Ignacio Ellacuria, a Jesuit martyr of San Salvador, asked, “What is it to be a companion of -Jesus today? It is to engage, under the standard of the cross, in the crucial struggle of our time: the struggle for faith and that struggle for justice which it includes.”
I can’t sleep. It inevitably happens whenever I have something I have to be responsible for the next morning, and so it frequently happens on Friday and Saturday nights. Like some cruel joke played out time and time again, I find myself unable to doze off, and the mounting frustration does little to quell my thoughts. I know that by picking up a book, or hopping on the computer I’m being hopelessly irresponsible, and so I lay still in the dark and close my eyes, sometimes for 6 hours at a stretch. I know that if I was taking an algebra class I’d be able to doze right off, or if it was 9 am I’d crash out almost instantaneously. What would happen if, instead of persueing my regular habit of mentally beating my head against a wall I just spent this time in prayer? It’s a pretty simple solution really, either outcome would be pretty spectacular! Either I would find myself spending some 6 hours a week more in prayer than I do now (and God knows there are plenty of situations I could pray for, and worship through, and seek wisdom about) or else-like the disciples in the garden- I would falter within the hour and drift into sleep. Let’s see how long I can stay focused tonight- in the presence of the Lord, before the drooping lids finally overtake me and slumber flows Morpheus slow…
Saint Anthony once said that “Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.” and that got me thinking about the nature of justice as a concept and our part in it. What exactly is justice? Is it really just the quality of being fair and reasonable or is justice a more active virtue? I think about my own interactions with people who are regularly denied justice, the poor, orphans, the lonely, victims of various things and wonder at what I can do to bring a sense of justice to them, or is it my duty as a companion of Christ to merely love and try and minister to their needs individually? Supposedly, politically established law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice, but when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. Where is the justice of political power if it executes the murderer and jails the plunderer, and then itself marches upon neighboring lands, killing thousands and pillaging the very hills? We’ll discuss these things this week on Sunday October 2nd when we meet at Ca Phe Phin at 1:00, and spend some time in prayer that we can become more aware of how we may be conduits for justice through love as we sojourn through the world!
What would it look like to live in a country where Jesus was the king? Would it be a land of peace, a jeweled kingdom overflowing with milk and honey and a healing balm to her neighbors? Would her armies march out victorious, putting the heathen and the villain to the sword, divine judgement protecting the weak and poor? First Self Righteous is meeting tomorrow at 1:00 at Ca Phê Phín to talk about this and other matters of social and political consequence, see ya there hypocrites!
Teresa of Avila, a sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, wrote, “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out to the world; yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; yours are the hands with which God is to bless -people now.”
Do you ever feel like you’ve gone beyond the point of no return with God? That you’ve just screwed up too much and destroyed your life to the point where there’s just no point in trying to go back at all? We all feel that way sometimes, and this week thats what we’re going to focus on when we get together on Sunday, for I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Join the rest of us hypocrites at Ca phe Phin in Nassau Bay at 1 pm on Sunday September 18th while we mull over our individual inadequacies and failures.