Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!

If Jesus truly is the reason for this season, then we should find this time of year the best to reflect on our place as members of the Body of Christ, our individual communities, and as citizens. Feliz Navidad. ______ "I fear that this tragedy [9/11] will pave the way for needless and provocative military buildups and interventions that will spawn further spirals of vengeance. Already, the Bush administration is using the crisis as an excuse to despoil the environment, lavishly subsidize wealthy corporate backers, and erode the very liberties that let us challenge destructive actions of state. "But it doesn’t have to be this way. Imagine if these terrible events inspired us all to take on the difficult work of creating a more just world, and making the necessary common investments so indiscriminate violence and needless suffering do not prevail. "The crisis has already produced a wealth of individual acts of courage and compassion. We saw tremendous heroism among the firefighters, police officers, and ordinary citizens who gave their lives trying to help others live. We’ve seen an outpouring of personal generosity: people giving blood, comforting their neighbors, collecting supplies. American Christians and Jews have held vigils to help protect threatened mosques, and a Jewish family volunteered to walk with a Muslim woman who felt threatened just stepping outside. We still feel a bit like common mourners: beneath the jingoism, people have seemed a bit more careful, vulnerable, and kind to each other. These events just might be able to break us away from our gated communities of the heart. "But by itself, individual compassion won’t create a just world. To do that requires asking what common choices would respect the humanity of all human beings—and then working to make those choices a reality. "This means acting in common, raising our voices, continuing to speak out no matter how hard it becomes. ... We need to act with enough faith and strength to keep on raising the difficult questions, demanding paths that are both just and wise." --Paul Rogat Loeb, "Breaking the Cycles of Vengeance," in: From The Ashes: A Spiritual Response to the attack on America (Rodale Press, Oct 2001)


Post a Comment

<< Home