What Comes? What Gives?
How can we mark the period of Aug. 6-9 in mourning for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki and nuclear weapons programming? To begin with, let us remember what is at stake: “One of the great temptations of our age is to view the world and its people and problems as complicated abstractions, remote from our lived daily experiences.”
Patrick McCarthy in “Sharing the Burdens” The Roundtable, Winter 1998
If abstraction requires the anecdote of daily kindnesses and deliberate sacrifices, so the rebuke of temptation requires mindfulness of our friends waging peace. I have received several letters from prisoners of conscience that I will share in the coming days. Maybe one way to mark this period in vigil is to sit with the words of these peacemakers and in our prayer keep them in view. As we feel moved, our community can offer observations of hope in response. For:
“We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other. We know Him in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread…” Dorothy Day.
This first is from Mark Kenney, serving six months beginning 4/27/11 found guilty of trespass at Offutt AFB, home of the Strategic Command, 8/9/10.
Thanks so much for writing and sending the beautiful card. It is almost a year since our action in Omaha last august 9th.
I have plenty of time to pray and fast here. I certainly will be praying for folks gathering at OFFUTT Aug (6-9). I am more than happy to include you in those prayers.
As far as feeling like having “Diseased attachments” and having a heart divided, well, that is truly all of our situation as followers of Christ on earth.
Amazingly enough, Jesus has such confidence in us, to be “wheat among the weeds”; to be non-materialistic among capitalists; to be non-violent among militarists; to be citizens of the kingdom of heaven amidst secular patriotism.
We/I fail over and over in our attempts to live up to the wonderful expectations our Lord has for us.
Fortunately, God is merciful, as we are to be merciful to each other. Jesus knew how incredibly difficult this would be. I beli[e]ve we have to be incredibly forgiving and much more greatful to each other in our weaknesses. For it is the meek who truly inherit the earth. It is truly the poor in spirit who have access to the kingdom of Heaven, we must be forgiving of others over and over. We must allow God to forgive us as we forgive others.
As Pope Benedict XVI express in his book Jesus of Nazareth; “the presence of Christ makes all the difference”. (I may be paraphrasing a bit here).
Peter Maurin always held, that the social teaching of the Church needed to be unleashed. Dorothy Day showed us how to express the heart of the Church through u[n]relenting hospitality.
Maybe you, Chris, can help the Church, the body of Christ; us, bear it’s very soul, by showing us how to be more merciful to each other amidst this terrible canondrum of choices life presents to us.
Sorry, I get a little preachy sometimes. Prison is a wonderful place to pray, reflect, and try to practice what we like to preach.
I wish you and all the folks at the White Rose Catholic Worker all the best. Enjoy the farm. I like to visit the Strangers and Guest Catholic Worker farm in Maloy, IA.
In Christ’s Peace
In Christ’s Solidarity,
Mark Kenney Reg #: 14018-047
Federal Prison Camp
P.O. Box 1000
Duluth, Minnesota 55814