Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas



I found this new poem by Father Daniel Berrigan at a feature written by Rev. John Dear at the National Catholic Reporter, who says that "Advent calls us to prepare anew for the coming of the God of peace and God's reign of peace on earth. We do that by working to end war and the causes of war, and making peace with everyone."

I took artistic (blogtistic) license and framed Father Berrigan's lovely poem about the Advent season the way I saw it in my heart and my mind. Two of the photos below are my own - both taken at the conference of teh Network of Spiritual Progressives in Washington, D.C. One of the photos features a fellow blogger and friend, David of Anonymoses, who is the fellow at the end of the line walking (last May) with the Network of Spritual Progressives to our White House to implore our officials to change their foreign policy in Iraq. I believe that thios activity is in keeping with the spirit of Advent and the tone of Father Berrigan's poetic message to us.

"It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted, who are the prophets of the Church, before we can be peacemakers..."


- For my Christian readers, I hope you have had a meaningful Advent season. To everyone, regardless of your faith traditions, I hope you have had a peaceful and happy Christmas.

Jude





Advent
By Daniel Berrigan

It is not true that creation and the human family are doomed to destruction and loss --
This is true: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.




It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination,
hunger and poverty, death and destruction --
This is true: I have come that they may have life, and that abundantly.







It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word,
and that war and destruction rule forever --
This is true: For unto us a child is born, and unto us a Son is given,
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
the Everlasting, the Prince of Peace.



It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil who seek to rule the world --
This is true: To me is given authority in heaven and on earth,
and lo, I am with you, even unto the end of the world.

It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted,
who are the prophets of the Church, before we can be peacemakers.
This is true: I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your young shall see visions,
and your old shall have dreams.


It is not true that our hopes for the liberation of humanity, for justice, human dignity, and
peace are not meant for this earth and for this history --
This is true: The hour comes, and it is now, that true worshippers
shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.









So let us enter Advent in hope, even hope against hope.
Let us see visions of love and peace and justice.


Let us affirm with humility, with joy, with faith, with courage:
Jesus Christ -- the Life of the world.







O Little Town of Bethlehem
To get to the West Bank town [of Bethlehem], Michel Sabbah, the Roman Catholic Church's highest official in the Holy Land, rode in his motorcade through a huge steel gate in the Israeli barrier that separates Jerusalem from Bethlehem.

Israel says it built the barrier to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from reaching Israeli population centers. Palestinians view the structure, which dips into parts of the West Bank, as a land grab.

The robed clergyman was led into Palestinian-controlled territory by a formal escort of five Israeli policemen on horseback. Two officers of the Israeli Border Police closed the gate behind him.

"God wants us all to be peacemakers. He wants every believer who has faith in God - Jewish, Muslim or Christian - to work to make peace," Sabbah said in his annual Christmas address at his Jerusalem office before going to Bethlehem.

"Our leaders so far have only made war, they haven't made peace," he added. [LINK]




5 comments:

TomCat said...

A very Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate, to all here.

Patty Ann Smith said...

isfxmsoMerry Christmas, Jude! I hope you're having a wonderful day.

As Always

~ Patty Ann

Patty Ann Smith said...

oops! I finally put those "letters" in the right place...I just didn't realize the original mistake was showing up on my message! :)

anonyMoses said...

An amazing post! Beautiful!
Can't wait to read it! (So taken by the outer form.)

- Poobah Pilaf

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