Sunday, February 27, 2011

Comfort and joy

It's been a tough number of weeks. Not only for us at the Catholic Standard & Times, but for all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

And for Latinos in Arizona, who have seen one bill move through the Appropriations Committee that would make it possible for the children of the undocumented to be denied schooling of any kind (including private or home-schooling), medical care and housing; and another couple of bills denying U.S.-born babies citizenship.

And for workers in Wisconsin, who may no longer have collective bargaining rights. (Click here for the Catholic bishops' statements in support of workers' rights.)

And for people in Oman, Djibouti, Libya, Iraq. And Somalia, which has seen some of its worst violence in recent years, according to a family friend who knows what he's speaking about.

In the readings of the week (Sir. 5:1-8) I read:

Rely not on your wealth;
say not: “I have the power.” Rely not on your strength in following the desires of your heart.

And it is -- somehow -- reflection, commentary and prophesy all rolled into one.
Authority is not right. Power over is not the same as power from. Repression and misdirection are not the refuge of the righteous, but of the terrified.

Amid all the huge (HUGE) issues of the day, I find comfort in the most plebian of tasks: cooking for my loved ones. Comfort food that speaks to us of warmth and love and days spent peacefully -- with eyes fixed to a calm horizon.

I am cooking cochinita pibil and Oaxacan-style pumpkin tamales: You are invited.

I'm a simple person, and I don't have much, but I understand what Russell Pearce and Scott Walker and Muammar Gaddafi and so many others with real power in the world don't: there is enough --and it is a joy to share.

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