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This is the America most of us long for

There is a true story in the book ”Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed” which relates the efforts of Le Chambon, a small village in occupied France during World War II. Unlike most of Catholic France at the time, it was primarily Huguenots, a Protestant sect. They had a pastor, Andre Trocme, who faithfully preached Jesus’ teaching of love of enemies. So when the SS guard of the Nazi regime set up headquarters in their town, the teaching took on a new challenge. Under the spiritual and practical leadership of Pastor Trocme and his wife Magda, the entire town resisted them nonviolently in hundreds of creative ways. They never raised the Nazi flag in the town. In the same building as the SS guard there was a printing press for forged documents to rescue Jewish people. Over 2,500 Jewish adults and children passed through the town to Sweden. They were housed in the homes of all the people of Le Chambon under the eyes of the Vichy government. One example of resistance was the town’s response to a parade put on by the Germans to honor one of the visiting commandants. No one in the town showed up for the parade. There was a response of silence. This silence had nothing to do with passivity in the face of evil. The people constantly refused to cooperate with their occupiers while doing them no harm. After the war one soldier commented that the conspiracy of goodness in that town paralyzed the Nazis.

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Surprised by joy - a runner's tale

 

Photo: My new home. Note: these are not my running shoes. 

I write to you now from the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Interprovincial Novitiate for the Congregation of Notre Dame de Montreal. Gosh! What a sentence! To catch you up - I had a 3-day prolonged 'goodbye for now' to PEI, overwhelmed by the love and support from family and friends, packed my boxes, drove 13 hours to White Plains, moved into the novitiate, welcomed family members to NY, officially entered as a novice, and a week later am settling into a routine. I will post later about the grace-filled entrance ceremony and the many changes that have happened in only a week, but was struck by beauty yesterday and need to share. 

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Radical Spirit

In this newest book, Sister Joan Chittister is writing about the 12 steps of humility, from the Rule of Saint Benedict. She’s setting forth the wisdom from a life well lived as Joan speaks candidly of her struggle to understand the “old” ways most of us were taught to obey, to be humble. She remains a true and loyal Dominican who has been led by the spirit to see a much broader view of “God’s Will” than she used to have. Sister Joan’s story is one of evolution – she is a life-long learner; she continues to recall and repeat the strong sayings and counsel of her wise mother, and she constantly processes the experiences – chosen or not – that have shaped her and continue to enrich her reflections.

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