31 March 2013

For Easter

Post Resurrection 101
Luke 24:13-35
Awash in grief
we fled Jerusalem,
dust of that place
clinging to us
even as we ran.
No words
tears only
making me blind
once again.
When the stranger met us
I resented him,
hated him.
Could he not see the grief?
Or was he blind too?
He asked for our story
and in sobs
we threw words at him
in hopes of seeing his tears.
He was pleasant
The rage of our grief
did not touch him.
He began quoting Scripture
line after line of stale
tired verses.
Did he not hear our grief?
For miles he ignored our weeping.
on the doorstep
of the familiar again
he finished with us and
turned to go.
My grief rose up
and captured him.
I dragged him inside the tomb
of our home.
Seated at our table
his memorized words
were useless.
We offered him our sorrow
on heaping plates.
He took them
at last.
He broke open before us
and rose again
fleeing the tomb.
He left us behind,
two messengers
blazing in the night.

~~Shannon O'Donnell

first published April 2001, National Catholic Reporter

28 March 2013

Holy Week in Jail

It's been a busy month both inside and outside the jail. There's a new pope. "Nice to see someone smiling for a change," an officer said.


 Then came the news that Pope Francis was headed to juvenile detention today for the washing of the feet.  That caused a flood of questions. Here's the story. As archbishop in Buenas Aires, Jorge Bergolio made a point of rolling up his sleeves and being a pastor face to face with the people. The stories come tumbling out.

So far, this is my favorite photo of him, sitting in the back of the chapel inside the guest house where he has chosen to live. He attends daily Mass with the people who work inside the Vatican, says a few words, eats in the dining room. This is not a man who is aloof and bound by custom. He wants to be around people. There is an example to be followed there and already it is spring.

04 March 2013

Education for Felons?

Someone's thinking about it. You can read the editorial in the Seattle Times here. The comments, at least so far, are your average knee-jerk reaction. 

Things to consider: 95% of people in prison will eventually be released to the community. Do you want them homeless? or capable of holding down a job, paying taxes, contributing to the general good?

The number of people in prison who do not have a high school diploma or GED is astronomical. Good education reform that keeps kids in school, educates them in a variety of ways, makes them excited about lifelong learning, that's something I can support.