Monday, October 31, 2011

Tomorrow is All Saints Day

We don't talk much about Saints in my church. All Saints Day isn't a big holiday... in fact we had a Halloween party after church yesterday, the kids dressed up and had a great time. Kids Zone talked to them about whining and giving thanks and used the story of Moses in the desert times. The message spoke to me about taking responsibility. Which is a good nudge for me too :)

I have been doing a bit of thinking... about what the people in my past would wish for me in my life now. Where is my journey leading me?

For tomorrow, I will spend time with this litany...
borrowed (without permission) from Spirituality & Practice, Resources for Spiritual Journeys website.

Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, is executive director of Alliance of International Monasticism, which links 200 Benedictine and Cistercian communities in the developing world with those in the United States. She is also director of development and communications for the Benedictine sisters of Erie, PA. Her articles on nonviolence and spiritually have appeared in numerous publications.

The following litany, written for the arrival of the new millennium, is especially appropriate for All Saints Day. It beautifully conveys the power and the presence of the saints in our lives.

O Cosmic Christ,
in you
and through you
and for you,
all things were created;
in you
all things hold together
and have their being.

Through Teilhard de Chardin,
scientist of the cosmos,
you imagined a new heaven and a new earth.
Through Teresa of Avila,
charismatic leader,
you inspired a church of courage and wisdom.
Through Mahatma Gandhi,
great soul,
you became nonviolent in the struggle for justice.
Through Catherine of Siena,
fearless visionary,
you forged a new path for women.
Through Meister Eckhart,
creative mystic,
you refused to abandon the inner light.
Through Hildegard of Bingen,
greenness of God,
you poured out juicy, rich grace on all creation.
Through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
drum major of freedom,
you shattered racial barriers
and freed dreamers to dream.
Through Anne Frank,
writer and witness,
you preserved goodness in the midst of great evil.
Through Cesar Chavez,
noble farmworker,
you transformed the dignity of human labor.
Through Harriet Tubman,
prophet and pilgrim,
you led the captives into freedom.
Through Vincent Van Gogh,
artist of light,
you revealed the sacredness
in sunflowers
and in starry nights.
Through Thea Bowman,
healer songbird,
you danced the African-American culture
into the Church.
Through Pope John XXIII,
window to the world,
you awakened awareness to the signs of the times.
Through Mother Teresa of Calcutta,
guardian of the unwanted,
you enfleshed a reverence for all life.
Through Thomas Merton,
universal monk,
you explored the sanctity of every human search.
Through Mary Magdalene,
apostle to the apostles,
you ordained women to proclaim the good news.
Through Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,
musician of Holy Mystery,
you bathed the world in beauty.
Through Julian of Norwich,
anchoress and seer,
you showed the Mother image of God.
Through Dom Bede Griffiths,
marriage of East and West,
you unveiled the divine face
at the heart of the world.
Through Joan of Arc,
defender and protector,
you remained true to personal conscience
over institutional law.
Through Rumi,
poet in ecstasy,
you illuminated friendship as mystical union.
Through Maura Clarke and Companions,
martyrs of El Salvador,
you rise again in the hopes of the dispossessed.
Through Rabbi Abraham Heschel,
Hasidic sage,
you answered our search for meaning
with wonder, pathos for the poor, and Sabbath rest.
Through Dorothy Day,
pillar of the poor,
you recognized holiness as bread for the hungry.

O Cosmic Christ,
in your heart
all history finds meaning and purpose.
In the new millennium,
in the celebration of jubilee
help us find that which we all seek:
a communion of love
with each other
and with you, the Alpha and Omega,
the first and last,
the yesterday, today, and tomorrow,
the beginning without end.

I will also give thanks for the people no longer physically in my life. Those who have guided my thinking and still continue beside me on this journey.
later man, jan

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Calgary... and the rest of the world.

I've been aware of the Occupy Movement but carrying on with life as usual. Now I'm waking up and wondering how else I can help. I know I don't want to add to the problems that will be passed on to my grandchildren. I know I don't want to have to explain why I didn't do anything to make life better for them.

Here's a list given to me by a friend when I asked that question:
Call your alderman, MLA's, the press.
"Research the facts for yourself, rather than listen to the media.
Connect with other press outlets, like FFWD magazine asking the $40,000 question
Pick up a copy of the printed material on-site at Olympic Plaza, or, conversely... I can deliver! (you're still in Glamorgan, right?)
There's a call for donations, both material and monetary. I will dig for how that can be done online.
Start the conversation with your friends, family, coworkers. It's about peaceful discussion and mutual respect.
And of course, spread the blog far and wide. We're doing our best to report on things from a different light.
Also, if you know of anyone who is in decision making positions of internet providers or power companies, or in Council, having a place to be without threat of eviction under bylaws is important. Personally, concerned about the impending winter. We're also seriously looking at an Activist Centre that can both host the movement and provide shelter to those who need it."

I was very moved by 20 minutes of David Suzuki speaking at Occupy Vancouver:

Slavoj Zizek speaking at Occupy Wall Street:
"They tell you we are dreamers; the true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers; we are the awakening from the dream that is turning into a nightmare. We are not destroying anything; we are only witnessing how the system is destroying itself. We all know the classical scene from cartoons. The cat reaches a precipice, but it goes on walking, ignoring the fact that there is nothing beneath its ground. Only when it looks down and notices it he falls down. This is what we are doing here. We are telling the guys there on Wall Street, ‘Hey! Look down!’"

Very entertaining but a little over my head ...
David Harvey explains the financial crisis in an animated fashion in "The Crises of Capitalism".

I don't know what the solution is going to be. But we need to change if only a little at a time. David Suzuki says "Satisfy your needs not your wants." Well, that's a good place to start. However, there are a lot of other Calgarians right now whose needs are far greater than mine. Our Inn From the Cold at our church is seeing women and children again. We thought the new Inn would take care of those we had, but the numbers are growing again. So many people just one paycheck from living on the street makes my heart ache for them.

later man, jan