Like a Child From the Womb


 I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
         And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
         I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
         The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
         Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
         And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
         I arise and unbuild it again.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley from “The Cloud”
This has been a week of cloudy images — some light and carefree,
some heavy laden and threatening,
some brilliant, some not so much~~
some lying face down in the water on a Turkish beach,
it seems at a glance almost as if napping, but this sleep is forever.
This has been a week of the world slapped to its senses
to witness children dying trying to escape war and evil —
this is nothing new in the history of humanity.
We kill our unborn children every day in our own private wars
that we justify without guilt or regret.

Now confronted by images of dead children while eating breakfast,
this one boy out of thousands dead made millions cry cloudy with the shame of it,
so many tears falling like raindrops soaking deep on holy ground,
ground we must share with the poor and oppressed,
ground we no longer can hoard.

These images change from one moment to the next,
birthing life, taking life,
a child in the womb to ghost in the tomb,
lying drowned on a beach
we come undone,
we unbuild the walls we hide behind.

Solidarity and Silence



We hear so much today of the word solidarity. It has become a part of our vocabulary in the past twenty or thirty years. Today our solidarity with brothers and sisters of our faith, and of other faiths, in a part of the world where there is clearly an effort to eliminate them is something that we simply cannot in conscience ignore.

Often we are asked: “How was it possible that in human history atrocities occur?” They occur for two reasons: because there are those prepared to commit them, and then there are those who remain silent. And the actions in Iraq and in Syria today are happening to women, children, men—their displacement not the least. Things happening to them is something that we really are not free to ignore, and sometimes all we have to raise is our voice. . . .

I ask myself: Where are these voices? Where the voices of parliaments and congresses? Where are the voices of campuses? Where are the voices of community leaders? . . . Why a silence?
~Cardinal Donald Wuerl at the 2014 convocation at the Catholic University of America


“Silence in the face of evil,” he said, “is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer