Friday, February 09, 2007

From Algiers to Managua

Just watched The Battle of Algiers, the landmark 1966 Italian-Algerian film about FLN terror and French counter-terror; many lessons about liberation struggles, the limitations of counter-insurgency, and the present fiasco in Iraq. Innocents suffer on both sides.

On Wednesday morning I leave for Nicaragua for 10 days - and I'm not sure what I will be like when I return from my first exposure to pervasive poverty (in inner-city ministry I have had lots of experience with poverty, but nothing on the scale of Nicaragua, the second-poorest country in the Americas). How will I be transformed? Will I simply be angry? Will I be evangelized to be a power for justice? Check back in late February.

Friday, February 02, 2007


February 2 is Candlemas in the old Christian calendar, as well as Groundhog Day and Imbolg in Celtic spirituality. I haven't blogged for a while, but I've been thinking about the spectrum that has charity on one end and justice on the other, and how to invite people to move along the spectrum. It's like the story about a town on a river, and suddenly babies begin washing up on the banks of the river. The townspeople begin saving the babies. More babies wash up, and eventually institutions grow up, dedicated to saving, sheltering and raising the babies. But no one in the town ever asks where the babies are coming from.