Reconciliation

sister hatred
glaring
at ha-satan.
a single
assassin
screaming:

take the cotton
out of your
hearts.

Lenten Reflection:

If you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:23-24

Thoughts:

These words from Jesus are frightening.  Reconcile before offering gifts to God.  I have so many things I want to give to God!  How can I possibly reconcile with the world first?  My brother is more than the physical person, Tim, on the east coast.  My brother is you, is Pat Robertson, is Jim Wallis, is children in Uganda, is the elderly man in Iran, is the mountains, the trees, the blades of grass.  Dear God, this job is too big.  But if we are to take Jesus' words seriously, we must be doing the active work of reconciliation with our brother.  I think my head just exploded. 

And the poetry draws on popular imagery of lone bombers destroying self and others.  We say that religious ideology creates this.  But what really creates this is the lack of voice that we have given to the marginalized.  People who are reconciled and in relationship with self, others, and the world, do not do this.  Reconciliation is not a one way process.  As the lone bomber would engage us before he gets to this point, we must be willing to engage.  Dialogue.  Reconciliation.  Ha-Satan means "the accuser" or "the adversary."  Puts a whole new spin on "Satan" doesn't it? 

St. Benedict tells us to "Listen with the ear of your heart."  In order to listen, we need to clean our ears and remove the cotton.

3 comments

  1. Arius said on February 28, 2010
    As in the words of Robert Ingersoll: Restitution without repentance is far better than repentance without restitution. Nice post.
  2. kolembo said on February 7, 2011
    Fantastic! Tell me about it. My life is all in balance, all running well except this one thing with my sister. Running. I left it well the last time, and swore to stay away but Christmas, and into it again. This time I'm like, I can't keep doing this...I CAN'T! It's hardening. And there I was at church, Sunday, giving and receiving communion. seventy times seven. I can't, dear God. This was just great.
    1. Terri said on February 7, 2011
      Maybe alone we can't, but together we can. It is hardening and disenheartening. You have my empathy.

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