Monday, March 19, 2007

In Honor of Saint Joseph...

Saint Joseph, pray for us!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pax Christi Statement on the War in Iraq

Pax Christi USA has sponsored the following statement on the fourth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. The full text and list of co-signers appeared in the March 19th edition of the National Catholic Reporter:

A Pax Christi USA Sign-on Statement on the Fourth Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq

“They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” -Hosea 8:7

For four long years we have witnessed the steady unraveling of an ancient nation, its peoples’ lives thrown into the whirlwind of war, its social fabric ripped apart, and its future existence threatened. We have, in fact, witnessed what war and violence always and inevitably unleash. Violence always begets violence. As people of faith we have chosen to commit our lives to the path of the nonviolent Jesus. As people of conscience we long ago recognized that, regardless of intention, violence cannot resolve conflict, right wrongs, establish justice, or create peace. For all who would believe that violence can serve any productive purpose, the tragic experience in Iraq should be ample evidence to the contrary. Four years after launching an illegal and immoral war, it is time to bring the U.S. occupation of Iraq to an end. We publicly proclaim our opposition to this occupation and say: “Enough!” We call on our nation’s
leaders to acknowledge, with repentance and sorrow, that our country is on the wrong path. Our military occupation of Iraq continues to breed hatred while fanning ever-expanding sectarian violence. The U.S. is not the honest broker who can craft peace among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. Our continued military presence is counterproductive. Current U.S. efforts in Iraq are not intended to establish a secure peace for the Iraqi people, but rather to minimize the political fallout of a failed policy and to shift the blame for our failures in Iraq to the Iraqi government. The inevitable outcome will be as tragic for U.S. troops and the Iraqi people as that failed U.S. policy in Vietnam was a generation ago. A complete reversal of U.S. policy is urgently needed. It is time to step aside and create space for other multinational and regional actors who are better suited to advance the process of reconciliation and the post-occupation transition. At the same time, this nation must take economic responsibility for the destruction and chaos that has been unleashed. Nothing short of a modern-day Marshall Plan is needed to rebuild infrastructure and create jobs, which may offer the greatest hope in bringing about stability and security in Iraq. We mourn the precious lives already lost: over 3,000 U.S. service people are dead, and more than 25,000 maimed; as many as 700,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. This high cost, the result of deception and failed policies, must be faced by our nation’s leaders.

And so we call on President Bush and Members of the new Congress to:

Begin withdrawal of all U.S. military troops;
Cease construction of all permanent bases in Iraq and dismantle bases already constructed;
Stop all funding of the military occupation;
Commit significant funding for the reconstruction of Iraq, under the control and direction of Iraqis;
Assure funding of full benefits, adequate healthcare and ongoing support for all returning U.S. service personnel;
Prosecute companies engaged in illegal war-profiteering, as well as U.S. government collaboration and fiscal mismanagement;
Commence authentic efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and seek a regional solution to the ongoing plight of refugees in the greater Middle East.

WE CALL ON OUR NATION’S LEADERS to chart a new direction for our country, with policies rooted in nonviolence, the pursuit of justice, and a commitment to the well-being and dignity of all God’s people — from Iraq to the Katrina-devastated communities at home, and beyond. Let 2007 be the year that our nation seeks another way in Iraq. Let our nation repent of this illegal, immoral and unjust war, and let us bring the occupation of Iraq to an end. Let us not have to witness a fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq.

This time next year, let us see peace, which is the fruit of justice, finally come to Iraq.

Peace, Salaam, Shalom!

Blogging for Peace

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

As I sit to write these few thoughts, the words of David Haas' "Now It Is Evening" are going through my head -- "Now it is evening, lights in the city bid us remember, Christ is our Light ..."

Yesterday, as I dealt with clearing out after Friday's messy weather, I was struck by the juxtaposition of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations and the commemorations of the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. I was struggling for thoughts to bring together the complexity of the world events of this weekend with the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Trying to synthesize those, I was thinking ahead to today's Gospel reading (which for us was from Cycle A because we have catechumens/elect among our community) -- the story of the blind man healed by Jesus. In Haas' lyrics, by no coincidence, is found the focus:

Christ is our Light!

In the midst of the darkness of the sorrows and struggles of life around us, Christ's light remains as a guidepost, as a comfort, as a sure and certain side that Jesus is with us. In the darkness of a world at war with one another and itself, we are called -- challenged -- to reflect Christ's light. Sometimes because of our human frailties and failings, the light may seem to flicker, but Lent calls us to fan the flame of Christ's light and penetrate the dark night one small flame at a time, recognizing that all of us together can illuminate the world with Christ-Light.

As this fourth Sunday of Lent -- Laetare -- draws to a closer, the invitation to reflect Christ's light renews itself and the question "How am I doing at how am I being?" continues to resonate for me.

Jesus, you came to bring light to a world yearning for you.

Enable us through our Lenten journey

to be healed of all that blinds us

and prevents us from reflecting Your Light

in all its brillance,


and glory.

Friday, March 16, 2007

And Justice for All!

We have the opportunity to express our continuing commitment to justice for all. This information comes from the national office office of the League of Women Voters and brings to our attention a very important justice at home issue:

ACTION ALERT: House to Vote on DC Voting Rights!

The full House of Representatives is set to vote on the District of Columbia Voting Rights Act the week of March 19. Please contact your Members of Congress immediately and urge them to vote for the legislation to provide a vote in the House for the citizens of our nation’s capital. The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on the Judiciary both approved the DC Voting Rights Act the week of March 12, clearing the way for historic action in the full House of Representatives. Passage of this legislation will be another step in the long struggle for full voting rights for every citizen in our nation.Keep the momentum going! Please contact your Representative now and urge her or him to vote for the DC Voting Rights Act of 2007.

Citizens of the District of Columbia pay U.S. taxes, fight and die for the U.S. during wartime, and are governed by the laws that Congress passes. And yet they have no voting representation in Congress. They have only a non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives. The “District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act,” sponsored by Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D DC) and Representative Tom Davis (R VA), would right this wrong. The legislation provides voting representation in the House for DC citizens by increasing the size of the House by two seats – one for DC and the other for the state of Utah, which is entitled to the next seat by size of population. This balanced approach provides voting rights for District citizens without upsetting the partisan balance of the House.Americans living in the nation’s capital deserve to have voting representation in the body that makes their laws, taxes them and can call them to war. Only Congress can ensure that the democracy Americans have espoused and fought for across the globe becomes a reality in the nation’s capital.

Take action today to support DC voting rights! A basic principle of democracy is at stake. Your Representative needs to hear from you today! Please urge your Representative to support the DC Voting Rights Act.


1. Contact your Representative now, by phone and by email, and urge her/him to vote for the bipartisan DC Voting Rights Act. Tell your Representative that the legislation is an important step in the long struggle for full voting rights for every citizen in our nation.Phone calls are helpful and can be made through the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121. Click here to enter your zip code and send an instant message to your Representative now!

2. Send this alert to other concerned citizens — your grassroots network, your friends and coworkers. Encourage them to contact their Representative today!
Click here for more information about DC voting rights.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Our Holy Father Speaks...

Pope Benedict XVI has written a post-synodal exhortation on the Holy Eucharist that is a beautiful follow-up to his first papal encyclical, "God is Love."

The bound version of the document -- Sacrament of Charity -- will be available shortly, but a text version is available in English here , compliments of the USCCB.

As Sister Lorraine points out on her blog , this is a beautiful preparation for Holy Thursday and the experience of the Sacred Paschal Triduum.

What Year Do You Belong In?

You Belong in 1965!

If you scored...

1950 - 1959: You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

1960 - 1969: You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

1970 - 1979: Bold and brash, you take life by the horns. Whether you're partying or protesting, you give it your all!

1980 - 1989: Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.

1990 - 1999: With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!

Give the quiz a try!