On Good Friday, thirty-seven people were arrested at Hancock Air Force Base, near Syracuse, after lying in the road wrapped in red-spattered sheets to protest the drones that are deployed from there. Harry Murray said, explaining his participation, that “the war is now being waged right here in upstate New York – not just across the seas.” On our end it is bloodless, but on the other end it is deadly.
People sometimes think that when we call for non-violence, it means being passive in the face of evil. It doesn’t mean that, at all. Non-violence means absorbing suffering, instead of inflicting it. In their act of “obstruction of governmental process,” which carries the possibility of up to a year in jail, these 37 friends are participating in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Remember how Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to God except by me”? I believe that means that the only way to life is through the cross, through our own participation in the way that Jesus demonstrated. Whether that is in big ways, like actually laying down your life for others like Monseñor Romero did, or by facing time in jail like these 37, or facing expulsion from your community like Fr Roy – or in small ways, as simple as accepting the pain of looking at our own behavior and saying “I’m sorry” when we’ve hurt someone, rather than telling them it’s really their own fault – in big ways and in small, we participate in the healing work of God by walking through the pain. That’s the way to life!! We don’t get to healing by inflicting pain – or denying it – or running away from it – but by going through it, letting go of ego and power and control, dying to ourselves – in big ways and in small.
With a mixture of sadness and joy, we are saying goodbye to one of the founding members of our little community, Eli Woodbeck. He is returning to Michigan after seven months at St Joe’s. I am so grateful for his time here! Eli has been my “right-hand man” here at St Romero’s. From making our Advent wreath to advertising our Masses to cooking eggs for our coffee hour, Eli has been part of the fabric of our little church. God bless you, brother – we don’t need to tell you that you’ve always got a home, here!
On Sunday morning, May 1, some folks will be gathering in front of Sacred Heart Cathedral on Flower City Park to show their support for Fr Roy Bourgeois, who faces expulsion from the Maryknoll order and being stripped of his priesthood, because of his support for the ordination of women. May 1 is also the first anniversary of my own ordination, and I plan to mark it by joining Marilu Aguilar and others in front of the cathedral, then coming back to St Romero’s to pray for life and healing in the church. It is not enough to pray for the ordination of women: we must also pray for transformation, for a church that stands with the poor, that reaches across boundaries of nation and denomination to stand together with all those who love God, a church that can acknowledge its own shadow side and admit when it is wrong, and a church where all are empowered to be the people God dreams of them being. Come celebrate with us --- we have the added joy of music, this week, as Bill Welch is going to come and play for us!!
So – if you’ve been saying, “one of these days I’m going to visit St Romero’s”…. this is a great Sunday to do it!!
It gives me a lot of joy when I meet people who are dreaming of a transformed church (there are many, and that is one of the things that makes right now a very exciting time to be alive). One such person is Matthew Fox, who has just written a book called “The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved”– he has a chapter called “The Inquisitor’s Enemies: Casaldaliga, Javorova, and Callan” – and he tells the story of Corpus and Spiritus Christi. What I find moving is that he links our story with the squashing of Liberation Theology by the Vatican, a connection that is plain to anyone who lived those events, but it’s lovely to see someone else recognize it. The book can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/Popes-War-Ratzingers-Crusade-Imperiled/dp/1402786298/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303764280&sr=8-1
Come walk with Myra Brown and the Spiritus Anti-Racism Coalition on Friday, April 29 in support of the YWCA Stand Against Racism initiative. Meet in front of the Downtown United Presbyterian Church at 121 N. Fitzhugh St. at 5:15pm for this hour-long walk through downtown.
I hope you are enjoying the Spring! Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and lots more to come!!
Blessings and love to all, Chava
“God challenges us through Jesus never to accept ‘as-it-is’
as much as ‘what-God's-love-can-make-it.’”
– Richard Rohr
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Church in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620