A very brief reflection this weekend……We already have so much to think about.

In 1975 the Catholic bishops from across 13 states issued a remarkable pastoral letter: “This Land is Home to Me.” It touched me back then and still does today. The letter was written in a free-verse poetic style.

Although the focus in 1975 was overcoming the economic hardship and political powerlessness of the people of Appalachia, it still speaks to all of us in 2020.

The concluding lines of the letter ring so true, in our days of pandemic health crises and socio-political disorder and conflict. They are a reminder of what we are really about. A reminder that living together and working together bring hope and healing.


Dear sisters and brothers,

we urge all of you

to be a part of the rebirth of utopias,

not to stop living,

to recover and defend the struggling dream.

For it is the weak things of this world

which seem like folly,

that the Spirit takes up

and makes its own.

The dream of the mountains’ struggle,

the dream of simplicity

and of justice,

like so many other repressed visions

is, we believe,

the voice of Yahweh among us.

In taking them up,

hopefully the Church

might once again

be known as

– a center of the Spirit,

– a place where poetry dares to speak,

– where the song reigns unchallenged,

– where art flourishes,

– where nature is welcome,

– where little people and little needs

come first,

– where justice speaks loudly,

– where in a wilderness of idolatrous

destruction the great voice of God still cries

out for Life.

8 thoughts on “THERE IS HOPE

  1. Love that last paragraph, but there’s a long way to go for that hopeful desire to become reality.

    Despite stirings of hope through the election of Pope Francis, there’s still too much clericalism; too many man-made rules (with the emphasis on MAN-made); too much traditionalism which only looks back to the C19 rather than the first 100 years of the ‘church’ or forward into the different ways of ‘being Church’ in the C21; lack of real deep engagement with youth – the present and future of the Church (rather than the present and past); not enough learning from and borrowing from monastic and other spiritual ways of being down at Parish levels; lack of embrace of movements such as Charismatic Renwal or Chemin Neuf in ‘high’ places; too little freedom of speech and expression of thoughts without sanction; a view of the earth and creation as only there for subjugation and exploitation by men; lack of understanding of the inter-connectedness of all life forms; lack of understanding of our planet’s complex processes and the delicacy of the current balance; too much fear of and active opposition to change (as Francis is finding out)…

    Hey ho, who knows, the Holy Spirit moves in mysterious ways, so maybe there will be miracles and that hopeful vision becomes our reality.

    1. I agree with your assessment actually but do see hope in reform Christian movements like women priests……I don’t expect big changes from Rome.

  2. A truly inspiring and uplifting message so badly needed now!! Thank you for raising my spirit today.

  3. Jack, these beautiful words speak for themselves. Thank you for being the channel.

  4. Thank you, Jack. It’s easy to lose the vision. Thanks for putting it, once again, before our eyes! I so appreciate that. It is the role of the prophet to do so. We struggle on, even with our small hands, to help bring that vision into being.

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