When I was a young boy, I was certain that when I grew up I would either be the LA Dodgers centerfielder, or President of the United States. Not once did I entertain the thought of running a Soup Kitchen... In the Third Grade, though, I did answer the question posed by the teacher, "When you grow up, what do you want to be?" with "I want to be a minister..." I suppose that would have been after, or in addition to, centerfield and the Presidency...
Murder Most Foul, Bob Dylan's epic song about the killing of President John Kennedy in 1963, is also about the spiritual vacuum that has overtaken both the United States and the Western world... adding up the political murders, the "average" murders, the mass shootings, along with the rise of mind-numbing extremist rhetoric and the Trump-seduction of millions of "marginal" Christians, and you've got clear evidence of a nation on steep descent: to what?
Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. would have made a great team in the White House in 1968... But what I want to know -- and even more to hear -- from anyone: where goes wisdom?
What we really need is a resurgence of interest in the wisdom of compassion, of the common good, and of the spirit of national (and international) cooperation... Only a heart-mind that has been broken open by wisdom can offer a vision sufficient for these times in which we live... Wisdom, (surely you know the difference between it and propaganda?), will emphasize the ways of unity and common ground, will disturb the comfortable sleep of the tired with examples of possibility and opportunity: not just for consumption or wealth, but for the lasting values of community service and creative endeavors, and will challenge the spiritually dead with a new life of building the earth for our children and grandchildren: because every child deserves a world that is worthy of them!
Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement with Dorothy Day, wrote in one of his Easy Essays...
"I want a change,
and a radical change.
I want a change
from an acquisitive society
to a functional society,
from a society of go-getters
to a society of go-givers."
Coming across an issue of The Catholic Worker revolutionized my life: the Gospel was, in precious fact, possible! St. Francis was more than a bum-on-the-loose for comfortable Catholics to put in their gardens: Mother Mary was not a dominated, blonde-blue-eyed, American middle-class woman... she was Strong, she was Bold, and she was Prophetic, and in a way not yet understood, Cosmic: faith is the certainty that the shit will always hit the fan, but that we can anticipate popcorn to result... That is exactly what happened in our Soup Kitchen... everyday, as a matter of fact...
And it could happen everywhere and at anytime!