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March 02, 2022


An intensely moving post; and I thank you for that. Yet there are times when, in the quiet times of meditation, I feel the darkness closing in, and how my spiritual life seems to be so superfluous in the face of the 'out there.' We learn to cope when life gets progressively bad, unless we are prepared to face up to inner reality. But events are moving too destructively and quickly in Ukraine. I am so tired of hand-wringing and the West's self-congratulatory stance.
You say that 'change starts with me,' and I wholeheartedly agree with you. But the change is too slow. Whilst we must make the effort to start the ball rolling, it is in the gift of God (however you interpret that word) to bring about that change. Sorry, I can say no more.

There's so much in your post, Beth, and thank you. I have long avoided the Ash Wednesday ritual, viewing my former church's teaching we ought to repent during this period and "offer up" a sacrifice to be the height of hypocrisy, given that its senior clergy was ignoring pervasive abuse, refusing to acknowledge these cases and make restitution.

This week, we are reminded of the terror and price of war; my generation, born after WWII, never saw it firsthand. Individuals and organizations are accelerating aid and acceptance of Ukrainian refugees; I'm not offering it as a counter but to say people are marshalling resources.

Thomas, I agree that starting with the individual is too slow, but I no longer believe in an interventionist God who will suddenly smite down evil if we pray hard enough. Human beings have free will, and they use it for good and for bad. However we can influence that, whatever truth we can say out loud, we must absolutely do. Quietism is not enough.

Duchesse, yes, we agree about the hypocrisy. The Anglican Church has less of a history of sexual abuse, because its priests have always been allowed to marry and it didn't have that same army of supposedly-celibate nuns and monks interacting with children in schools and other institutions. However, here in Canada it was involved in the residential schools and bears responsibility for that. What I was thinking about is more current: the way the Church seldom speaks out about systemic racism and other injustices, doesn't build coalitions or act with one voice, and -- here at least -- uses the secularism of the society as an excuse: "No one will listen to us so what's the point of saying it." What I've seen everywhere I've been a parishioner is a reluctance to offend conservative parts of the congregations. But the truth is the truth, and either we stand for something true, or we don't -- and, funny thing, people actually DO listen when the truth is spoken, and they act on it.

"But, in the end, change still has to start with me, as with each of us, and it needs to come from positive energy, love for others, and passion for shared goals, rather than guilt."

40 days for discernment in the face of perpetual war along with the reality of a peace that passes all understanding.

I feel all this so much. Thanks for putting it into words.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.