On Retreat: We and I

Shalom Prayer Center Grounds, Mt. Angel Monastery
Mt. Angel, Oregon
John M. Kingery (c) 2017

We and I

Quit trying to be perfect.

Use that as a balance of spirit, mind and body.

God’s Spirit gives the form and balance. 

We have enough information.

You can go on your way.

I kept pushing and helping (not really).

What is the cost?

I do not know or care; we will do what is needed.

We will LOVE. 

We are glad you are our neighbor. 

Be yourself naturally and force nothing.

PEACE

John

 

 

 

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Erroneous Autonomy: A Catholic Reponse

Earlier this week, I read about a conference which took place January 10 at Catholic University in Washington DC – “Erroneous Autonomy: The Dignity of Work”.  “Erroneous Autonomy” is based on Pope Pius XI encyclical Quadragesimo Anno statements –

“Just as the unity of human society cannot be founded on an opposition of classes, so also the right ordering of economic life cannot be left to a free competition of forces. For from this source, as from a poisoned spring, have originated and spread all the errors of individualist economic teaching.” #88

Bishop McElroy of San Diego spoke on the three framing forces life in our country today and how they are in opposition to Catholic Social Teaching.

  • Drive for sovereignty of the markets: “But as Catholic social teaching has made clear in every moment of the modern era, free markets do not constitute a first principle of economic justice. Their moral worth is only instrumental in nature and must be structured by society and government to accomplish the common good.”
  • Technocratic paradigm: “The technocratic paradigm is a devastatingly corrosive form of erroneous autonomy. It claims moral status through its ability to capture one element of reality and promises that this one element has the capacity to produce human flourishing.”
  • Nationalism:As a consequence nationalism as a directive force in society is an example of erroneous autonomy; it is a moral good only when it is connected and subordinated to the order of justice and freedom.”

Those forces Bishop McElroy points out do not have any moral authority by themselves.  On the other hand, Catholic Social Teaching is rooted in the moral principles of:

  • Dignity of the human person:  Every human being is infinitely valuable and loved in the eyes of God, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or physical appearance.
  • Pursuit of the common good:  The common good is the complete development of all the people of the world. John XXIII describes it as ‘the sum total of conditions of social living, whereby persons are enabled more fully and readily to achieve their own perfection.’ Mater et Magistra – “Mother and Teacher” (1961), paragraph 65.    
  • The principle of subsidiarity Its basic principle is that matters should be dealt with at the lowest and most appropriate authority and that a central authority should perform only those tasks that cannot be carried (effectively) out at a more local level.
  • The call to solidarity:  Solidarity is about valuing our fellow human beings and respecting who they are as individuals. 
    • “The many situations of inequality, poverty and injustice, are signs not only of a profound lack of fraternity, but also of the absence of a culture of solidarity. New ideologies, characterized by rampant individualism, egocentrism and materialistic consumerism, weaken social bonds, fuelling that “throw away” mentality which leads to contempt for, and the abandonment of, the weakest and those considered “useless”. In this way human coexistence increasingly tends to resemble a mere do ut des which is both pragmatic and selfish.”  Pope Francis

Source: http://www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/themes/

Cardinal O’Malley reflected the Catholic commitment to the dignity of labor.  He worked with migrant workers as director of El Centro Catolico Hispano.  Dignity of labor is not an abstract concept.  Additionally, Cardinal O’Malley reminded those attended and us that affordable health care is – “Foundational to well-being…and the lack of health care directly threatens human dignity…Our moral obligation (is) not to abandon people in their times of need is clear.”

For more information on the conference see https://www.ncronline.org/news/justice/conference-examines-clash-between-us-culture-catholic-social-teaching.

These are challenging times regardless of your perspective.  It is time to pray, listen, learn, think and act together even more guided by our common faith in Christ

In closing, I want to share the following –

Our rights can only be enhanced by those of everyone else”.  – Simon Tugwell, The Beatitudes: Soundings in Christian tradition.

In Christ and Peace,

John M. Kingery

 

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Standing Rock – Trevor Hall

This so powerful and truthful.  Peace John

Standing Rock by Trevor Hall

To the east and west
To the north and south
Warrior Warrior

Gather every tribe
Mama needs you now
Warrior Warrior

Suits are moving in just to get their dollar
Treaties being broken no respect or honor

Listen close my friend
This is happening
Warrior Warrior

If you are a rock
Stand up like a mountain
Rise up from the earth
One Love One Message
I know that we are strong in spirit
And if you are the righteous, hear it
If you are a rock
Stand up like a mountain

Burn the sage and cedar
Spirit is the leader
Warrior Warrior

The clouds are getting heavy
Thunder Beings are ready
Warrior Warrior

Where the oil spills we cannot drink the water
Seven Generations all the sons and daughters

Gather all your friends
This is happening
Warrior Warrior

Water is Life
Life from the Water
Water is Life
Elders they taught us
Water is Life
Life from the Water

Click below for the video

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Beatitudes for Standing Rock

Water is Life - Mni Wiconi Photo (c) John M. Kingery

Water is Life – Mni Wiconi
Photo (c) John M. Kingery

The Beatitudes for Standing Rock

By John M. Kingery

11/22/2016

Matthew 5:3 -12

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

                They are the 40% of Standing Rock residents living below the poverty line. They are the 86% who are unemployed.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

They are those who mourn the loss of their young people.  Forty percent (40%) committing suicide are 15 to 24 years old.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

                They are the Sioux who have had their great Sioux reservation reduced in size since 1868.  The Great Sioux Reservation once comprised all of present-day South Dakota west of the Missouri River, including the sacred Black Hills and the life-giving Missouri River.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

                The land taken from them was never approved by a vote of the Sioux nation as required by treaty. The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that “A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealings will never, in all probability, be found in our history.”  United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, 448 U.S. 371, 388 (1980).

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

They traveled to Mandan County Jail on November 6. They forgave the police officers for any violent acts. They asked for forgiveness for any violence they may have done.  They entered the jail and fed the officers.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

                They are praying, singing and drumming for dialogue and respect.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

                They are the elders, clergy and others gathering for peaceful dialogue and non-violence.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

                They are the approximately 300 injured including 26 seriously including an elder.  The elder suffered a cardiac arrest.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.

              Ongoing prejudice means Native Americans must constantly fight for their rights.  They are praying to the Creator, God for strength.  They are God’s children and we called to stand with them.

Sources:  http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/dakota-pipeline-fight-a-product-of-ignored-rights/

http://standingrock.org/history/

http://fortune.com/2016/11/06/dakota-pipeline-native-poverty/

http://www.communitycommons.org/2016/11/beyond-the-pipeline-standing-rock-sioux-tribe/

http://fortune.com/2016/11/06/dakota-pipeline-native-poverty/

 

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Is this Justice?

Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.  Laudato Si #217

Pray for these unarmed water protectors being attacked by water cannons, sound cannons and tear gas.  Temperatures are near zero. Read this now.

https://www.facebook.com/kevin.happychappy/videos/1806853086253862/

All the prayers you can say.  Call your senators, your priests, your friends.

Live Laudato Si and Stand with Standing Rock.

Peace, John Kingery

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The Year of Mercy: Journey from Mercy to Peace

The year of mercy is drawing to a close.  I shared the following at the St. Juan Diego Knights of Columbus #15729 fall dinner.

Year of Mercy Banner at St. Juan Diego Parish photo (c) John M. Kingery 2016

Year of Mercy Banner at St. Juan Diego Parish
photo (c) John M. Kingery 2016

Tomorrow, the election will be over.

On November, 20th, the Jubilee Year of Mercy draws to a close.  We were a called to “Be merciful as our Father is merciful”.    Luke 6:36

Called to perform works of corporal mercy – (1) feeding the hungry, (2) giving drink to the thirsty, (3) dressing the naked, (4) housing pilgrims, (5) visit the sick, (6) visit the imprisoned and (7) bury the dead.   Welcoming the marginalized by advising those in doubt, teaching the ignorant, admonishing the sinner and consoling the afflicted.  This year was as Pope Francis wrote, “The time has come has come for the Church to take up the call for mercy once more.”

Three questions for you to reflect upon

How did you begin the Year of Mercy?

How did you live the Year of Mercy?

Have changed as you traveled through the Year of Mercy?

Beginning the Year of Mercy

Pope Francis did not open the year in Rome.  He opened at the Cathedral of Bangui in Central African Republic.  Mercy is for the whole world.

Let us all implore peace, mercy, reconciliation, forgiveness and love. For Bangui, for the entire Central African Republic, for the whole world, for those countries experiencing war, let us ask for peace! Now, all together, let us ask for love and peace. All together: Doyé Siriri!

My wife Ann and I began the year by attending Saturday morning Mass at St. Juan Diego on December 8th.  Fr. Terry’s homily reminded us that Mary knows no borders and the God knows no borders.   Later that day, I traveled to the Muslim Educational Trust for the opening of their community center.  I marveled at the resolve of those attending to work for peace, understanding and reconciliation between all people.

Leaving early, I picked Ann up for the Sacrament of Reconciliation at St. Pius X.   I waited, gazing at the crucifix hanging behind the altar.  Christ’s arms and hands are open.  “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (John 12:32)  The year of Mercy was to involve pilgrimage.  You could say we went on a pilgrimage that Saturday.

Starting year in this manner helped me to experience God’s mercy and share that mercy with others who were not Catholic.  “May it open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination.” 

Living the Year

As the year has progressed, I have had the opportunity to pass through two doors of Mercy.  The first was at the Grotto with Ann.  Along with passing through that door, we went to the mediation chapel.  I prayed for our country to come together to address the on-going violence.

Second, I was in Chicago attending a conference and passed through the door of Mercy at St. Xavier University. Again, I prayed for our nation.  At that conference, I met Deacon Randy Clement from Louisiana. He had lost his uncle (priest), niece (God daughter) and nephew (county sheriff) due to violent robberies, domestic violence and drug busts.  Through the pain, he has forgiven them.

“Be merciful as our Father is merciful”.

A month after the conference, Ann and I were involved in a head on-collision.  Air bags deployed and our car was totaled.  Every day since, we have prayed for the other driver that he turn from drugs, evil ways and dangerous acquaintances.  He too is worthy of God’s Mercy!

Have you changed?

I am more aware when I am judging others.  Mercy can be freeing.  God’s mercy is limitless.  Mercy and Justice come together in Love which leads to Peace.  There is still work to be done. That is important to remember.

What is coming?

Año de la bandera de la Misericordia. Photo (c) John M. Kingery 2016

Año de la bandera de la Misericordia.
Photo (c) John M. Kingery 2016

In our readings, we are moving from Luke’s Sermon on the Plain where “Be merciful as our Father is merciful” is found to Matthew’s Beatitudes Sermon on the mount where to “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”

Along with closing out the Year of Mercy, I want to extend a personal invitation to join me on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the Muslim Educational Trust, 10330 S.W. Scholls Ferry Rd., in Tigard for an evening dedicated to activism and reinvigorating the beloved community.

Finally, Jesus lamented for Jerusalem – As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:41-42

In Christ and Peace,   John

 

 

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Called to Be

Angel Calling Photo (c) 2016 John M. Kingery

Angel Calling
Photo (c) 2016 John M. Kingery

The election is over and regardless of you voted for; we still live in the same country.  More importantly we are Christians.  We not only worship the Lord at church, we are called to worship through working for justice, caring for the poor and oppressed.

In my heart is the calling and truth – “Be a voice for the poor and the vulnerable” and “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:7.

Yes, remember the poor in our communities, nation and the world.  The vulnerable are not only the unborn.  The vulnerable are the homeless, the refugees, and people of color, Muslims, Native Americans, Hispanics and LGBTQ.  We are called to be a voice of truth, justice, love and freedom.

In the spirit of St. Pope John XXIII –

Truth builds peace when we sincerely acknowledge our rights, but also our duties towards others. 

Justice builds peace when we respect the rights of others and actually fulfill our duties towards them. 

Love builds peace when we feel the needs of others as our own and share what we have with others.

Freedom builds peace when we act according to reason and assume responsibility for our actions. 

We are called to see Jesus in everyone.   Never confront, but reach out and listen.

Peace, John

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Why the Cross

Christ leading the Way - Christus Garden at the Grotto Portland, Oregon Photo (c) 2016 John M. Kingery

Christ leading the Way – Christus Garden at the Grotto Portland, Oregon
Photo (c) 2016 John M. Kingery

When I was in Chicago Social Action Summer Institute in July 2016, I met Deacon Randy Clement from St. John – The Evangelist Catholic Church in Prairieville, Louisiana.   He is member of the cloud of witnesses to Christ’s love and mercy in this world.   Randy graciously gave me permission to share the following reflection – Why the Cross?

When I was in Chicago Social Action Summer Institute in July 2016, I met Deacon Randy Clement from St. John – The Evangelist Catholic Church in Prairieville, Louisiana.   He is member of the cloud of witnesses to Christ’s love and mercy in this world.   Randy graciously gave me permission to share the following reflection – Why the Cross?

WHY THE CROSS?

My mind keeps struggling

with a question

that has my heart

in a quandary.

Did Jesus have to die on the cross?

I have been taught that he did

to appease a god

who was blood thirsty.

I don’t know if I want to worship

a god who sent his Son

to be a perfect sacrifice

by hanging him on a tree.

Atonement

has always been hard to swallow

and even harder to chew upon

not liking the taste at all.

Jesus reveals a loving God

not a god who needs

the blood of his Son

to forgive us his creatures.

My heart flows and beats easier

when Christ becomes

the Way to live

and the Way to treat all.

I do think Jesus had to die

but not for atonement

but because he was true

to who he was.

Love can not hate

Love can not strike

Love can not smite

Love can only LOVE.

The Cross wasn’t for atonement

of sins so deep and wide

the Cross was for victory

when we trust love and not hate.

So as I continue

to follow the best I can

I hope that each day

I will love more and more like Him.

When I am in the midst of violence

directed toward me or friend or foe

I hope I too can die

instead of begetting more of the same.

If Jesus died just for my sins

then why did he walk the dirty roads

and eat with sinners like me?

Love not hate LIBERATES!

Deacon Randy Clement

 

 

 

 

 

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Journey to Peace

Mercy Like the Father - Chapel of Mary, The Grotto Portland, Oregon Photo (c) 2016 John M. Kingery

Mercy Like the Father – Chapel of Mary, The Grotto Portland, Oregon
Photo (c) 2016 John M. Kingery

When I was in Chicago for the 30th Social Action Summer Institute in July 2016, I met Deacon Randy Clement from St. John – The Evangelist Catholic Church in Prairieville, Louisiana.   He is a member of the cloud of witnesses to Christ’s love and mercy in this world.   Randy shared the following at SASI and  has given me permission to share it here.

“The Journey to Peace is about my journey that started on my senior trip. I was with my classmates from Cathedral Prep when I got the news my Uncle Alcide a priest was killed. Then my godchild (also my niece) years later was killed by her husband and then Jeremy my nephew was killed in a drug bust (he was a sheriff deputy). It is my reflection of how God has been with me helping me to become a nonviolent person.”  Randy Clement, August 2016

Journey to Peace

Looking back I see the work of God in me

I see the Embrace of love in the midst of pain

I see the love of my friends a sacrament of Love

I see how this has become a journey of Peace.

 

I was hurting like I had never hurt before

May 7th, 1975 will always be etched in my soul

Once in my mind as the saddest day

Now in my soul as the onset of my journey to Peace.

 

The journey had me walk to see mercy from all sides

I saw the mercy of God reach into my soul

Praying a prayer that I didn’t start

A prayer that still resonates from by being.

 

Once again on June 11th, 2003 the pain appeared again

Mercy did too at the most inappropriate time

Reminding me it isn’t just for me

Calling me once again to pray for it’s grace.

 

It showed me the journey hadn’t ended

There was still more for me to do

The bleak sadness would become Joy

The Resurrection will flow as I spread the Gift of Mercy.

 

Then on the day of ashes it happened again

March 1, 2006 evil raised again its ugly head

Anger spewed from me in a moment of honest prayer

Mercy was nowhere to be found or so it appeared to me.

 

I prayed at the lifeless body of my flesh and blood

For Resurrection to manifest and save my sister from the pain

If nothing else give me some of her pain

Why oh why God have you allowed this again.

 

In my hermitage in silence I heard Jesus from the Cross

Enough is enough learn from me

Violence isn’t the way so pledge your life to my way

Forgive those who hurt you and let Mercy flow.

 

Oh this journey that I’m still on

Has taught me and moved me

To become a better person

To become an instrument of mercy and of love that wins.

 

I know I have work to do to become who I am called to be

I know now more than ever that forgiveness is the key

For holding on to hate and grudges only delays my movement

The steps away from the world into the Kingdom of Love.

 

Deacon Randy Clement

 

 

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Tears and Clouds

Tears and Clouds

Pieta in the Mediation Chapel at The Grotto is a National Catholic Shrine dedicated to Mary, Our Sorrowful Mother, which is a ministry of The Servite Friars – Order of Friar Servants of Mary. Photo (c) 2016 all rights reserved John M.Kingery

Pieta in the Mediation Chapel at The Grotto is a National Catholic Shrine dedicated to Mary, Our Sorrowful Mother, which is a ministry of The Servite Friars – Order of Friar Servants of Mary.
Photo (c) 2016 all rights reserved John M.Kingery

I am weeping, my wife weeps, and our nation weeps at the murders in Baton Rouge, St. Anthony and Dallas.  God is gathering those tears and those tears will return.

“For there will be a sowing of peace.  Do not be fear; let your hands be strong.”  Zechariah 12:12-13

Out of Darkness (c) 2016 all rights John M. Kinger

Out of Darkness (c) 2016 all rights John M. Kingery

Wear black today.  Know that peace will return.  We are called to sow peace with love, truth, justice and freedom.  Help me this day to show love.  Reach out to someone.  Through the darkness, we will pass.

Cloud of Witnesses (dog wood tree) - (c) 2016 all rights John M. Kingery

Cloud of Witnesses (dog wood tree) – (c) 2016 all rights John M. Kingery

Let us be a cloud of witnesses to peace!

Amen

John

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