Saturday, June 15, 2013

Prayer Changes Things

The homes of two members of my singing group, the Song Spinners, which were endangered by the Black Forest wildfire in Colorado Springs, have been spared... at least for this time around.  We had our first performance in ten days last night and it was a welcome release of tension, almost cathartic.

But the home of one of the instrumentalists who plays with my choir at Holy Apostles Church was destroyed.

And in California, a dear friend of mine said good-by to her husband, who passed away yesterday morning.

Some live some die.  Some are happy, some are sad.  Were the two Song Spinners' homes saved because we all prayed?  Or maybe because there was so much positive energy "out on the ether"?  Or was it all just chance?

I believe the God of the Universe cares, or people wouldn't care.  I believe prayer changes things, but is it because God is moved by our fervent requests or because the human spirit is upheld by common agreement?

How can we ever know?  And why does it matter?

When we make First Contact with an intelligent race from another star system, maybe we'll get a clue.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stop [fill in the blank] NOW

Last Sunday, January 13, a man name Joseph (I didn't catch his last name, but he is well-known in our Parish -- my wife and I are fairly new), carrying a sign that says "Stop Abortion NOW", addressed the congregation at the end of Mass.  He told of his civil disobedience in trespassing at a women's health clinic.  He was demonstrating against the clinic because it provides abortions.  He said that he had a court date where he could be sentenced to up to 8 days in jail if he refused to pay his fine, which he does not intend to pay.  The congregation applauded him twice during his speech.
Civil disobedience is a time-honored way to make a point.  We are reminded, this week leading up to Martin Luther King Jr Day, that non-violent civil disobedience is one of the few ways in which people without power can make their voice heard.  Jesus was maybe the first example of non-violent civil disobedience.  Now I am by no means a supporter of abortion on demand, but I am "pro-choice"; I just believe fervently that the choice should be made before intercourse.
No, this piece is not about abortion.  It is in fact about life.
I wonder if a man carried a sign that said "Stop Guns NOW" and "trespassed" at a gun show or in front of Wal*Mart, if he would gain the same support from my fellow parishioners as Joseph does?  I don't think he would.
I find it difficult to believe in the integrity (I'm not referring to Joseph here) of people who claim to be "pro-life" and want to Stop Abortion NOW, but who don't seem to care about the lives of people after they're born. 
It is said that 85% of all children who die by gunfire, die in the United States.  We seem to be the most heavily armed public in the world, including places like Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Why?  Why do Americans worship guns?  I really, really hope our President can get enough sensible people behind him in Congress to make some changes to our gun laws.  And enforce them.