Hold It All

Tag: José María Vigil

Concentration Is Consecration

Sri Eknath Easwaran distinguishes two kinds of spiritual reading: that of instruction and that of inspiration.  Simone Weil’s book, Waiting for God, is an example of the latter, as  it is fecund with material for examining one’s life and path. Reading her brought to mind  the  Buddhists Thich  Nhat Hanh and Chan Khong, Hindu Sri Anandamayi Ma,  and  Catholics Dom Pedro Casaldáliga and José María Vigil who espoused “political holiness.” Her essay “Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God” is superb.

I offer a short selection  in what follows…

Method of investigation— as soon as one has arrived at any position, try to find in what sense the contrary is true.

Except for those whose whole soul is inhabited by Christ, everybody despises the afflicted to some extent, although practically no one is conscious of it.  

I love the saints through their writings and what is told of their lives … I love the six or seven Catholics of genuine spirituality whom chance has led me to meet in the course of my life. I love the Catholic liturgy, hymns, architecture, rites and ceremonies.

I fell in love with Saint Francis of Assisi as soon as I came to know about him. Read the rest of this entry »

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Not So Random Entries, Commonplace Moleskine/9

400.  If a man reads a book because it interests him and reads in all directions for the same reason, his reading is pure and interests me.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

500.  The poor play a crucial role in the world. They are the ones who really tell us what the world is.
–Pedro Casaldáliga and Jose-Maria Vigil

600. Military occupation is taken as an acceptable given and is scarcely mentioned; Palestinian terrorism becomes the cause, not the effect, of violence, even though one side possesses a modern military arsenal (unconditionally supplied by the United States), the other is stateless, virtually defenseless, savagely persecuted at will, and herded inside 160 little cantons, schools closed, life made impossible.
–Edward Said Read the rest of this entry »

Gospel Subversive

Even when they call us mad,
When they call us subversives and communists
And all the epithets they put on us,
We know that we only preach
The subversive witness of the Beatitudes,
Which have turned everything upside down
To proclaim blessed the poor,
Blessed the thirsting for justice,
Blessed the suffering. [1]

–Oscar Romero

In his introduction to All Saints, a daily, Catholic and catholic guide to traditional and contemporary saints, Robert Ellsberg acknowledges, “I can truthfully say of my own life that I have learned far less about the gospel from studying theology than I have from the lives of holy people. In part this reflects the narrative structure of the Christian gospel. The truths of Christianity are verified in living witness rather than in logical syllogisms.”[2]

Of course, that narrative structure deals principally with having a passion for the Reign of God and facing the inevitable consequences of conflict with and persecution by the reigning powers.In recent decades, some sectors of the Christian churches have lived out that very narrative with both courage and fidelity amid incredible horrors, often sponsored by the U.S. government.

One of the most famous exemplars this of compromismo, or commitment, is El Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated after three years of ever-growing solidarity with the poor majority of his country. Read the rest of this entry »