Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Presentation

My presentation on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation at the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Region Conference this weekend.

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AN INVITATION TO PRAY

Pray for Peace & Justice

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words…” —Romans 8:26

Sometimes, we can be overwhelmed by external circumstances, and fail to gather the shattered pieces of who we once thought we were. Understandably, faith relents to frustration and hope to despair. We can find ourselves feeling oppressed by forces beyond our control. In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul asserts that in moments like this, the Spirit enters into our struggles and heartaches, and where there are no words to express ourselves before God, the Spirit makes possible what is not—the Spirit of God prays in us and grasps the very heartaches and hopes that are breaking out from our depths.

In our struggle for peace and justice, sometimes we are met with tremendous…

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Day 1: War and Armed Conflict

Pray for Peace & Justice

15909200_10211954660762143_703127943_oI feel frustrated, powerless and fearful of losing my loved ones; of losing our sovereign land to the hands of different threats – extremists and other nations present on the Syrian ground. Syria is not free anymore. Different factions with their own agenda that do not necessarily consider the desires and hopes of the Syrian people have played a role in controlling and deciding Syria’s destiny.

There is no absolute version of the truth for what is happening on the ground. People are fighting for freedom but there is no freedom when there are weapons involved in fighting. Innocent human lives are being taken away in the name of freedom, and reclaiming sovereign land but they are always fighting with weapons.  The global community is helping by sending humanitarian aid—medicine, clothing, food, and any support that can arrive through humanitarian institutions and not partisan organizations. The worldwide protests and demonstrations…

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St. Francis and the Foolishness of God

Dating God

Francis of AssisiAmong the many things St. Francis of Assisi wrote and which we are privileged to still have is a letter he penned around the year 1220 to leaders within the Franciscan movement often called “The Letter to the Custodians.” Two verses in that brief letter have always struck me as important and insightful because they summarize Francis’s Gospel approach in an extraordinary way. He writes:

Know that there are certain very lofty and sublime things in the sight of God that people sometimes think of as worthless and contemptible; there are others that are esteemed and remarkable to people that God considers extremely worthless and contemptible (vv. 2-3).

It’s well known that Francis referred to himself at times as “God’s fool,” as one who was an idiotfor the Lord. In other words, the self-admitted logic that Francis appropriated was not that of worldly wisdom or the societal norms…

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Pope Francis’s Christmas Message

Dating God

Pope Francis Urbi et OrbiHere is the full text of Pope Francis’s 2016 Christmas Message Urbi et Orbi (addressed to those in the city of Rome and the whole world).

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!

Today the Church once again experiences the wonder of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the shepherds of Bethlehem, as they contemplate the newborn Child laid in a manger: Jesus, the Saviour.

On this day full of light, the prophetic proclamation resounds:

“For to us a child is born,
To us a son is given.
And the government will be upon his shoulder;
and his name will be called
“Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is 9:6)

The power of this Child, Son of God and Son of Mary, is not the power of this world, based on might and wealth; it is the power of love.  It is the power which created the…

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