LET THE LIFE BREATH RETURN
The readings for this Sunday remind me of the Franciscan view of God's work for wholeness in the world. God heals a child through Elijah when he calls out to the Lord "let the life breath return." Through Jesus' healing, the people know that "God has visited his people." The Franciscan view is not to see these healings as coming from a distant God who zaps healing into the world periodically, but from a God who is constantly present and active in the world. The world is overflowing with God, an enchanted universe with the loving Christ as the center. Blessed Angela of Foligno (d. 1309), a third order Franciscan, knew it well and could not help but exclaim: "My soul in an excess of wonder cried out: 'This world is pregnant with God!'"
How do you cultivate this kind of seeing? Silence helps tremendously and noticing small, specific things of God's creation. Service to others enables us to get outside our small selves and see with bigger eyes. Seeing with Franciscan delight makes a direct line to social and ecological justice. If you can see God in the other then you will be compelled to protect from all that threatens, whether the other be an immigrant, a Syrian longing for freedom, or a sacred ecosystem in the bulldozer's path.
By some miracle, passion and even anger at things happening in the world does not cancel out the ability to freely delight in the world. Both belong in us: anger at injustice and joy at life. Both are part of the life breath we are invited to welcome into ourselves. Let anger and joy become like two children playing a game inside of you. They will know who's turn it is to make the next move.
Lonnie Ellis, OFS
Director of Organizing and Development
May we have the courage to occasionally be silent in our busy lives in order to better hear the callings of God, Let us pray...
In our daily lives, may we always be willing to look for God in others, Let us pray...
GRASSROOTS CALL TODAY
TODAY, the Interfaith Immigration Coalition will be having a grassroots call to learn more about the amendments made to The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744 ) and the post-committee advocacy strategy.
The time of the call is 4 p.m. EDT, and call in information is as follows:
Dial in #: (805) 399-1000
Access code: 104402
Sign up here. Let's continue to be the body of Christ, working alongside of and on behalf of immigrant brothers and sisters who deserve justice and compassion in their pursuit of one day achieving U.S. citizenship for themselves and their families.
TRANSFORMATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS IN THE FRANCISCAN SPIRIT
This is the title of our next Franciscan Climate Campaign webinar on Thursday, June 6, 2013, from 4 to 5 p.m. EST. We will be discussing how to go about building relationships and the ways they can be useful in your Climate Campaign.
You can register here; we look forward to having you with us.
JUNE IS TORTURE AWARENESS MONTH
While anti-torture work is not one of FAN's top-priority issues, it is important work and FAN is represented on the Catholic Leadership Group of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) and participates in a monthly call with other Catholic organizations. Currently, NRCAT's focus is in three areas: closing Guantanamo; urging the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to release their report on CIA torture; and ending prolonged solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.
June is Torture Awareness Month, a time to remember the 26th anniversary of the United Nations' inauguration of the Convention Against Torture and the 25th anniversary of President Reagan's signing this important treaty, written to end torture around the world. A toolkit to help religious organizations observe this month is available on the NRCATwebsite. The theme is "Healing a Culture of Torture," encompassing the need to reflect, pray and act about the deep physical and spiritual harm caused by torture. Healing a culture of torture requires people of faith to embody our common belief in the inherent dignity of each human being by ensuring that torture never happens again.
"NUNS ON THE BUS" PRE-LAUNCH BLESSING
Several FAN Staff members were present for the NETWORK Nuns on the Bus tour Pre- Launch blessing on Tuesday, May 28th at St. Rose of Lima Parish in New Haven, Conn. You can follow the sisters progress on their website reading about each stops in the sisters' own words. The following is an excerpt written by Sister Arlene Flaherty, OP about the pre-launch evening, its speakers and general climate:
After several parishioners from this largely Latino parish addressed the critical need for "Nuns on the Bus" advocacy efforts, Peg Regan, SSND, who directs an educational program for recently arrived immigrants spoke to many of the push factors including economic stresses exacerbated by U.S. policy in Latin America. Ganna, a Syrian woman refugee, then gave poignant testimony to her struggle to remain in the U.S. with her young children and graduate-student husband -- especially since her country is awash in war.
When Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro came to the mike, she whipped up the energy of our gathering with her compassionate plea for comprehensive immigration and her admiration for the faith community, who take the principles of Catholic Social Teaching out for a ride.
One of the most moving parts of the evening was the blessing of the St. Rose of Lima community for the NETWORK Nuns on the Bus community -- we really felt sent and commissioned to bring the story and the urgency of a commonsense policy that will enable our country to reclaim and refocus our nation's tradition of welcoming the immigration.
O God, from whom all good things come,
grant that we, who call on you in our need,
may at your prompting discern what is right,
and by your guidance do it.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform U.S. public policy related to peacemaking, care for creation, poverty, and human rights.