Instead, it is for those who, like Brother Lawrence, are searching for God in the everyday events of life. God shows up in surprising places if we only take the time to look. Returning to Our Senses is not for those who need a quick devotional but those looking for guidance towards a more contemplative way of life. She enjoys reading and researching a variety of topics. And what…. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Pray Ceaselessly and Eat Justly. Comment policy : ESA represents a wide variety of understandings and practices surrounding our shared Christian faith. The purpose of the ESA blog is to facilitate loving conversation; please know that individual authors do not speak for ESA as a whole. Offered on a seasonal basis, these walks occur over a 3 hour window of time with light refreshments. Finding time to listen in the quiet, we still our hearts long enough to see God at play in nature and our lives.
This guided contemplative retreat is a respite from the activities of life that can drown out the whisper of the Holy Spirit.
In her new book, Alissa Quart chronicles what happens when capitalism and families collide
With creative interaction, intentional meditation, and facilitated conversation, this time encourages becoming awake through the senses. Enjoy this prayerful refreshment of nature, good food, companionship, and walking. A time to listen, rest, and renew in the welcoming embrace of God's presence. All of life is a journey. Taking the metaphor to the hills and pastures of Ireland, the physicality of walking shapes a deeper understanding of God's presence in life. Date to be announced. There is, I would suggest, a general misunderstanding about why people leave their home places to find work elsewhere.
Much of the discourse in wealthy countries has to do with the greatness of the countries to which people are seeking to come and the gratefulness they should feel toward those wealthy nations for having been permitted to leave their own inferior country. But the process by which a person becomes a migrant has nothing to with where one wants to live. It is surely the case that most migrants would rather remain in their home places. But they are forced to move for the survival of their families due to economic circumstances beyond their control. While it is undeniable that migrant workers are not a new phenomenon, it is equally true that globalization has led to their proliferation.
One of the things globalization does is eliminate space and place as an economic factor. Goods are moved throughout the globe as though this movement has no cost, or at most a nominal one. The real cost of this movement, of course, is manifold.
First and foremost, there is an ecological cost of the movement of goods that is not sufficiently accounted for in most economic models. But there is also a human cost: human beings are forced to move in order to find work. There is no longer value in the traditional relationship between work and place. Whereas the traditional economy allowed for a locally embedded and diversified farm to prosper and the traditional craftsman to thrive, the new economy prefers the efficiency of the factory model, be it a farm or a sweatshop.
Globalization is an extension of this. And because of the new economic reality, laborers often can no longer thrive in their home places. They are forced to move. The parallels to the conditions of the people Jesus spoke to in his day are striking. Jesus was clearly a member of a group that had lost its capacity to continue to sustain itself without movement.
Return To Our Senses: Reimagining How We Pray
His activism was born of this movement. He told stories to men and women who had come to urban areas to look for work, men and women at the margins, backs against the wall. Like the incarcerated, migrants are forced into impossible choices. They have reached the edge. Perhaps it is more likely that such a new story will arise today on the edges of one of our cities than in the centers of its power. The last group is found at every level of every society, and consequently has perhaps the greatest potential to undermine global Capitalism.
These are the indebted. During the Occupy Wall Street Movement, the indebtedness of the youth was a major issue.
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Increasingly, young people are pressured into taking out costly loans for an education of which the value is uncertain. Feeling trapped upon graduation by these burdensome loans, the youth no longer have the freedom to explore their world, to travel, to create something meaningful, to take risks.
Other members of society are faring no better. Consumer debt has never been higher; skyrocketing medical costs are leaving the sick particularly vulnerable to indebtedness. Farmers, pressured or forced to buy the newest seeds and the latest technology, are trapped by big agribusiness in cycles of debt.
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They no longer feel that they have the freedom to grow diverse and locally-based crops. Nations suffer just as individuals do. The indebtedness of African countries, often due to policies of the Global North through such agencies as the IMF, has been well documented.
- Dictionary of Youth Justice.
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It remains a key factor in keeping Africa poor and under the thumb of their former colonial oppressors. But this is not a new phenomenon. Already at the margins of society, indebtedness could push a family over the brink. They could become enslaved or destitute. Indeed, the mass incarceration referred to above cannot be separated from the indebted. An indebted person is truly one with her back against the wall. Jesus seemed to have perceived that debt was also a spiritual crisis. That is to say, debt is something of the human imagination. First, while many have no choice but to go into debt, there are also others, particularly in wealthy countries, who feel pressure to do so.
Moreover, indebtedness is an abstraction. This word — forgiven — is significant. In general, we have created an economy based on abstraction. That is to say, money, which once was used merely as a way to ascribe value to things, has become an end in itself. As mentioned above, space is no longer an issue in our economy. Goods are moved without regard to the ecological cost. In fact, things themselves are no longer primary. Money is. But there is a deeper, and more apocalyptic, danger in the abstract economy, in a civilization based no longer on things we can touch and feel.
Just as the Protestant Reformation and the broader movement of Modernity led us to find meaning in the abstract, the Modern economy has led us to find value in the abstract. Some abstraction, of course, can be helpful. It can help to spread prosperity. It can bring help to make ideas applicable in different contexts. But context is important, and completely losing touch with it can deprive us of some of that which makes life so rich.
Through those at the edge, the disinherited, a deeper truth about our world is revealed. Jesus understood that a new world was only possible with the creative energy of those pushed to this edge. So we stand here at the edge of an idea, of a Capitalism that has become so ideological that it approaches a religion in its dogmatism, a dogmatism that threatens to destroy the very flexibility and openness that makes it possible. Freedom has become an idea that enslaves, that obfuscates a clear understanding of our economic condition.
Its priests protect against all heresies with a means of control far more powerful than any inquisition: the idea that our system is natural and rational. Beliefs most deeply held come to us in the mysterious form of what we tend to call reality. A system of abstract finance is expressed in a similarly abstract language. It is the language of the disembodied, the machine. The way forward, according to Berardi, is to return to the poetic. That is to say that the Citizens United decision and the Right Wing order it supports cannot be addressed merely by pleas to a more rational approach — although it would be more rational to, say, create an economy that accounted for the real, ecological cost of things — because the theological assumptions we have made conflate that order with Reason itself.
One challenge we face is that, as was the case for Martin Luther with the printing press , the information revolution of our day the Internet leads us to a more disembodied life. Perhaps we do not need 95 theses nailed to doors of the Supreme Court — much less to blog about it — but stand at its doors and cry out with our embodied, poetic voice.
What would a new economy look like?