Thursday, March 21, 2013

Being in God -- In your day....

 According to a well-known hadith; prayer is the essence of worship. It is the living ground and basis of religion. In Iqbal’s conception of prayer we find the keystone of all his religious ideas. Prayer in the contact of God and humanity. As Iqbal says, “religious ambition soars higher than the ambition of philosophy. Religion is not satisfied with mere conception; it seeks a more intimate knowledge of and association with the object of its pursuit. The agency through which this association is achieved is the act of worship or prayer ending in spiritual illumination.” For Iqbal, each act of prayer is a kind of ‘ meraj’ or Ascension to Heaven ( From "Iqbal on Prayer" by Dr. Riffat Hassan -- found here 

Victor Hugo said, there are moments when whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.[

Prayer cannot stand alone without action emerging from it. Contemplative prayer without action stagnates, and action without contemplative prayer leads to burnout or running around in circles. Contemplative prayer sifts our contemplative vision and our ideas about what we should be doing. It enables us to blend the two and to bring the spirit of our contemplative commitment into daily life. ...God is not just for the time of prayer but for the whole day. The presence of God is going to accompany us into daily life whether in other forms of prayer, in our relationships, or in our workplace. Without trying to, but just by being in God as you go about your daily functions, you exercise a kind of apostolate. In your very joking you may be pouring grace into the atmosphere and into other people. All our activities need to come out of this center.

— Thomas Keating in Intimacy with God


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Action for a Strong Arms Trade Treaty

Friend –
No one – not you, not me, not the millions of responsible gun owners here in the US and around the world – wants to see arms and ammunition fall into the hands of war criminals, terrorists or human rights abusers.

Yet, there are no binding international laws – not one – to regulate the global arms and ammunition trade, making it fairly easy for those dangerous actors to access conventional weapons and commit atrocities.

Such a large global problem requires a global solution: a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty to prevent the irresponsible global transfer of weapons without infringing on domestic rights to bear arms.

GO to
and find the action item:  Control Arms Trade Treaty (and also go to your own nation's leaders with the same.)

Later this month, world leaders will gather at the United Nations to negotiate the Arms Trade Treaty. Oxfam has been campaigning for a strong treaty for more than a decade, and our fight has never been more important than it is right now.

What's making our work even harder? The National Rifle Association and its allies are spreading lies and misconceptions about the Arms Trade Treaty – and, unfortunately, it's working. That's why we're setting the record straight, right here:

The Arms Trade Treaty will prevent international arms sales to known war criminals while protecting millions of people from human rights abuses. It will have no effect on the Second Amendment right of US citizens to bear arms – domestic rights fall outside the scope of the treaty.

A bulletproof arms trade treaty – and the safety it can bring to families around the world – is a vital part of the fight against poverty and injustice. President Obama needs to know that you support a robust arms trade treaty, and that's why we're asking you to speak up today.

Poor regulation of global arms trade threatens the security and rights of millions of people, exposing them to death, rape, assault and displacement. For people working to lift themselves out of poverty in communities plagued by armed violence, easy access to conventional arms threatens both lives and livelihoods.

It's our job to speak up for those communities and to fight for a strong Arms Trade Treaty – so thank you for taking action and standing with us today.


Judy Beals
Oxfam America

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Upon Rachel Corrie's Death Anniversary...

Ten years ago, on March 16, Rachel Corrie was killed in Rafah, Gaza Strip.  She was engaging in nonviolent action to protect one of  countless Palestinian homes Israel has destroyed. She was also added to this injustice.. Rachel,  like many homes of the innocent, was brutally run over by a U.S.-built Caterpillar bulldozer.

I just read this heartfelt, wrenching article this morning and can imagine no other better tribute to such an act of courage and love:

The first and last photos used here come from the following:

The top photo comes from

Also see Aljazeera today for more of this story and a really striking quote by Rachel on human dignity...