Christmas 2014 greetings

Christmas 2014 greetings

i Dec 24th by

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 Thank you!

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ADVENT – This Present Time in History

i Dec 21st by

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.


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. © 2012.

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Human Rights Day – 2014 Hero- Sandra Steingraber

i Dec 11th by


“I’m not giving up on you!”

Are the final words I heard from Sandra Steingraber on my favorite listener supported radio station, WBAI 99.5 FM, out of New York City.  WBAI is also online, no commercials or corporate funding, just us listeners.

She is referring to what we need to do for the future of our earth and children, not give in to helplessness, and work with all our hearts and talents toward the better world that our best nature desires and knows is possible.  Her scientific background makes her totally credible.  Like it or not, we are each asked to join this primary work of our lifetime, the timebound struggle to  heal the earth before we hit a bomb after which everything is irreversibly changed.

Sandra is likened to Rachel Carson  in her scientific knowhow and passionate commitment.

She is an environmental warrior mother who just spent a time in jail for protest against fracking in the NY Fingerlakes.

The healing of the earth is a human rights commitment essential for survival of life in a livable form.

I googled to find her website and there found a second way to access the show under Media.

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Martyr Women – El Salvador – December 2,1980

i Dec 2nd by


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.

Un earthing 4 victims

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 Contact page.  No copyright! Use as you wish.                                                                      

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