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Diary of a Worm’s Life in a Home “Growing Power” Box and Garden

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Be Not Afraid - Sunday, March 31, 2013

I once heard that when Jesus rose from the dead it was like someone being killed on death row in Texas and a few days later his friends said he was alive and risen from the dead. Jesus was considered a criminal and killed by Romans on cross. The comparison was made to show how unbelievable and awkward the followers of Jesus would feel. On one hand they knew he had risen from the dead and the other had they knew no one would believe them. It was not until Pentecost, weeks later, the Spirit of God descended in the form of fire and wind on them that they had the courage to go out to preach that Jesus who had died on the cross was raised from the dead.

Many of us seem to live life between Easter and Pentecost. We believe Jesus has risen and is alive but quite do not have to courage go out and preach and practice the Word of God. Mystics tell us that what we seek, the fire and courage to speak and act what we preach, is inside of all of us. God lives in us but it takes interior silence and peace to hear, see, touch and feel God in us.

Pat and I went up north to celebrate Easter with our son, his wife and our three grandchildren. Visits to their rural home are always joyful. But as the children become older and parents become more involved and busy life has changed. Outside of the great dinner we all enjoyed together, everyone, including myself, was involved in electronic devices or talking about an upcoming trip to Disney World next fall or watching the March madness basketball games on TV. I did manage to take a walk but the only other person interested in joining me in this walk in the country was the family dog.

This week I am going to try, once again, to take more quiet time, read, reflect, look inside in silence and just be at times. I feel often that I am afraid to slow down since some buried thoughts and pain will rise to the surface. Then I remember the words of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and the women when they saw him resurrected from the grave: “Be Not Afraid.”


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Why? Betrayal or Blessing? - Saturday, March 30, 2013

Betrayal by a Kiss]]

Today is Holy Saturday, the day after the Death and the day before the Resurrection. It is a waiting day. A friend asked me to write a picture story about the Stations of the Cross we made yesterday on the Marquette University campus. I did, although it took more time that I would have wanted. But a picture story is better than just talk but not as good as an action.

Tonight during the sign of peace at the Easter Liturgy at St. Ben’s an elderly lady came up to me and asked if I was a member of the Milwaukee 14 in 1968 who committed an act of civil disobedience by burning 1A draft files. I said yes and she told me the story of how she was the mother of two young girls in a suburban church at the time who took her two young daughters to hear us talk at St. Ben’s after the action. She said how our talk radically changed her two daughters. One of the daughters and a family friend were there to confirm the story. As she thanked me I did not know what to say but was full of gratitude as she was.

During Mass I had been thinking about a betrayal of former friend that led to my being banned from the campus of Marquette University. I had just heard from one of his disciple and felt hurt and doubly betrayed. However, these words of gratitude by this lady made me forget about my hurt and gave me hope that any little dying I do in the name of Jesus means something.

At the end of our Stations of the Cross yesterday we played the song “Why” by Michael Card. The song asked “why did it have to be a friend who chose to betray the Lord.” He continues to ask a series of why questions about Jesus and cross and ends by saying: “Yes, Jesus had come into the world to steal every heart away.”

I might not know the why of why a former friend betrayed me in getting me banned from Marquette but I do know ‘Why’ God sent this woman at Church tonight to steal my heart away. A betrayal can be a blessing.


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Double Standard of Law and Morality - Friday, March 29, 2013

Dorothy Day would be proud of our small group walking around the Marquette University campus today, Good Friday. We were making the Stations of the Cross. Our Jesus, with a crown of thorns was a true blue Catholic Worker, our reader was someone with a strong voice who read the Stations of Jesus that focused on the human side of Jesus and the suffering, humiliation and rejection of Jesus. A couple led our procession with our message: Marquette Teaches Killing. Most of the time we were on Wisconsin Avenue, the main street through the campus and the city but we made one detour to the site of the three officer training bases on campus for the five county area. It is in these buildings that teaching to kill reflexively, without conscience and place military values like loyalty and following orders over conscience are taught. Young men and women from the five county area are bused here, a Catholic Jesuit school of Marquette University.

As we were marching up Wisconsin Ave. on the sidewalk another group was marching down Wisconsin on the street. This was a larger group of people marching in protest of the District Attorney’s office failing to charge three policemen who watched while a young African American male died in their backseat. The whole affair was caught on video in the police car and the inquest jury had recommend misdemeanor charges. Over the years there has been so many African American young adults being killed by policemen not even going to an inquest jury. Not we have one holding the police accountable and the case is dismissed.

Four years ago, about this time, it came out that a young woman had reported being raped in her dorm room, allegedly by four basketball players, on Oct. 31st. This was an alleged crime that Marquette University was obliged by State and Federal authorities to report to law enforcement. Instead Marquette held its own hearing and found the young men not guilty. Another girl living in the same dormitory made a similar accusation in February. When it all came in spring after basketball season the DA said it was too late to prosecute the young men. Marquette could have been prosecuted for not reporting the alleged rape as required but the District Attorney’s office, same one that dismissed charges against the policemen, failed to prosecute Marquette.

Now a few weeks ago when I tried to go to Marquette library to research in Dorothy Day library I was told to leave the library by security, which I did, and yet MU reported me as trespassing, since I had been banned from MU property for “disruptive behavior.” My behavior of going to do research on Dorothy Day led to my arrest by Milwaukee police and yet the alleged rape by the four basketball players led to an internal MU hearing. I asked MU administration for a hearing so I can learn my accuser and what ‘disruptive behavior’ I allegedly committed. In a certified letter sent to me yesterday they said no.

The Stations were peaceful and prayerful and those protesting on the street about the death of a young man in police custody were peaceful. However, the District Attorney’s office and Marquette University need to be held accountable for the double standard they practice with law and morality.


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Man and Machines Make Mistakes! - Thursday, March 28, 2013

Man makes mistakes!

Today was a day of mishaps. First, I had more than my normal hard time getting out of bed. Next I had fifty dollars in my hand that I was going to deliver to someone. When I got in the car I noticed I did not have the money with me. I looked all over the car, my body and the house and could not find it. I took the $40 I had left over to my friend and came home once again looking for and failing to find the money. Later a friend living upstairs found it on the stairs as she was leaving the house.

Then the automatic machine called me telling me that one, not which one, of the three drugs I had renewed by automatic machine call the day before, did not go through. I kept trying to get a human being to ask which one prescription it was but kept getting machines that did not have the answer. I finally got someone in India or somewhere who was checking when my phone went dead.

Finally I found a number where I could talk, after some machine directions, to a human being. This person checked for me and, after some time, came back to the phone and told me that the machine has made a mistake and his supervisor would take care of it and all was well.

The next mistake came at the Apple Store in the mall. Everyone may rave about this new style store but I do not like it. There were too many persons working there and I got the wrong person. I was looking for a simple cable for a product I had purchased there and person working there let me to buy the wrong cable, which I knew it was as soon as I got home.

I heard on the news today about a major spamming of spamming network that was going out today. It reminded me of a Star Trek episode on TV when the Star Trek visited a planet that was much advance in computer warfare. They had been at war for a long time with another technological advance planet. The two countries had decided to do war by technology but when one side would win a battle, members of the losing side would need to walk into a machine to die. They had avoided person to person warfare but still needed the kill. This seems to be the direction war is going in on earth.

I remembered when I was young learning the poet’s words: “Man makes mistakes”. Now I know machines make mistakes too.


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Seeds, Money and, Politicians: Dangers to Health - Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Growing Genetically Modified Seeds

Yesterday I learned the three congresspersons representing Southeastern Wisconsin, including my Democratic, liberal, “friend of peace” congresswoman and the two Republicans in areas around Milwaukee voted for a continuing approbations bill, a short term spending bill to overcome the so called sequester. The bill allowed for 517.7 billion dollars for military spending. I sent the information to some peace list, many on those listed consider her an “a friend of peace” and do not want to hear when she votes for more military spending. There was no response on the list server.

Today I got noticed that hidden in the agriculture part of the bill was the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks. So our three local congresspersons, including my Democratic friend of peace person, not only voted for more war spending but also allowed companies like Monsanto to be not accountable for health risks resulted from genetically modified seeds. Since I got no response I had a friend send out this news. By the way, 109 representatives, Republican and Democrats voted against the bill. To my knowledge my friend has not heard from any of our liberal peace and environmental friends and I doubt if he will.

Love of friends, especially white liberal friends’ seems to be harder than ‘love of enemies. President Harding might have said it best: “I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care
of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my goddamned friends, they’re the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights!”

Over the years I have found it easier to detach myself from what my enemies say about me or the peace and justice issue I struggle for. But when my friends ignore the issues and me I find it very difficult to let it go and be detached. This is now true in both the issues I am working on: the peace issue of Marquette No Longer Teaching War and Killing and the justice issue of the Cry of the Poor Petition. My friends are other open minded liberal persons seem to offer the most opposition and recognition.

But not all my friends are part of this categorization. Real, true friends might not agree with my “opinions of the truth” but they do not ignore me, will dialog on the issues and support me and the same issues and we can work together.

Conservative Catholics like to call liberal Catholics ‘cafeteria Catholics’ although they are often pick and choose the Catholic moral principles and values they accept. Liberals and Conservatives on social and political issues, like the ones above, the bill for more military spending and lack of accountable for companies like Monsanto.

Modified genetic seeds and money for war are both dangers to health, be you liberal or conservative.


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Prophet: Just Say, Do & Be the Message - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The prophet Jeremiah by Michelangelo

When watching the Bible TV series tonight I saw how badly the prophet Jeremiah was treated when he tried to tell the King of Israel about impending disaster and what he could do to prevent it. When the disaster came, the invasion of the Babylonians, they were interested in what he had to say but by this time it was too late.

For the first time this year the Stations of the Cross at Marquette on Good Friday do not seem to be attracting much attention. This might change in the next few days but it might mean some success in Marquette’s picking on me and ignoring our message. I am no Jeremiah but I am warning Marquette to repent for the sin of teaching killing on campus and to teach war no more. Nowadays they do not beat and torture messengers but more effectively just ignore them and if they get heard marginalize and ignore them.

When I was in Maximum Security State prison back in the 60’s for the Milwaukee 14 action I was meeting with the assistant warden of treatment about prison conditions. He was talking about how good the physical conditions of the prison when I told him the harsh part of prison was not physical conditions but what I called ‘psychological torture’. My examples were the limit at the time for visits from family and friends, the censorship of incoming and outgoing mail and the demeaning style and lack of respect of some of the guards. He did not want to hear any of this so soon I was on my way back to the cell with a warning.

People criticize me for speaking what is on my mind and not self censoring. Yes, I could use more tact but if tact means ‘keeping silent’ on concerns of injustice and immorality I just cannot do it.

It is simple, really, to be a prophet, just say, do and be the message.


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Jesus Died for our Sins? - Monday, March 25, 2013

And there was also a superscription
written over him written in letters
of Greek, Latin and Hebrew: This
is the King of the Jews.

A friend asked me the other day what was meant by the common used phrase: “Jesus died for our sins.” I told him I did not know the answer but got some insight into the scripture from a teacher of scripture and from an elderly pastor.

In a literal reading of the Gospel God, our father and mother, sounds like an abusive parent, sending Jesus to earth to suffer and die. This teacher explained that God was not a abusive parent and did not send Jesus, incarnation of God, to be killed. Jesus was sent to earth to show us the “way, truth and light’ how to be fully with God. One scholar I heard called Jesus, the ‘heir’ of God, the incarnated God. By being true to his nature Jesus suffered and died.

An elderly pastor asked a group of teens on a confirmation retreat of why Jesus was condemned to die. They had some guesses and finally he give them a clue: why the Roman Empire had Jesus killed was on a sign on top of the cross. The sign read “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS”. Usually the words are portrayed with initials INRI. In the Roman Empire there was only one leader who was thought of as divine, the emperor of Rome. Herod was appointed by Rome as the King but he held no power. The Roman Emperor was all powerful and the King or ruler of this occupied territory which Romans called Palestine. Although Jesus was innocent he was killed by the Romans for an act of treason.

So if Jesus was God incarnate on earth to show us the Way of God and was killed by the Romans for an act of treason why do we say “Jesus died for our sins”? If I look into my own life and the issues I am presently engaged in Marquette University No Longer Teaching War and hearing the Cry of the Poor to use the 1.1 million dollars the Catholic Church realized from closing Churches to serve the poor and marginalized in the same area, I think I can see a bit of what Jesus would do and what Jesus would die for.

The same pastor who told the youth that Jesus died for treason also told the youth, as many other persons have, life is worth living only if you have something worth dying for. To overcome sin seems to involve some kind of dying and maybe this gives us a hint of how Jesus died for our sins.


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Detachment: Gratitude and Moving On! - Sunday, March 24, 2013

Anthony De Mello S.J.
1931 - 1987

Sometimes in life, like now for me, when things pile up: car needs repair; stereo/TV system does not work and needs to go in shop; banned from Marquette and rumors swell as to why; my church community ignores our pleas to use money they inherited form North Central Milwaukee for people in need in same area; basement and office are a total mess, it is time to count one’s blessings and Move On.

One of my blessings today occurred in our Faith In Recovery session after Church when one of our members shared with us how he was the cause of his own suffering many times. He spoke, like Father De Mello S.J. about how we can let things bother us when if we were detached from them they would not. Detachment is a big virtue of Ignatian Spirituality in the Church and was addressed by Jesus many a times in the Gospel. I have been good at being detached, not worry what others think about me or imposing on myself pain and suffering of the mind. I have to admit I have been slipping recently but this reminder was good.

The first part of this type of detachment is gratitude, counting one’s blessings. A friend told me the other day how when she went to a few meetings of Debtors Anonymous they had a saying, you have all that you need to live with peace and happiness within you and did not need more things. Father De Mello S.J. tells the story of how a man condemned to death the next day enjoyed his last meal and had a good night’s sleep. When the chaplain asked him he could enjoy the meal and sleep so well he said it was simply living in the now moment and his pending death was not there.

The second part of detachment is ‘moving on’. I can learn from the past and apply the lesson to the future but I can only live and control the present moment. In the present moment there is no concern about the past or worry about the future.

Perhaps I am making detachment sound too simple. It is not but in this busy and dizzy world it is the only way I can find to keep my balance and any inward peace. Now only if I can practice what I preach about letting the past go and not worry about the future, detachment from both so I can life in fully in the moment, full of gratitude and moving on in the present


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What Could Be Or Not Be: The Awful Choice - Saturday, March 23, 2013

Emma, 1 year old grand niece
enjoying her birthday cake

When we were working on the Parable,Thy Kingdom Come…on Earth as it is in Heaven , one of our friends printed up a copy with the sub-title saying, “A Story of What Could Be….” Today, my friend and I experienced what is now, when the money, 1.1 million from the sale of Catholic Churches in North Central Milwaukee , is not being used to establish a fund for beds, stoves and refrigerators for people in need from this same area.

We made a St. Vincent De Paul home visit to a family in the North Central Milwaukee. The man who opened the door told us to wait; then, he returned and told us to come in. The lady of the house and mother of the children was sitting on the floor on some blankets; and, the home was completely barren with not even a TV set in sight. Next to the mother was a four month old baby sleeping in a car seat, also on the floor. The woman explained to us her situation. They had recently moved into the house and the only income they had was from the W-2 program with most of the money going toward paying rent. They had food stamps; but, without a stove and refrigerator they were unable to cook any decent type of food or store the perishables.

When we told them we could help with a couple of major items, she immediately asked for a stove and refrigerator; however, she quickly added that she needed beds for her two young children to sleep on and one for herself and her partner. The baby had a Pack n’ Play to sleep in, and that was the only piece of furniture in the house. I explained to her that we could only help with a few major items, with vouchers for a stove and refrigerator — or some beds. She thought for a moment and said the beds for her children were more important than the appliances; so, we gave her a voucher for two single beds and a full bed. I was apologetic about not offering her a stove and refrigerator voucher in addition to the one for the beds. In the back of my mind loomed the thought of the 1.1 million dollars sitting in bank accounts that was originally intended for the poor of North Central Milwaukee. She understood how our parish conference could not offer her beds and appliances due to our lack of money. She did not know about the 1.1 million dollars our parish was holding as stewards, for people in need. She was disappointed, of course, about not being able to get vouchers for the appliances. For now, the hot plate would need to serve as the stove and the unheated back porch as the refrigerator. Because a sustainable fund for beds and appliances had not been established with the money inherited by our Church, she had to make the awful choice.

We talked for awhile. The baby woke up and smiled at us. The two small children sleeping on the floor in a back bedroom woke up and we could see one of them running toward the back of the house. She explained to us that she originally had four children but one had died at age one. On the information sheet from the central office of St. Vincent De Paul, it said she had requested a refrigerator at a different address from a different SVDP conference. When I asked her about that refrigerator she said she had not gotten it since she was then in the process of moving. The man said the person who visited them from the SVDP conference had an “attitude” and, “we just let it rest.” When we left, I felt we had just met Mother Mary and St. Joseph, simple people who were just seeking beds to sleep on, a stove to cook food and a refrigerator to store it. We, members of the nearby parish, had forced the couple into making an awful choice. The leaders of our parish have refused to even acknowledge receiving the parable and the proposal from the parable which could have given us the resources to provide for this family “what could be…”, as ordained by Jesus Christ. I wish the members of the St. Catherine Corporation board and the parish council could have been with us on this home visit today. If they cannot hear the parable maybe they could have felt the pain and suffering we all felt in that barren house today when these poor people had to make the awful choice; where, ‘what could be’ would not be.

Tonight my wife, Pat, and I went to a multiple birthday party for some African friends, where one of the birthdays was for the one year old daughter of a young woman we had known since she first came to the USA with her mother and with another young teen, both of whom called me Uncle Bob when we first met fourteen years ago and tonight. My African nephew with his son and new baby girl was also there. In this African feast: the dance, food, drink and joy made me realize what can be when we look at each other as family and support each other. I met a young African-American male there who had to explain to others he did not know much about the African food, drink or culture since he was an American. The African community locally is a sign of what could be when they treated each other as family. The family we previously visited is an example of how it is when ‘what could be’ is not going to be.


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Struggle of Poor and Marginalized - Friday, March 22, 2013

Today a veteran friend and I spent about four hours helping a friend from our former, now closed Catholic Church, make an emergency move. She suffers from severe pain and my veteran friend, after eleven years of military service, is having a difficult time getting SSI disability benefits for himself. I feel comfortable with people who struggle just to live and survive.

Our bowling team, Next to Normal, will bowl in the Frieden’s Pantry bowling tournament tomorrow, where we got out start last year. We have had a couple of practice sessions during the year and hope we are ready to bowl tomorrow. Tomorrow, before the bowling tournament, one of our team members and I will make some St. Vincent De Paul home visits to three families. Tomorrow night we are going to a party with our Sierra Leone friends, who are refugees from the bitter civil war over diamonds suffered in this poor country. These parties are a special time of community celebration and joy that we are blessed to be a part of.

I told my veteran friend, who is always looking for ways to survive, that our work today for our ill friend, would not be for financial pay but we would receive blessing and grace that God bestows on the ill and poor. He said okay but I still purchased him a fast food meal after we were done. But as many as our poor and ill friends he seemed to understand that serving others meant great blessings for themselves.

Jesus tells us about how the poor are blessed and how we must be like a child. Being child like, saying what I think and feel has never been hard for me but being poor and marginalized has been tough.


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Discernment of Spirits - Thursday, March 21, 2013

St. Ignatius of Loyola

We are overwhelmed with social issues, wars, Drones, gun violence, Teaching Killing at Catholic University, Church abuse, water, air, environment issues, neglect of poor and common good, genetically modified food, and the list goes on and on. The tactics of the “powers that be”, I believe, is to throw so many concerns and issues at us they we rest in permanent defense or denial. Most issues are thought to be dealt with by letters, petitions or votes, few by nonviolent actions by a few. Few issues gather any momentum, like the march on the Wisconsin capital in Madison or the Occupy movement and, if they do, they are shortly dismissed and fade away. We look to leaders to pull us together and outside of politicians that pull us apart there are none. It is easier to live in denial of the Fall of the Empire than see it happen.

What to do? Stay asleep is an appealing choice; another is “you have your opinion on the matter and I have my opinion of the matter and we must agree to disagree”; or “do you own thing” just do not hurt anybody important and American.

The media is part of the problem pushing for our “acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.” (Dorothy Day). The liberal and conservative press gives two sides of the same thing.

What can I do? Just try to stay on the offensive, help my friend Ann move to a safe place tomorrow; continue to struggle for Marquette to teach war and killing no more, struggle for the Catholic Church in Milwaukee to give the 1.1 million dollars back to neighborhoods from which he came; work and pray for a revolution of heart in myself, try to create a better environment when it is easier to be good, listen and serve all my brothers, sister and children in need, suffer but not react to those who might insult you in Jesus’ name, act but not react to injustice and violence.

Looking over my day today I am please to say I talked by phone with friends, some seeking help or someone to talk to; I am glad to setting up home visits to people in need; What I do not like, all the time I spent trying to set up a new sound system, something we purchased for enjoyment but so far it swallowed lots of time and still does not work. Discerning my day I find joy and consolation in my conversations with friends and desolation in my frustration with new things.

St. Ignatius of Loyola asked us to do a daily examen of consciousness to discern what brought us consolation and what brought us despoliation so we can better prepare for tomorrow. Maybe this is what the world needs, Discernment of Spirits, in order that we not be divided but work together, struggle with joy in the pursuit of speaking truth to power, closing military bases on Catholic campuses or directing Church money to the blessed ones of Jesus. Let us go where we find joy and peace and avoid the daemons of individualism, defensiveness or reaction.


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Life of a Scapegoat - Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It was very cold today, the first day of spring as I stood on the sidewalk outside the walkway to the Marquette University Memorial Union. Inside the main entrance of the union a small group of friends prayed the Stations of the Cross as we have done Wednesdays during Lent in the lobby of the Raynor Library. Since I have been banned from Marquette University property, (See From Pope Francis to “Known Trespasser” Car), I was on the public sidewalk outside the union.

An elderly Jesuit priest who I known from my youth came by and felt obliged to warn me, “Bob, the Marquette Security police are looking for you and have a warning out on campus.” I smiled and said I knew, that I had been arrested for trespassing last week going to the archives at the Marquette Library and that was why I was on the sidewalk not inside the Union praying the Stations of the Cross with my friends. He was puzzled, as I was, why I am such a wanted person at Marquette. My friends inside told me a security officer came by looking for me but did not bother them for praying inside the Union. I said I knew and there was a security officer in a car parked on Wisconsin Avenue watching me. How far will Marquette go in scapegoating, in this silliness to avoid the fact they are teaching war and violence on campus in the three military departments they host?

A reporter from the University student newspaper came by and interviewed me. He asked me why I cared about this issue so much and how did it matter to me. The question caught me off guard but I thought of all the innocent men, women, soldiers and children from USA, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somali and Yemen killed by these Wars without End. I gave some long winded answer but in the Quote of the day from Mahatma Gandhi it is said more succinctly: “Mankind are one, seeing that all are our equally subject to the moral law. All men (and women) are equal in God’s eyes. When one of us dies we all die a little. Do they not teach this anymore in Catholic Schools, We are all members of the Body of Christ?

The seriousness of the situation came home to me when I was walking around the block, to avoid cutting through campus, and a Marquette student started to question me. He had very little idea of the military program on campus and how its teaching was opposed to the Catholic faith he and I espoused. I tried to explain how when we are baptized we made a commitment to the teachings of Jesus, the Gospel and our Church that says priority of conscience is more important than government and even Church teachings. He was a very good young Christian still talking the individualist language of ‘your opinion, my opinion’ where there is no Truth that we all seek.

Tomorrow I will ask the Marquette Administration for an appeal hearing on my banning order which says I am not welcome on campus because of “disruptive behavior” written my men I do not know and not given any example of “disruptive behavior”. If they do not respond I will try to take my case publicly since if they can arbitrarily ban me a white Jesuit educated elderly man they can do the same to for anyone. Now I know how my dear deceased son Peter felt when he thought of himself as an outcast and stigmatized person. The children, veterans who suffer and die due to “endless wars”, the young adult African American males who face discrimination, the person with mental illness are the real victims of type of devaluing human life by scapegoating individuals and ignoring message and people.


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Iraq: War Without End - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

“Shock & Awe” attack on Iraq

It is very cold today but at least we had sunlight which made the unheated sun room warmer than the heated house. Today in our faith sharing group one friend made a comment that tomorrow, the first day of spring, would be the warmest day of spring this year. We all looked at him until we slowly realized that the first day of spring, no matter what the temperature is, would be the warmest day of spring this year, at least till the next day. You can say, he reminded us, on Jan. 1st of a new year that this is the warmest day of the year, etc.

As I mentioned in the posting yesterday Deep Listening today is the tenth anniversary of start of the Iraq War, the “Shock and Awe” on Baghdad. Below is a copy of an article, “War Without End”, by Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Last night I gave you some statistics on the Cost of War in Iraq while Kathy gives you the personal impact of this war without end.

I remember going to hear Kathy Kelly talk for the first time when I was walking at Gesu church on the Marquette campus. It was during the time between the first and second war in Iraq, during the time of the sanctions. She described the human effects of the sanctions on everyday life of the people of Iraq she had witnessed. At the time the USA was talking about “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq. She said the sanctions were weapons of mass destructive. I was really moved by her talk and still remember some of the stories she gave from her experience in Iraq. Listening to her was a real turning point for me in my opposition to the “endless wars” or “wars of necessities” as politician described them. She broke the silence for me of what was happening in world with USA military and foreign policy and I felt to break the silence on war and injustice which led to my firing from my job at Gesu on Marquette campus and now to my “banning” from Marquette University property. I cannot blame her for my Deep Listening and my response to her talk. And now for Kathy’s article on the Iraq war, a War Without End.


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Deep Listening - Monday, March 18, 2013

If we have listening ears,

God speaks to us in our own
language, whatever that language may be.
M.K. Gandhi, Mahatma, Vol. 7, p.110

I often have been accused of not listening. I justifiably can be accused of talking too much and interrupting person, faults I work on. But I do listen and listen deeply, sometimes too deeply for my own good. Listening is hard and when persons make demeaning statements or misrepresent views it is hard to listen. Perhaps this explains, but does not justify, my interruption of people at times.

On both issues that spark my passion, Marquette Teaching War No More and the Catholic church giving back to neighborhoods in North Central Milwaukee the money it made from closing and selling churches, Cry of the Poor Petition, attempts are made to marginalize me and thus ignore the messages. Sadly I play into this game and allow myself to be the issue over the message. I am trying to change and just tonight refused to attend a meeting about my bad behavior when the message to the Catholic Church is being ignored. I do not justify any bad behavior on my part, although at times, like the banning letter at Marquette there is no evidence for what the vice president claims is “disruptive behavior” on the grounds of Marquette University.

Marquette refusing me access to the library was all I had to loose of value. If I can get kicked out of the Church that is the steward for the 1.1 million dollar that will be no great lost since I prefer another Catholic church anyway. If, the “powers to be” take away my ability to make St. Vincent De Paul home visits that will hurt. This home visits bestowed blessing and grace, which God gives the poor on me.

Deep listening can be very painful since all the violence of words and actions we are exposed to each day grind at the soul. Deep listening with an historical perspective is hard, since one can see the same old mistakes over and over again.

An official study says the 10 year war in Iraq cost us 2.2 trillion dollars and hundreds of thousands of life. Another unofficial report came out today saying that the shows M-16 spy agency of England and CIA in the United States know before the war that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) which was given as the reason for the war. If both these reports are correct someone should be held accountable for “crimes against humanity”.. A number of people heard, deeply listened, to the drum beats of war before the Iraq war. After the war started, the opposition gradually decreased and the war went out with a whimper. However, if you deeply listen you can still hear the cries of the people of Iraq and feel the wounds of our veterans of this “preemptive war” that preempted nothing.


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Suffering while Persisting - Sunday, March 17, 2013

This is really St. Patrick’s Day. I forgot to wear green to church this morning and heard about it. I can claim confusion since a week ago yesterday, Saturday March 9th, was the St. Patrick day’s parade and there was a lot of partying and drinking. However, this weekend I heard that the taverns were getting ready for a bigger weekend starting Friday night. Taverns stay open longer on this Saturday and on Sunday, today, really St. Patrick’s Day, some opened up 6am in the morning. I guess you can go the tavern before Church this Sunday.

Having a little experience of being marginalized last week at Marquette, Pope Francis to “known trespasser” car, I could relate to an email from a parish leader Catholic leader, in the church who are stewards of the 1.1 million the Catholic Church realized form closing three churches and selling the properties in North Central Milwaukee.

The person accused me of not trusting the select leaders of the church to make the right decision by presenting, with others, proposals like the Cry of the Poor Petition or the which have not gotten any open discussion and some leaders do not even recognize them as being made. I responded that I and others who are in solidarity with the poor and marginalized are not asking for any give outs or charity; we just wanted to be treated with the same dignity and respect as they treat each other. As far as I can tell they are keeping the time and place of the next parish council meeting a secret so we cannot attend as we did last time.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of Society of Jesus or Jesuits, said in the Spiritual Exercises that we should be glad when we suffer poverty or our marginalized in the name of Jesus and to pray for it. I did not pray for it but now that it is coming my way I am having a hard time accepting suffering quietly.

I am tired of people saying and talking how much they care. As St. Ignatius also said “Love is best expressed in deeds over words.” I cannot be silent in the fact of injustice or violence yet must learn how to suffer quietly while persistently breaking the silence. I must do something but in a way that I internalize the suffering and pain.

Gandhi says something similar to St. Ignatius. He defines his Satyagraha or creative nonviolence as “striving nonviolently to the point of sacrifice rather than fighting to attain one’s vision of truth.” Martin Luther King Jr. talks about suffering the blows of officials to show the world how nonviolence exposes the woes of violence.

All this suffering while keeping to “speaking the truth”, at least our opinion according to our conscience, is a lot easier to talk about than practice.
Suffering but being persistent is hard work.


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Hope Spring - Saturday, March 16, 2013

Daffodils in our garden, Spring 2012

Although it is still cold and snowy outside I was reminded today that spring officially starts this week, March 20th. I am reminded that last year at this time I was picking flowers from my gardens which are still covered with snow. I have not even ordered seeds to start for spring planting. Even if I had the seeds it is too cold in our unheated sun room where I start the plants.

The cold and snow is started to weigh heavy on my body, so tired, and my soul, so low. A famous motivation speaker said “You become what you think”. I wish Mother Nature would hear this message and starting thinking and becoming spring. But what I can do about spring coming back. I know it will but cannot control it. I can just hope for spring. Below is a posting from last March that features the daffodil picture on the side of this posting.


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Low? Just Be! - Friday, March 15, 2013

Busy Birds Being

Today, the Ides of March, was a do nothing kind of day. I had a few projects to work on, from putting the parable, Thy Kingdom Come…on Earth as it is Heaven into booklet form to cleaning my office but just did not feel like doing these tasks. The gloomy weather outside probably had something to do with it, but it is no excuse for doing nothing. I could have used the date just ‘to be’ in silence, sleeping, just listening to music or reading a book that I have been meaning to read. But feeling low I still felt I had to ‘do’ something rather than just ‘be’.

The compulsion ‘to do’ rather than ‘to be’ seems to be common one but I feel bad about it since I have learned this lesson about taking time to be before.

Doing, even if it is meaningless, seems to be a way, to avoid facing one one’s feelings, especially when one feels down. Yet, just being is the cue for uplifting spirits, just as a little dying can lead to new life.

To be takes trust, trust in God, self and others. To be means awareness that only my life depends on me not anyone else. To be means taking time to do nothing creatively.

When I was unemployed during times in my life and people would ask me “what I do” I knew they meant what I did for an employment. So often I would answer saying “I do nothing” which was true in the context the question was asked. When I am refreshed from being I can do more, more effectively. So when low do not worry about doing, just be.


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Altruism or Individualism? - Thursday, March 14, 2013

A counselor once asked me what I am doing for myself. I thought of what I do, cooking and doing some household jobs; work on justice and peace issue, like getting 1.1 million from Catholic Church to the poor or stopping Marquette from teaching killing; drive friends to medical appointments; make home visits of our St. Vincent De Paul conference; go out for Friday Fish friends and other entertainment events; researching and writing; gardening; read and watch TV and movies. I am not sure what the counselor was asking but if I look over the partial list above I can saying I truly do all these things for myself, even something that people would call ‘altruistic’.

Some would say that altruism is doing for others not for oneself. But I would argue, maybe from my background in Thomistic, the philosophical doctrines of Thomas Aquinas, that there often is no conflict between doing something for others and for oneself.

I remember watching an interview recently with evolutionary biologist that some of the longest surviving creatures, like bees, insects and humans tend to be altruistic. Simply saying that some creatures, like humans, have crossed a certain threshold where doing for others was doing for self.

So going back to the original question of what am I doing for myself I could say that what I do for others I do for myself and what I do for myself I do for others. I guess Jesus got it right when he said “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Now our American individualistic society would not agree with this way of seeing things. Individualism makes the individual its focus and so starts “with the fundamental premise that the human individual is of primary importance in the struggle for liberation. The ’common good’ seems to be low on the list of many Americans especially politicians. They are popular when they call for lower taxes for individuals but not so if the talk about spending money for the ‘common good’, even the poorest and least of society. The socialist that build Milwaukee, the great park system and other services would not make it these days. If a person is not out for themselves they can come under suspicion.

From Buddhism to Christianity to Islam doing for others, altruism is central to all major religions and faiths. Maybe this is why secularism is on the rise in some countries like USA and religious faith is on the way down. Doing for self can be altruism or individualism.


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From Pope Francis to “Known Trespasser” Car - Wednesday, March 13, 2013

“Known trespasser Not
allowed on campus”

I had planned to go to the Marquette University Library archives this afternoon to do some research on Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement. My thinking was that if I was in the library before the hour of prayer at 4pm I might not get arrested for trespassing as Marquette had threatened me last week with a letter at the prayer service. I had planned to go around 2pm to the library but decided to wait till the new Pope was announced. Pope Francis I is the first Jesuit to be pope and is from Argentina. On the way down to Marquette I heard a few good things about the new pope, especially about his solidarity with poor. Life was looking good.

At Marquette I parked my car in the lot behind Gesu Church, where I had planned to go to pray for the new Pope after the visit to the archives and hour of prayer to end the teaching of killing at Marquette, a Catholic Jesuit University.

As I walked toward the library on a nearly abandoned campus on spring break, I noticed a number of Marquette security police cars parked outside the library. I walked in the library right past the security who probably did not recognize me due to the trench coat, hat and glasses I was wearing, my Sherlock Holms disguise. I got to the turnstile and when my library card did not work I knew I was doomed. I went over to the library desk, were a whole bunch of people were gathered, to check on my card. As soon as I handed the clerk my library card the group broke up and one person walked out into the lobby to get security. Usually they take one look at my card and let me in. This time the lady stalled until the security came up behind me. They called me aside into the library lobby and told me if I did not leave the library they would call the police and have me arrested for trespassing since I had been banned for stepping on Marquette property. Since it was only about 2:30 and the Prayer Service in the library started at 4pm, I decided to leave and come back latter.

As I was walking to my car two Milwaukee police officers in the squad car stopped me on the sidewalk and said I was under arrest. I guess security had changed its mine and got me out of the library before calling police and having me arrested. I was taken to a local Marquette/Police substation and held for an hour before I was given a ticket for trespassing. While waiting I read some more about the new Pope on my I Phone and was impressed. The police officer asked me questions about where my car was parked, its color and make, making me afraid that my car would be towed away. He said no but that my car parked behind Gesu Church was also trespassing on Marquette property.


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Excommunicated or Ignored? - Tuesday, March 12, 2013

gave up by Peter Graf

With our Apple TV we can have all of our pictures on flicker flash by on our TV screen in different orders while internet music of our choice, tonight is Blues, plays in the background. Pictures from Haiti, Peter’s picture, Mexico, SOAWatch and more slide across the screen. . This is a part of my life the last three years in pictures. Blue music fits my mood tonight.

There is TV speculation that the next Pope might be Cardinal Dolan of New York, formerly Archbishop of Dolan. I met him when he first came to Milwaukee at the Catholic Worker house and since we both had a historical interest in life of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker, at least until the US went to war in Iraq. He was all in agreement with Pope John Paul II that the war was “illegal, immoral and unjust” until the war started. Ever the person to please everyone he went silent on the war at a time he needed to step up. My stand on the war and a few other issues moved him to write me, what I call, a ‘nasty email’. Later he apologized for the email, ever the person to please everyone, but our friendship never came back. He was popular since he liked beer and fish friends and was a social glad handler. I figure he was taking only superficial stands so he could move up in hierarchy and he did becoming Cardinal of New York. But this is not before his manipulating money accounts, ridding Archdiocese of many ministries and left the Church in Milwaukee still reeling from the sexual abuse scandal. I think his being pope is just talk. Any background check will discover the mess he made in Milwaukee. In fact right before he left for Rome he had to give an affidavit in the bankruptcy hearing with sexual abuse scandal. He made some transfers of money that if legal are questionable. Can a man of little theological substance be Pope? We will see.

Tomorrow I plan to go to Raynor library to join friends in our hour of prayer. According to MU administrators I am subject to arrest if I do this. What better way to get arrested than for praying in the lobby of a library at a Catholic University.

If Cardinal Dolan becomes Pope and wants to shut me up by excommunicating me I hope he does it for my resistance to war and teaching killing at a Catholic university, my support of women priest and my effort to use the 1.1 million dollars the Church in Milwaukee made by closing Catholic Churches in the poorest and most segregated part of the city for beds, stoves and refrigerators for people in need. But the truth probably is that a Pope Dolan would do what the Church and Marquette is doing now; marginalize us so they can ignore our messages of the works of mercy, resistance to war and support of dignity of women. I rather be excommunicated than marginalized and ignored but that is not my choice.


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Cats at Play - Monday, March 11, 2013

Cats at Play

For a few weeks now I have observed a few local cats at play in our backyard through my office windows and those in the sun room. A few days ago I took a picture through the sun room windows of the two cats that hang in our yard. The next night my wife was awaken by the screams of a cat outside our bedroom window and then suddenly a loud thug sound followed by silence. The next days we look for evidence of a cat killing, like blood, but found none. However, the cats have not been back to playing in the yard since that night. There have been some reports of coyotes in the neighborhood but we do not know what happened except the cats have not been back to play. We will keep on looking for the cats at play.


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Burning 1A Draft Records to Praying in Library - Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bob & Jerry at burning 1A
draft records in Milwaukee, 1968

In 1968 I, with thirteen other people, was arrested for burning 1A draft records in a nonviolent action called the Milwaukee 14. Now, in 2013, I join a few friends praying in the lobby of the Raynor library of Marquette University, a Catholic Jesuit University, to encourage the end of teaching war and killing on campus, and I may be arrested for that. Although we have been doing these prayer vigils since 2009, no one has been arrested for this. However, last Wednesday I was given a letter from the Marquette Administration that I would be ‘subject to arrest’ for criminal trespass if I was found on campus.

Yesterday, one of my companions in ourBreaking the Silence prayer vigils, and I, traveled to the Logan theater in Chicago to watch the world premier of the feature length documentary Hit and Stay about the Catholic-Left, who from 1968–1972 took over 100 similar actions, after the Catonsville 9 and Milwaukee 14: hitting draft boards, destroying 1A draft records and staying for the consequences.

Since 1969 onwards, after the Milwaukee 14 actions many student, faculty and community members had taken to the streets and demanded the end of ROTC which teaches that military values are a priority over personal and religious values. There were hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people, mostly students, protesting ROTC in the 1970’s until now, when only a few Christians in recent years have been praying for peace and giving testimony to the gospel of Christ in the library lobby of MU and sometimes other buildings.
I remember back in 2009, at one of our early prayer vigils in the lobby of Raynor library, counting 14 members: students, alumni and community giving witness. In doing research, we discovered the selective service system had been changed to an educational based system. In this new system, nearly all universities and colleges are required to make ROTC programs available for students; but only a few universities freely choose to be military bases for officer training. Marquette is one of these. It is the only university in the region with a Department of Defense military base on campus, the only Catholic university in Wisconsin to host military bases on campus and the only one, of two Catholic universities in the nation, to host military bases for all 3 branches of the service: Army, Navy/Marines and Air Force. (Notre Dame is the other one.)

During this same period, from 1968–1972 onwards to the present, the military training has changed dramatically to be educational based, as mentioned above, and in recruiting by the Department of Defense including programs for 5th graders though university level using many new adaptive techniques including training based on reflexive killing and drone warfare, to site 2 examples.killing without conscience This has been portrayed in the following documentary, Soldiers of Conscience.

So, we have the educational systems in the USA being used as the recruiting and training vehicles and the Jesuit Catholic University at Marquette being complicit in this by being the only military officer training base in the Milwaukee area for young men and women to learn “how to kill and be killed.” Is it that these military education programs have become the new selective service system? I believe so. What are we doing about it? We are not risking burning military records, that’s for sure. Now at risk, is a criminal trespass violation for one person, for praying in the lobby of a library at a Catholic University.

Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.


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Hit & Stay - Saturday, March 09, 2013

Last March I was picking flowers in the gardens and this March I am still ridding the driveway of ice. Time and weather change.

What does not change is our efforts to ‘break the silence’, struggle for the truth, ‘do the right thing’ and follow our conscience. My friend Joe and I were reminded of this fact of life today when we traveled to Chicago to view the world premier of Hit and Stay. It is a documentary about the Catholic Left that explores a group of nonviolent activists in 1968–71. They broke into draft boards, destroyed 1A files and went to prison in an attempt to stop the killing on both sides. I was privileged to be involved in one of the earlier nonviolent actions, the Milwaukee 14 action on September 24, 1968.

Although I had lived in this time and was involved I learned a lot today about the great number of similar actions and the people behind them.

The movie made me think how far we have gone or gone back in history, from the burning of draft files in 1968 to being subject to arrest for praying in the lobby of the library at Marquette for Marquette to Stop Teaching war and killing on this Catholic campus.

Times change but we can learn from history as portrayed in this Milwaukee that only direct nonviolent action makes for real change with the Industrial/Military/Education complex. Do we, especially youth have the courage of the hundreds of persons in this “Hit and Stay” to actions to risk lost and jail to ‘hit and stay’.


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Contradictions: Pardoxes or Failures? - Friday, March 08, 2013

I have been noticing contradictions in news stories. Since I forget them if I do not note them I will need to write them down immediately and show the good ones on Inconvenient Facts and Pictures web page. Contradictions and Paradoxes fill so much of our life that we need to accept them and learn from them. My son Peter taught me a lot about contradictions or paradoxes that cause him so much pain and suffering.

It is a contradiction that top paid administrators at Marquette University would spend so much time and money to get one person banned from praying in the library of the lobby while letting the others go so they can avoid the message of all that Marquette Teaches Killing. In fact in 2009, the first year of our praying in the library each week for an hour during Lent the now assistant administrator of the Center for Peace Studies, who initiated the banning order for me, was a participant in our prayer vigils in the library. Peacemaker at MU bans peacemaker?

The other paradox I must face in my daily life is that a few of the persons who preach at Church about having concern about the poor and marginalized are silent to our Cry of the Poor Petition. I guess it is one thing to talk about serving the poor and marginalizing and doing it.

Today Pat, my wife, and I made six St. Vincent De Paul home visits to families in need. At one of the calls we met a women with lots of basic needs. Due to lack of money we can only help with two major items and she was in need of three. We asked her to pick two of the three and the one she left out was a bed for her seven year old child who is sleeping on a box spring. The seven year was not home but her six month old sister was there. At the end of the visit I told the six month old girl that when I won the lottery I would come back to buy her sister a bed. The three adults laughed and the mother said that if she won the lottery she would look us up and treat us to something special. Even the baby was smiling.

Then I remembered the parish we were representing on this home visit had won the lottery, got 1.1 million dollars from sale of three Catholic Churches in North Central Milwaukee. Yet some leaders of the church were ignoring the Cry of the Poor Petition, the parable Thy Kingdom come…on earth as it is Heaven and the Proposal from the Parable. One Catholic Church hierarchy even told me that we should spend our energy raising one million dollars for home visits and forget about using the million that was already in stewardship with our parish for poor and marginalized in the areas where the money came from.

I think paradoxes are good contradictions and the many contradictions we see in everyday life are failures to put into action what we say in words. As St. Francis of Assisi is attributed to saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words”


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Soldier to Kill or Save Life - Thursday, March 07, 2013

St Martin and the Beggar, by El
Greco, ca. 1597–99 (National
Gallery of Art, Washington)

Some have criticized us in the in the Breaking the Silence movement for use of military imagery in describing our work for peace and justice. However, there is a long history of using military imagery in religions. A soldier for Christ means being a soldier for nonviolence, just the opposite of a soldier for the to make war.

Early followers of the way of Jesus were forbidden of fight in the Roman army. One of the early soldiers when Christianity was adopted by the Roman Empire in 4th century was St. Martin Tours. He was a soldier in the Roman Empire when he determined that his faith prohibited him from fighting, saying, “I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight.” He was charged with cowardice and jailed like a modern day Soldier of Christ.

One of the saints I have studied the most is St. Ignatius of Loyola was a soldier in a Spanish military unit when he was injured in battle with France. While he was recovery from his wound he had his inner conversation which led to his turning over his weapons to Mary, the Black Madonna in Montserrat and becoming a poor pilgrim in the army of Christ. In his book of Spiritual Exercises God and Satan are presented as leaders of two opposite military. We must choose between the riches, power and glory of Satan or the poverty, helplessness and humility of God.

St. Francis of Assisi was also a soldier in the military before an inner conversation and he went on to be the patron saint of nonviolence.

Reading books about the principles of war, like The Art of War, an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu we can learn a lot about how to conduct our lives in everyday life. Evil, sin, violence and senseless death are all around us. Often we go on the defensive while the enemy attacks and attacks. Being a soldier of Christ we can learn how to go on the offensive not to kill but to save lives.


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Fruity Nutty - Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Prayer Vigil in lobby
of MU Library, Lent 2009

Today I got an email from the Victory Garden Initiative saying that the DMZ community gardens was one of the winners of the Fruity Nutty five contest. This means DMZ gardens has won a Fruity Nutty orchard—up to 30 fruit and nut producing trees, shrubs, and vines.

Dawn, the D of DMZ, had called me, Z of DMZ, a few weeks ago telling me the good news. Our phone conversation was interrupted by anther phone call to her and subsequent attempts for her to call me or me to call her did not work out.
I noticed on the page of the Fruity Nutty five contest that some of the winning neighborhood gardens had a description and some, like DMZ, said “stay tuned for more information about the DMZ Community Garden!”

So now I think I will try our friend Dawn tomorrow since the web page says the fruit and nut trees are coming in April. I know nothing or little about planting fruit and nut trees but lack of learning has not stopped me before.

Speak of Fruity Nutty I had a strange thing happened to me today as I joined friends to pray in the lobby of the Marquette University library. Two security officer at Marquette walked in the library and, in an apologetic manner, gave me a letter. The letter was addressed to me only and said I was “not welcomed on the Marquette University campus” and if I violated that order I would be arrested for criminal trespassing. The letter was signed by Marquette legal council and was sent to the Vice President of Marquette Administration and the Director of Security, all three men who I had never met in my life. No one else there today or anyone who prayed with us in the library over the last four years was banned. Why are these important persons in MU administration concerned about me joining friends in lobby of Marquette Lobby, very quietly and not disruptive to pray. I think I know the person, an associate director of MU Center for Peacemaking Center, who initiated the ban as he said over a month ago he was doing. Strangely enough he was one of us praying in the lobby of the lobby some years ago. Talking about Fruity Nutty happenings.


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Parable of the Sheep and the Goats - Tuesday, March 05, 2013

When I was studied for my Master degree in the Institute of Pastoral Studies one of my scripture professors had us write an updated bible like stories. After writing our recent Parable, Thy Kingdom Come…on Earth as it is in heaven I thought about doing a paraphrase update on the parable in Matthew 25 that used to be called the Judgment of Nations and now is usually called the Sheep and Goats. Here is a paraphrase of Matthew 25:31–45, New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) with a gender change.

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “Sophia, Wisdom of God will come in all her glory. All the angels will come with him. Then she will sit on her throne in the glory of heaven. 32 All the churches will be gathered in front of her. She will separate the people into two groups. She will be like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. 33 She will put the sheep to his right and the goats to her left.
34 “Then the Queen will speak to those on her right. She will say, ‘God has blessed you. Come and take what is yours. It is the kingdom prepared for you since the world was created. 35 I did not have a bed to sleep on and you gave me one. I did not have a refrigerator to store food and drink for my family and you gave me one.36 I needed a stove to cook food for my family and you gave one to me. I had no home furnishing and you visited me and gave me what you could.’

37 “Then the people who have done what is right will answer him. ‘Queen’ they will ask, ‘when did we see you sleeping on the floor and give you a bed? When did we see you without a stove or refrigerator and gave you one? 38 When did we see you needing a stove and refrigerator and gave you one? When did we visit you without home furnishings and give you what we could?

40 “The Queen will reply, ‘what I’m about to tell you is true. Anything you did for one of the least important of these sisters and brothers of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then she will say to those on her left, ‘You are cursed! Go away from me into the fire that burns forever. It has been prepared for the devil and his angels. 35 I did not have a bed to sleep on and you did give me one with your abundance. I did not have a refrigerator to store food and drink for my family and you would not give me one with your abundance. 36 I needed a stove to cook food for my family, and you would not, despite your abundance, give me one. I had no home furnishing and you would not visit me and gave me what you could.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Queen, when did we see you without a bed and not help you? When did we see you without a stove and refrigerator and not help you?’ When did we visit you without home furnishings and not give you what we could?

45 “She will reply, ‘what I’m about to tell you is true. Anything you didn’t do for one of the least important of these, you didn’t do for me.’


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Marginalizing Conscience - Monday, March 04, 2013

Why do people when they hear something disturbing to their conscience feel the need to attack the messenger rather than dialog and listen to each other. Republicans do it with Democrats and Democrats do it with Republicans. They attack each other, thus avoiding listening to each other messages and having a dialog about the difference. This method of ignoring the message and attacking the messenger over dialog seems to be popular these days.

As one of the imperfect messengers of two messages, Stop Teaching Killing at Marquette University and Using the money given to St. Catherine’s parish as stewards to do the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in the neighborhoods where the money came from, I know something of these experience. I also know there is some truth to the fact that I have been responsible for actions that made it easier to ignore the message by marginalizing the messenger. There is some truth to all stigmas as I keep finding out.

However, as anyone involved in either of these situations know that when others present the message of to stop teaching killing at Marquette or writing a parable of how lives can be changed by St. Catherine being good stewards of the money given to them, they are ignored also. Maybe they are not marginalized as much as some of us but, nether the less, message is still ignored.

What to do when one is ignored and marginalized. Many persons, especially powerless and poor, give up and just accept whatever the “powers that be” decide. Some protest and talk about what is right but take no action. A few, progressive Democrats, and right wing conservatives stigmatize the other side.
What to do? I think Jesus gave us the answer when he said “love your enemies and do well to those who hurt you. St. Ignatius said when she would be happy when we are prosecuted or insulted in the name of Jesus or for proclaiming his message.

For me this means not giving up and accepting what others decide for us, not protesting and talking about what is right and certainly not stigmatize the other side.

It means trying for dialog, reconciliation, accepting the suffering and still loving your enemies or friends. I was not very good doing this at a meeting tonight but being negative to me and getting angry about getting angry does no good. The answer my friend, I believe, is blowin in the wind: simply continuing to profess one’s conscience and message and suffering the blows and insults that may come my way while continuing to love my enemies and friends. The message of Jesus Christ to stop teaching killing or to give preference to share money with poor and marginalized needs to be said, if need be, over and over again. At the same time we must listen and dialog when others express what their conscience says abut teaching war at a Catholic University or about what to do about the stewardship of the money. People can minimize and marginalize someone’s expression of conscience but eventfully conscience will win out. Easter is a good time to remember this lesson and to bring an end to one’s own marginalizing and ignoring the message.

I think back to the sixties where many were fighting segregation and poverty in North Central Milwaukee and some of us were struggling to end the draft, ROTC and war in Vietnam. I look around now and seen more segregation and poverty in north central Milwaukee then at that time. I see a Catholic University have a region contract with Department of Defe3nse to host three military training schools at Marquette and know we lost those battles. But I do not think we should give up. I believe research, information, social teaching of the Gospel and storytelling could change people’s minds and open them to dialog and discussion. I was wrong. The only thing that works is the same thing that has worked for thousands of year to make meaningful change, nonviolent creative action.


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Hospitals not Jails for Ill - Sunday, March 03, 2013

Padded Jail Cell for person
with mental illness

There has been a lot of talk recently about plans to close the County Behavior Health Center. However, no one seems to be talking about where to place persons with mental illnesses before they are ready for community based care.

Hospitals are required to provide hospital care for persons with major medical conditions, like accidents, serious heart diseases, cancer, even when a person is unconscious. This is not true for people with certain brain diseases. Private hospital usually require insurance or at least consent of the person with the illnesses, even when the person is unable, like the unconscious person in a car accident, to give consent.

In the 80’s there was a similar move from health mental health care facilities to community programs. The result was a serious increase in homeless persons and person with mental illnesses in jails and prisons.

All serious illnesses should require hospitalization of persons who are a danger to themselves or others. Now our jails, streets and prisons are overcrowded with persons with mental illnesses. These facilities only make the illnesses worse. Many persons need hospitalization before community based programs will work.

Where will we take persons with mental illnesses? I asked this question today to a friend who has been committed to the Behavior Health System many times against her will. She did not know the answer but simply said the Behavior Health Center saved her life. Let’s build better hospitals for people with these brain diseases before we build bigger jails, more prisons and homeless shelters.


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Works of War or Works of Mercy - Saturday, March 02, 2013

See larger version below

In last night’s posting I spent a lot of time putting an email into web page form. What a waste! The purpose of these postings is not to relay information like an email but for observations and reflections. I could have, and will now, spend the time saying how the two issues, stop the teaching of killing at a Catholic university and providing beds, stoves and refrigerators for those in need with money a church inherited are really two sides of the same coin.

Teaching killing, killing without conscience is a violation of the basic message of Christianity, that we are all brothers and sisters and should love one another as ourselves and not kill each other. This is the dark side of the coin. On the other side of the coin is the positive message of the Gospel of how to make the Kingdom of God on Earth by giving special and preferential treatment to those who live in poverty, suffer, marginalized and segregated. This is the light side of the coin.

If we ignore both sides of the coin, ignore and be silent on senseless killing and the treatment of those in need and disenfranchised we are double loosers and have no coin and not much of spiritual life. On the other hand if we speak and act to stop the violence and to treat those in need with human dignity then we own the coin and through our sacrifice and suffering are the winners in the game of life.

When I hear about a soldier who cannot forgive himself for the killing he did in war, hear the voice of a young child crying for his mother and sister killed by a USA drone in Pakistan or visit with a family in North Central Milwaukee that does not have beds to sleep on, a refrigerator to keep food and drink and a stove to cook on, I am ashamed. How can this happen by and in a great country like ours, so powerful and rich?

I realize that both sides of the coin, the violent and killing side and the side of providing a bed to sleep on or appliances to prepare food are really two sides of the same coin. We can choose the side of death and destruction, crimes against humanity or we can choose the side of compassion and human dignity. If, on the other hand, we choose neither side, just go on talk and talk about things with no actions and compassion we are just sleep walkers in life. We live in a world of make believe where there is no choice between evil and good. We are like sleep walkers in life.

We need to wake up and choose the Works of Mercy or the Works of War.


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Emails for Information & Images - Friday, March 01, 2013

I keep on learning my lesson that emails are not for personal conversation but for relating articles,information and images. Here is a recreation of an email I send out today to friends Breaking the Silence.

People willing to sacrifice to Break the Silence about Justice and Peace,

“We are at war, be it, on our part a nonviolent war. The enemy, often our friends, ignore our message, marginalize us and use all forms of indifference. They put us on the defensive or just wait for us to go away. As any good soldier we must train, be focused and go on the offensive with our message of nonviolent love.” From Art of Nonviolence by yet to be author)

Breaking the Silence

will meet Tuesday March 5, 2013

6pm Dinner (RSVP) 7–8:30pm Gathering at 5113 W. Wells street

To plan our strategy and nonviolent actions in our two battle fronts of Peace and Justice

Marquette Teaches Killing


St. Catherine’s Church using its inheritance from the people of North Central Milwaukee to serve the people in need and marginalized in this area.

For more information talk with Don Timmerman, Joe Radowszewski or Bob Graf.

Marquette University is the one Catholic University in Wisconsin and one of two in the USA to have three contracts with the Department of Defense, for military officer training schools for Departments of Army, Navy/Marines and Air Force.

Marquette Teaches Reflexive Killing, KILLING WITHOUT CONSCIENCE

‘’‘Pray, Protest and Fast For Marquette To Stop Teaching Killing on campus

4–5pm Wednesday, March 6, 27, 2013 Marquette Raynor Library Lobby. 13th and Wisconsin Ave.’‘’

Thy Kingdom Come on Earth As it is in Heaven.

A Parable of what could be…if St.Catherine parish used the 1.1 million dollars it inherited from closed Churches in North Central Milwaukee for people in need and segregated.


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