Sunday, March 30, 2014

Join the Franciscan Brothers Minor in Their Talk on Living the Life of Poverty, April 5

     Come join us on April 5th at The Lamb Catholic Worker, 531 Brookside Drive, for a humble dinner and talk on "Living the Life of Poverty" given by the Franciscan Brothers Minor.  RSVP for planning, please.  Reservations are not required though, and dinner will be at 5:30, not 5:00 - correction from "Happenings" in the Catholic Times.  Brother Chrispin will lead the talk on "Living the Life of Poverty."
      Also, celebrate with us our new ministry of lunches for family breadwinners who live in the two major East side trailor parks.  Sr. Nary of the Missionary Servants of the Word gives Bible studies in both parks, and now she has something else to offer as well, along with us.  Our hope is to go to most of these Bible studies to learn Spanish and to get to know the Hispanic communities in these.  Hopefully this trust and relationship will flower and we will have communication available for those being battered and abused, if this happens.  If you would like to help or donate just email us at:  Celebrate with us over 19,000 viewers on this site.  All of you, please pray for us!

Walk the Stations of the Cross with Jesus on Good Friday

The Lamb Catholic Worker, Columbus, Ohio
     Lucky for we Christ the King parishioners, Deacon Pete leads a varying and exquisite meditation of the Stations of the Cross every Friday of Lent.  If you have never done this, or are not Catholic, it is one of the most powerful and life-changing prayers possible.  We at the Lamb Catholic Worker encourage all Christ-followers to find a great publication as a tool to undergoing this most profound "pilgrimage" on Good Friday.  Be sure to include in this Good Friday pilgrimage the first day of the (9 day) novena toward the Feast of Divine Mercy, the Sunday after Easter!
     The traditional 14 Stations of the Cross are as follows (and you can typically find them along the walls of any Catholic Church):
1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus takes His cross
3. Jesus falls the first time
4. Jesus meets His mother
5. Simon helps Jesus carry the cross
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7. Jesus falls the second time
8. Jesus speaks with the women 
9. Jesus Falls the third time
10. Jesus is stripped of His clothing
11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
12. Jesus dies on the cross
13. Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in the arms of His mother
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb
     My favorite so far is a new publication, "The Challenge of the Cross," by Alfred McBride, O.PRAEM., by St. Anthony Messenger Press, Cincinnati, Ohio.  Here are excerpts from some of the stations to give you a sense of this beautiful meditation.  All the words are quotes, and those in quotation marks are from Scripture, quoted from this book as well.
     Jesus is Condemned to Death - They spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head (Matthew 27:3).  When I look at the unfair judgments endured by Jesus... I think of the judgments I have made ... I mistreat innocent people and sometimes, sadly, those closest to me.  I rush to judgment when patience is needed.  Even my own relationship with Jesus is marred by unjust thoughts... I need spiritual purification. I have also been hurt by false judgments made against me.  I have survived, but always need spiritual purification.  Standing beside Jesus when He bore my sinfulness  in silence, I experience a mix of regrets and a power flowing from Him into my soul.... I excuse myself too easily, forgive me, Lord. 
Jesus Takes the Cross - Jesus often spoke of the cross.  In effect He said, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24).  What He preached, he practiced.  St. Paul writes: "He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8). St. Paul often preached the cross, as he does again to the Corinthians: "When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom.  For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)... like St. Paul's advice about our crosses: "I appeal to you ... to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God" (Romans 12:1).  Facing my pain, disappointments, losses, betrayals, dreams unattained, I need to live my own version of Christ's Passion.  St. Paul says, "I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:12-13).  I do not suffer alone.  Jesus is with me in those who stand by my side.
Jesus Falls the First Time - "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16). Jesus is now on His journey to Calvary.  In stumbling and falling, He identifies with our difficulties in reaching our destiny... "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).  I won't forget that Jesus arose after each fall.  He is my secret power to do so.
Jesus Meets His Mother - Mary and Jesus exchange glances of forgiveness to those who created their sorrow, I see too that neither Mary nor Jesus shows the least sign of resentment or bitterness.  Both display mercy as the true road to the future.. Mercy is just what I want and need to give others... Lord, don't let Your love grow cold in me because of hurts I feel.  Jesus, help me give true love to those who harmed me... Through meditating on the gentleness of Your humanity, may I expand my capacity to love.
Simon Helps Carry the Cross - Simon would be the first man to carry the cross of Jesus, who had taught, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; ... for my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:29-30)... I know times when I have been asked to give care to a loved one, a neighbor, a coworker, a stranger.  This role of caregiver can drain me in many ways -- straining my finances, patience, time, and energy.  I find sometimes that I want to say "no" when asked to give care, but soon I say "yes," [like Simon] and get on with doing what is needed.  I try to see the image of Simon .. [who] made it possible for Jesus to accomplish the final act of salvation at Calvary... Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galations 6:2)... Lord, give me the courage to be a caregiver.  Jesus, show me the wisdom of the cross in being a caregiver... Lord, I pray for the graces I need to serve the poor, the hungry, the naked, the sick, the elderly, the dying.  Open me to accept the challenges of the cross You wish me to carry.  Forgive me for my reluctance to bear your cross. Grant me the joy that comes from loving service to You in the needs of others.
Jesus Falls a Second Time - I am slow to recognize Jesus' humility in becoming human, so see Him in the midst of His self-emptying.  In our natural world, what goes up must come down.  In our supernatural world, what does down [humility] should go up... Jesus fell and got up for me.  I know love made Him do this.  Infinite love will do the unthinkable... That's why He experienced falls -- so that He could win for my my risings to carry on with my life... May I see in Your falls Your willingness to endure more self-emptying, even to the end of this life.  Open my eyes of faith and help me to identify the love that made it possible for you to rise after every fall.
Jesus Speaks with the Daughters of Jerusalem - "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children" (Luke 23:27-28). As always, Jesus thinks of others before His own needs.  He worries about the future of these women and their children. 
Jesus Falls the Third Time - "We boast of our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope" (St. Paul to the Romans 5:3-4).  Paul did endure, as he later wrote, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).  In heading for His destiny, Jesus encountered a devastating fall that challenged Him to rise and move on... I remember Christ's last thrust to Calvary when the apostle James wrote, "My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance" (James 1:2-3).  I tend to focus on the pain and find it difficult to notice the joy that James mentions.  I pray that I may imitate the attitude of Peter and his companions who faced persecution joyfully for proclaiming Christ.  Having just been flogged, "as they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name [of Jesus]" (Acts 5:41)... St. Gregory of Nyssa: "We must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, ... imitating His passion by our sufferings, and honoring His blood by shedding our own.  We must be ready to be crucified."
Jesus is Stripped of His Clothing - ... Now He identified with the poorest of the poor who barely have anything to wear.  His self-emptying reached yet another level as human beings tried to rob Him of His last shred of dignity... He is vulnerable, a word taken from the Latin vulnus, meaning "wound"... Why does Jesus allow Himself to be so vulnerable?  Because He intends to heal the hurters. I often strike back with insults, betrayals, and slights.  When I hurt Christ, He forgets the wounds and tries to heal me, the hurter.  To Jesus the real wound is in the one inflicting the pain.  Jesus assumes the difficulties of the hurter and offers healing by the therapy of forgiveness and love... Jesus welcomes me as a sinner into the chambers of His heart and lets me thrash about with my unruly passions.  Then He offers me the love that would cure me of irrational evil... Jesus was not completely silent [" a sheep lead before the shearers silent" (Isaiah 53:5,7)], that He spoke a few words: "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34)... For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corrinthians 1:18)... Lord, teach us the wisdom you witnessed as a wounded healer... for the gift of healing those who hurt me, Lord hear my prayer.  For the wisdom to love my enemies, Lord hear my prayer.  For the courage not to strike back when I am wounded, Lord hear my prayer... Lord, engrave on my heart the promise of happiness so I may live the words of Jesus, "Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven" (Matthew 5:11-12).
Jesus is Nailed to the Cross - To think of the pain caused by the nails in Christ's hands and feet is almost too much to bear... Poor, sick, oppressed, and crushed people find comfort in the Passion of Christ... I hear and sing of the Passion of Jesus in the spirituals of the African slaves.  The pain of Christ symbolized the slaves' own sufferings. Jesus could understand their despised condition in an unfriendly and inhuman world...They were there with Jesus.  The slaves sang, "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?  They sang their own reply, "Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble"... The most distant object I can see on a clear day is the sun.  But on a dark night I can see the stars millions of miles farther away.  Darkness has its spiritual value.  I think of that in my own times of trouble, when I tremble, tremble, tremble... I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)... Let us pray to meet the challenge of the cross. Lord, deepen my faith in the power of the cross in my life...for patience in times of personal pain..
Jesus Dies on the Cross - As the ninth hour approached on Good Friday afternoon, the sacrifice of the Passover lambs at the Temple concluded.  The high priest in Hebrew said,"Kalah" ("It is finished."). At that moment, Jesus the Lamb of God, said, "Kalah" ("It is finished") (John 19:30a). Jesus bowed His head and rested it on the cross.  A  great silence enfolded that moment, the silence of the Lamb of God.  In His death Jesus completed the perfect sacrifice needed for the forgiveness of all the sins of those who repent and seek His divine mercy.... When I think of Christ's death, I linger on my own future death.  I will not be able to choose the time and place of my death, but I can choose my way of life... My death will ratify the kind of life I have lived and the choices I have made.  If I have lived with love, that is how I shall die.  If not, that will be a tragedy.  As He was dying, Jesus gave His life calmly and lovingly to God, for that was how He lived.  He didn't leave any money.  He left an incomparable testament: divine mercy, future life, and sustaining hope... For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps ... When he was abused, He did not return abuse; when He suffered, He did not threaten;... He himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:21, 23-24).
Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross (and layed in the arms of His mother) - He placed a grown man in a woman's lap [we cannot picture the sword to Mary's heart as she holds her baby boy for the last time, seeing and touching up close, the immensity of His suffering that took place right before her eyes]. Blessed John XXIII [formerly Pope John XIII] was fond of quoting an old Italian proverb, "Sotto la neve c'e il pane" ("Beneath the snow there is bread").  Rural wisdom remembers that the seed under the winter snow will rise in the springtime.  Blessed John XXIII applied the saying to those overwhelmed by sorrow and unable to see beyond the pain. Using his picture I see the snow.  I do not see the bread of love growing quietly underneath the white blanket... For the gift of consoling those who mourn lost ones, Lord hear our prayer... Console me when I will need to grieve the death of a loved one while I retain belief in eternal life.

Two other great Stations of the Cross meditation publications are:  "The Franciscan Way of the Cross," by Teresa V. Baker, S.F.O., St. Anthony Messenger Press, and "Mary's Way of the Cross" by Richard G. Furey, C.Ss.R., Twenty-Third Publications.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

One Cannot Choose Life or Death for Another

By Monica Siemer, The Lamb Catholic Worker, Columbus, Ohio
     How pro-life is the Catholic Worker?  There are very few groups, even religious groups, who uphold the absolute and unequivocal sacredness  of all human life and lives - of all people everywhere, all the time, in every situation, even in the womb -as the multitude of Catholic Workers  from around the world. We believe unequivocally that all people, no matter how small, are sacred,  "made in God's own image and likeness," as Scripture tells us, having the "indelible stamp of the Creator" on each and every one, according to Pope Benedict Emeritus.  Celebrate with us over 18,000 viewers on this Catholic Worker website, sharing the same vision.
     Translated, this means that we are committed to never ever putting ourselves in any position to kill one other sacred human life, whether through abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, severe economic exploitation of the world's poorest and war.
     Dorothy Day put it most eloquently when she simply stated: "No one has the right to choose the life or death for another person."  It also follows from the Old Testament reiteration that God alone is the sole author of life and death, not us.  We usurp His supreme role and take matters into our own hands in any of these situations, deciding the very life or death of another person.
      It is a concept "so old it is new," going back to the first 300 years of the Catholic Church, particularly on not killing sacred human life in the Early Church's staunch stance on pacifism.  Peter Maurin wanted to originally call the Catholic Worker the Catholic Radical, because "radical" means going back to one's roots.  Dorothy wanted to name it after St. Joseph the Worker, and so it was.  Pope Francis has also repeatedly spurred all Christ followers in the world to become radical, to stir things up as Christ did, where there is complacency, where there is suffering and darkness, especially at the hands of others. His words on peace, on the preferential option for the poor, on the forgotten, and on being a great light to the world remind of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. Thank you, Pope Francis!

Monica and sisters: Lisa Evans + Maria Horn

Monica with son Josh

Monica's nieces and nephews: Joseph Horn, Maria Evans, Jotham Allwein, Josh

Monica's Nieces Maria Evans and Dorothy Allwein

Monica's nephews Jotham Allwein and Tom Horn (with Josh)

      This was the first time I marched in almost 30 years at this witness for life, and seeing at least 200,000-225,000 people based on the MLK 25th reunion and other large marches in which I participated.  The procession alone at the Shrine of the Immaulate Conception was over 40 minutes long of Cardinals, bishops, priests, and seminarians, with many many religious orders represented.  Every nook and cranny floor space was filled with mostly young people on fire for the Lord and strongly desiring to stand up for this injustice against our unborn fellow citizens. 
     Most moving were the brave, teary-eyed groups with signs that said, "I regret my abortion," and "I am an abortion survivor."
     Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen of the Americas and of the Unborn, please, please intercede for us!  Here are the walls of the side chapel at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. where Dorothy Day poured her heart out to our Blessed Mother to help her know the way God had in mind for direct service to the poor and marginalized.  Peter Maurin was on her doorstep on returning to New York.  Intercede for us, please, Our Dear Mother!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Way of the Lamb

   The Way of The Lamb

The Official Online Newsletter of The Lamb Catholic Worker in Columbus, Ohio                   Winter 2013-14  Issue 2

"We need to bring beauty into the midst of ugliness.  It honors and glorifies God to see such beauty from the dung heaps of a slum."   - Dorothy Day
"We have a 'rule of life' that is easy to follow, provided we listen to the wise counsel of such people as St. Teresa [of Avila] and St. Francis [de Sales].  St. Teresa understood that weariness of the soul.  St. Francis tells us to be gentle with ourselves." - Dorothy Day
Happenings of the Lamb  
        We, at The Lamb Catholic Worker are in a stage of expectant waiting, at one with this advent season encloaked in dark, cold days and nights, yearnings, restlessness, hopefulness.  We seem to take two steps forward and one step back; yet, slowly, steadily fulfilling Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin's vision of a Catholic Worker community here in Columbus mainly for battered women and children of foreign descent.  Our vision has widened two-fold into both the inner-city houses of hospitality with city gardens for the poor, as well as a farm to help support these houses of hospitality (and to possibly provide hospitality to a family here and there who need greater concealment).  Peter, with his "French peasant farming roots," emphasized this agrarian aspect, as has Msgr. Marv Mottet, our spiritual and community director from Iowa, who is also from French farming roots (French parents who were farmers in Iowa).  The good Lord even honored that in Peter by bringing him to his heavenly home forever on the feast of St. Isidore, patron of farmers.  
       This grand vision of ours has gained only one small donation outside of each others' to begin; yet, we wait in eager anticipation for funds, more workers in the field, and support for this valuable service to our city and community! We have flung seeds far and wide, by the grace of God and the intercession of Mother Mary, putting our first fall hard copy newsletter or an announcement into the hands of over 12,000 church-going Catholics through parish bulletins in the Columbus area, and have contacted all of the Cleveland diocesan priests, and some in the Philadelphia diocese, to get them into theirs as well.  Besides carefully placing these seeds, we are patiently giving them time to rest, germinate, and take root. We are encouraged by Fr. McSorley's St. Francis song he constantly sang with his eukele in the D.C. Catholic Worker houses: 
"If you wish to live life freely,
take your time, go slowly.
Do few things but do them well,
simple joys are holy.
Day by day,
stone by stone,
build your secret slowly.
Day by day,
you'll grow too,
you'll know heaven's glory."
We do not worry about our effectiveness, about outcome, all those trappings of modern society that are deemed measures of success, but only doing the Will of the Father.  His will alone is our delight.  And so, 
"Those that sow in tears
will reap with cries of joy.
Those who go forth weeping,
carrying sacks of seed,
Will return with cries of joy,
carrying their bundled sheaves."  (Psalm 126:5-6)
        Two more analogies of this waiting, wanting, advent stage of our community are the compost heap during winter, and the chrysalis.  We still trudge through the snow to the compost heap behind the garage - a giant pile of fall leaves, old weeds, fruit and vegetable fragments, eggshells, coffee grinds, pine needles, and the like, with a thick, snowy, icy roof over it.  We lift the top of a corner of the pile with a pitch fork, throw the new materials in, and put it back.  Some organic changes are happening, but we have them in place for enormous changes when the weather warms.  We cheerfully continue to work with it, knowing it will greatly enhance the soils in the gardens of fruits, vegetables and flowers.  Come Spring, all will explode with robust life - in full color and glory, reflecting the Creator and His wishes and Will. So, we await Spring's coming as we do our Savior's coming, and as we do the full birthing of this Catholic Worker.  The shortest day of the year, Dec. 21, will then begin to turn the tide toward more and more light, warmth, growth, and fulfillment of His designs.

       The other analogy within each one of us, is that of the chrysalis (or butterfly cocoon).  It appears dead - still, non-moving, dark inside.  Drastic changes are miraculously taking place though, in this full metamorphosis into a new creature.  Such a changing within can only occur by drawing in with the Creator, long spells of time in Eucharistic Adoration with our Lord and changer of hearts and souls. We are trying greatly to do this more and more, even in our busy schedules, with Christ as our role model.  Before beginning His public ministry, even He had to withdraw to the desert for 40 days to wrestle with His demons, to sort out all in His mind before the great leap.  For us, this silence with Him, paradoxically, creates more restlessness to hear His voice, the voice of our Beloved, to be a person after His own heart, like St. John of the Cross; and to let down our defenses and walls to allow Him to come to us and love us.
     Peter Maurin, was in this restless, prayerful state for more than 7 years, grasping the poetry welling up in his heart, getting down scribbles on paper of his "Easy Essays" that he knew would one day fully flower if he could find the right person.  This was all until he could not be contained in his chrysalis any longer - bursting forth to find that person to help begin all this.  He wandered from place to place as the ideas and spirituality germinated, talking to every person put into his path by the Holy Spirit.  He did not give up.  Finally, he met that special person in Dorothy Day.  Msgr. Mottet always said that if/when Dorothy Day is be canonized, Peter should be alongside her. She always said that Peter was the true founder of the Catholic Worker Movement.  This is coming, and we believe, our Catholic Worker houses of hospitality and farm are coming (16,000 hits online).  We wait in joyful hope.  
        We also await the humble, glorious coming of a fragile, vulnerable, helpless newborn once again, to save us.  Our community is in its infancy, and seeing that the Lord and Savior of the world began his earthly presence in so delicate and precarious a state gives us much hope!  Come Lord Jesus.  He speaks most tenderly to a waiting, expectant heart, and so, we encourage all of you to get to Eucharistic Adoration often this holy season.  Have that date with Jesus often.  We are too blessed to be stressed, and all other details truly do not matter as much.  Also, make 2014 be the year that you fully become a daily communicant, even if it means getting up very, very early (and with little sleep the night before). Seek out your Lover in the early morning.  Jesus constantly woke up before dawn to be one with the Father.  My role model is a mother at St. Catherine's who has rarely missed with many toddlers, young children, and babies in tow (and pregnant many of those times).  Yes, she has had to constantly deal with their antics throughout mass and up the communion line, but that never stopped her drive to be one with her Lover. It continues to be a fabulous role model for all of her children, also modeled so well by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin.  Whatever you desire for your adult children to do one day, do it yourself right now.  Your Father in heaven wants it for all his adult children who have access to churches.  He multiplies time, then, in your given day, helping you complete all that you should while eliminating the rest.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES!         PRAY FOR US AS WE DO FOR YOU!  Our model is very similar to a religious order - in our level of prayer commitment, of promises to poverty, chastity, obedience (to a Catholic Worker Rule), and to upholding the sacredness of all human life; and in our seeking to fully live together in community when we can get the properties.  Of course at the heart is hospitality to mostly Hispanic and Somali (yet others as well) battered women and children. It is distinct from a volunteer program in this manner - it is a commitment to community in regards to our time, talent, treasure, and being together. It is not to the level of the Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans, nor even the Jesuit Volunteer Corps or the Peace Corps, but we are stumbling along, hopefully according to the Will of the Father for this mission. Please, please pray for us!  Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin, Mother Mary, and St. Joseph continue to intercede for us!  
"Be sure to draw on his strength, his gentleness, and his patience -- because you will need it.  And remember: not only are you called to be patient with people but also with the Shepherd, who takes no shortcuts.  He has a perfect plan, and he will accomplish it in his own time." (Word Among Us, Dec. 10, 2013).

Do Not Click on "Posts (atom)" or "Older Posts" as Subtitles; Tell Others

THE LAMB CATHOLIC WORKER - Please tell new people to by-pass the "feeds" called "Older Posts" and "Posts (atom)" that are choices before getting on this website.  AFTER getting into the site, and scrolling down articles, THEN push "Older Blogs" to see the 35+ articles. Explain to others to simply type the subject, " The Lamb Catholic Worker," then choose the subject-looking or title-looking, "The Lamb Catholic Worker," again.  Please, especially if you are clergy or from a religious order, pray for us, and help spread the word about this critical mission mainly for battered women and children of foreign descent here in Columbus. We cannot do it without your prayers and support.   Thanks.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saved By Beauty, A Spiritual Journey With Dorothy Day

     THE LAMB CATHOLIC WORKER, Columbus - This vibrant and vivid picture book (2012, World Library Publications) is written and illustrated by artist, Michael O'Neill McGrath and covers the life of Dorothy Day in a manner that even adults would greatly enjoy.  It truly emits a saving effect through its own beauty, in addition to the exquisite beauty and witness of Dorothy Day's life.  Her life was indeed like that of a Dominican, Franciscan, Carmelite, Peace Corps or Jesuit Volunteer Corps workers, seminary teacher or student, and convent teacher or student.  Who knows?  Perhaps there will someday be a Catholic Worker order!
       Thanks to Austin Schaefer, OSU campus minister, for this author-signed gift to the Lamb Catholic Worker! Below is a glimpse of the pictures. The many quotes from Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin, and the saints are just as amazing as the pictures.

     Our site has reached 15,000 viewers worldwide!  Thank you, Father, and thank you Dorothy Day for your intercessory prayers!  Keep interceding for Hana's continued miraculous healing from metastasized breast cancer into the brain, liver, and spine.  We so desire for you to be acknowledged as a saint by the Catholic Church and thus, your work with and devotion to the most vulnerable poor, acknowledged and honored.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Jesuit Roots and Franciscan Spirituality: Pope Francis Decries Current Economic Policies That Exploit the Poorest Worldwide

THE LAMB CATHOLIC WORKER, Columbus - Excerpts from the article: "Pope Francis Denounces ‘Trickle-Down’ Economics" by Aaron Blake, Washington Post / November 26

Pope Francis has released a moving teaching about evangelizing the world, written in a conversational manner, unlike other official Church teachings.  Most notable though, is his sharply worded take on the pitfalls of runaway capitalism in regards to it's impact on and treatment to the world's most vulnerable poor. In terms of the marginalized, he criticizes economic policies in no uncertain terms, in addition to greed in other forms such as consumerism.  Pray for him as he is under attack by those such as Rush Limbaugh who called him a Marxist.  As Dom Helder Camara, another prophetic archbishop from Latin America, famously observed, "When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist." 

In the first lengthy writing of his papacy — also known as an "apostolic exhortation" — Francis says such economic theories naively rely on the goodness of those in charge and create a "tyranny" of the markets.

"In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories
which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will
inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness
in the world," the pope wrote. "This opinion, which has never been
confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the
goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized
workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded
are still waiting."

Here are more excerpts from our beloved Pope Francis.


52. In our time humanity is experiencing a turning-point in its
history, as we can see from the advances being made in so many fields.
We can only praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare
in areas such as health care, education and communications. At the
same time we have to remember that the majority of our contemporaries
are barely living from day to day, with dire consequences. A number of
diseases are spreading. The hearts of many people are gripped by fear
and desperation, even in the so-called rich countries. The joy of
living frequently fades, lack of respect for others and violence are
on the rise, and inequality is increasingly evident. It is a struggle
to live and, often, to live with precious little dignity. This epochal
change has been set in motion by the enormous qualitative,
quantitative, rapid and cumulative advances occurring in the sciences
and in technology, and by their instant application in different areas
of nature and of life. We are in an age of knowledge and information,
which has led to new and often anonymous kinds of power.

No to an economy of exclusion

53. Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit
in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to
say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such
an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an
elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the
stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we
continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are
starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under
the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the
powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people
find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without
possibilities, without any means of escape.

Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and
then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now
spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression,
but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means
to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no
longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised –
they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the
“exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”

54. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down
theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free
market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and
inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been
confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the
goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized
workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded
are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to
sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of
indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end
up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor,
weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as
though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.
The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market
offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those
lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail
to move us.

No to the new idolatry of money

55. One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with
money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our
societies. The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact
that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the
primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of
the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and
ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an
impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis
affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and,
above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced
to one of his needs alone: consumption

56. While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too
is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by
those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which
defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial
speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged
with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A
new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which
unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and
the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to
realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from
enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add
widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken
on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no
limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands
in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the
environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market,
which become the only rule.

No to a financial system which rules rather than serves
57. Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection
of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision.
It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and
power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it condemns the
manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, ethics leads to
a God who calls for a committed response which is outside of the
categories of the marketplace. When these latter are absolutized, God
can only be seen as uncontrollable, unmanageable, even dangerous,
since he calls human beings to their full realization and to freedom
from all forms of enslavement. Ethics – a non-ideological ethics –
would make it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social
order. With this in mind, I encourage financial experts and political
leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: “Not to
share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take
away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but

58. A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would
require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political
leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an
eye to the future, while not ignoring, of course, the specifics of
each case. Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich
and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all
that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to
generous solidarity and a return of economics and finance to an
ethical approach which favors human beings.

No to the inequality which spawns violence

59. Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But
until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples is
reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and
the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal
opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find
a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society –
whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of
itself on the fringes, no political program or resources spent on law
enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee
tranquility. This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a
violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the
socioeconomic system is unjust at its root. Just as goodness tends to
spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand
its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and
social system, no matter how solid it may appear. If every action has
its consequences, an evil embedded in the structures of a society has
a constant potential for disintegration and death. It is evil
crystallized in unjust social structures, which cannot be the basis of
hope for a better future. We are far from the so-called “end of
history”, since the conditions for a sustainable and peaceful
development have not yet been adequately articulated and realized.

60. Today’s economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it
is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves
doubly damaging to the social fabric. Inequality eventually engenders
a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to
resolve. This serves only to offer false hopes to those clamoring for
heightened security, even though nowadays we know that weapons and
violence, rather than providing solutions, create new and more serious
conflicts. Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and
the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in
unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an
“education” that would tranquilize them, making them tame and
harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized
in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in
many countries – in their governments, businesses and institutions –
whatever the political ideology of their leaders.

{Read the full text of Pope Francis' Evangelii Gaudium}