A Miracle Every Day

 listen to this email
Dear Michael,
Did you know that there’s an International Day of Peace? It’s celebrated on September 21st. The hope and intent of this day is that all hostilities around the world cease.

It’s a beautiful idea…that Jesus instituted a very long time ago. Yes, Jesus invites us, you and me, to be His ambassadors of peace, to carry peace wherever we go.

Carry Jesus’ peace everywhere!
“Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace [that is, a blessing of well-being and prosperity, the favor of God] to this house.’

And if anyone of peace is there [someone who is sweet-spirited and hospitable], your [blessing of] peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.” (the Bible, AMP, Luke 10:5-6)

In concrete terms, how can you bring peace in your daily life?

  • Perhaps by praying and blessing a co-worker who offended you, rather than staying angry?
  • Or perhaps by purposely releasing an atmosphere of joy and love around you?
  • Or maybe through encouraging good, kind relationships within your family?
  • And why not pray with someone and lead him/her to make peace with God?
You have the power to bring peace and thus have a positive impact all around you. Michael, today, be an ambassador of Jesus’s peace!
Thanks for existing
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God’s Heartbeat (too good to keep to myself.)

God’s Heartbeat
Friday, November 3, 2017

CAC’s core faculty member, Cynthia Bourgeault, shares insights from other mystics—current and past—to reveal mercy at the heart of the universe. She shares the theological implications of quantum physics from contemporary Episcopal preacher, Barbara Brown Taylor:

Where is God in this picture? God is all over the place. God is up there, down here, inside my skin and out. God is the web, the energy, the space, the light—not captured in them, as if any of those concepts were more real than what unites them—but revealed in that singular, vast net of relationship that animates everything that is. . . . At this point in my thinking, it is not enough for me to proclaim that God is responsible for all this unity. Instead, I want to proclaim that God is the unity—the very energy, the very intelligence, the very elegance and passion that make it all go. [1]

Cynthia reflects:

Barbara’s point may seem like a nuance, but it is a crucially important one. Our visible, created universe is not simply an object created by a wholly other God in order to manifest God’s love, but the created universe is that love itself—the very heart of God, fully expressive in the dimension of time and form.

When we speak in these terms, of course, we begin to use the classic language of the mystics, the language of visionary utterance. For Jacob Boehme (1575-1624) the name in German for mercy was Barmherzigkeit—“warmheartedness.” Boehme saw mercy as “the holy element”: the root energy out of which all else in the visible universe is made. The Mercy is “holy substantiality”—the innermost essence of being itself. It is that “river of God,” running like the sap through the tree of life. [2]

Lest we be inclined to discount this insight as merely the rambling of a God-intoxicated mystic, it is astonishing to discover virtually an identical insight revealed by the eminently sane psychotherapist Gerald May (1940-2005). May affirms that from a clinical standpoint, once the various differentiations and feeling-tones have been stripped away from our subjective emotional life, what remains is a raw, root energy that is, finally, none other than divine love. “It is as if agape [divine love] were the base metal, irreducible and unadulterated,” he writes. “The universe runs on an energy that is, at its core, unconditionally loving.” [3]

May’s vision of agape—divine love—is very close to Boehme’s (and my own) notion of the Mercy. Far from pity or condescension, it is the very heartbeat of God resonant in creation; the warmth that pulses through all things as the divine Mystery flows out into created form.

The Art Resistance of Cuba

Press Release

Date: 2 November 2017

 

Tiffin Area Pax Christi’s next meeting—November 2, 2017 at 7 p.m. will feature Findlay-based writer-photographer, filmmaker Carole Elchert with a presentation, Activismo: Art & Dissidence in Cuba.  In 2015, Elchert and Philip Sugden spent 6 days in Cuba interviewing and filming Havana artists. Later they interviewed US-based Cuban artists for a documentary that discusses how art functions to produce social transformation through activism and dissidence. The November 2 meeting hosts Carole with a PowerPoint presentation, followed by the Teaser for their upcoming documentary.

The meeting will take place at St. Francis Spirituality Center, 200 St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin, Ohio. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.  Donations for the speaker and contributions to the film will be accepted.  Please call 419-306-0658 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

Considering the Gun Issue……

I want to ask you to do something important today.

 Mark Kelly–Gabby Gifford’s husband asks a favor of us….
Dear friends,

Loosening the gun lobby’s grip on Congress and state capitals across the country will be difficult. It will take a lot of hard work over a long period of time. It will take everyone committed to our cause — and I mean everyone — doing their part.

I want to ask you to do something important toward that end today. Yesterday morning, I published an op-ed in the Washington Post about the need for action to prevent gun violence and some common sense steps Congress can take right now — steps that almost all Americans agree on.

Please read my op-ed below and then forward this email to five of your friends. If we can spread the word about the actions Congress can take that are supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans, people will be more empowered to demand change from their elected officials.

– Mark Kelly




Sunday night started out as a beautiful evening in Las Vegas, with country music in the air and the lights of the Strip mingling with stars. At least 59 people lost their lives at such a uniquely American scene, and more than 500 were injured. Thousands more will fight emotional scars, and tens of thousands will grieve and question along with them. The phenomenon of the mass shooting — and the political paralysis that follows us — is sadly also a uniquely American scene.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed by a gun than people in other developed nations. Over 100,000 people are shot each year, 33,000 of those fatally. We can offer thoughts and prayers and move on through life numb to these losses. We can accept this galling reality. We can assume that other people — like my wife, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords — will pay the price for our status quo. We can accept the enormous social, moral and economic cost imposed on this country by accepting gun violence as simply the cost of living in America.

Or we can choose courage instead of cowardice. I flew combat missions in Operation Desert Storm, orbited the Earth 854 times as a NASA astronaut and wake up every morning next to Gabby, the toughest human I’ve ever met. I choose courage every time. So what do we do?

First, we have to recognize just how entrenched the problem is. In the last few weeks, Congress was actually pursuing looser gun laws — making silencers easier to buy. There’s no reason to make gun laws less restrictive. Gabby and I, and Americans across the country, had been working our hearts out to stop this bad legislation. We can’t go backward on gun laws.

But even on our toughest days, we’re optimists. And if we want to make our country safer, we can’t just work to defeat bad legislation like federally mandated concealed carry and the deregulation of silencers. We also need to push for solutions, to pass good legislation that keeps extremely deadly weapons out of the wrong hands.

That means we need to demand leadership from the people who are elected to lead.

Americans need more than President Trump’s prayers — we need his plans. We need a Congress that will stand up to the special interests, look at the research and act to save lives. Public safety must be our top priority. Predictable as clockwork, though, the refrain we all know came immediately on Monday: It’s too soon. It’s not the right time to talk about politics. It’s what people told me after Gabby was injured, and something I’ve said myself in the past.

Not the right time to talk about politics? Gabby and I have come to reject this. Every day of her life since the shooting, Gabby has honored those hurt and killed alongside her by working to enact policies that will prevent others from experiencing this terrible pain. Don’t let anyone tell you not to talk about politics when we talk about guns. Gabby got into politics because she wanted to govern. The people we elect can take us backward, condemning us to many more days when we wake up to more carnage and more lives lost — or if we make them, they will take us forward, toward a safer country.

No one gun law will prevent every shooting, but we know that these policies will work to reduce gun violence and save lives. We can’t only react to the horror of what unfolded in Las Vegas; we must work to make all American communities safer from gun violence. Here are a few things our leaders can and should do today that will keep America safer:

• Pass universal background checks to make sure everyone gets a background check before they obtain a gun. The studies are clear: Where these laws are passed, fewer people get shot. Where they have been repealed, murder and violence have increased. And background checks aren’t controversial: A recent poll found that 94 percent of Americans support requiring background checks for all gun buyers, including 93 percent of Republicans.

• Subject the sale of the most lethal weapons to stronger oversight and regulation. You can buy an AR-15 in a parking lot with no background check at all. That’s insane.

• Require guns to be safely secured in the homes of gun owners, so kids can’t get their hands on them.

• Stop domestic abusers from getting guns. Women are too often killed by abusers with firearms. And most mass shootings start as domestic violence incidents.

• Allow restraining orders to stop folks in crisis from accessing firearms, just like we do with domestic abusers.

• Establish a federal firearms trafficking statute to stop the illegal trafficking of guns from states with weak laws to states with strong laws.

• Require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our public health agencies to invest in preventing gun deaths and injuries — like we do for every other similar cause of death and injury. For 20 years, Congress has effectively banned the study of gun violence because of pressure from the gun lobby.

• And as a first step, Congress should establish a special bipartisan commission to come together around solutions that will save lives. The truth is policy solutions that reduce gun violence are not controversial — they are broadly supported by Democrats, Republicans and gun owners. Now is the time for members of Congress to listen to their constituents.

This could finally be a heroic moment of progress for our elected leaders. But it would mean looking into the face of deep-pocketed special interests and saying: Today, we’re choosing Americans. It means channeling the bravery and determination of first responders in places like Las Vegas, and the bravery and determination of people like Gabby, who fight through the emotional and physical pain of gun violence every day.

Thoughts and prayers are important. But thoughts and prayers won’t stop the next shooting. Only courage and leadership will save us.

Continue reading

Palestinian Nahida Gordon to speak

 
Nahida Halaby Gordon from Wooster will be Tiffin Area Pax Christi’s speaker Thursday, October 5 at St. Francis Spirituality Center at 7 p.m. Gordon, a Palestinian Arab Christian, was born in Jerusalem in 1939 and grew up in Jaffa.  In 1948 her family became refugees overnight and joined 750,000 other Palestinian refugees in scattering throughout the world.  Soon Gordon came to the United States and had a successful career at an American university, but she never forgot about her homeland.
 

In 2016, she wrote Palestine Is Our Home: Voices of Loss, Courage and Steadfastness. Palestinians asked her to tell their stories about their suffering and the injustices under which they live. Gordon gathered 22 eyewitnesses and will share a few stories from Palestine. Copies of her book will be available for sale and autograph.

 

This special event will be at the Tiffin Franciscans Spirituality Center, 200 St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin, at 7 p.m.  Refreshments will be served.  The public is invited.  Reservations are not necessary.

Nahida Gordon

Contact Jo Hollingsworth for more info:  419.306.0658

Service Tonight—Wed. Vigil of Intern.Peace Day by 9/11 Memorial, Tiffin.

cropped-footprints.jpgTonight, Wed. 7:00 PM We will have a short ritual vigil service trying to give hope and greater clarity —how do we reach out in these tough times with our world?  In light of the Mexico earthquake, Irma, Harvey and now Maria, what can we each do to be engaged and a “part of the solution” towards greater peace in our country, in our city, in our family, etc.

Please just come and if you wish to have a sign, I’ll have an ipad and will put it on facebook afterwards.  Thank you for your love and care.

sr. Paulette

 

Seneca County Fair Pulled Us Together

by sr. Paulette Schroeder….published to give tribute to Elie Wiesel, to speak of the possibilities of communities pulling together…to speak of the Nonviolent Cities Campaign…….

Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel, a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, wrote 57 books  including  Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.  Because I heard Wiesel speak in person at Central Catholic High School in Toledo in the 70’s, I wanted to read NIGHT and again experience to a small extent how human beings can lose sight of the dignity of each human being as happened in the concentration camps.

Even after his horrid experiences in the camp, Elie said: “We must not see any person as an abstraction.  Instead we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasure.”

I have experienced the truth that when such a conviction becomes the mindset of individuals, violence virtually ceases.  That hope and dream alive in our society and our world stays with me as I continue to reflect on my most recent moments of huge crowds assembled at the Seneca County Fair!  The 1100+ people who visited Project Peace and Pax Christi’s booth “Nonviolent Cities Campaign” were no doubt aware of the thick cultural darkness surrounding us here in the United States.

However, in countering the darkness,  I wish I could bundle up all the energy, all the goodness of the fair goers I met as they supported their children trying to master skills in booth games, in agriculture, animal husbandry, housekeeping, and in sewing. Numerous times, I saw people greeting each other and stopping to chat with friends and neighbors.  At the end of the Fair Week it seemed to me that we’d all want to say: “Let’s continue this kind of kindness and compassion, this neighborliness.  Let’s make it the rule of our town and county.”

I think the annual Fair is truly a gift to Tiffin and to Seneca County.  This year’s 175th. celebration did, I think, what the founders of the first Fair must have dreamed of doing—i.e. bring people together to know each other, to celebrate all the good things happening in our towns and county.

I think, too, that the Fair is an example of the hopes of the newly founded “Tiffin Nonviolent Cities Campaign.” This campaign is going on in 50 cities across the United States, and it is our hope that Tiffin will be the 51st. city to be an intentional city of hospitality and peace. We hope that Tiffin becomes that beacon of light on the hill for all people—a town where residents and visitors will experience peace as the core of who we are and what we do as we offer hospitality to all. In time, it is our hope that there will be efforts made by the various entities of Tiffin, i.e. industry, schools and universities, the town’s merchants, police, firemen, people in recovery, the Sisters of St. Francis, social services, people with mental and/or physical challenges, and people having economic difficulties to work toward deeper, stronger relationships with each other. Everyone will be in a real sense on a level plane raising one’s voice, coming to know each other, and sharing life together.

So much good can be envisioned when the goal for our town is appreciating each other mutually—growing in respectful relationship, looking out for each other so that no one falls “through the cracks.”

Project Peace and the Nonviolent Cities Campaign

Sr. Paulette Schroeder                                                                                                                            For more information, 419.447.0435 ext. 136