The Golden Rule, Remix

What does this deep retelling of the Golden Rule mean to you? How do you do it? How would our world be different if we all lived by these words?

I shape my heart like that of others that I meet, and theirs like mine.
— St. Teresa of Avila
 One white flower on my blue hydrangea bush.

One white flower on my blue hydrangea bush.

Taught by Student

One of my Catholic Biblical School students wrote this on her homework. Brilliant!

I want to be priest, prophet, and king — not judge, jury, and executioner.
— April Brilvitch
  Christus  by Giovanni Meschini, goache-painted pochoir print (Courtesy Sacred Art Pilgrim)

Christus by Giovanni Meschini, goache-painted pochoir print (Courtesy Sacred Art Pilgrim)

Some Lenten Levity, Courtesy Dorothy Day

In honor of Laetare Sunday (“Rejoice Sunday,” marking roughly our halfway mark through Lent), I thought I’d share a story with quasi-Lenten undertones (that’s a stretch) that made me laugh out loud.

It’s from a wonderful book put together by Rosalie G. Riegle entitled Dorothy Day: Portraits by Those Who Knew Her.  The book is full of impressions, stories and memories about the real Dorothy Day from a wide survey of people who knew her in all sorts of capacities throughout her life.  

A little background on this particular story – apparently Dorothy was known for disliking contemporary music!  Rosalie narrates with the help of longtime Catholic Worker Brian Terrell:

“Often the young [Catholic] Workers would ‘have a hard time understanding the grumbling of their elder leader as an expression of love,’ as Brian Terrell says. ‘For all its craziness, the Worker is a family, and in families it often happens that the elders complain about…the younger generation.’ Brian tells a generational story about Dorothy coming upon some young people at work in Maryhouse and listening to the Carly Simon song ‘I Haven’t Got Time for the Pain.’ Dorothy shook her cane at them and said, ‘You’ve always got to have time for the pain.’”

Dorothy Day! When I'm old enough to shake my cane at people, may God grant me your panache!

 I doubt Dorothy ever shook her cane at these four whipper-snappers: Ralph DiGia, Dan Berrigan, Chris Kearns, and Tom Cornell. Photo courtesy of  Jim Forest’s online photo album .  Click on the picture to visit Jim’s “Dorothy Day” album.

I doubt Dorothy ever shook her cane at these four whipper-snappers: Ralph DiGia, Dan Berrigan, Chris Kearns, and Tom Cornell. Photo courtesy of Jim Forest’s online photo album.  Click on the picture to visit Jim’s “Dorothy Day” album.

Family Ain't Easy

The gritty but beautiful words from Pope Francis below remind me of something Mother Teresa used to say – that it’s easier to feed a hungry stranger than to love the hurting person inside your own home.  How we take each other for granted in the family!  How we don’t take the time.  How we mess up.  But how we keep trying!

When I read these words I feel the way I imagine I might have felt if Jesus was preaching to me – upbraided but inspired – put in my place but not ashamed – aware of my shortcomings but excited about changing. 

May God grant us “tired faces from generous giving” in our families!

It is true that living in a family is not always easy, and can often be painful and stressful but, as I have often said referring to the Church, I prefer a wounded family that makes daily efforts to put love into play, to a society that is sick from isolationism and habitually afraid of love. I prefer a family that makes repeated efforts to begin again, to a society that is narcissistic and obsessed with luxury and comfort. I prefer a family with tired faces from generous giving, to faces with makeup that know nothing of tenderness and compassion.
— Pope Francis, Address to Families in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico, Feb. 2016
 Pope Francis has his own world-wide family that creates its own challenges.  Remember this little guy?

Pope Francis has his own world-wide family that creates its own challenges.  Remember this little guy?

He Also Bled Here

Christ comes to dwell among us.
This earth has borne His imprint and we walk on it.
Each step of ours an adventure in faith, love, hope.
How can we not love this earth upon which He walked?
How can we not get from it the strength that the imprints of His feet left there?
Because, you know, His footsteps are still in its dust,
and His blood is still mixed with it.
— Servant of God Catherine Doherty

This quote was shared with me by Scott Eagan of Madonna House, Combermere, Ontario.