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Pace e Bene – 24 May 2023

image and quote courtesy of Pace e Bene

“Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge. Whether it is obscuring state language or the faux-language of mindless media; whether it is the proud but calcified language of the academy or the commodity driven language of science; whether it is the malign language of law-without-ethics, or language designed for the estrangement of minorities, hiding its racist plunder in its literary cheek—it must be rejected, altered and exposed. . . Sexist language, racist language, theistic language—all are typical of the policing languages of mastery, and cannot, do not permit new knowledge or encourage the mutual exchange of ideas.”—Toni Morrison

We are Windows to God’s Love – Henri Nouwen

The discipline of community makes us persons; that is, people who are sounding through to each other (the Latin personare means “sounding through”) a truth, a beauty, and a love that is greater, fuller, and richer than we ourselves can grasp. In true community we are windows constantly offering each other new views on the mystery of God’s presence in our lives. Thus the discipline of community is a true discipline of prayer. It makes us alert to the presence of the Spirit who cries out “Abba,” Father, among us and thus prays from the center of our common life. Community thus is obedience practiced together. The question is not simply “Where does God lead me as an individual person who tried to do his will?” More basic and more significant is the question “Where does God lead us as a people?”

Pace e Bene – 22 May 2023

image and quote courtesy of Pace e Bene

“Political urgencies come and go, but it’s a fair enough vocation to strike one match after another against the dark isolation, when spectacular arrogance rules the day and tries to force hope into hiding, it seems to me that there is still so much to say that I had better raise up a yell across the fence.”—Barbara Kingsolver, Small Wonders

Pace e Bene – 21 May 2023

image and quote courtesy of Pace e Bene

“A war is always, always, the defeat of humanity. . . . There is no such thing as a just war. That does not exist.”—Pope Francis: March 18, 2022 talk to an international congress of educators

Prayer is to be Shared – Henri Nouwen

Much that has been said about prayer might create the false impression that prayer is a private, individualistic, and nearly secret affair, so personal and so deeply hidden in our inner life that it can hardly be talked about, even less be shared. The opposite is true. Just because prayer is so personal and arises from the center of our life, it is to be shared with others. Just because prayer is the most precious expression of being human, it needs the constant support and protection of the community to grow and flower. Just because prayer is our highest vocation, needing careful attention and faithful perseverance, we cannot allow it to be a private affair. Just because prayer asks for a patient waiting in expectation, it should never become the most individualistic expression of the most individualistic emotion, but should always remain embedded in the life of the community of which we are part.

Pace e Bene – 18 May 2023

image and quote courtesy of Pace e Bene

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice. Finally, I’ve come to believe that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.”―Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Pace e Bene – 16 May 2023

image and quote courtesy of Pace e Bene

“The fast was taken to impress upon the workers the truth that we can only win over the opponent by love, never by hate. Hate is the subtlest form of violence. We cannot be really nonviolent and yet have hate in us.”—Gandhi, August 15, 1934, after breaking 7-day fast.

Sojourners Verse and Voice – 16 May 2023

Verse of the day
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.

– Psalm 127:2

Voice of the day
The rejection of our hustle-based society is a rejection of the pressures of capitalism and colonization. When we do this, we move ourselves out of the “rat race” and into a more embodied natural rhythm that listens to the needs of our bodies and the ebb and flow of self-care, collective care, and human-centered thriving rather than profit-centered gain.

– Tara Teng, Your Body Is a Revolution: Healing Our Relationships with Our Bodies, Each Other, and the Earth(2023)

Prayer of the day
Lord, help us throw off the profit-centered mindset that entangles us. May we rest in the rhythms of collective care and human-centered thriving.

Sojourners Verse and Voice – 15 May 2023

Verse of the day
As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

– Isaiah 66:13

Voice of the day
If our mothers and children aren’t healthy, our communities aren’t healthy. And what does that say for our future?

– Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

Prayer of the day
Mothering God, help us all to reflect more of your compassion, kindness and strength to those around us today.

– Elizabeth Hagan

On the Origins of Mother’s Day

On the origins of Mothers’ Day (with a special thanks to Paul Pynkoski for sharing)

Originally, before the commercialization, commodification, and individualization of Mother’s Day, this radical celebration was the brainchild of a brilliant woman, Julia Ward Howe, who was horrified by the carnage and suffering during the Civil War and the economic devastation that followed. She was also heartbroken by the outbreak of war between France and Germany in 1870, with its ominous display of German military might and imperial designs. She used her poetic gift to pen a proclamation against war, a proclamation that birthed Mother’s Day.

“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” — Julia Ward Howe