Love is a Verb – An Easter Story

My conversion to Catholicism required two years of study and
meditation.

I was six months into my study when my mentor (catechist) gave
me a crucifix to take home and hang on a wall.

He asked me to meditate on the crucifix an hour each evening for
a week.

At the end of the week we met.

The Vocations Director from the Conventional Order of St. Francis
joined us.

I was a deeply committed and my mentor felt I had a vocation.

The exercise was a test of my vocation.

My mentor asked what I thought the crucifix meant.

I replied that it symbolized the best of human nature, tortured and
executed by the worst of human nature:

“The crucifix is a symbol of the struggle to transcend the beast, which is not an external force, but a force within each of us. It causes a spiritual death that God wants us to transcend by treating other people with the compassion we would under their circumstances. It’s not as simple as giving to charity. We must ask ourselves how we want other people to treat us if we are hungry, lonely, grieving, or incarcerated. We must love the other as we love ourselves.”

With this answer, and a few written tests, I was accepted as a novitiate into the Conventual Order of St Francis of Assisi.

I planned to enter the friary as a Novitiate upon my baptism to continue the process of discernment.

I’ve never understood the kind of Christian who revises the Gospel to comport with a political point of view.

To me, this is spiritual death.

The reason I didn’t  enter the Order is a topic for a different post.

Wanted Poster by Art Young -
Wanted Poster by Art Young

One does not have to be Christian, or believe in God to grasp the meaning of the story of Christ and learn from it.

The most powerful force in creation chose a lowly birth among the lowliest people in the Roman Empire.

This story of how God chose to incarnate is the central point of the Gospel, the Good News.

The good news is this: God loves all of His Creation regardless of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or class; His Creation belongs to His Creation, all of it.

Lethal Medical Neglect
                    Discharged with Walker

“God’s heart has a special place for the poor, so much so that he himself “became poor” (2 Cor 8:9). The entire history of our redemption is marked by the presence of the poor. Salvation came to us from the “yes” uttered by a lowly maiden from a small town on the fringes of a great empire. The Saviour was born in a manger, in the midst of animals, like children of poor families; he was presented at the Temple along with two turtledoves, the offering made by those who could not afford a lamb (cf. Lk 2:24; Lev 5:7); he was raised in a home of ordinary workers and worked with his own hands to earn his bread.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 197)

 

Lethal Medical Neglect
                         Urban Renewal

“In this context we can understand Jesus’ command to his disciples: “You yourselves give them something to eat!” (Mk 6:37): it means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter. The word “solidarity” is a little worn and at times poorly understood, but it refers to something more than a few sporadic acts of generosity.”  (Evangelii Gaudium, 187)

 

Lethal Neglect
                              Red Soles

Let no one consider themselves to be the “armour” of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression! May no one use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against the fundamental rights of every man and woman, above all, the right to life and the right of everyone to religious freedom!

Pope Francis Sunday, 21 September 2014

Un Angelo

Love like a signal you call
Touching my body my soul
Bring to me, you to meet me here
Home be the temple of your heart
Home be the body of your love
Just like Holy water to my lips
Hey

Yes I do know how I survive
Yes I do know why I’m alive
To love and be with you
Day by day by day by day

 

 Happy Easter!

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Democracy

 

A section of wall mural depicting two men planting a seedling.
The Human Spirit

Democracy is not achieving perfection, it is about striving for it.
Rob Goldstein 2016

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The Ripple Effect

A million scary bugs hide in the cracks of these walls.

They wait in the dark and when they think that I’m asleep

they drop into bed.

The scariest bugs are mosquito hawks; they have wings as
sharp as knives.

I pull the blanket over his my head and dream about angels.

They are naked and very pretty

Their nakedness makes me tingle

Dad says the angels tingle like that too.

Suddenly a spider as big as a hand lands on my bed!

But Dad says hush now and think about heaven.

Image and text Rob Goldstein (c) 2017 all rights reserved

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