Voices – from Various Contributors

Day Awakening: Sabbath – At 5:00 AM five plan­ets were aligned in the Southeastern sky. Barb and I both watched. I believe that Mercury was not visible, hiding behind the mountains. Venus was a most brilliant orb, like a diamond, shining brighter than all the other early morning heavenly bodies. To the west, next in line, was Saturn, then little reddish Mars, and finally off over the woods to the west shone Jupiter, almost as bright as Venus. As we watched and wait­ed in the silence of early dawn, the sky took on a faint light, then a turquoise hue. Venus still shone brighter than a star. The sky gradually lightened and revealed the trees, covered as they were with a glistening coat of frost. The ground was snow-covered The mountains were crisp. A film of mist hung near their summits. A veil I thought. The mysterious presence of God in the cloud, but then God’s presence seemed everywhere, in feminine Venus, and mas­culine sun. In the glistening lace covering the tress. In the silence of the magic unfolding before me. It was as though I was seeing once again for the first time. – by Bob Thiefels Bob Thiefels, dear friend and co-retreat leader at Agape, as he watched the alignment of the five planets in January   Raphaela Mueller on the Agape woods during a Rural Immersion with Franklin College from Indiana. One of the things that amazed me most over the past few days was the amount of life in a seem­ingly (temporarily) dead for­est. Birds, spiders, ladybugs, centipedes, moths, flies, tadpoles, salamanders, and bunches of other animals are alive and well. All we have to do to see them is sit still and wait patiently for a few minutes, and the forest will come alive in front of our eyes and ears. Daniel Marshall on Animals: I see no reason to put boundaries to peace and love…I extend them to animals. I knew some vegetarians who could see that far, with the help of friends I became vegan which gave me great peace. As the recent papal encyclical Laudato Si said: “love animals and lead them to heaven.” Daniel Marshall, longtime friend, Catholic Worker, authority on vegan diet, fasting and healing. Pentecost Homily On that first Pentecost the disciples were discour­aged, felt defeated, aban­doned. And then there came a great wind…and tongues of fire. Are we not also, today, in need of this divine energy, this unquenchable fire, this un-blockable wind? Whenever we open our hearts to the pain of the world we make Pentecost real: when­ever we forgive someone and make loving connec­tions we make Pentecost real; whenever we struggle against war, injustice, preju­dice and oppression we make Pentecost real. Excerpts from a Pentecost homily sent by longtime friend Fr. Joachim Lally A Voice from Death Row, Florida “God is love and we can’t survive without love. I’m still on a spiri­tual journey and my hope is to be victorious in life or in death. Noone should underestimate the ability of god to save us.” Marc James Asay, a Death Row inmate for 30 years, who corre­sponds with long-time Agape friend, Pat Ferrone, received a stay on March 17th.