South Sudan's Challenge

South Sudan's Challenge
Healing & Reconciliation

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Most Holy Trinity


Short Reflection for Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Sunday (B)

Readings:  Deuteronomy 4: 32-34, 39-40; Romans 8: 14-17; Matthew 28: 16-20

Selected Passage:  “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19-20)

Trinity Sunday reminds us that we are “sealed” by our baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This “seal” is manifested in our common FELLOWSHIP and COMMUNION by our baptism – regardless of color, race, belief, language and gender.  The fullness of ONE God is revealed to us in the community of persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We, thus, experience the fullness of God when we are in communion and fellowship with others.


DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

Ÿ  Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
Ÿ  Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
Ÿ  Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit


THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Our classical catechisms had lists for everything – sacraments, commandments, deadly sins, cardinal virtues, minor virtues and even types of angels. There are two such lists for the Holy Spirit, one listing the fruits and the other listing the gifts. These gifts are not simply a catechetical invention arbitrarily created for pedagogical purposes; both have a solid biblical foundation.
Thus, the fruits of the Spirit are based on a list of virtues that Paul (Galatians 5:22-23) describes as coming from the Spirit. Our Catechism lists twelve of these: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity.
The gifts ascribed to the Spirit are based upon two biblical lists; the first given by the prophet Isaiah (11:2) and the second revealed by Paul in 1 Corinthians (12:4-11). Our catechisms, both old and new, summarize these gifts in a list of seven: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.
How is the Holy Spirit generated within the Trinity and how do the gifts of the Spirit flow out of that? It might seem daunting to try to describe, but we are not without help from divine revelation and human analogues in doing so.
The Holy Spirit has classically been defined in theology as “the love between the Father and the Son.” This is not simply an abstract formula but a phrase that tries to express, however inadequately, what results anywhere, here or in heaven, whenever there is a genuine reciprocal flow of love.
• Thus, simply within the normal flow of human love, we can see the following dynamic: Someone, out of love and gratitude, gives a gift to another.
• That gift helps fire love and gratitude in that other who then, in gratitude, reciprocates.
• This reciprocation fires a deeper love and gratitude within the initial giver who can now give in an even deeper way to the other.
• This in turn fires a still deeper love and gratitude in that other who can then respond even more deeply in love and gratitude to the giver.
• As this dynamic works, an energy, a fire, a certain palpable force, a spirit, begins to build which affects and infects for the good everything it comes into contact with, drawing it into its own joyous energy.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Poverty and Re-building our Common Lives


POVERTY AND REBUILDING OUR COMMON LIVES

“Poverty is not only about shortage of money. It is about relationships; about how people are treated and how they regard themselves; about powerlessness, exclusion and loss of dignity.”



We hear a lot in the churches and communities about giving “a voice to the voiceless”; rather less about the unglamorous task of sitting down together and patiently building a common life. (Jenny Sinclair)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Ascension Sunday


Short Reflection for the Ascension Sunday (B)

Readings: Acts 1: 1-11; Ephesians 4: 1-13; Mark 16: 15-20

Selected Passage:  “These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16: 17-18)

Meditation: Signs accompany the preaching of the Good News like speaking new languages; no harm to them when they pick up serpents or drink deadly poisons. Today, we ask ourselves what are the signs that must accompany our Mission?

·      Is it a FELLOWSHIP in the name of Jesus – regardless of color, race, belief, language and gender?
·      Is it our fellowship with the poor and the excluded?
·      Is it our capacity to walk the “extra mile” and to give away our extra coat as well...?


DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1.    Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2.   Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3.   Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…



Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Struggle to Love our Neighbour

THE STRUGGLE TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOUR

We don’t turn the other cheek. We don’t really love our enemies. We don’t wish good to those who wish us harm. We don’t bless those who curse us. And we don’t genuinely forgive those who murder our loved ones.

We are decent, good-hearted persons, but persons whose heaven is still too-predicated on needing an emotional vindication in the face of anyone or anything that opposes us. We can be fair, we can be just, but we don’t yet love the way Jesus asked us to, that is, so that our love goes out to both those who love us and to those who hate us. We still struggle, mightily, mostly unsuccessfully, to wish our enemies well.

But for most of us who like to believe ourselves mature, that battle remains hidden, mostly from ourselves. We tend to feel that we are loving and forgiving because, essentially, we are well-intentioned, sincere, and able to believe and say all the right things; but there’s another part of us that isn’t nearly so noble.

The Irish Jesuit, Michael Paul Gallagher, put this well when he wrote (In Extra Time): “You probably don’t hate anyone, but you can be paralyzed by daily negatives. Mini-prejudices and knee-jerk judgements can produce a mood of undeclared war. Across barbed wire fences, invisible bullets fly.” Loving the other as oneself, he submits, is for most of us an impossible uphill climb.

So where does that leave us? Serving out a life-sentence of mediocrity and hypocrisy? Professing to loving our enemies but not doing it? How can we profess to be Christians when, if we are honest, we have admitted that we are not measuring up to the litmus-test of Christian discipleship, namely, loving and forgiving our enemies?

Perhaps we are not as bad as we think we are. If we are still struggling, we are still healthy. In making us, it seems God factored in human complexity, human weakness, and how growing into deeper love is a life-long journey.

What can look like hypocrisy from the outside can in fact be a pilgrimage, a Camino walk, when seen within a fuller light of patience and understanding.

To read more click here or copy this address into your browser http://ronrolheiser.com/the-struggle-to-love-our-neighbor/#.WudRPNPwZAY

Stuck in Traffic

STUCK IN TRAFFIC

How glibly we distance ourselves from a problem, whether it is our politics, our churches, the ecological problems on our planet, or most anything else.
We aren’t, as we want to think, stuck in a bad political climate wherein we can no longer talk to each other and live respectfully with each other. Rather we ourselves have become so rigid, arrogant, and sure of ourselves that we can no longer respect those who think differently than we do. We are a bad political climate and not just stuck in one.
Likewise for our churches: We aren’t stuck in churches that are too self-serving and not faithful enough to the teachings of Jesus. Rather we areChristians who too often, ourselves, out of self-interest compromise the teachings of Jesus. We aren’t stuck in our churches, we comprise those churches.
Admittedly, this isn’t always true. Sometimes we are stuck in negative situations for which we bear no responsibility and within which, through no fault of our own, we are simply the unfortunate victim of circumstance and someone else’s carelessness, illness, dysfunction, or sin.
What we see written large in the world news each night simply reflects what’s going on inside of us.
When we see instances of injustice, bigotry, racism, greed, violence, murder and war on our newscasts we rightly feel a certain moral indignation. It’s healthy to feel that way, but it’s not healthy to naively think that it’s others, not us, who are the problem.
When we find ourselves stuck in traffic, metaphorically and otherwise, we need to admit our own complicity and resist the temptation to simply blame others.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

6th Sunday of Easter (B)


Short Reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter (B)

Readings: Acts 10: 25-26. 34-35. 44-48; 1 John 4: 7-10; John 15: 9-17

Selected Passage: “I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” (John 15: 15)

Meditation:  Among the many names given to the followers of Jesus, the title: “FRIENDS of Jesus” is, no doubt, the closest to the heart of discipleship. Jesus calls us friends, because he shares with us all he has from the Father

Yes. Have no fear, Jesus is our FRIEND and we are his…!


DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD...
Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1.    Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2.   Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3.   Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…