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On the Eve of Pentecost – A Reflection

May 30, 2020
A single candle lit as our power went out for an hour.

I thought that I would be focusing on something else tonight. However as I receive reports from family and friends in Minnesota and across the country my heart is breaking. I am also infuriated by the lack of response from the our country’s leadership.

On the eve of Pentecost, when the Christ-follower movement was officially begun, our nation is literally at war. The world has been suffering due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and now, we are dealing with the despicable forces of racism. When I see the people who are supposed to protect and defend the citizens of this nation killing people of color without challenge I wonder… who will stand with and speak up with those who are voiceless. As Dr King said in his 1967 speech:

Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention. Dr Martin Luther King’s Speech

The sick development today is that the very white supremacists whom the Civil Rights movement fought are the ones who are hijacking the voice of the down-trodden and oppressed for their own evil designs. Today has been another day of struggle for my heart as we absorb the continued violence and oppression of people of color who are are sisters and brothers.

Thomas Merton said the following in the era of the Vietnam War and Nuclear proliferation: The present war crisis is something we have made entirely for and by ourselves. There is in reality not the slightest logical reason for war, and yet the whole world is plunging headlong into frightful destruction, and doing so with the purpose of avoiding war and preserving peace! This is true war-madness, an illness of the mind and spirit that is spreading with a furious and subtle contagion all over the world. Of all the countries that are sick, America is perhaps the most grievously afflicted. On all sides we have people building bomb shelters where, in case of nuclear war, they will simply bake slowly instead of burning quickly or being blown out of existence in a flash. And they are prepared to sit in these shelters with machine guns with which to prevent their neighbour from entering. This in a nation that claims to be fighting for religious truth along with freedom and other values of the spirit. Truly we have entered the ‘post Christian era’ with a vengeance. Whether we are destroyed or whether we survive, the future is awful to contemplate. (New Seeds of Contemplation, p. 112)

What side will you stand on… the side of peace, justice, grace, and love… or the side of violent hatred… the choice is ours… and this world’s survival depends upon the correct choice. In the words of Joshua 24:15, choose this day whom you will serve….

  1. Janice Stranick permalink

    Love Thomas Merton and his readings and truly blest that I found this wonderful group of Mertonites!🥰💯🙏Amen and Blessings to all! Jan Stranick 💫🥰

  2. Reblogged this on Anniegoose's Blog and commented:
    An important message for these times

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