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Rediscovering the Common Good: Weekly Summary

Rediscovering the Common Good

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Week Forty-Four Summary and Practice

Sunday, October 31—Friday, November 5, 2021

Sunday
For centuries we have been content to patch up holes temporarily (making ourselves feel benevolent) while in fact maintaining the institutional structures that created the holes to begin with (disempowering those on the margins). Now it has caught up with us. —Richard Rohr

Monday
This call to love our neighbor is the foundation for reestablishing and reclaiming the common good, which has fallen into cultural and political—and even religious—neglect. —Jim Wallis

Tuesday
A robust commitment to the common good dates to the very beginnings of our faith and is rooted in both the Old and New Testaments.Chris Korzen and Alexia Kelley

Wednesday
I do not think it is overly dramatic to say that Western civilization appears to be in a state of spiritual emergency. For religion to be effective in linking us with the Something More, it must create a hopeful symbolic universe that both settles and liberates the human soul. —Richard Rohr

Thursday
The mystery of the poor is this: that they are Jesus, and what you do for them you do for Him.Dorothy Day

Friday
The cosmic common good provides a larger moral perspective, but it also exhorts us to “sink our roots deeper” into our native place and to work for the good of our place on Earth. —Daniel Scheid

 

Meditation for the Common Good

Simone Campbell, a Sister of Social Service, is a leader of the “Nuns on the Bus” who advocate for fair and generous federal budgeting, particularly for those on the margins. She is also vocal about her need for a daily contemplative practice of meditation to balance her action on behalf of the common good. She offers some simple instructions:  

In meditation, making space for physical silence is only one part of the experience. It is also important to quiet the body. In an erect posture, I can sit in stillness for long periods. If you are tempted to fidget, take a deep breath and do not give into the urge. Sometimes (or often) I get concerned that my timer has stopped, and I want to check it. When I feel this urge, I take a deep breath and restate my desire to be open to the Divine in all things . . . even the distractions!

Sit straight so that you can breathe deeply. A key to doing this is sitting so that your knees are a bit lower than your hips. Try to imagine a string pulling at the crown of your head that gets your head, shoulders, and lower back in line. Your lower back should tilt in a little to give you the balance of an “S” curve. This is the balance you need for stillness. Take a deep breath. And, as you breathe out, set your desire on being silent and open to the Divine. Sometimes, I just say that I am hungry for an awareness of the sacred.

After focusing on becoming present, I try to be open and listen through my body to the Divine. Sometimes, it is good to have a word or mantra to use as I breathe. It gives my mind a focus while I try to be open. This mantra can be an expression of desire or spiritual openness. Trust what comes to mind and breathe with the word(s). . . .

Do not expect fireworks in this form of meditation. Most days are very quiet. Every now and then there might be some insight or awareness that is important and sets a direction. However, know that the consistent practice brings a profound openness to others and a willingness to risk for the common good.

We invite readers to participate in some form of contemplative practice today, setting the intention of “openness to others and a willingness to risk for the common good.”

Experience a version of this practice through video and sound.

Reference:
Simone Campbell, Hunger for Hope: Prophetic Communities, Contemplation, and the Common Good (Orbis Books: 2020), 20–21.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, River Girls in situ (detail), 2019, sculpture. Photo by Kate Russell. Used with permission.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: This is a piece that was specifically about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It was about empowerment and companionship and the moment of heartbreak and how do we find strength to create a new reality. I called them River Girls because there was a young girl from my tribe that was found in the river real close to my studio as I was making these. I made these pieces and every bead on their arms was a prayer, every day that I worked in the clay was a prayer for strength and for protection and for clarity… —Rose B. Simpson, from CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

The Global Common Good

Rediscovering the Common Good

The Global Common Good
Friday, November 5, 2021

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis urges Christians to consider the long-term effects of our actions which impact the future well-being of the human species, all living things, and our planet itself:

The notion of the common good also extends to future generations. The global economic crises have made painfully obvious the detrimental effects of disregarding our common destiny, which cannot exclude those who come after us. We can no longer speak of sustainable development apart from intergenerational solidarity. Once we start to think about the kind of world we are leaving to future generations, we look at things differently; we realize that the world is a gift which we have freely received and must share with others. . . . Intergenerational solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us. The Portuguese bishops have called upon us to acknowledge this obligation of justice: “The environment is part of a logic of receptivity. It is on loan to each generation, which must then hand it on to the next.” [1]

Theologian Daniel Scheid offers a prayerful approach to this expansive way of thinking, what he calls the “cosmic common good”:

The cosmic common good provides a larger moral perspective, but it also exhorts us to “sink our roots deeper” into our native place and to work for the good of our place on Earth. The cosmic common good enjoins us to adopt and intensify the many Earth-oriented personal daily choices and movements for structural change with which we are already familiar, for example reducing consumption and energy use, eating less or no meat, minimizing our dependence on automobiles. . . .

Sinking our roots in our native place on this fertile Earth, but with the larger perspective of the cosmic common good, may we become like the righteous, “like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season,” whose “leaves never wither,” and that “whatever [we do] prospers” (Psalm 1:3–4). May the larger perspective of the cosmic common good inspire us to live and to work for the good of all members of this vast and wondrous cosmos:

for the poor, the vulnerable, and all those imperiled;
for the contexts in which creatures flourish, and for the greater wholes of
which they are a part;
for the order in creatures, by which they glorify the Creator;
for the good that creatures provide to other creatures;
for the good of the order of creatures, by which the cosmos is sustained;
for the emergent universe and the communion of subjects;
for the solidarity that binds us to all creatures;
for the promotion of justice for all creatures;
for the sacred that lies in the innermost being in all creatures;
for greater nonviolence and peace;
for the interdependence that shines like a jewel within all creatures;
for all of our relations above, below, and around us;
and for the land and this plot of Earth by which creatures come to discover
the cosmos at home. [2]

References:
[1] Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, encyclical, May 24, 2015, paragraph 159.

[2] Daniel P. Scheid, The Cosmic Common Good: Religious Grounds for Ecological Ethics (Oxford University Press: 2016), 181–182.

Story from Our Community:
Dorothy Day visited my high school around 1963 and said, “If you have two coats in the closet, give one to the poor.” That was quite a discussion around our GOP-devoted parents’ dinner table. I never forgot the words of this modest woman, who became a guiding light with that simple challenge. —Barbara C.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, River Girls in situ (detail), 2019, sculpture. Photo by Kate Russell. Used with permission.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: This is a piece that was specifically about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It was about empowerment and companionship and the moment of heartbreak and how do we find strength to create a new reality. I called them River Girls because there was a young girl from my tribe that was found in the river real close to my studio as I was making these. I made these pieces and every bead on their arms was a prayer, every day that I worked in the clay was a prayer for strength and for protection and for clarity… —Rose B. Simpson, from CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

The Goodness of Solidarity

Rediscovering the Common Good

The Goodness of Solidarity
Thursday, November 4, 2021

Few Christians in the twentieth century lived their lives as devoted to the common good as Dorothy Day. She served the poor, homeless, and hungry in New York City for decades. Her steadfast belief in the dignity of the poor as bearing the presence of Christ inspired her persistent action, manifest as both charity and justice. In 1964, she wrote:

On Holy Thursday, truly a joyful day, I was sitting at the supper table at St. Joseph’s House on Chrystie Street. . . . The general appearance of the place was, as usual, home-like, informal, noisy, and comfortably warm on a cold evening. And yet, looked at with the eyes of a visitor, our place must look dingy indeed, filled as it always is with men and women, some children, too, all of whom bear the unmistakable mark of misery and destitution. Aren’t we deceiving ourselves, I am sure many of them think, in the works we are doing? What are we accomplishing for them anyway, or for the world, or for the common good? “Are these people being rehabilitated?” is the question we get almost daily from visitors or from our readers (who seem to be great letter writers). One priest had his catechism class write us questions as to our work. . . . The majority of them asked the same question: “How can you see Christ in people?” And we only say: It is an act of faith, constantly repeated. It is an act of love, resulting from an act of faith. It is an act of hope, that we can awaken these same acts in their hearts, too, with the help of God, and the Works of Mercy, which you, our readers, help us to do, day in and day out over the years. . . .

The mystery of the poor is this: that they are Jesus, and what you do for them you do for Him. It is the only way we have of knowing and believing in our love. The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge of and belief in love. [1]

In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis emphasized solidarity with the poor and marginalized as part of our faith vocation to pursue the common good:

In the present condition of global society, where injustices abound and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and considered expendable, the principle of the common good immediately becomes, logically and inevitably, a summons to solidarity and a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters. This option entails recognizing the implications of the universal destination of the world’s goods [RR—by paying attention to how much we consume and how and where it is made], but . . . it demands before all else an appreciation of the immense dignity of the poor in the light of our deepest convictions as believers. [2]

References:
[1] Dorothy Day, On Pilgrimage: The Sixties, ed. Robert Ellsberg (Orbis Books: 2021), 111, 112, 113.

[2] Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, encyclical, May 24, 2015, paragraph 158.

Story from Our Community:
Dorothy Day visited my high school around 1963 and said, “If you have two coats in the closet, give one to the poor.” That was quite a discussion around our GOP-devoted parents’ dinner table. I never forgot the words of this modest woman, who became a guiding light with that simple challenge. —Barbara C.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, River Girls in situ (detail), 2019, sculpture. Photo by Kate Russell. Used with permission.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: This is a piece that was specifically about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It was about empowerment and companionship and the moment of heartbreak and how do we find strength to create a new reality. I called them River Girls because there was a young girl from my tribe that was found in the river real close to my studio as I was making these. I made these pieces and every bead on their arms was a prayer, every day that I worked in the clay was a prayer for strength and for protection and for clarity… —Rose B. Simpson, from CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

Unified by the Paschal Mystery

Rediscovering the Common Good

Unified by the Paschal Mystery
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Fr. Richard explains how a deepening trust in the Paschal Mystery of Christ can lead us to a greater commitment to the common good.

I do not think it is overly dramatic to say that Western civilization appears to be in a state of spiritual emergency. For religion to be effective in linking us with the Something More, it must create a hopeful, symbolic universe that both settles and liberates the human soul. When “God reigns,” the many disparate parts are held together in one coherent Totality, the Way-Things-Work is clear, even if demanding. But we no longer live in such a world. The cosmic egg has broken.

In the practical order, the result is polarization at every level. The rifts and chasms between even good people sometimes seem impossible to bridge. Groups are unable to respect one another, engage in civil dialogue, act in service and justice for the common good, or basically honor what God is apparently quite patient about: the human struggle and the essentially tragic nature of all life.

Catholic Christianity proclaimed this symbolic pattern mythically and brilliantly as the Paschal Mystery: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!” The Eucharistic ritual continues to name this pattern as the mystery of faith, but a people obsessed with progress, consumption, and the quick-fix no longer has the appropriate software to decode the message. The hardware, I believe, is still waiting in the vast unconscious.

The breach is no one’s fault in particular, but now it is our responsibility together to mend it. I cannot imagine what else would please and honor the Creator of us all. When we no longer know how to constellate a symbolic universe, all we have left are private pathologies and storylines to explain ourselves. Each group proclaims and protects its “rights” and moral superiority to the other. A common life is no longer possible except in an ever-shrinking enclave of folks who think just like we do. While quite appropriate for protection of the ego, such self-insulating ideas usually have little to do with the daring and wonderful search for God. Mere credal or civil religion does not give us access to the rich and revelatory world of Spirit. In fact, it blocks the journey into grief, into the Mystery, into the Paradox, into ecstasy, into Universal Compassion, into the Universal Christ.

I believe that Jesus-who-became-the-Christ still stands as the perfect mediator of all that is human and good. The cross stands as the intersection of opposites between heaven and earth, divine and human, inner and outer—revealing at the same time the price of that intersection. It seems that the universal law is that something must always die for something else to live. It feels especially tragic and unacceptable when that thing is not bad but good and seemingly necessary! Such is the “pattern that connects” all things.

Reference:
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Near Occasions of Grace (Orbis Books: 1993), xi–xiii.

Story from Our Community:
I was brought up a good Catholic and believed what I had been taught—that I loved God and that God hated me. I can’t even remember how many times a nun or priest told me that I was going straight to hell. They also never spoke about how one priest’s sexual molestation of me fit with God’s plan. My wife introduced me to Methodism and I learned that God was with me and that I was a part of him. Reading Richard Rohr’s meditations makes my heart and spirit sing because he speaks so eloquently to this belief. —David D.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, River Girls in situ (detail), 2019, sculpture. Photo by Kate Russell. Used with permission.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: This is a piece that was specifically about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It was about empowerment and companionship and the moment of heartbreak and how do we find strength to create a new reality. I called them River Girls because there was a young girl from my tribe that was found in the river real close to my studio as I was making these. I made these pieces and every bead on their arms was a prayer, every day that I worked in the clay was a prayer for strength and for protection and for clarity… —Rose B. Simpson, from CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

A Concern for the Good of the World

Rediscovering the Common Good

A Concern for the Good of the World
Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Fr. Richard and the Center’s commitment to the common good is deeply rooted in both the Scriptures and the Catholic Church’s social teaching and doctrine. Authors Chris Korzen and Alexia Kelley offer this brief outline:

The Catholic vision of the common good is as clear as it is challenging. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which the Vatican released in 2004, notes that the specific “demands” of the common good are deeply connected to the fundamental dignity and rights of the human person:

These demands concern above all the commitment to peace, the organization of the State’s powers, a sound juridical system, the protection of the environment, and the provision of essential services to all, some of which are at the same time human rights: food, housing, work, education and access to culture, transportation, basic health care, the freedom of communication and expression, and the protection of religious freedom. [1]

A robust commitment to the common good dates to the very beginnings of our faith and is rooted in both the Old and New Testaments. The Hebrew scriptures call readers to look beyond their own self interest to create a just and healthy community; and the Gospels teach us to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. [Richard: The so-called vertical line toward God must be embodied by a horizontal line toward everything else.]

The common good also requires a concern for the entire world community. . . . In 1963, Pope John XXIII introduced the phrase “universal common good” [2] in the Catholic social tradition in recognition of the duty to promote the good of our neighbors around the globe as well as at home. [3]

Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry speaks of the specific challenges facing us today and how prayer is needed:

In the United States and in the world, we have different cultures, different politics, different experiences that have shaped our beliefs. But if we can establish that we’re working toward some common good, whether we like each other or not, then we can be brothers and sisters. . . . Let’s all stop worrying about whether we like each other and choose to believe instead that we’re capable of doing good together. . . .

If love is your purpose . . . it was and still is the time to double down on prayer. Because prayer, real prayer, is both contemplative and active. . . . Part of that is working for a good, just, humane, and loving society. That means getting on our knees [to pray] . . . and it also means standing on our feet and marching in the streets. It means praying through participation in the life of our government and society. . . . Through fashioning a civic order that reflects goodness, justice, and compassion, and the very heart and dream of God for all of God’s children and God’s creation. [4]

References:
[1] Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Libreria Editrice Vaticana: 2004), 94.

[2] Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth), encyclical, April 11, 1963.

[3] Chris Korzen and Alexia Kelley, A Nation for All: How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America from the Politics of Division (Jossey-Bass: 2008), 4–5.

[4] Michael Curry with Sara Grace, Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times (Avery: 2020), 205, 206.

Story from Our Community:
I was brought up a good Catholic and believed what I had been taught—that I loved God and that God hated me. I can’t even remember how many times a nun or priest told me that I was going straight to hell. They also never spoke about how one priest’s sexual molestation of me fit with God’s plan. My wife introduced me to Methodism and I learned that God was with me and that I was a part of him. Reading Richard Rohr’s meditations makes my heart and spirit sing because he speaks so eloquently to this belief. —David D.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, River Girls in situ (detail), 2019, sculpture. Photo by Kate Russell. Used with permission.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: This is a piece that was specifically about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It was about empowerment and companionship and the moment of heartbreak and how do we find strength to create a new reality. I called them River Girls because there was a young girl from my tribe that was found in the river real close to my studio as I was making these. I made these pieces and every bead on their arms was a prayer, every day that I worked in the clay was a prayer for strength and for protection and for clarity… —Rose B. Simpson, from CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

A Foundation for the Common Good

Rediscovering the Common Good

A Foundation for the Common Good
Monday, November 1, 2021

Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners ministry and a longtime friend of Fr. Richard’s, connects the idea of the common good with Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom of God.

I believe the moral prerequisite for solving the deepest problems this country and the world now face is a commitment to an ancient idea whose time has urgently come: the common good. . . .

Our life together can be better. Ours is a shallow and selfish age, and we are in need of conversion—from looking out just for ourselves to also looking out for one another. It’s time to hear and heed a call to a different way of life, to reclaim a very old idea called the common good. Jesus issued that call and announced the kingdom of God—a new order of living in sharp contrast to all the political and religious kingdoms of the world. That better way of life was meant to benefit not only his followers but everybody else too.

Christianity is not a religion that gives some people a ticket to heaven and makes them judgmental of all others. Rather, it’s a call to a relationship that changes all our other relationships. Jesus told us a new relationship with God also brings us into a new relationship with our neighbor, especially with the most vulnerable of this world, and even with our enemies. But we don’t always hear that from the churches. This call to love our neighbor is the foundation for reestablishing and reclaiming the common good, which has fallen into cultural and political—and even religious—neglect.

Judaism, of course, agrees that our relationship with God is supposed to change all our other relationships, and Jesus’s recitation of the law’s great commandments to love God and your neighbor flows right out of the books of Deuteronomy [see 6:5] and Leviticus [see 19:18]. . . . In fact, virtually all the world’s major religions say that you cannot separate your love for God from your love for your neighbor, your brothers and sisters. Even the nonreligious will affirm the idea of “the Golden Rule”: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). . . .

While some form of the Golden Rule has been around for thousands of years, we seem to have lost a sense of its importance and its transformative power. Wallis urges:

It is time to reclaim the neglected common good and to learn how faith might help, instead of hurt, in that important task. Our public life could be made better, even transformed or healed, if our religious traditions practiced what they preached in our personal lives; in our families’ decisions; in our work and vocations; in the ministry of our churches, synagogues, and mosques; and in our collective witness. In all these ways we can put the faith community’s influence at the service of this radical neighbor-love ethic that is both faithful to God and the common good.

Reference:
Jim Wallis, The (Un)Common Good: How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided (Brazos Press: 2014), xi, 3‒4, 5.

Story from Our Community:
A United Methodist all my life, who would have thought that a Franciscan would become so influential in my spiritual journey! Fr. Richard’s meditations, books, and conferences have helped me see that being a Christian is not about having correct beliefs, but about and trying to create a peaceful world. —Margaret C.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, River Girls in situ (detail), 2019, sculpture. Photo by Kate Russell. Used with permission.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: This is a piece that was specifically about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It was about empowerment and companionship and the moment of heartbreak and how do we find strength to create a new reality. I called them River Girls because there was a young girl from my tribe that was found in the river real close to my studio as I was making these. I made these pieces and every bead on their arms was a prayer, every day that I worked in the clay was a prayer for strength and for protection and for clarity… —Rose B. Simpson, from CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

Where Justice and Charity Meet

Rediscovering the Common Good

Where Justice and Charity Meet
Sunday, October 31, 2021

Fr. Richard Rohr shares the importance of both justice and charity to bring about the common good.

“We need to make the kind of society where it is easier for people to be good,” said Peter Maurin (1877–1949). [1] That is our difficulty today. We are surrounded by good, well-meaning folks who are swept along in a stream of shallow options. Not only is the good made increasingly difficult to do, it is even difficult to recognize. It seems that affluence takes away the clear awareness of what is life and what is death. I don’t think the rich are any more or less sinful than the poor; they just have many more ways to call their sin virtue. There is a definite deadening of the awareness of true good and true evil.

I have found one fuzzy area that often needs clarification: We have confused justice and charity. Charity was traditionally considered the highest virtue, popularly thought of as a kind of magnanimous, voluntary giving of ourselves, preferably for selfless motives. As long as we rose to this level occasionally by donating food, gifts, or money at the holidays or in times of crisis, we could think of ourselves as charitable people operating at the highest level of virtue.

What has been lacking is the virtue of justice. Justice and charity are complementary but clearly inseparable in teachings of Doctors of the Church, as well as the social encyclical letters of almost all popes over the last century. The giving and caring spirit of charity both motivates and completes our sense of justice, but the virtue of charity cannot legitimately substitute for justice. Persons capable of doing justice are not justified in preferring to “do charity.” Although this has clearly been taught on paper, I would say it is the great missing link in the practical preaching and lifestyle of the church. We have ignored the foundational obligation of justice in our works of charity! For centuries we have been content to patch up holes temporarily (making ourselves feel benevolent) while in fact maintaining the institutional structures that created the holes (disempowering people on the margins). Now it has caught up with us in unremitting poverty, massive income disparity, cultural alienation, and human and environmental abuse.

Jesus preaches a social order in which true charity is possible, a way of relating by which cooperation and community make sense. Jesus offers a world where all share the Spirit’s power “each according to their gift.” And that “Spirit is given to each person for the sake of the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7). That is the key to Christian community and Christian social justice. It is not a vision of totalitarian equality, nor is it capitalist competition (“domination of the fittest”). It is a world in which cooperation, community, compassion, and the charity of Christ are paramount—and to which all other things are subservient. The “common good” is the first principle of Catholic social doctrine—although few Catholics know it.

References:
[1] Peter Maurin, quoted in The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of Dorothy Day (Harper and Brothers: 1952), 280.

Adapted from Richard Rohr and Others, Grace in Action, ed. Teddy Carney and Christina Spahn (Crossroad: 1994), 3–5.

Story from Our Community:
A United Methodist all my life, who would have thought that a Franciscan would become so influential in my spiritual journey! Fr. Richard’s meditations, books, and conferences have helped me see that being a Christian is not about having correct beliefs, but about and trying to create a peaceful world. —Margaret C.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, River Girls in situ (detail), 2019, sculpture. Photo by Kate Russell. Used with permission.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: This is a piece that was specifically about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It was about empowerment and companionship and the moment of heartbreak and how do we find strength to create a new reality. I called them River Girls because there was a young girl from my tribe that was found in the river real close to my studio as I was making these. I made these pieces and every bead on their arms was a prayer, every day that I worked in the clay was a prayer for strength and for protection and for clarity… —Rose B. Simpson, from CONSPIRE Interview, 2021
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