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Catholics for Peace and Justice Newsletter

Catholics for Peace and Justice
MARCH 2016 Newsletter

Greetings,
Please try not to be overwhelmed by the list of "Events" this month.  Its Lent, a time of simple opportunity and regeneration. While the political season rages on, here is a question to contemplate.  

What suffocates your heart right at this moment? Is it a particular thought, an anger or an ideal? What is one small thing you can give up this week to make room to experience more of God's mercy and share more of God's love?
adapted from A Year of Mercy with Pope Francis

Help Wanted: Catholics for Peace and Justice is seeking a person or intern to assist with generating our monthly newsletter.  Good word processing, email and internet skills are needed. Contact Debra at info@catholicsforpeaceandjustice.org 

Blessings on your ministry
 

For ongoing updates and social justice resources visit our website at   

www.catholicsforpeaceandjustice.org 

and the Catholics for Peace and Justice Facebook page


TABLE OF CONTENTS

GENERAL
Pope Francis New Video on Creation – 2016 Year of Mercy
Interrupting Racism: A Zeidler Community Conversation – Mar 8

ACTIONS AND ISSUES
ROC Wisconsin for Prison Reform DOC Secretary Hearing Mar 2
Support Wisconsin Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration [TAD] Bill 
Environmental Racism Now on the Front Burner – Milwaukee County Statistics
Wisconsin’s Environmental Regulatory Regimen Still Under Attack - Action
Poverty, Inequality and Economics: A Series of Short Films by Robert Reich
A Little Reality on Immigration
WI State Farmer says WI Needs to Welcome Immigrant Workers
Updates on WI Immigration/Trafficking Bills from WCC

EVENTS AND EDUCATION
Project Unspeakable– Feb 28
New Sanctuary Movement March Vigils – Mar 1 and 3
Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival – Various Dates Mar-Apr
Ghosts I’ve Known: Stories about the Living and the Dead – Mar 4
Tuesday’s in March "Wisconsin: What Happened to the Common Good?" – Mar 1/8/15/22/29
An Evening with the Saints – Mar 5
Winter Farmers’ Market & Brunch, hosted by St. Sebastian’s Catholic Church – Mar 6
Immigration Lecture Series - Emmanuel UCC (Dousman) - Mar 6
Composting Food Waste - Mar 6
A Father at War Book Discussion and Signing with Local Author Frank Pauc – Mar 9
Turn Up the Vote! How to Increase Voter Engagement – Mar 10
Capuchin Community Services' Lenten Morning of Reflection – Mar 12
Frogwater and Friends! Live Music with an Irish Flair - Mar 12. 
Plowshare 27th Anniversary Peacebuilder Award Celebration – Mar 11
Praise be: Reflecting on Faith Traditions’ Statements: – Mar 15 – Jul 19
Awakening the Dreamer Symposium – Apr 2
Save the Date! SOA Watch's Spring Days of Action April 14 -18, 2016 in DC
From SOA Watch to The Border/Join Us At The U.S./Mexico Border Oct 2016

STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Book: A Year of Mercy with Pope Francis: Daily Reflections by Kevin Cotter
Reflection: A Challenging Path from Lift Every Voice A Lenten Journey Toward Racial
Prayer: by Thomas Merton, from his "Asian Journal"

GENERAL
Pope Francis New Video on Creation – 2016 Year of Mercy
“We can no longer remain silent before one of the greatest environmental crises in the world.” “Today’s world, ravaged as it is by a throwaway culture, needs you!”  Pope Francis during mass in San Cristobal de Las Casas  

Pope Francis Prayer Intention: “That we may take good care of creation –a gift freely given– cultivating and protecting it for future generations.”
View the Video 
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Interrupting Racism: A Zeidler Community Conversation – Mar 8
March 08, 2016, 6:30p-8:30p. Location: The Zeidler Center (located inside Redeemer Lutheran Church, 631 N. 19th St.) A public facilitated dialogue in our Community Conversations Series to discuss what it means to “interrupt” racism and brainstorm ways to do so in our daily lives.  Ex Fabula fellows will also be presenting stories. Free and open to the public, but space is limited. Registration is required. Register here.  
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ACTIONS AND ISSUES

ROC Wisconsin for Prison Reform DOC Secretary Hearing Mar 2
On February 5, Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Ed Wall offered his resignation.  Governor Walker has nominated Mr. Jon Litscher [former DOC Secretary in 1999-2003, under Governor Thompson] to replace him.  Mr. Litscher's appointment must be confirmed by the State Senate. There will be a public hearing this coming Wednesday March 2 where the public can express their concerns.  After that, the entire State Senate will vote on whether or not to confirm Mr. Litscher as Secretary of the Department.

TWO THINGS YOU CAN DO
1.    Attend the hearing on Wed, Mar 2 at 10 am Room 411 South - The Capitol building, Madison
2.    Contact your State Senator prior to Wed, Mar 2  

Our message can be fairly simple: 
1.    The DOC should be transparent, open and listen to public input
2.    The DOC should make an active effort to reduce the prison population when it can be done so safely by making an active effort to facilitate parole, to cut back on revocations, and to increase the numbers granted compassionate release.  
3.    It is not enough to change the name on the door of the office; the DOC must change its culture.
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Support Wisconsin Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration [TAD] Bill 
Support AB657. This is a recently surfacing bi-partisan bill, and is co-sponsored by some of the really heavy hitters in the legislature. Let your representative know that you support AB657, which would expand the budget for TAD programs by an additional $2 million per year.  Not nearly the dollar amount needed, but an advancement in the right direction.  Find my WI legislator here.  
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Environmental Racism Now on the Front Burner – Milwaukee County Statistics
From Margaret Swedish Center for New Creation 
Since the Flint water crisis, more focus has been directed to the reality of environmental racism across the country, including the Greater Milwaukee area. On Tuesday, February 23, Dr. Kristen Shrader-Frechette presented a lecture at Marquette University entitled, "Confronting Environmental Racism." Shrader-Frechette is Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Philosophy, at the University of Notre Dame. The data she presented was disturbing, to say the least. It included these statistics:
*    Children in South Central L.A. have one third the lung capacity of kids in Santa Monica
*    90% of cancers are “environmentally induced and theoretically preventable,” 100% of cancer in children
*    The adult cancer increase per year is 1%, for children 1.5%., and cancer is the leading killer of children aged 1-15
*    25% of black children are lead poisoned – 11% of white children
*    Black children have 40% higher incidence of cancer
*    There are no safe levels of ozone or airborne particulates, leading killers of children
*    Motor vehicles cause at least half of ozone pollution
*    The richest top 10% of people cause 25% of air pollution deaths

Sadly, Milwaukee County ranks as one of the most polluted in the nation. 
*    Milwaukee County is in the top 10% of most carcinogenic counties in the U.S.;
*    Milwaukee County is in the top 20% of the dirtiest counties in the U.S. regarding chemical releases of developmental and reproductive toxins;
*    In Milwaukee, African-Americans are 81% more likely than whites to live in heavily polluted areas;
*    Lead and cadmium are the top Milwaukee pollutants for which there are no safe levels. This is a moral and environmental challenge. These pollutants are neurotoxins that undermine brain development and jeopardize the future of our children. And they are making many of us sick.

Pope Francis has given Catholics a significant tool to call us into action by way of his encyclical, Laudato Sí. Care for our “common home” means just that – care for the home we have in common. Pollution doesn’t stop at the boundaries of neighborhoods, cities, or counties. This is an urgent crisis calling for some urgent action. For more info from Dr. Shrader-Frechette, visit her website.
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Wisconsin’s Environmental Regulatory Regimen Still Under Attack - Action
From Margaret Swedish Center for New Creation 
Two recent news stories heighten our concerns for the environmental health of our state: “The proposed EPA "Impaired Waters List for 2016" in Wisconsin contains 1,694 listings, more than double the 761 approved for the list in 2004.” (See: Number of Polluted Waters in State, Counties Continue to Rise) . And this: “The state Department of Natural Resources is closing in on a major reorganization that could send duties to other agencies and streamline regulatory work, including an experimental plan to allow some businesses to draft their own environmental permits.” (See: DNR might allow some firms to draft own environmental permits) . Does this sound like a good idea? With pollution of our waterways on the rise, do we really want to allow businesses to write their own environmental permits? The weakening of Wisconsin’s environmental regulatory regimen is becoming a threat to the health of our people and to the health and resilience of ecosystems.

ACTION: Contact your state assembly members, senators, and Governor Scott Walker to tell them what you think about these plans. Demand that they strengthen, not weaken, regulations that protect our air and our waters. Tell them you oppose allowing businesses to write their own environmental permits.
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Poverty, Inequality and Economics: A Series of Short Films by Robert Reich
In MoveOn’s Big Picture video series on how to save the economy hosted on their website, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich lays out a series of economic principles and policy proposals that could create an economy that works for everyone. The series includes fight for $15, End Mass Incarceration, Help Working Families, Reinvent Education and more.  Each of the videos is less than three minutes. View them here. 
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A Little Reality on Immigration
New York Times; David Brooks Feb 19, 2016
The problem with the conservative immigration orthodoxy is that it is based on a 1980’s reality.  Since 2008 more immigrants have come from Asia and today there are more Mexicans exiting the country than entering.  Read the article  
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WI State Farmer says WI Needs to Welcome Immigrant Workers
Feb. 18, 2016  Read article about dire need for immigrant workers on WI farms
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Updates on WI Immigration/Trafficking Bills
From Wisconsin Catholic Conference [WCC]
Senate and Assembly Pass Prohibition on Municipal ID Cards
On party-line votes, both houses passed Senate Bill 533   (Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine), which would prohibit counties and towns from issuing photo identification cards.  WCC testimony .

Assembly Passes Immigration Status Inquiry Bill
On a party-line vote of 62-35, paired 2, the Assembly passed Assembly Bill 450 , which would fine so called "sanctuary cities" that prevent police from asking those facing criminal charges about their immigration status.  A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article reports that the Senate Majority Leader has indicated the bill is not a high priority for his Senate members. WCC testimony

Senate and Assembly Pass Bill on Child Sex Trafficking
The Senate and Assembly passed Senate Bill 618  (Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls), which would add child sex trafficking to the definition of "abuse" in the Children's Code.  This would allow a child who is the victim of child sex trafficking to be the subject of a child in need of protection or services (CHIPS) petition that alleges the child is a victim of abuse.  The bill also requires the sheriff or police department to refer to an agency, and the agency to investigate, a case of child abuse in which a person who is not a caregiver of the child is suspected of permitting, allowing, or encouraging the child to engage in prostitution or of trafficking a child for purposes of a commercial sex act.  The WCC registered in support.  The bill now awaits the Governor's action.
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EVENTS AND EDUCATION
Project Unspeakable– Feb 28
The Assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy & John F. Kennedy A Staged Play Reading. Sunday, February 28, 3 pm. Wis. African American Women’s Center, 3020 W. Vliet, Milwaukee, secure parking. Donations Encouraged. This gripping play challenges the silence that for decades has surrounded the assassinations. It delves into why these four men were targeted within a 5 year period, who was responsible and why it matters. The text of the play is based on historic facts, direct quotes and contains documented information not widely known. Produced locally by George Martin and Julie Enslow.
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New Sanctuary Movement March Vigils – Mar 1 and 3
Our next monthly vigils are on Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30 pm at Ascension Lutheran Church (1236 S Layton Blvd in Milwaukee).  This is our monthly vigil for members of our community affected by deportation and their families, friends, and allies. And on Thursday March 3 at 12 pm - 1 pm outside of the ICE office (310 E Knapp Street in Milwaukee). This is our monthly vigil to promote awareness and reform of the broken immigration system that causes community members to live under threat of deportation. Sponsored by New Sanctuary Movement
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Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival – Various Dates Mar-Apr
The Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival is committed to discovering and sharing some of the most exciting and thought provoking films from around the world. Our aim is to use film as a means for presenting topics and issues that are timely, relevant and generate meaningful discussion about Muslims and the Muslim world. Schedule of Films and Venues 
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Ghosts I’ve Known: Stories about the Living and the Dead – Mar 4
Join us for an evening with John Sevigny. March 4, 2016, Café Esperanza, 410 Arcadian Avenue, Waukesha. 6:00 pm optional fish fry, $15 (please call 262-832-1515 for reservations) 7:00 pm presentation: “Ghosts I've Known: Stories About the Living and the Dead” Internationally known photographer John Sevigny, known for his work in Latin America, will  Share his poignant, often gritty portraits to narrate stories of vibrant lives and tragic, often-violent deaths of those who have passed before his lens during a 15-year career. A Miami native, Sevigny has photographed undocumented immigrants, women working in hardscrabble bars, prisoners, gang members, and others scratching out a meager existence in an often unforgiving world.  Flyer
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Tuesday’s in March:  What Happened to the Common Good? – Mar 1/8/15/22/29
Wisconsin: What Happened to the Common Good? is a weekly luncheon lecture series in March sponsored by the Peace and International Issues Committee of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee. Held at the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee. Flyer with listing of topics, speakers and cost can be found here.  
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An Evening with the Saints – Mar 5
A spirited fundraiser for the Saint Clare Center that will take place at Cardinal Stritch University.  Have fun, learn a little more about six different saints, and promote lay ministry in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by supporting the Saint Clare Center.  To find out more or to register.   
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Winter Farmers’ Market & Brunch, hosted by St. Sebastian’s Catholic Church – Mar 6
Sunday, March 6th, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm at St. Sebastian Church Hall. Enter at 1725 N. 54th Street. Please join us for the 8th annual Winter Farmers’ Market and Brunch. You can shop the market to support farmers and other local producers who themselves care for creation by making sustainability a core feature in their farming and business practices. Vendors give 10% of their sales to the non-profit Harvest of Hope: a Madison based farm crisis fund. You can also enjoy a delicious brunch made with Wisconsin ingredients.  Flyer  
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Immigration Lecture Series - Emmanuel UCC (Dousman) - Mar 6
Throughout the world, waves of desperate and persecuted peoples are displaced from their homes and nations- the largest human migration in human history. What are their stories? What are the issues surrounding their migration and immigration? Emmanuel UCC in Dousman has organized a series of public lectures around immigration, with various presenters addressing different aspects of the topic that will run from March - November 2016 March 6, Ben Shryock*, an immigration lawyer, will kick off the series with " World Refugees and the Clash of Cultures" On April 10, Sister J.M. Flynn will be sharing her experience of saving an immigrant family from deportation.  All lectures will be held Sunday mornings at 11:00am at Emmanuel United Church of Christ in Dousman, 36821 Sunset Dr, Oconomowoc. Register on our website or call 262-965-4022. Please see the brochure for the full roster.   All are welcome to attend.
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Composting Food Waste - Mar 6
March 6 @ 10:10 am - 10:55 am. Melissa Tahjian, Founder of Compost Crusaders LLC. Melissa Tashjian, a young environmentalist, started Compost Crusaders LLC in April 2014, with money she was supposed to use to remodel her kitchen so she could compost food waste. Starting with a truck and a few businesses, she earned 2nd place as a 2014 finalist in Social Innovation from Marquette University, won a $5,000 interest-free loan from Kiva and has now expanded to serve restaurants, businesses and institutions in Milwaukee. Currently, she collects 60,000 pounds of organic waste a month. Wisconsinites send as much as 455,259 tons of food scraps annually to the landfill. Details
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A Father at War Book Discussion/Signing with Local Author Frank Pauc – Mar 9
Frank Pauc will talk about his book "A Father at War" at the Islamic Resource Center on the evening of Wednesday, March 9th, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The Islamic Resource Center is located at 5235 South 27th Street in Greenfield, just south of Edgerton Ave. The Islamic Resource Center (IRC) is run by the Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition. It's library contains the largest selection of books about Islam in the state. The IRC has a snack bar with food and beverages available for sale. Frank's book is primarily about his son's experiences during the Iraqi War. Frank hopes to discuss the book, and also to talk about the affects of our wars on the Muslims in our community.
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Turn Up the Vote! How to Increase Voter Engagement – Mar 10
Voter Engagement: Owning the Vote, Increasing Participation, and Building a Coalition. Welcome Kelly Gallaher as she shares RIC’s multiyear process and success in increasing voter turnout. THURSDAY, March 10 at 7 pm. Ascension Lutheran Church in Waukesha. *RIC is the Racine WISDOM affiliate. For further questions, contact Bev Bradford at bevj.bradford@gmail.com
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Capuchin Community Services' Lenten Morning of Reflection – Mar 12
March 12, 2016 (9:30 AM - Noon) Save the Date. Location: House of Peace Site, 1702 W. Walnut Street Milwaukee. In honor of Pope Francis' Jubilee Year of Mercy, Capuchin Friar Bill Cieslak will be presenting a reflection on Mercy. Br. Bill is a Capuchin priest and has taught liturgy and sacraments at the Franciscan School of Theology (Graduate Theological Union) in Berkeley, CA for 25 years. He is the director of Preaching and Evangelization for the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph. He travels worldwide discussing Franciscan spirituality & theology.  Please RSVP online  or phone 414.374.8841, ext. 41.
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Frogwater and Friends! Live Music with an Irish Flair - Mar 12. 
An event in support of the MacCannon Brown Homeless Sanctuary. Saturday, March 12, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. McCormick Hall, lower level, Holy Family Parish and School, 4825 N. Wildwood Ave, Whitefish Bay. Live music lineup: Green Sails, Ben Merens, Larry Theiss; Frogwater - a Milwaukee favorite!All proceeds support compassionate outreach.  Detailed information here  
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Plowshare 27th Anniversary Peacebuilder Award Celebration – Mar 11
Join us as we honor our 2016 Peacebuilders: Karen Fiedler, Margaret (Peggy) Brown, The Waukesha County Green Team and St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Waukesha. Friday, March 11th at Carroll University. Event begins at 5 pm with a silent auction, cash bar, and music by the Waukesha String Academie. Attendees will enjoy a sumptuous Mediterranean buffet prepared by Chef Moe, followed by the presentation of the awards and inspirational stories of the honorees. More information and registration. 
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Praise be: Reflecting on Faith Traditions’ Statements: – Mar 15 – Jul 19
On Care for Our Common Home Faith & ecology conversation series Presented by: Interfaith Earth Network. 3rd Tuesday of the Month 7:00-8:30pm at the Urban Ecology Center. See Flyer with list of presentations.  
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Awakening the Dreamer Symposium – Apr 2
On April 2, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Bayview Outpost will offer a repeat of "Awakening the Dreamer Symposium"; no charge. Awakening the Dreamer, is a transformative educational program that explores the challenges facing humanity at this critical moment in time and the opportunities we as a human family have to create a new future.  You'll look squarely at the state of the world—where we are and how we got here—and then explore what role you can play in bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet.  For more information contact Elizabeth Martorell elizabethmartorell@ameritech.net 
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Save the Date! SOA Watch's Spring Days of Action April 14 -18, 2016 in DC
The refugee crisis, forced migration, mass incarceration, police brutality and militarization at home & abroad, enforced disappearances - so many of the most pressing issues of our time are fueled by the senseless Drug War, yet we have largely failed to build the coalitions to help bring an end to these devastating policies. Join the School of the Americas Watch [SOA Watch] in Washington D.C. this April 14-18 for concert, advocacy training, lobbying, direct action and more, including the next step in our campaign to pressure Vice President Biden for an Executive Order to close the SOA.  Learn More 
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From SOA Watch To The Border/Join Us At The U.S./Mexico Border Oct 2016
This October 7-10, join us in Nogales, Arizona for our first bi-national convergence at the U.S./Mexico border to demand a fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy. SOA Watch Field Organizer María Luisa Rosal and movement Founder, Father Roy Bourgeois move the popular mobilization to the U.S./Mexico border in the Fall of 2016. Learn More  
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STUDY, REFLECT, PRAY
Book: A Year of Mercy with Pope Francis: Daily Reflections by Kevin Cotter
This book will draw you into God's unfailing mercy, strengthening, healing and equipping you to fulfill his plan for your life. Spend a few minutes every day with the Holy Father as you read a brief meditation by him followed by a few reflection questions designed to help you ponder and receive God's love.  God doesn't tire of us, Pope Francis has said, but "we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy." Join him in exploring the infinite love and unfailing compassion of the God who is always "there first," ready to receive and embrace us.
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Reflection: A Challenging Path from Lift Every Voice A Lenten Journey Toward Racial Justice 
By Henoch Derbew, nSJ, Posted on Ignatian Solidarity Network website
Jesus frequently laments the Pharisees’ legalistic worldview and the grief they cause their flock. Perhaps well meaning, perhaps not, the Pharisees strike me as tormented and insecure as they cautiously live in fear of human imperfection. Out of compulsion, they worship a false God of fire and brimstone, tit for tat, and simple rules with straightforward penalties. In other words, they worship themselves; and if we care to admit it, they are often us.

Are we willing to travel the rockier path that Jesus offers?
As we seek God’s kingdom through racial justice in our daily choices or landmark decisions, we are tempted by the ancient call of the Pharisees that offers us smallness, anxiety, and reaching for some mediocre ideal—for example, remembering to suppress offensive comments. This exhausting way of life will be adopted by many because it’s “good enough,” but in the silence of reflection, God is heard, and the emptiness becomes glaring. We can seek ways to temporarily ignore the feeling that something isn’t right or we can listen to His call.

Jesus offers the admittedly messier path. Our way may not be His. “Progress” is vague. Discomfort is essential. Mistakes will be made. Yet He pledges His help and still invites us to heal our broken world, our relationship with Him, and, by extension, ourselves. All have a sacred part to play and presumptions that you have advanced beyond prejudice, are too stuck in your ways, or are too much of a sinner are poor excuses. Rather, humbly walk with God and His entire people, and you’ll find your existence become enriching instead of consuming. Because though at times challenging, His way is always life-giving as He teaches us with role models (canonized or not) and sustains us with grace.
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Prayer: by Thomas Merton, from his "Asian Journal"
Oh God, we are one with You. You have made us one with You. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, You dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. Oh God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept You, and we thank You, and we adore You, and we love You with our whole being, because our being is in Your being, our spirit is rooted in Your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one Spirit which makes You present in the world, and which makes You witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious. Amen.

From Pax Christi USA Lent Pray, Study, Act – Feb 21-27, 2016 
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