Come, Holy Spirit!

Holy_Spirit_as_Dove_(detail)

Come, Holy Spirit!  Welcome, Pentacost.

Editor’s Note:  In celebration of today, our blogpost offers a guest reflection by Deacon Doug Cook.  Deacon Doug is Spiritual Director of Cursillo for the Diocese of Orange, California:

This weekend we celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the Church.

Last weekend we commemorated the Ascension: Jesus returning to heaven “to prepare a place” for us. It is a message of hope that sometimes overshadows what Jesus tells the disciples right before being taken up: “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).  That commission is meant for us now as well as for the disciples.

Now that Jesus has ascended, we are his body upon earth.  It is not enough to believe in, love, and worship him privately.  We can almost hear him say, “That’s great that you love me.  Now go do something about it.”

What does it look like to live this commission?  It means a commitment to work for justice in our parish, local, national and global communities even when doing so forces us to face our prejudices.  It also means diverting hard-earned income away from our own enjoyment in order to support those who work directly with the destitute, the homeless, the sick, the imprisoned, and the refugee.

We are made in the image and likeness of God, who is love.  He showed the depth of his love by making a gift of his Son on the cross.  He has commissioned us to go and bear much fruit.

Remember your clausura; “Christ is Counting on You”!

De Colores, Deacon Doug
Spring 2015

(Note:  posted with permission from “Deacon’s Beacon,” Cursillo, Diocese of Orange)

Posted in Faith, Life & Relationships | Comments Off on Come, Holy Spirit!

Memorial Day: “Earn This”

 

In honor of Memorial Day today–remembering all who have risked their lives for our freedoms.

In gratitude, and reflecting on what we can do with gratitude–here is a re-posting of favorite thoughts on this topic.

May everything we do, reflect purpose and gratitude. Enjoy!

Posted in Faith, Life & Relationships, Social Justice/Current Issues | Comments Off on Memorial Day: “Earn This”

After Good Friday…Comes Mercy

A local gathering place draws families from several different cultures and ethnic backgrounds.  Overheard:

“Sandra”:  “Don’t you know why school will be closed today?  It’s Good Friday!”

“Rita”:  “Big Friday?”

“Sandra”:  “Nooo, Good Friday!”

“Rita”:  “Why isn’t it Great Friday?”

I’d have to agree with “Rita” on that one.  And actually, it is.  Reflecting on the solemnity of today and Jesus’ complete, assented sacrifice for us, it’s hard not to get stuck considering our sins that nailed Him to the cross.

This is where the hope of mercy comes in.  Actually, “Divine Mercy” and the joy of Jesus’ resurrection (which we celebrate days from now as Easter Sunday)–complete, unconditional love, and a limitless ocean of mercy available to us all.

Today I attended Stations of the Cross at Christ Cathedral, accompanied by friends of another Christian tradition. At their prayer service tonight, they will literally nail their sins to a cross–physical surrender and a way to etch action into memory.

Interested in hearing more about love and hope?  Check out these favorite offerings.

Happy Holy Week!

 

 

 

Posted in Faith | Comments Off on After Good Friday…Comes Mercy

Happy Birthday Cesar Chavez!

CesarandJuan

 

In remembrance of today’s birthday of Cesar Chavez, a beloved champion for human rights, I’m re-posting a favorite reflection written by Fr. Juan Romero.

 

Fr. Romero himself is a passionate advocate for the rights of the poor and under-served.  What an honor to serve together with Cesar, and help move forward all he believed in.

May we each be inspired by causes that capture our hearts, and work to live out our passion toward good in the world!

(*photo courtesy of Victor Aleman)

Posted in Faith, Social Justice/Current Issues | Comments Off on Happy Birthday Cesar Chavez!

“John Schools”: Addressing the ‘Demand’ Side of Sex Trafficking

Editor’s Note:

Today, July 4th, is Independence Day.  What perfect timing to share great news from one of my treasured colleagues in the human trafficking field! Kathi Hardy is the Founder/Executive Director of Freedom From Exploitation (FFE), a nonprofit organization based in San Diego, California.

Kathi has a strong record working with at-risk youth on the streets, those pulled from the streets, and/or placed in juvenile detention facilities.  Her efforts seek to assess their needs, prevent, and help heal, sexual exploitation they may have experienced in their young lives.  This includes CSEC (commercial sexual exploitation of children, or human trafficking of minors).

How can human trafficking exist without the demand for it? On the topic of sex trafficking, Kathi also seeks to address this. In collaboration with local law enforcement and supporting agencies, she has been an integral part of creating and implementing one of the California’s first “john schools.” Recently, CBS-TV8 ran coverage on this work.

With congratulations to Kathi, I’m re-printing her recent post below, along with the newslink.  May the world someday be truly free of addictions, temptations and decisions that create the demand to treat other human beings to be bought and sold. 

Kathi Hardy, Founder, Freedom From Exploitation:
“One of the projects I do in my spare time is participate in the Prostitution Impact Panel through the San Diego City Attorney’s office. This addresses the ‘Demand’ side of prostitution and human trafficking. We have been in existance since 2001 and have seen, at the last recidivism study – 808 men, with a 3.5% recidivism rate. That would be 27 out of 808 have re-offended and they were found to be pedofiles, rapists and violent sexual predators who are now incarcerated for their crimes. The other 781 got a clue and have not done this again, or have not been caught in our area since.
Thank you for allowing me to be of service to my community.” 

Please click the CBS-8 News Video Below:

John School Offers First-Time Offenders a Second Chance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Human Trafficking | Comments Off on “John Schools”: Addressing the ‘Demand’ Side of Sex Trafficking