Thursday, January 12, 2006

Franciscan travel blessing

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers,
half truths and superficial relationships
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice,
oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may wish for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

7 comments:

thomasw said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thomasw said...

haha, vic, you must be feeling so glad to be wearing your groovy bell-bottoms today, for that blessing seems a tad left-wing, granola-ily and hippy-ish :p

///mr.misuse.of.hyphen

rowena said...

Thank you so much for the blessing! It was exactly what I needed to see today because I somewhat foolishly quit my job yesterday so I could start counselling people in nutrition and therefore make a difference in the world.

Simply Victoria said...

actually, I was reading about Sudan, and Darfur, and feeling hopeless and impotent, and even irritated at the barrage of information. I had to remind myself that to be informed is a positive thing, and perhaps simple awareness of such issues is an ok place to start.
I just don't really know where to go from there, except prayer.
I know of others who have given up the comforts of life in the west, and gone to Africa, with their kids even. It's always bothered me a little bit that I never did. As a protestant, it's sort of the 'highest calling', and as an Orthodox christian, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what my proper response and role to such issues are.
Prayer, yes, of course, always, but shouldn't prayer always be followed by action?

MatDonna said...

yes, I agree, prayer should be followed by action-- even "delivering the prayers" ourselves if possible; but as we are a church, a body, and it isn't the work of every part of the body to do everything, some go to work at these things, some pray, some give financially...and sometimes there is overlap of two or more.

I also believe that all evil and all good in the world are a complex chaotic system. The world is fallen, but it is not itself evil, and it is redeemed by the Resurrection, and is in the process of that redemption, which will finally triumph in the age to come.

I believe in the butterfly effect. Each time one of us flaps our wings in prayer or works of mercy or self-denial or rejection of evil, the ripples go out and have an effect. We don't always know what the final result will be, that's up to God.

I believe that just because we can't do everything, fix everything, doesn't mean we can do nothing. That's why I'm glad we have our connection with Project Mexico. We can not only flap our wings on this one, we will be able to see some of the results.

How does that help Darfur or Uganda? By being on the side of light, of good, of God's will. Every stroke we make in the great battle, however feeble or localized, serves the side of Right, and somehow, somewhere, it will count in the conquest of all evil.

Be of good cheer, vic. The response to information overload about evil and tragedy doesn't have to be for every one of us to run off and be aid workers. I think it's Mother Teresa who said that we don't have to be Mother Teresa, we just have to be who God meant us to be. Our response to hearing of great evil far away may be something as simple as being a little more forgiving to the little faults committed by the people around us, right here.

I was so struck by the CT article's report of how _forgiveness_ was the greatest need in the healing of these abused children-- both receiving and giving forgiveness, for some of them have been forced to do dreadful things themselves to others. And that's exactly what we all need here in our comfortable western world too.

You would think that, the smaller offence, the less we need to forgive. But if we don't forgive, the offence grows in our own soul, and it is we who are causing our own spiritual illness. So let's quickly forgive the jerk who cuts us off in traffic ;-) It sounds silly and trivial-- but it is a tiny blow in the big battle.

And everybody please forgive people who, um, post long, looooong comments.....;-)

rowena said...

Thanks for the ramble, Donna. I really liked what your had to say about the church as community as a vessel for change. Each one of us can only do so much and if we try to do too much we over extend ourselves and burn out. As a great person (was it Ghandi?) said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." One more thought... The virtues that we instill in our children are a way to make sure they carry forth what you, as a parent, believe in when you are no longer here and more good than bad is done in the world. Remember, permanent change takes time.

RW said...

Vic.
I hear what you are saying. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the knowlege of how much I have compared to the majority of my brothers and sisters. I really appreciated what M. Donna said with regards to the doing of good and contributing to the Light. I like the image of the battle scene.

Thanks Mat Donna.