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On the Road to Peace

Living our theology with Merton's feminine image of God

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My friend Fr. Bill called me a few months ago with great excitement.

“I just finished reading the best book ever about Thomas Merton,” he said. Then my friend Fr. Pat came to visit from Ireland and, one of the first things he said was, “I just finished the best book ever written about Thomas Merton.”

While having breakfast with my friend Trappist Br. Patrick Hart -- who was Merton’s secretary -- at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky recently I asked him about the book.

He didn’t miss a beat. “The best book ever written about Thomas Merton,” Hart said.

The book? Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton by Christopher Pramuk.

An assistant professor of theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Pramuk has broken new ground with this scholarly masterpiece. The book explores Merton’s life and writings through his discovery of Holy Wisdom as a path -- in a time of “unspeakable violence” -- into the mystery of God, and thus the mystery of being human.

A peace movement victory in court

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"Fourteen anti-war activists may have made history today in a Las Vegas courtroom when they turned a misdemeanor trespassing trial into a possible referendum on America's newfound taste for remote-controlled warfare." That's how one Las Vegas newspaper summed up our stunning day in court last Tuesday, Sept. 14, when fourteen of us stood trial for walking on to Creech Air Force Base last year on April 9, 2009 to protest the U.S. drones.

Updated: As we go on trial today for peace witness, join us in prayer

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Editor's Note: Read about the trial here: Drones on trial, and a judge listens

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Today, September 14th, fourteen of us -- including four priests -- stand trial in the state courthouse in Las Vegas, Nev. on charges of criminal trespassing. The government seeks to jail us for walking onto Creech Air Force Base on Holy Thursday last April.

We walked onto the base -- which is about an hour northwest of Las Vegas -- with nothing but a prayer and a call for an end of the U.S. drone fighter bomber program, which is headquartered there. We went to Creech in a spirit of gentleness, but also of protest. It’s time for the U.S. to end its killing of our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

Georgetown welcomes Colombia's Uribe

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Last week some of us learned that Georgetown University has appointed the former president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, to a teaching post at its Walsh School of Foreign Service. Uribe, who is linked to paramilitaries that slaughtered thousands of innocents and who befriended drug traffickers -- bringing them into the political mainstream -- has been named Georgetown's "Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership." He begins work tomorrow, Sept. 8.

The abomination of desolation

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“When you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains …”
(Mk. 13:14; Mt. 24:15; Lk. 21:20)

Often when I ponder the violence of our times, the apocalyptic words of Jesus flood my mind. Here is Jesus, not talking in parable, but about sobering historical reality. He is warning his disciples about Jerusalem’s coming destruction at the hands of the juggernaut Roman army.

Mother Teresa and the U.S.S. Intrepid

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I shouldn’t be surprised; we’re often hit with bizarre news. But doings around Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday takes grotesquery to a new level. Seems there’s a political ruckus in New York City about how to honor her Aug. 26. Anyone with a little sense knows the appropriate thing: reassign funds for war and military recruitment to house the homeless and feed the poor.

This would be especially fitting in Manhattan, because by lifting rent control, the borough has been systematically evicting the poor for years and catering to its growing number of millionaires.

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September 12-25, 2014

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