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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

1145: hospitality is an encounter with another in which there is no agenda

Day 1145: Friday, May 5, 2023

hospitality is an encounter with another in which there is no agenda but the other; it is how people find one another’s heart.

A church that doesn't provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn't unsettle, a word of God that doesn't get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn't touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed — ​what gospel is that?

- Oscar Romero

The Just Word: "Dwelling Places" by Mark Colville

As I’ve come to understand it (largely through having made a Catholic Worker house my own dwelling place during these last few decades), hospitality is an encounter with another in which there is no agenda but the other; it is how people find one another’s heart.

In the Catholic Worker we have seen and come to know that when hospitality is practiced daily and mindfully among the poor, it can lead to the heart of a people’s struggle. And that is where Jesus is found.

That is where the Gospel gets preached. That is where an evangelization rooted in solidarity can take hold in the world and transform it. That is where communities find the power to name and cast out the unclean spirits of hoarding, selfishness and individualism that torment us all.

A person often quoted by Mark is theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez

The poor person does not exist as an inescapable fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor are a by-product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible.

They are marginalized by our social and cultural world. They are the oppressed, exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their labor and despoiled of their humanity. Hence the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.

- Gustavo Gutiérrez

Mark Colville lives in a Catholic Worker house in New Haven, Connecticut with his true love, Luz Catarineau, and an inordinate attachment to his dog and a bicycle.

We often wonder if our small actions make any difference. I love this quote from Dorothy Day:

People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.

Dorothy Day

North Americans invited to join CCRI for our online gathering on Tuesday, May 9, 2023

There seems to be strong interest in reconvening our Region XVI U.S. gathering and discerning the issues we raised that have not been included in the US Continental Synod Report. The problem we face is clear: Referring to Sunday's Gospel, too many conservative bishops are the “gatekeepers” in full control of who was and wasn’t invited to participate in this Synod. And, all too often, our progressive voices were not allowed through the gate. As Eileen Mathy said: “We must exercise whatever voices we are granted for as long as we can. I do believe that persistence will make a difference.” And as Kathleen Chafin said: “We have more power than we think. Doing nothing gets nothing. If we truly believe in our concerns we have to work towards change without regard to ‘winning or losing.’

All who are interested are invited to gather online on Tuesday, May 9, at 1:00 pm Eastern time, noon Central time, 11:00 am Mountain time, and 10:00 Pacific time. To access this session, click on Password is spirit. Please pass this word onto your networks.

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