I made this painting decades ago,
but published it in the midst of the devastation of Iraq.
For me it expresses 2 sides to the world we are living in – the love of a mother versus heartlessness.
Even in my affluent country there is severe poverty and insecurity.
Here is the poem I wrote.
“And the Word became flesh
and dwells among us”
Our God was born human in a stable, became a refugee to escape death by a ruler,
labored with his hands, was an innocent victim of capital punishment.
Rising from death, He gave his own spirit into our hearts
to love and serve each other as He served and loved us.
May we struggle for world of peace with justice
where the lion and the lamb feed together
and a little child will lead us until
He comes in glory.
Trina Paulus – 2008
Christmas 2014 greetings – nice and short!
May you have that peace the world cannot give today and always.
Much love and HOPE!
This was videoed on iPad in my living room by Mireya Stead and the details added by Scott Scowcroft Scott@thescotttreatment.com Thank you!
Advent means “coming”. For many, this poignant time of waiting and expectation has disolved into a frantic rush. This video, made a few years ago at Grailville, Loveland, Ohio, during its crèche exhibition, expresses a lot about how I feel about this precious season.
Alas, these days I also participate, more than I would like, in the madness of the Christmas commercial season, while still trying to stay in touch with the magnificent readings from Isaiah and sense of quiet expectation and reasonable preparation. This is what the Advent season is meant to help us live.
Liturgically, Advent is a special season to prepare our hearts for the fuller coming of the divine into the earth, in “history, mystery and Majesty”. The Incarnation, enfleshing of God is a critical new step. The readings in our Catholic liturgy for each day, and some fabulous meditations put out by Pax Christi USA, tying this time with the works needed for a just and peaceful world, have helped keep much of this in front of me. As I bustle around, the mystery of “not-yetness”, “pregnancy” and “expectation” of a time when “peace and justice embrace” is still there to the extent I open myself.
I also live in the northern hemisphere where the natural world also celebrates the end of our annual increase of darkness and light begins to grow again. In 2014 the winter solstice is on December 21, 6:03 P.M. if you are in Eastern standard Time. The Christmas date was chosen in Rome as the liturgical year was developed because of the belief, that Jesus is the cosmic Christ, and light of the world. Therefore it seemed appropriate to celebrate his birth in flesh along with the ancient celebration of the new cycle of growing light.
I had the privilege, rare for a young woman outside a convent, to have lived intensely the deep mystery of Advent darkness and longing, in quiet, song, manual work and prayer, while waiting for the natural light to begin to grow again. At Christmas we would then begin this annual celebration of the growing of the light celebrating more and more fully until Epiphany (the manifestation of divinity). That’s what those 12 Days of Christmas are all about, an increasing celebration of the wedding of God with creation and our very flesh.
“A WONDROUS EXCHANGE…”
Thank you David Miller and Loveland Magazine for your kind permission to use this video. You can watch the original on their link as well as here. www.lovelandmagazine.com © 2012.
Clockwise from bottom left: Sister Dorothy Kazel -Ursuline from Cleveland, Maura Clarke & Ita Ford -Maryknoll Sisters, Jean Donovan lay church worker.
Last night I watched the film, “Roses in Winter,” featuring the life of Jean Donovan, a lay church worker murdered with the three nuns on December 2, 1980. It reminded me of how much we have to be willing to give to fully follow Jesus in care for the poor.
Jean Donovan and Sisters Maura Clarke, Ita Ford and Dorothy Kazel were Americans serving the poor, particularly the refugees and children of murdered peasants. Jean explained in a letter to those who wanted her to return home, “They don’t shoot blue-eyed blonde Americans.” But they did. Just weeks before she died she also wrote: “The Peace Corps left today and my heart sank low. The danger is extreme and they were right to leave… Now I must assess my own position, because I am not up for suicide. Several times I have decided to leave El Salvador. I almost could, except for the children, the poor, bruised victims of this insanity. Who would care for them? Whose heart could be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and loneliness? Not mine, dear friend, not mine.” *
This tragedy has always been particularly close to me; Jean studied and worked in Cleveland, my hometown. Dorothy Kazel was a Cleveland Ursuline, the order teaching in my high school, Beaumont. Bill Ford, Ita’s brother, lived in Montclair and continually pushed for resolution to the case along with Ambassador Robert White who protested the cover-up here and in El Salvador.
U.N. Ambassador Jean Kirkpatrick exonerated the government of El Salvador, claiming the nuns were political activists. And, while Google searches refer to the women’s generous giving of themselves, one painful reference reflects attitudes toward almost all working for peace by seeking justice and the poor. Those plainly following in the footsteps of Jesus are called “leftists”, “communists” “Marxists.”
We have since learned that the Salvadoran government was indeed responsible. Yet US military aid multiplied even after these murders, which were not prosecuted for many years. Fear of communism justified terrible violence just as fear of terrorism is justifying today’s perpetual war and violence.
This labeling is on-going. When Pope Francis spoke out against the extreme capitalism which hurts the poor, Rush Limbaugh referred to him as Marxist. I guess this means if you see the poor and the peasants brutally treated and try to change that or stand up for them you’re branded. Trina Paulus
** The Life and Example of Jean Donovan by Rev. John Dear, 12/02/ 2005; accessed online December 9, 2006. St. Peter Claver Church Parishioners for Peace & Justice 12/07/14 Issue 48
We create a Peace and Justice column for our parish bulletin each week. You can subscribe on my www.hopefortheflowers.com Contact page. No copyright! Use as you wish.
I know this sounds like a weird combination, but each has filled my life this past week.
As I pass the single Lily on the living room table the delicious scent of Easter reminds me of this mysterious time of daring to hope. In this northern hemisphere we see signs of crocuses and other portends of spring with new new life breaking through the soil each year. I hear bird songs and wait for the bees and butterflies to bring joy and pollinate the trees, flowers and our food. The days are already growing longer. We trust that eggs will become little birds, that babies will be born, and that there’s a butterfly inside a Caterpillar.
Here is an image you may enjoy
I love this woman, beloved disciple – not wife, but dear friend from all evidence, who stood by the cross and important leader in the early church. She was sent to tell the astounding news of Christ’s rising from death as first born of us all. Click this image below to more clearly read the continuation of the image abvoe.
On the 2nd Sunday of Lent in 1950 I was led with several others up a winding road to the top of the hill where we had a commanding view of the Little Miami River Valley in Foster, Ohio. My heart was full of wonder and connection between nature and our liturgical year.
Such contrast between different ways of being in this world! The results make the distinctions clear, but by the time we pay attention it may be too late to change our habitual way of of thinking and sharing. I hope not, since I’m so often like the 1st tree, the one in the desert, who acts like it can live without water, or find its own source.
I was 18, and eager to be trained to a deeper spiritual life. Not wanting to be a nun, I found a place where this could happen within my Catholic tradition, as a laywoman. I wanted to be effective to help change the world that even in 1950 seem to need a sort of spiritual revolution to transform the materialism that was consuming us after the WWII Western victory in 1945.
On Ash Wednesday, as Lent began, I was privileged to go to a small farm on a very steep hill with a group of 15. On the morning of this 1st Monday of Lent I had the job to feed the male goat and male sheep who grazed alone on the lower hill, segregated substantially from the ewes and nannies on the upper hill.