Archive for August, 2012

FREEDOM NOT JUST FOR BIRDS

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Sister Rosemary, olm recently returned to Hebron sends us a short reflection:

A sparrow perched on the razor wire, free to fly at will wherever she chooses!  At  Quitoun check point, pass book or metal detector for her or the hundreds  of other birds which I see taking to the sky early in the morning when I go to our roof top to pray before beginning my day as a member of the CPT team here in Hebron.  Why do Palestinians not have that freedom of movement?    It is the “Occupation.”  Or, as others call it, “Security.”

To mark the end of Ramadan the Israeli authorities granted free access to the entire  Il Ibrahim mosque. At other times only one section can be entered  by the Palestinian Muslims while the upper section is reserved for the Jewish people.  In Jerusalem those same Israeli authorities relaxed their security concerns and allowed Palestinian women of any age and men over the age of fourty to visit the Al Aqsa mosque without the passes required at other times.

Was Israeli security at risk?  Were there any violent incidents?  No.   Could this provide some space for considering greater freedom of movement?  Like the sparrow who leaves the razor wire behind; is this a possibility for a new relationship between Palestinians and Israelis?

Rosemary Williamson, olm

Freedom Not Just for Birds

Becoming Neighbours New Website

Friday, August 24th, 2012

 

Our Lady’s Missionaries have been working with Becoming Neighbours for some time now and are pleased to publish a link to their new website.

Becoming Neighbours promotes two-way cultural enrichment and sharing while assisting immigrants and refugees to become active participating members of the community. As the name implies, this ministry helps new residents to feel “at home” in their adopted country and leads to many lasting friendships.

To access their Website use the following address:

http://becomingneighbours.ca/

An August 15th Feast Day Refection

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

An August 15th Feast  Day Reflection

“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey.”

These are the words that opened my reflection during our celebration of our Feast Day on August 15’th.  Sharing from my years of experience in mission, I noted how these words have had a negative effect on some women.  So often to obey was understood as having to listen to the request of an older man who was seen as an authority figure.

I remembered young village women who would come to the city to look for work and having to fulfill some older men’s requests to spend the night with them in a hotel because these young women were taught that they must obey.  Women were also taught that they must obey their husbands, even in abusive situations.  They were told that in staying, they could convert their husbands.  In truth, men and women have suffered for many years because of incorrect interpretations of the word “obey” in our society, church and world.  What a heavy burden of guilt.

On a more hope-filled note, I also remembered with gratitude our women and some men theologians who are awakening us to hear a new wind blowing today; a new understanding of obedience as empowerment, as hearing and listening to the voice within and being invited to respond and become part of the transformation of our world.

Mary, the mother of God/Jesus, the silent one, the faithful one, held all in her heart.

From the stories and parable that Jesus told, we know that his mother taught him the psalms of Hebrew Scripture, so full of creation imagery.  Mary was obedient as she listened and responded, choosing to say YES! as she believed, “The Mighty One has done great things for me.”

To quote Panikkar:  We are also called in our Yes to continue the incarnation, to allow it to become enfleshed in us.  The incarnation is not yet finished, it is not yet fully complete, for it is to be complete in us.”

Sr. Mary Gauthier,olm

 

Sr. Mary Gauthier with friends

 

Revisiting Hebron

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Sister Rosemary, left Canada August 9th/12  to continue to work with the Christian Peacemaker Teams. Below are some of her thoughts and hopes before departing.

WHO DO YOU SAY I AM

“But who do you say I am?”  As Christians Jesus continues to ask each of us this question throughout our lives.  In my own response I was attracted to Christian Peacemakers Team because they embody the creative non-violence and liberating love called for in the Beatitudes.

With the support of my community I am privileged and grateful to be returning for a second time to Hebron in the West Bank.  Having witnessed the steadfast courage and commitment to non-violence among the majority of Palestinians and those Israelis who are partners in confronting the multiple injustices of the occupation, I feel humbled and willing to be part of their struggle.  Perhaps more importantly I recommit to raising awareness in Canada on my return as Canadians seem to be unaware of the true situation and the media coverage is lacking in depth and honesty.  Ultimately change will only come about when a critical mass of world citizens insist that their governments deal with the Israeli/Palestine conflict with justice and integrity and not out of personal advantage.

 Jesus’ question has added poignancy as each of us tries to choose how to live justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God in relation to the situation in the Holy Land.  What will your response be?

Sr.Rosemary Williamson, olm

Sr. Rosemary Williamson, olm on a CPT delegation