Next to Trump, Irish PM Delivers Powerful Speech Praising Immigrants, US Legacy as a Refuge

A great tribute to immigrants and especially those Irish immigrants who were my ancestors.


Irish leader Enda Kenny praised the economic, social, political, and cultural contributions of Irish immigrants at a St. Patrick’s Day event, while standing next to President Donald Trump today. He also pointed to the United States’ historic role for those facing oppression and hunger, “We believed in the shelter of America, and the compassion of America, and the opportunity of America. We came, and we became Americans.” Without mentioning the anti-immigrant policies of the Trump presidency, the contrast was clear and the message was powerful:

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Peacemakers among us

Publicly resisting evil and making peace in the world are at the heart of every authentic spirituality. Unfortunately, few of us make the critical connection between the spiritual life on the one hand, and war, poverty and nuclear weapons on the other. Most of us disconnect our private spiritual experience from “the real world” of business, electoral politics, bombing raids, and “national security.” Perhaps we do not want to cause trouble, divide our congregations, or risk the charge of being unpatriotic. Yet, without realizing it, our passivity and silence in the face of global violence renounces the prophetic witness of the nonviolent Jesus. Rather than align ourselves with God’s reign of justice and peace, we opt for the status quo of war and global injustice.” – John Dear

Yesterday on my way home from Binghamton, New York I stopped at Mount Saviour Monastery near Corning, New York. I hadn’t been to the monastery in a couple of years. I discovered that in that time there had been quite a few changes in the brothers who live there. Some of the community that were there for my last visit have gone to their eternal reward. Despite that they have grown to a community of twelve. Yesterday, I was greeted by Brother Justin when I entered the gift shop. We had a nice visit and while I was there I purchased “Peacework”  by Henri Nouwen who is one of my favorite authors. The quote at the top of this post is taken from the Foreword of the book. Besides the book I purchased some honey which is a product of the apiary at Mount Saviour. I also got a couple packages of Dark Chocolate Biscotti which is made at the Abbey of the Genesee. One package for me and another for a friend. Stopping at quiet places like Mount Saviour are restorative.

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A blessing indeed

Original BlessingOriginal Blessing by Matthew Fox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An incredibly insightful book. This is a remarkable work and one that should leave the reader asking many questions about why the message of Jesus was hijacked by those who decided instead to follow Augustine. This is one of the best books I’ve read recently. Original Blessing is a blessing to read.

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Coming home

It’s been a great two days of retreat at Mt. Irenaeus. I needed to get some time alone with nature. I live a good life and have a lot of contentment, but there is something special about coming here to a place that is so peaceful. There are less distractions here. A walk in the woods and only the sound of a gentle breeze, leaves underfoot and an occasional cracking tree branch. I’ve spent two days and soon two nights here. Time in the chapel and walking upon well worn paths are very settling. I tried something new today using Facebook Live to share a contemplative walk on the land.  I was able to share the quiet with some friends and I hope it will cause them to spend some time mindfully walking on their own. It has been a several years since I’ve spent this much time here. There are many good memories and it’s always a homecoming. I’m grateful to have been able to take some time apart and be able to bring the fruit of this to my daily life. Peace.

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The Women of Color Who Put Us On the Moon

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space RaceHidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great read. Engaging and overlooked story which has recently been made into a motion picture. This is America at it’s greatest and a wonderful story of how women of color surmounted impossible odds to become engineers and leaders in the space race.

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Feeding yourself while feeding others

Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the DeadJesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead by Sara Miles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Couldn’t put it down. It’s an incredibly well written book. I read her first book and was familiar with her. I also volunteer in a soup kitchen and a food pantry and have lived some of the same journey that she shared. I too see Jesus in the people we serve. Like Sara both the pantry and the soup kitchen are like church. They are definitely a community and they are a huge part of my life. I like Sara too because she is unorthodox and she brings a welcome freshness to holiness and what it means to be holy while remaining wholly human.

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