 2015. Continue reading

The Silent Cry

DSFrom Dorothee Soelle in her book The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance (2001):

At best, what Protestant theology and preaching articulate in what they designate as “gospel” can be summed up as follows: God loves, protects, renews, and saves us. One rarely hears that this process can be truly experienced only when such love, like every genuine love, is mutual. That humans love, protect, renew, and save God sounds to most people like megalomania or even madness. But the madness of this love is exactly what mystics live on.

What drew me to mysticism was the dream of finding a form of spirituality that I was missing in German Protestantism. What I was seeking had to be less dogmatic, less cerebral and encased in words, and less centered on men…

The title of this book [The Silent Cry] is an address to God that is taken from an anonymous letter from the late Middle Ages, presumably from a pastor to a penitent in difficulties and distress. “My child, be patient and leave off because God will not be torn from the ground of your heart. O deep treasure, how whilt thou be unearthed?” This is followed by a series of addresses to God that, as often happens in the language of German mysticism, do not use the traditional personal metaphors like Father, King, Most High, but new, nonpersonal ones like treasure, fountain, radiance, or “security that is hidden” in order to name the deity. In that sequence of metaphors is found the paradoxical expression “the silent cry” that has fixed itself in my mind for years now. It is a mystical name for God, whose divine power is not grounded in domination and commandment. It is a name that everyone can use, everyone who misses the “silent cry” that has often become inaudible among us. May the one who also cries in us help us all to learn to hear the cry in the foundations of the world.

Migration through a Christian Perspective

migrante-bcBy Mr. M., re-posted from Filipino Portal in Canada

Psalm 66:1-7, 16-20
Isaiah 66:10-14
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

When I read the first few verses of Psalm 66:1-7, my initial reaction was to cringe from the disconnection of what it was telling me and what my reality was. How can a migrant worker like me “shout for joy” in the midst of exploitation, vulnerability, precariousness and pain? Is this some kind of joke? One cannot expect a demoralized worker to be joyful and forget their agony. Continue reading

Healing as Liberation from Crippling Debt

DebtBy Ched Myers, on Luke 13:10-17, for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost

Note: This is part of a series of weekly comments on the Lukan gospel readings from the Revised Common Lectionary during year C, 2016.

This part of Luke’s gospel offers two symbolic stories about the healing of “political bodies” that signify pathology in the body politic: the “bent over” woman (13:10-17) and the “too big” man (14:1-6). Sadly, the second of these is (literally) skipped over by the lectionary. These intimately related healings bracket a series of Jesus’ sayings concerning the Kingdom as surprise and mystery (13:18-21), the “narrow Way” (13:22-30) and the cost of prophetic discipleship (13:31-35). Continue reading