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Violence Is Not the Answer

As of two days ago, according to the Chicago Tribune, 2,749 people have been shot in Chicago this year.

What is the solution? Is the solution more guns? Shall we arm the populace?

Are guns a protection against the evils of racism? On another level, are looting and destruction of property a valid protest against society’s economic inequalities?

We remember the wise words of Martin Luther King:

"Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral.... Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers."

Martin Luther King, Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1964

Yes, “Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love… Violence ends up defeating itself.”

Let us pray that hearts which harbor racism and other forms of injustice may be transformed. And to begin with, let us pray that our own hearts may be transformed into the loving heart of Christ.

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Let Your Light Shine

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket,
but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
(Mt. 5:16)

“Let your light shine.” If the light is true, not just my own self-promoting light, then it cannot help but bring blessing, even in small ways.  Each one of us is created to be a blessing for this world where, too often, it is the darkness that seems most evident: the prejudice, the racism, the violence, the greed—you name it.

But when the light is true, we are shedding not just our own light, but the divine light which has been poured out on us and into us.

In this troubled time, let us “shine like stars in the world” (Phil. 2:15). Let us shine by the light of hearts that know that we are all one in Christ.

 

 

Video: “Let Your Light Shine”

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May 10, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of the canonization of our Cenacle foundress, Saint Therese Couderc.

Since we can't get together physically during this pandemic, we invite you to join with us in spirit as we express our gratitude to God for the gifts Mother Therese has bequeathed to us.

In thanksgiving we remember her words to us about the blessing of surrendering all to the good God. Here is a brief video of her meditation, "To Surrender Oneself":

 

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An Evening Prayer
O God,
in whom we live and move
and have our being,

O Love,
who embraced our sorrows
and took away our sins on the cross,

we have come to you today,
sometimes trusting,
sometimes fearful,

sometimes falling,
sometimes rejoicing.

O God, O Love,
as we spend these evening hours,
draw us to your loving heart,

where our fears may be quieted
and our tears wiped away,

and where we, with your Son Jesus Christ
may embrace the sorrows of the world
and answer your call to forgive,
in your most merciful heart.

Amen.
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It's about Love

https://www.amazon.com/That-God-May-All-Christian/dp/0578598183/The season of Lent is about love.

We might be eager to reach the more obvious celebration of Easter, but we can well say that Lent — indeed the whole liturgical year — is about love, because the deepest meaning of our lives is God's love for us.

"And I saw full surely that before God made us He loved us; which love was never slacked, nor ever shall be. And in this love He hath done all His works; and in this love He hath made all things profitable to us; and in this love our life is everlasting. In our making we had beginning; but the love wherein He made us was in Him from without beginning: in which love we have our beginning. And all this shall we see in God, without end."

- Julian of Norwich, "Love Was Our Lord's Meaning,"
Revelations of Divine Love

__________

Check out our new Cenacle Publication:

Rose Hoover, "That God May Be All in All: Christian Life and Sacred Paradox."

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New Cenacle Publication

That God May Be All in All: Christian Life and Sacred Paradox is the title of my new book, recently published.

We might truly wonder about this mysterious Biblical phrase: "that God may be all in all" (from 1 Corinthians 15). What does it mean for God to be all in all? Is this a promise only for the end of time, or does it contain a call to us now?

How are we to let ourselves be transformed in the God who is Unknown, yet at the same time is our most intimate Knowing? And what about the wondrous mystery that the God who is supremely Other longs for us to share the divine life in Christ?

I invite you to take a look on Amazon.com, which will let you view samples of the book.  Just click on the picture of the cover, and you will be taken there.


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Peaceable Kingdom

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
(Isaiah 11:6-9 NRSV)

Buddy and Ada holding paws

 

 

 

 

Buddy and Ada Holding Paws
– Photo by John Hoover

 

Isaiah’s beautifully poetic prophecy concerning the reign of the Messianic king foresees a world where all creatures live together in peace. But we might well ask: Is this age of peace, of harmony, of love among God’s creatures solely the responsibility of the Messiah? Do we human beings have no role to play in bringing about the peace and love described here?  Are we just to carry on business as usual—making war, damaging the environment on which we depend, hurting ourselves and others in multiple ways—in the conviction that there is nothing we can do now to bring about that time when there will be no more hurting or destroying?

On the contrary, if we are to live in the Spirit of Christ, if indeed it is true that we ourselves are called to “become participants of the divine nature” (1 Peter 1:4), then the peace that Christ brings must in some way be present in our relationships with each other and with God’s creation.

So we might ask: What small step can I take now to witness to that future when there will be no hurting or destroying in God’s creation? How can I allow God to work through me to hasten, even in a very limited way, the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea”?

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Come, Spirit of love and of peace!
Fill our hearts and the hearts of all your people,
that the world may no longer turn to violence and war,
but instead welcome your peace and your joy.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Amen.

 

"... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

(Galatians 5:22-23)

_____

[Pentecost painting located at the Cenacle in Ronkonkoma.]

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Jesus is risen!

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you,
that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
...
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:1, 12-15)

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Jürgen Moltmann, in the last chapter of his book, Experiences of God,  writes:

"Finally, like the particular paths of the mystic and the martyr, everyday life in the world also has its secret mysticism and its quiet martyrdom. The soul does not only die with Christ and become `cruciform’ by means of spiritual exercises and in public martyrdom. It already takes the form of the cross in the pains of life and the sufferings of love. The history of the suffering, forsaken and crucified Christ is so open that the suffering, forsakenness and anxieties of every loving man or woman find a place in it and are accepted. If they find a place in it and are accepted, it is not in order to give them permanence, but in order to transform and heal them."

– Trans. Margaret Kohl (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007)

Loving God,
may I welcome the healing power of the cross
in the sorrows and struggles of my everyday life,
through Jesus Christ who loves me
and died for me.
Amen.

 

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