Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Month in May

Embrace these Americans who helped shape the development of the United States of America. Asian Pacific American history is American history.

#StopAsianHate

Image: Thanks to the National Portrait Gallery.

Support and Celebrate Women on International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day March 8, 2021

A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

#ChooseToChallenge biases and stereotypes of all women, everywhere.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.

International Day for the abolition of slavery, December 2

Hundreds of young children work and live in these brickyards near Islamabad–often under conditions of bonded labor. Photo: ILO/Marcel Crozet.

Slavery is not merely a historical relic

According to the  International Labour Organisation (ILO) more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery. Although modern slavery is not defined in law, it is used as an umbrella term covering practices such as forced labor, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power.

The ILO also states more than 150 million children are subject to child labor, accounting for almost one in ten children around the world.

A prayer to ‘open our hearts’

Image

Mi’Kmaq (Mimiac) Prayer for Thanksgiving from Many Hoops

John Lewis and Thomas Merton: keep the faith … keep going

 

At the funeral service of Rep. John R. Lewis today, July 20, 2020, President William J. Clinton said of Lewis:

Then there was Bloody Sunday. He figured he might get arrested and this is really important not to, for all the rhapsodic things we all believe about John Lewis, he had a really good mind and he was always trying to figure out how can I make the most of every single moment?

 

So he’s getting ready to march from Selma to Montgomery. Wants to get across the bridge. What do we remember? He made kind of quite a strange figure. He had a trench coat and a backpack. Now, young people would probably think that’s no big deal, but there weren’t that many backpacks back then and you never saw anybody in a trench coat looking halfway dressed up with a backpack. But John put an apple, an orange, a toothbrush, toothpaste in the backpack to take care of his body because he figured he would get arrested. And two books, one a book by Richard Hofstadter on America’s political tradition to feed his mind. And one, the autobiography of Thomas Merton, a Roman Catholic Trappist monk, who was the son of itinerant artists making an astonishing personal transformation.


What’s a young guy who’s about to get his brains beat out and planning on going to prison and doing, taking that? I think he figured that if Thomas Merton could find his way and keep his faith and believe in the future, he John Lewis could too.

Prayer for earth … our common home

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe

and in the smallest of your creatures.

You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of your love,

that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with peace, that we may live

as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

O God of the poor,

help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,

so precious in your eyes.

Bring healing to our lives,

that we may protect the world and not prey on it,

that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts

of those who look only for gain

at the expense of the poor and the earth.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,

to be filled with awe and contemplation,

to recognize that we are profoundly united

with every creature

as we journey towards your infinite light.

We thank you for being with us each day.

Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle

for justice, love and peace.

Taken from the Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis, Laudato Si’

 

Creative Commons Photo from https://themindunleashed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/koalas-dead-australia-fires.png

 

 

We together … international migrants day December 18, 2019

You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:34).

December 18 is International Migrants Day. The observance this year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), focuses on the stories of social cohesion, which are as varied and unique as each of the 272 million migrants living new lives and building new communities in every corner of the globe. We learn together, create together, work together, sing, dance and play together. We live together. That is the meaning of International Migrants Day and its message.

To paraphrase some of the wise words of His Holiness Pope Francis, may we all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves.

Photo: UNHCR/Roger Arnold

 

Prayer for pets and all God’s creatures – Redux

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — Mahatma Gandhi

 

Lately, I have noticed an increase in reports about animal abuse cases. I wonder how many cases go unreported?

I will continue to use my time, talent or treasure to benefit animals and the environment. A special thanks to Greta Thunberg for her environmental advocacy. I will pray, even more fervently, God bless the beasts and the children. — Tanya Goodman, October 4, 2019

On October 4, Catholics observe the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. In the Catholic Church and other denominations, it is traditional to bless animals and pets on or near that day. St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and ecology. He advocated respect for all of God’s creation, including the earth, centuries before “global warming” became a heated topic. No matter what faith beliefs you may hold, let us pray for all the animals — the ones who labor, curl up at our feet or run free in the wild — especially the ones who are sick, scared or injured. May we show respect to one another and all of God’s creation.

Prayer for Animals

God Our Heavenly Father, 

you created the world to serve humanity’s needs and

to lead them to you.

By our own fault, 

we have lost the beautiful relationship

which we once had with all your creation.

Help us to see that by restoring our relationship with you

we will also restore it with all your creation.

Give us the grace to see all animals as gifts from you and Francesco-7p

to treat them with respect for they are your creation. 

We pray for all animals who are suffering as a result of our neglect.

May the order you originally established

be once again restored to the whole world

through the intercession of the Glorious Virgin Mary,

the prayers of Saint Francis and

the merits of your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ

who lives and reigns with you now and forever. Amen.

— St. Francis of Assisi, additions added later, prayer from www.churchyear.net

Pet blessing cartoon from http://firstlutheranparkersburg.com/worship/special-services/special-blessings-/blessing-of-animals.html

Image of St. Francis of Assisi by unknown artist from climaterocks.com