Thin Love

RicBy Ric Hudgens (right)

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”–Toni Morrison

I don’t want the thin love anymore.

So thin it needs a second coat.

Too thin
to be seen at a certain angle
to hold the weight
to pull us out of the ditch
to keep things connected
to grasp with both hands
to tie my life together
to nourish our souls.

Give me the thick love.

The love that is love.

–rdh
08/12/2019

Don’t Touch

Dan B.An excerpt from Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings (ed. John Dear, p.50).

One day, as we were being taken handcuffed from the jail for a court appearance, a young nun who was a dear friend reached out her hand to mine in solidarity as we issued from the jail. One of the marshalls came forward in a swift, reptilian move. He crashed down between our hands with a karate blow. “Don’t touch!” It was the epitome of the system; he had said it all.

Don’t touch–make war. Don’t touch–be abstract, about God and death and life and love. Don’t touch–make war at a distance. Don’t touch your enemies, except to destroy them. Don’t touch, because in the touch of hand to hand is Michelangelo’s electric moment of creation. Don’t touch, because law and order have so decreed, limiting the touch of one person to another, to the touch of nightsticks upon flesh. Continue reading “Don’t Touch”

I Speak from the Deep Throated Voice of a Survivor

RubyBiography as Theology from the Front Porch of Mother Ruby Sales (posted to Facebook August 28, 2019).

My story which is both a Black story and an American one. It is a story shaped by more than fifty years of watching and wading in the ebb and flow of White supremacy in America. It is the story of both a survivor and freedom fighter who has experienced the best and worst of America.

Our story

“They are bringing drugs and sending their criminals.”

“Go back to where you come from.”

“Go back to your crime ridden neighborhoods.” Continue reading “I Speak from the Deep Throated Voice of a Survivor”

Seeking Right Relationship

Kingsbay7An excerpt from Clare Grady’s oral arguments earlier this month in Georgia. Clare is a member of the Kingsbay Plowshares 7.

At this point, I would like to take a moment to look at the word religion. I learned that it has its roots in the word re-ligament. I translate that as re align, or to be in right relationship. Before I finish my time, I would like to share a few paragraphs from my affidavit and my testimony from the evidentiary hearing. All of my testimony was about religion, was about seeking right relationship. I will begin with a passage I quoted from Mark’s gospel chapter 12. It was the Sunday Mass reading on November 9, 1958, the day that I was born. In many ways it has been a rudder in my faith journey, one that has informed my religious beliefs, choices and practices. Continue reading “Seeking Right Relationship”

Come the Dawn

OzBy Oz Cole-Arnal, former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

*Note: this is the third installment of poems from Professor Cole-Arnal’s recent memoir work. “Come the Dawn” was written in Feb 1981, shortly after almost succumbing to an illicit affair in France during May-June (1980). These words mark his attempt to remember his marital promises and his continual love for wife Marian (“Bunny”). It is also critical to remember that this poetry included a third party: his therapist Andy Coppolino with whom they were wrestling with his nocturnal dreams.

A howl of pain piercing the night,
Wide awake, the only sound a heartbeat,
The discovery of mortality, alone, deeply alone,
Wrapped in darkness and afraid

–Before the dawn. Continue reading “Come the Dawn”

The Church is not Beholden

RomeroFrom Revolutionary Saint: The Theological Legacy of Oscar Romero by Michael E. Lee (Orbis Books, 2018), quoted by Chava Redonnet of Oscar Romero Inclusive Catholic Church (Upstate New York):

By viewing the church’s mission as service to God’s reign, Romero opens up a theological space that did not exist in the old colonial mind-set. The church is not beholden to the state, nor does it function to legitimize the status quo in the name of good ‘order.’ The reign of God and its criteria, not the government, should dictate the church’s action.

In Praise of Ordinary Days

Ken SehestedBy Ken Sehested

A meditation on Ordinary Time on the church’s liturgical calendar

“He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars.”—William Blake

When people of faith speak of God, and how the love of God leads to the flourishing of souls and soil alike, such language appears on the surface as something being done to us, as from the outside.

Merely being acted upon—being objectified—hints at coercion, manipulation, feeble dependency, indignity. As if we are to be kept in chains and, moreover, taught to love those chains—lovely as they may appear, but chains, nonetheless. As if we are merely utensils in a cosmic drama. As if we are chess pieces on a divine board game. Continue reading “In Praise of Ordinary Days”

Narcissus

OzBy Oz Cole-Arnal, former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

Penned barely two months after “My Prayer” in the same year (October, 1980), the poem below shows how painful is the continuation of forbidden hungers vying against my effort to sustain integrity in my relationships with my dear wife, two boys, students and friends. Above all, although 1980 proved healthier than the next five years when my marriage fell apart, the poem below shows how fragile this “calm before the storm.”

Lonely man sitting by the water—
Transfixed by its mirror image,
Clinging to the pond’s stillness,
Fearful of its changing ripples,
And chained within! Continue reading “Narcissus”

My Remorse and Tears

RubyFrom the Front Porch of Mother Ruby Sales (July 25, 2019).

Feeling remorse!

Yesterday I wrote a very biting critique of Mueller’s testimony and his posture. In retrospect my heart bleeds for him. It is clear as I replay his testimony that he is experiencing a physical challenge that compromises his memory and intellectual reflexes.

I finally understood his unwillingness to testify. What appeared to be his arrogance might simply have been a fear of not being able to testify in full form. Yet , this old marine faithful to the call of duty showed up and exposed his most vulnerable self to the nation to perform what is perhaps his last duty for this country. Continue reading “My Remorse and Tears”