Hold It All

Month: December, 2014

Happy New Year from Wendy Lee in China

Couldn’t think of a better way to spend the last day of 2014, rafting down the Yulong river in complete solitude. First time ever ringing in the new year alone. Instead of feeling lonely, I’m filled with immense gratitude. Look forward to becoming the better version of myself in 2015. Happy New Year, my loves! — at Yulong River,  at Yángshuó, China


Wendy River



Remember This

Bella Levenshteyn

It’s never too late to read Amos
To live Amos

Here in these United States of Havoc
Where we manufacture the bullets & bombs & fighter jets

That are distributed all over the planet
Daily delivering death to people

For whom we are have so little curiosity
For whom we are have so little compassion

Meet me in the park, soon…


–from novel-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

The Way of the World/2

In 1974 Rabbi Yitz Greenberg averred
No statement theological or otherwise

Is credible unless it’s credible
In the presence of burning children

The U.S. government cares passionately
Rhetorically about the burning children

Victimized by our enemies
And cares not one whit

For the white phosphorussed children
Of Gaza and Fallujah

–from novel-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

Irving Greenberg, “Cloud of Smoke, Pillar of Fire : Judaism, Christianity, and Modernity after the Holocaust,” in Auschwitz, Beginning of a New Era? : Reflections on the Holocaust : Papers Given at the International Symposium on the Holocaust, held at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York City, June 3 to 6, 1974, edited by Eva Fleischner.

Extra Credit

When you arrive early to the classroom
Sit down get settled

Turn off your cell phone put it away
Take refuge in conscious breathing:

“Breathing in, I am calm.
Breathing out, I smile.”

Look with serene appreciation
On your classmates Read the rest of this entry »

The Work Is Never Done

Dear Abbie and Liz,

Given your love for theology, I thought I’d share the following reflections on someone you should at least be acquainted with.  His name is Helder Camara, former archbishop of Recife, Brazil (1909-1999).  I know  you’ve heard of an archbishop from El Salvador, Oscar Romero.  Many of us in the U.S.  know of his martyrdom, courage, and deep option for the poor of El Salvador.  The main difference between Romero and Camara is that the latter wasn’t assassinated. He lived a long life, although he was persona non grata in Brazil for many years such that people were forbidden—on radio, in newspaper, on television—to even mention his name. Read the rest of this entry »

Nota Bene

Bartolomé de las Casas
Woke up

Daniel Ellsberg
Woke up

Oscar Romero
Woke up

Bella Levenshteyn
How shall we wake up?

–from novel-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

A Course on Thomas Merton with Patrick Cousins

Thomas Merton is perhaps the single most important American Catholic writer of the 20th century, and his writings continue to remain startlingly relevant today. In this course, we will read and discuss a broad sample of essays, poems, and letters from across his corpus of work. Classes will meet Tuesdays from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the Eckelkamp Center for Campus Ministry on SLU’s campus on the following dates: 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/1.

Suggested donation: $10/class, $60 for all 8 classes.

Contact Patrick Cousins at pcousin1@slu.edu for more information.

Patrick Cousins

How Offended the Bourgeoisie Were after the Revolution

As an example of bourgeois mentality: some aunts of his wife (otherwise excellent ladies) when the Revolution began to nationalize the private clubs, came home telling about the countless indignities that they had to endure in the club and that it was full of workers: and they said workers with horror, with a tone that implied wild beasts.

Father Ernesto Cardenal, In Cuba

Share the Wealth: Love and Other Lessons Learned from Ecuador

From July 2013 to August 2014, Chelsea Jaeger was a volunteer in the Rostro de Cristo program, living in intentional community with six other volunteers near Guayaquil, Ecuador. As a group and as individuals, they tried to live out the values of simplicity, hospitality, spirituality, community, and service while accompanying the people of Mount Sinai in a ministry of presence. Come and listen to the snapshots she shares from her year, through the selected writings of her personal journal. Together we will encounter moments of sadness and joy, anger and acceptance, loss and love.
Read the rest of this entry »

The Way of the World

Our friends organized a potluck dinner
A small gathering to welcome back Rebecca

Who’d been in Uganda for ten months
Doing therapy and social work

With scores of people
Who had survived the civil war

(In the 80s she worked
With Guatemala refugees

In the 90s she spent
Hundreds of hours with the Bosnians

In the 00s she was well acquainted
With the people who had fled Afghanistan) Read the rest of this entry »