Tag Archives: God

Paris & Children

Sao Paulo Grouping.
Work can be hard to come by in Sao Paulo. Sometimes it is easier to just hang out on the steps of the Grand Theater.

I believe we are brothers and sisters, all of us, sons and daughters of a loving Father in Heaven.  I have not yet been to every country, but, I have been to every continent. I have found that kindness, love and compassion unite us regardless of political or religious belief. We are, all of us, one family.

Arc de Triomphe
At the tip of the Champs-Élysées, Napoléon’s arch is still the grand entrance to Paris.

So, when events transpire like that which took place in Paris last week, the ground beneath our feet quakes with the shaking of our collective faith. Anger burns, like bile, in the back of our throats and we want to do something, anything to stop the violence.

I acknowledge the existence of evil. There are those who would take without giving, lie without conscience, hurt without reason, compel without care and kill without remorse. Their numbers are growing.

The events of Paris are repeated regularly in places of less visibility, and we do not notice, except when these events touch the outskirts of our neighborhoods or reach the screens of our mobile devices.

Evil thrives when our faith in God and each other is diminished. Mistrust increases when our differences, rather than our similarities are emphasized. Fear takes root when acts of violence claim the lives of our friends and our children.

Fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters give away their rights to make a difference as leaders of small and large countries tell us tales we should not believe. We do not build a better world when we ignore an approaching tsunami of self-interest.

September 11 should remind us of lessons taught, though not yet learned. The same God who made us all will not take from us the agency to choose our own paths. Our condemnation will grow from our reluctance to use this agency to bless the lives of our brothers and sisters. Evil grows in the cracks and crags of our own cowardice when we do not rise up to condemn and combat its growing influence.

Bande Village, DR Congo
The men and children of Bande Village in DR Congo.

And they suffer most who are not able to comprehend a world of cruel intent–the children. Yet, it is in the eyes of the children that I see hope. It is in the hearts of the children that I find love, and compassion, and the courage to be good.

I believe God loves us and that he has a plan for us. For some, this plan includes great deeds. For most of us, this plan includes simple acts of kindness. Wherever and whenever I travel, I see evidence of His plan in the eyes of our children.


Only the Penitent Shall Pass

In Rome, the price of repentance is high. The stones are hard, the hours are long, and the wages are low.

The Price of Penitence
Kneeling in the attitude of penitent prayer, this woman remains still for hours, hoping her prayers will be answered with coins in her cup.

Oh Christmas Tree

The King of Kings was born in a manger some 2000 years ago. On that night, a new star appeared in the heavens. The star gave light to those seeking the Light of the World. From that first Christmas night, lights have been used to symbolize the Christ Child. Sometime during the renaissance, candles were placed on trees at Christmas to symbolize the birth of the Babe in Bethlehem.

Many now bring lighted trees inside their homes during the Christmas season, yet, the purpose and meaning of the lighted symbol has been forgotten or lost entirely. Lights may adorn the festive holiday trees during the Christmas season and then be put away or, eventually burn out completely, yet, the Candle of the Christ Child, the Light of the World still burns brightly.

For those in need, for those who mourn, for those who feel alone, or lost, or forgotten, the Light of the World still shines during this Christmas season and throughout the year. Perhaps the lights of the season, the symbols of Christmas, may remind us of his gift and bring our footsteps closer to him through the kindness of our actions whenever and wherever we may find them still burning.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. –Luke 2:14

Prayers Ascending
The prayers of those in need rise from this tree shaped candelabra at a Catholic Cathedral in Rome.