Finding Holiness in the Sanctuary of Difference

“A great deal of our politics, our ecclesiastical life, often our personal life as well, is dominated by the assumption that everything would be all right, if only some people would go away.”  – Rowan Williams, The Way of Benedict 

Of course, other people are not going to “go away”! But there has been, throughout history, this continual assumption, at least in politics, that if you gain enough power, you can effectively make these other people whom you dislike or fear, disappear, through systematically disempowering them, disenfranchising them, or at the most extreme, ethnically cleansing them. For the Christian, all such attempts to make other people “go away,” are essentially sinful and a gross abuse of power. For the Christian, every single person is a beloved child of God “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). For the Christian, power and authority are given to us by God in trust, for the building of God’s Kingdom on earth. In God’s Kingdom everyone is important, because our faith teaches us to see the face of Jesus in the face of every person, however unlike me they are. “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40). Read More

Parties of God – Br. Mark Brown

Mark-Brown-SSJE-2010-300x299Today we celebrate St. Simon and St. Jude, about whom we know virtually nothing. They are named as apostles in the Bible and there is a tradition that they were martyrs.  We do know that in the first century you could get killed for your religious beliefs by people who had different religious beliefs. In the 21st century you can still get killed for your beliefs by people who have different beliefs. Or, if not killed, then demonized, ostracized, anathematized, marginalized.

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