A Catholic Renewal

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"Se, jag gör allting nytt..." (Upp 21:5)

fredag, maj 30, 2008
Being compassion as opposed to talking about it
Jag bad Br. Yossi att berätta lite om de hemlösa han möter i Chicago. Han har medverkat till att starta ett projekt kallat Open Cathedral - Öppen Katedral alltså. Hans text nedan finns även delvis publicerad på deras hemsida.

Jag skulle vilja se något liknande katolskt initiativ även för Sveriges hemlösa... Några som är intresserade av att starta upp det?


When Rabbi Jesus spoke to people, he was totally present to them, radiating love and compassion as if the person into whose eyes he looked was the only person in the world at that holy moment. We can do no less.
Too many of us simply walk past those without domicile, or, if we do stop to give money, we fail to make any real human contact; we avoid touching or making eye contact, for that might just be too real.

When asking someone if they'd like a bottle of water and a sandwich, the ministry to BE compassion simply happens. When the drink and food is offered and a warm word, a meeting of the eyes, the souls, happens. Communion takes place.

The one doing the preaching is Jerry standing on the corner holding a cup asking for money, singing his heart out, who hugs us because we stop and talk with love. It's Henderson who's got a name, an indentity, and is proud to share that, with a handshake. Ralph's raw honesty in wanting a beer, but who takes the sandwich and water, later walking by, saying thank you, and patting Mary Ann+'s shoulder; it's the homeless Muslim woman and her child sitting in the drenching humidity, simply asking for help. They are all God speaking to us and changing us!
This is why we're here. This is Open Cathedral.

Why do we do this?

This is a moral imperative; it's our spiritual heritage. Deuteronomy 16:20 states emphatically: "Justice, justice shalt thou pursue." Jesus calls those who walk The Way to BE the Good News and live the corporal and spiritual works of mercy without litmus tests.

This ministry is, likewise, about honoring people as the unique expressions of God they are. A handshake, a pat on the back, a look straight in the eyes, a sandwich, a drink of water, some gloves and a hat or some socks all help to restore some sense of dignity to our brother or sister. Perhaps in this brief moment or two, he or she realizes his or her own inherent dignity. It is a namaste moment; a thin place, a moment when God becomes even more conscious of God; it is communion.

Doing ministry together does not require the exact same beliefs. It does, however, require a commitment to service, treating the homeless as persons who need our help.

Brother Yossi, Joyful Heart Hermitage, Chicago
Co-Founder, Open Cathedral

Open Cathedral is a ministry of presence, not a place. We welcome those who are physically and spiritually homeless, on their own terms, with compassion and open hearts. We are here for those for whom religion as usual leaves one seeking more. We welcome ALL; we are Open Cathedral.

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postat av Charlotte Therese Björnström @ 12:26  
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    "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (okänd källa)

    "Where there is no love, put love and gather love."  Johannes av Korset

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Copyright: Charlotte Thérèse, 2007

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