A New Saint???

Maybe we are all a bit schizophrenic.
Split personalities that lean in opposite directions.
But given the headlines in the news, bishops in the Roman Catholic Church certainly seem to be just that. At their annual meeting yesterday, by voice vote, they endorsed Dorothy Day, the co-founder of the Catholic Workers Movement, for sainthood.  To tell the truth, given the recent pronouncements of the Catholic bishops, I wonder if they know what they are doing.  Or, better yet I HOPE they know what they are doing.

I wish I knew more about Dorothy Day, but what I know I like.
She was very human in all the ways we don’t usually associate with those who are endorsed to be saints.  And yet she possessed both a vision of what God’s Kingdom come might look like here on earth, and a commitment to do her part to help bring it about.
She was looked up to by some.
Reviled by others.
But those whose lives were touched by her compassion and kindness and vision, I wonder if they did not walk away from that encounter having the sense of brushing up against that which we know and name as God.

“No one has the right to sit down and feel hopeless. 
There is too much work to do.” she said.
I agree.
And, I take encouragement and find courage in her words and in her witness.

To tell the truth, in recent years my faith and my positions have moved in a very different direction from that of the Roman Catholic bishops.
But, we need more saints like Dorothy and so today all I can do is to say…
Amen.

A Prayer for Today

O God, this morning we ask that You help push our prayers deeper.
Past those every day prayers we whisper over the headlines in the news or as we rush from one moment to the next.  Far past those prayers for what we want or think we need.  Instead we ask that You push us beyond what is safe and plunge us deep into our hearts and minds and souls so that, for a moment at least, we pray from that place of our deepest longings which touch on the best of who we are and the best of who we are called to be and the best of what we can imagine for ourselves and for each other and for the entire human family.

The words we use today may be the same ones we use at other moments, but our yearning is more. And so we pray…
Surrounded still by brokenness, we pray for hope and wholeness.
Surrounded still by divisiveness, we pray for wisdom to find a way forward and the courage to build bridges.
Surrounded still by heartbreak and heartache, we pray for healing arms.
Surrounded still…
And so we would pray, O God, not just upwards, but outwards with our words and with our lives into the world You continue to love so very, very much.

And, we pray, too, for all those whom we know and for those circles upon circles stretching towards all who fall within the circle of Your grace.
We pray adding our strength to their need and our joy to their joy and our gratitude to theirs knowing and trusting and believing…that it makes a difference.

And so, our prayers this day, O God…
From the best of who we are the best of who we are called to be.
And, may our lives follow where our prayers first lead.

Amen.

Veterans Day 2012

To tell the truth…
I like name its former name – Armistice Day – better.
The national holiday set aside to remember that day when soldiers laid down their weapons and the fighting ceased. This is in no way meant to discredit or dishonor those who are veterans or those who currently serve in our armed forces.  They know far better than I the cost and the pain and the heartbreak and the tragedy and the destruction of war.  And, they know something about peace, in real life terms, that most of the rest of us will never know.  So, as we remember Veterans Day this year and honor, in whatever way we chose those who have served, let us also dare to turn in the direction of peace so that one less soldier and one less child and one less mother and one less father becomes a causality or labeled as collateral damage.

To that end…
This quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower who knew much about the cost of war:
“Every gun that is made,
Every warship launched,
Every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense,
A theft from those who hunger and are not fed,
Those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of it laborers,
The genius of its scientists,
The hopes of its children.”