Hildegard–Justice and Compassion

I am reading Matthew Fox’s new book, Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for Our Times and I highly recommend it.  Hildegard (b. 1098) now joins Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux as a doctor in the church. I agree with Matt Fox. If the pope and his curia really understood Hildegard, they never would have elevated her to sainthood—maybe this is why it took eight centuries!

Hildegard wrote, drew mandalas, composed beautiful music (Listen to her Spiritus Sanctus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJEfyZSvg5c), and spoke truth to power, both secular and ecclesiastical leaders. Her writings indicate that she is indeed a saint for our time, truly a saint for our nation in 2012 amid the turmoil of a hotly contested election. Continue reading

Peace, Justice, Shalom, and PTSD

Dew Fell like Gentle Rain

I am the LORD, there is no other;
I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make well-being and create woe;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up!
I, the LORD, have created this. (Is. 45)

The Irish Jesuits have web sites called Sacred Space (http://www.sacredspace.ie/) and Living Space (http://livingspace.sacredspace.ie/). Living Space is a repository of commentaries on the daily scripture readings from the Catholic lectionary. In my opinion, these commentaries have much more substance than many of the sites we encounter when we want to pray the daily scriptures. Continue reading

Greedy Banksters

Another Glorious Mountain Sunset

Isaiah wrote: “For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing;” Isaiah also promises that the captives and oppressed will be set free. Most of all, Isaiah proclaims a year of jubilee debt relief where all things will be restored to their rightful owners. This latter promise is often overlooked by capitalists, even capitalists who proclaim to be Christians. These promises do, however, comprise Jesus’ inaugural address and we need to ponder them seriously.

Justice is about right order and God has a thing about justice and right order. In the scriptures the Living God and Jesus constantly talk about restoring justice. It is the primal Gospel value.

We live in troubled times. Banks have failed. Nations are on the brink of bankruptcy. Justice is nowhere to be found. Continue reading

Let Justice Roll Down

Isaiah (1:10, 16-20) addresses the key biblical concept of justice. Justice means right order, right relationships. The new science tells us that everything is related. Ewe had a dramatic example of interconnectedness when scientists reported that water table monitors in Florida showed significant activity in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Continue reading

White Privilege and Justice

Let there be no poor among you. Dt 15:4

Let there be no poor among you. Dt 15:4

Thomas Merton based his Christology on the fact that Jesus emptied himself and became a slave. Jesus was fully human. For Merton this emptying was the model for his contemplative journey. Jesus grew in “wisdom, age, and grace.” He came to know Abba Father and to understand his relationship with God. His final words on the cross completed the emptying, the kenosis, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Continue reading

The Seed and the Sower

In the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus is teaching about reactions to his proclamation of God’s empire. God’s empire is the term biblical scholar Warren Carter uses to describe the kin-dom. I like the term because it is in direct contrast to empire—the Roman Empire in Jesus’ day and the American Empire in our day. Carter’s hermeneutics enable us to read Matthew in context and to apply the Gospel to our lives as disciples today. Continue reading