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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Father Berrigan

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/05/01/obituaries/01berrigan/01berrigan-master768.jpg
I've been thinking of that Father lately.
I guess we are all connected.
I must have heard him
as he passed by my way.
He was calling to us,
as he was welcomed
into eternity.
 
When people talk about non violent resistance
they are describing paradoxical heroism
Not someone standing on a podium looking brave.
But someone facing real injustice naked and afraid
and offering up themselves as a sacrifice;
to a false god of injustice clothed as justice.
 
The purpose of non violent resistance
is to illustrate the fatal flaw
in this body of rules that styles itself law
to illustrate why unjust laws are unjust
by taking on the consequences and pain.
To take on the pain and suffering
So that others might be spared.
 
He took on that pain
He offered himself up to suffering again and again
To Broken bones, and broken lives,
To incarceration and arrest
To hard time spent in meditation
more isolating than a mountain top.
Facing hatred, fear and being shunned.
 
He broke laws to uphold higher moral laws
Taking on the consequences of his defiance
To Illustrate the awful reality behind the screen.
It takes real courage and sacrifice.
To do the things he did meant paying the cost.
To illustrate injustice clothed in invisible cloth.
Require the courage to walk naked into the abyss.
To take on a pain, as if being stabbed again and again.
To walk in the footprints of and carry a cross.
 
Father Berrigan was a True Christian.
And his memory is a blessing not a loss
 
Daniel Joseph Berrigan, S.J. (May 9, 1921 – April 30, 2016)

Christopher H. Holte 5/1/2016

References
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Berrigan
Defiant was the wrong word for him. [http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/nyregion/daniel-j-berrigan-defiant-priest-who-preached-pacifism-dies-at-94.html]
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/daniel-j-berrigan-pacifist-priest-who-led-antiwar-protests-dies-at-94/2016/04/30/44606680-0f1e-11e6-8ab8-9ad050f76d7d_story.html

It is weird he (and his nun friends) have been on my mind all week. And for no particular reason. Other than that there has been all this talk about revolution by folks who have no clue about what it takes to accomplish activism. Father Berrigan (and i believe he had a brother too) had some idea. He regularly put his life on the line.

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