Shuck and Jive

Thursday, February 06, 2020

In Between

Here is the latest piece I wrote for the Beaverton Resource Guide.

In Between

There is a hauntingly beautiful song by Mary Gauthier called “Mercy Now” with lyrics that I think fit our time, the time of in-between.

Every living thing could use a little mercy now
Only the hand of grace can end the race towards another mushroom cloud
People in power, they'll do anything to keep their crown
I love life and life itself could use some mercy now 
Yeah, we all could use a little mercy now
I know we don't deserve it but we need it anyhow
We hang in the balance dangled 'tween hell and hallowed ground
And every single one of us could use some mercy now

Life is “hanging in the balance” and we dangle in-between. My personal life has changed and I am in between jobs, perhaps in between careers, even in between spiritual identities. One foot in a past existence and one in the next. Maybe you have been in a similar place or are there now.  Collectively, as a nation, as a world community, we are in-between as well.

As scary as it seems, the in-between is the place of mercy and grace. If we can accept this liminal place, this in-between that and the other and not attempt to force what is to come or hurriedly retreat to what was, we can find our truth. We can find ourselves and discover what is real and valuable and worthy of us.

The in-between is the space of our test. This is a place where we are given the opportunity to reveal who we really are. This is a place that invites the best in us to rise up and be beautiful, brave, generous, intelligent, creative and joyful. This is the place where we show the universe what it means to be human beings. This is where we prove that our appearance on this blue ball was not a mistake or a fluke but a planned gift.

This is where we put our opposable thumbs to good use and create homes and communities of justice and be a blessing to all living things. This is the in-between, the place of both meditation and action, where we discover that we are beloved, that we matter, and that come what may, we will be true to the better angels of our nature.

Let us not be afraid of the in-between nor fret over the “people in power.” They got nothing. For the “hand of grace” is indeed with us, now in the uncertainty, in the liminality, in the in-between. Let us trust that together, in time, we will reach that “hallowed ground.”

I have played this youtube of her song in church. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

How About We End it Here

How about we end it here.
Do something unexpected,
courageous and wise.

Let the US leave Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Saud, Israel
and every other country to themselves,
and let’s make for ourselves a nice home,
spending our money on health and education
and sustainable, just living with Earth and our neighbors.

Let us bring our troops and equipment from all over the world home.
Let us melt down the useless bombs.
We need no more than the poorest anywhere and then everyone,
everywhere will live rich in spirit,
each with one’s daily bread,

like the beloved of God.

My Country's Skies Are Bluer than the Ocean

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.

I thought of one of my favorite peace hymns, "This Is My Song" (tune: Finlandia) when I saw a photograph of Tehran, Iran on Twitter yesterday. Press TV, an Iranian English-speaking news outlet posted the photo and caption, "Tehran's blue sky right now!"

I have no quarrel with anyone from Iran. Who does really? Only the elite who profit from war. It is time for human beings to take back our lands and sing with confidence a song of peace so the God of all the nations will believe that we really want it.

Here are the rest of the lyrics and a nice harmony on it from the Indigo Girls.

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is,
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Truth Jihad: A Conversation with Kevin Barrett

In March 2018 I had a live interview scheduled with Dr. Kevin Barrett on my monthly show, "The Beloved Community" on KBOO. Through a smear campaign led by Rose City Antifa complete with name-calling, character assassination, and a deluge of tweets and phone calls, the station staff and management were pressured to stop the interview and actually ban Kevin Barrett from being on the air. (Staff and management claim they were not pressured.) I appealed the decision but my appeal was never addressed. Dr. Barrett never had an opportunity to defend himself. Volunteers or the membership never had an opportunity to review this process.
On December 13th, 2019 I broadcast a pre-recorded show that included audio from the last sermon I gave to my church, an interview with Dr. David Ray Griffin and a speech Dr. Kevin Barrett delivered at a KBOO-sponsored event at Portland State in February 2018 about US-Saudi relations. Staff, in response to phone calls, stopped the broadcast in the midst of Dr. Barrett's speech and played Christmas music! In protest to this personal disrespect and censorship, I decided to take a sabbatical from my volunteer duties and support of KBOO and move my show to a platform that respects the spirit of the First Amendment. You can read my story here.
Over Christmas, Dr. Barrett interviewed me for his radio show, Truth Jihad, and gave me permission and encouragement to rebroadcast that interview on my program.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

John Shuck on Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad Radio

Dr. Kevin Barrett interviewed me for his radio show, Truth Jihad. Check it out:

Censored Presbyterian Minister and Radio Host John Shuck on Why He’s Leaving KBOO-Portland and His Church

John Shuck: When they won’t let you tell the truth, it’s time to leave

Listen HERE

Presbyterian minister John Shuck is leaving his KBOO-Portland radio show “Beloved Community” and his church position. Apparently neither the radio station nor the church can handle the truth about 9/11 and related topics. John recently wrote me:
Dear Dr. Barrett,
A number of changes have happened to me. I am no longer pastor at my church. I was judged too radical opposing wars and their lies and saying too many good things about Islam.  Now I am done with KBOO too. Here is my last show that includes audio from you.
I dedicated the show to you and to Dr. Griffin, two people who have for me modeled the spirit of sacrifice for truth that I saw in Jesus and Hussain. The audio I included of you was the speech you gave at the conference in Feb 2018 about the US and Saudi empires. I never broadcast it before.
Anyway in the middle of the broadcast this past Friday morning, while you were speaking, the station staff stopped it and played Christmas music! Naughty of me to play anything by the banned Kevin Barrett.  So after 20 months of the station’s inability to treat either of us like human beings, I decided it was a good time to go.
I want you to know how important you have been to me on a personal level. You model human decency in the time when the inhumane are in power.  Thank you.
All the Best,
John Shuck

John Shuck’s church was vandalized with Antifa-style graffiti. Earlier, Portland Antifa had pressured KBOO radio to prevent John from interviewing me.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Sabbatical from KBOO

After 20 months and no resolution or clarity regarding the censoring of my show and the smearing, name-calling and character assassination of Dr. Kevin Barrett, I decided to take a sabbatical from KBOO.  I wrote a letter to the appropriate staff yesterday:
"To Whom It May Concern: 
My life is taking a different path. 
I am taking a sabbatical from my volunteer duties at KBOO and will cease my contribution at this time. I am also going to be moving my show “Beloved Community” to another platform. This is effective immediately. 
I have appreciated much of my experience at KBOO. I have learned a lot and have met many marvelous people.  
I wish you all the best. 
Rev. John A. Shuck
It turned out to be my final show at KBOO. In the first 19 minutes you will hear the last sermon I preached at my congregation a few weeks ago. It was nicely edited with video accompaniment by ALIPortland.

My final sermon at Southminster, November 24, 2019

You can read the text here. In the sermon, I talk about my experience attending Arba'een and what that has meant to me. I highlighted two contemporary figures who represent to me people who follow in the spirit of both Jesus and Hussain in terms of holding to one's truth even as doing so requires sacrifice. They are Dr. David Ray Griffin and Dr. Kevin Barrett.

From 19:15-38:34 I included an interview I had with Dr. David Ray Griffin from a couple of years ago.

Dr. David Ray Griffin

From 38:35 to the end is an address (audio never before broadcast) that Dr. Kevin Barrett delivered at the conference, "The US-Saudi Coaltion: Bringing Peace or War?" at Portland State in February 2018. This event was sponsored by KBOO.

On Friday, December 13th, when the show aired, staff actually stopped the on-air broadcast during Dr. Barrett's address and played Christmas music. When I inquired, I was told that I was apparently a very bad boy for including any audio from banned Kevin Barrett.  Dr. Barrett is the only person I know who has been banned from KBOO after never having been on the radio station!

Dr. Kevin Barrett and Dr. Scott Bennett at the PSU conference,
"The US-Saudi Coalition: Bringing Peace or War?" February 2018
Now you can hear on podcast what you could not hear on KBOO.

Bottom line? It is my show.  I am moving it to a different platform, one that is not controlled by the same forces that control all of our media, including much of the supposed alternative media. Under the false pretensions of protecting us from so-called "hate speech," these forces use smear tactics, name-calling and character assassination to silence voices that are critical of wars that benefit the military-industrial complex and Israel. On that topic, here is an excellent article by David Spero Rn, "A Match Made in Hell: Israel and the Military Industrial Complex."
Why exactly does the US government go to war with so many of Israel’s enemies? Why has the US destroyed Iraq and half of Syria? The costs were enormous, the results horrible, the rewards imperceptible. The Iraq war not an outlier; it was the second in a long series of US invasions, bombings and destructions of majority-Muslim states. It’s still going on now, with Israel the only obvious beneficiary. How does this happen? Is the Israel lobby that powerful, and even if it is, why has the rest of the US establishment gone along? 
The explanation lies in the MIC and a deeply sinister marriage that has grown between them and Israel. Israel’s wars have become major parts of the MIC’s business plan. Every bomb Israel drops; every missile the US fires, every Muslim country the US invades makes money for the MIC. Israel receives over $3 billion in military aid from Washington every year. Most of this money immediately returns to US military corporations to buy weapons. They’re partners. 
Where most Americans heard Eisenhower’s speech as a warning, Israeli leaders and their militant American supporters saw an opportunity. By allying with the MIC, this group which became known as the Neoconservatives set out to reshape the world. The Pentagon and military corporations already had powerful lobbying programs in place. But industry lobbying typically takes the form of ‘Buy our product;’ ‘Try this weapon system.’ They didn’t lobby for new wars. Some Israel loyalists realized that if they could provide the wars, the MIC would reap the profits, strengthening Israel in the process.
The issue that is most important to me? Human decency. It is not right to smear people and assassinate their characters and not give them an opportunity to defend themselves. This is what saddens me most about my experience at KBOO. For 20 months I tried to work through the system to  allow Dr. Barrett to defend himself. I finally realized it would never happen.

It is also important to hold on to one's truth and to be true to yourself.

At the end of this broadcast, I left folks at KBOO the same thing I left with folks at my church:

Hold to your truth.

Hold fast to your truth.

Whatever that truth is, don’t let it go for the sake of acceptance by others.
No relationship that requires you to deny your truth is worth keeping.

Do know that if you do hold fast to what you know is true,
and this truth is in order to goodness,
it will at some point require sacrifice.

But if it is true and good, it will last.
It will resurrect beyond death.
It will live and save.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Final Sermon at Southminster: The Reign of Divine Values

My final sermon at Southminster.
The audio includes a wonderful tribute by my colleague and friend, Rev. Don Ludwig.
And a beautiful blessing from the children.
The choir sang “A New Day” perfect for “Christ the King” or “Reign of Divine Values” Sunday.
November 24, 2019

The divine purpose, thus revealed, is to overcome evil by bringing about a Reign of Divine Values (traditionally called the Kingdom of God) on Earth, in which the present subjugation of life to demonic values—lies, ugliness, greed, destructiveness, injustice, hate, and indifference—will be replaced by a mode of life based on divine values—truth, love, beauty, goodness, justice, and compassion….
The Christian Community should base itself, all of its activities, on the Christian Community’s mission. Its basic mission is to lead the way in God’s battle against demonic power on Earth. The church is meant to serve as a counterforce to the demonic dimension of the symbolic structure in which human beings live. God’s incarnational activity in Jesus should be understood as a divine offensive against the power of the demonic.
The Christian Community should, of course, engage in ethical and political activity as usually understood. But this activity should be carried out in the context of a spiritual offensive, in which the power of prayer is used to reinforce the divine influence upon the individuals and institutions involved. Praying for those who are especially enslaved to demonic power, and who are incarnating it in especially destructive ways, will not only serve to remind us that they are essentially good creatures who are loved by God, but also that our battle is not with them but with the demonic power to which they are enslaved….
Central to worship is Communion (the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist), in which we remember that Jesus remained faithful in his opposition to the empire, which led to his death on a Roman cross.
Jeremiah 23:1-6
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
Luke 23:33-43
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’ The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’

The Reign of Divine Values
On Friday I prayed at the Islamic Center of Portland as I do on occasion. It is where I go to “church” so to speak. Where do ministers who lead worship go to worship for themselves? That is where I go. I appreciate the sermons of Imam Muhsen Al-Dhalimy. I always learn new things. I am learning slowly how to pray. They are patient with me and welcoming. Happy that I am with them.
This past Friday, a boy, a middle schooler, I would guess, led the call to prayer. Afterward, when prayer was finished, in the hallway he told me how much he liked the film Josh Townsley and I made about our walk to Karbala. He spontaneously gave me a hug and asked me if I was a Muslim.
I have been asked that before as I have been invited to speak at Islamic Centers around the country this past year. I never know exactly how to answer that. On Friday, I said,
“I am a Muslim in my heart.”
I don’t think we can really engage in interfaith work and not have our hearts transformed and expanded. In interfaith encounters, at least as I see it, we must risk transformation. It isn’t just about telling others what we think or what we believe. Then it is nothing more than a sales pitch. For me, I want to know what God is saying to me through you. That approach, by its very nature, risks transformation. You can’t control what will become of you.
In this my last sermon with you, I do want to leave you with a few things including my appreciation for you, my gratitude to you and for you, and my blessing to you. It has been a good five years. We have done good things together. I am glad I came here and served among you. Despite the discomfort of how things are ending, it is time for that ending as well. I fully support what you will be voting on today in terms of dissolving the call. Your session and I have worked together and all of us have come up with an agreement that meets all of our needs.
As John O’Donohue writes in his book, To Bless the Space Between Us, one of his blessings is entitled “For the Time of Necessary Decision.” It says in part:
“Often we only know it is time to change
When a force has built inside the heart
That leaves us uneasy as we are.”
Southminster’s phrase is “companions on a spiritual journey” and you have been my companion. I cannot say what I have given you. I hope I have been a companion to you on your spiritual journey as well. But do know, that you have been a companion on mine. All of you, even those who have been uncomfortable with me. You all have been my teachers, my companions. You have shown me the Divine presence and have lived the Divine values in many different ways. I have laughed a lot with you. We have shared tears. We have shared a great deal and none of that is lost and I thank you.
I also feel it is fitting that today is Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the church year. The phrase “Christ the King” sounds archaic. After all, kings rule by force. That is not how Christ empowers. Christ leads through love. So we might call this Sunday “Reign of Christ” Sunday or “Reign of Divine Values” Sunday.
That is really what it is about. It is about the hope of a renewed creation in which we relate to one another and to Earth with the values Jesus taught and lived: Beauty, Truth, Justice, Love, Peace, Courage, and Compassion.
As the text from Luke’s Gospel illustrates, Jesus demonstrated the Reign of Divine Values as he went to the cross. His sacrifice showed the world the true realm of God. It is this concept of sacrifice that is really at the core of this transformation that happened to me and I think is happening in the world. I feel the need to share this journey with you as I close my time with you.
In February 2018, I moderated a panel discussion regarding the war against Yemen at Portland State University. It was entitled “The US – Saudi Coalition: Bringing Peace or War?”
It was in the follow-up of that conference during an email exchange that I first heard of Hussain. He was referenced in regards to the panelists, all of whom had taken risks and had sacrificed in varying ways for their work in bringing truth to light. All of the panelists, including Kevin Barrett and Mohammad Al-Nimr, were and are truth-tellers. They told inconvenient truths about the powers that be.
That is how I was introduced to Imam Hussain (Peace Be Upon Him). He was a truth-teller and was martyred for embodying the truth. I knew nothing else about him except that. I wanted to learn more.
When I went to Karbala, Iraq for Arba’een I did learn more about Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, not only intellectually but also spiritually. I learned that Hussain, through his sacrifice, saved Islam. He defined Islam by his sacrifice as a religion of Beauty, Truth, Justice, Love, Peace, Courage, and Compassion.
Hussain was and is, as I saw him, a mirror-image of Jesus. They are siblings. They are brothers. They are one. As I said in a sermon a few months ago.
It is Jesus I follow to Karbala.
Jesus showed me Hussain.
If I want to follow Jesus,
I must follow Hussain.
Hussain shows me how to follow Jesus.
Hussain and Jesus both sacrificed in the same way. They sacrificed all they had, their very lives for the Reign of God, for the Reign of Divine Values, and they both summoned the world to follow in their steps if we wish to participate in this transformation of the world.
This Arba’een walk of 15 to 20 million or more is a modern miracle of this transformation. It is a sacrament through which the world is being summoned to walk as one against all forms of tyranny.
My heart for Jesus expanded because of Hussain. I am a better Christian because of my encounter with Islam.
This is not about religion in the narrow sense of that word (whether one is Christian, Muslim, Jew or whatever), but it is about religion in the broadest sense, the power of love that connects us all at the deepest levels.
When I went and touched the box above the grave of Imam Hussain (alayhi-salaam) I wasn’t sure if I should. Hussain wasn’t a figure in my religion. But I was told again and again that Hussain is for everyone, regardless of religion or creed. Just like Jesus.
So I am in the Shrine of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him). It is beautiful. The air conditioning is on. It is filled with the sound of prayer. People are crying. Some are standing. Some are sitting. Some are in various positions of prayer. Poetry is being recited from many places. I don’t understand a word of it, except now and then I hear a name I recognize, Ali, Zainab, Abbas, Hossein.
This is about a week before Arba’een. I am with the tour group. I decide I want to go and touch the big box in the center of the shrine, the lattice work above the grave of Hussain. I don’t know what it is like on the women’s side, but on the men’s side, even a week before the day of Arba’een the place is packed. it is a push and pull like ocean waves of bodies. Your feet almost leave the ground. There are so many people. You know where you are headed. It is like swimming in the ocean. You don’t need to be aggressive but you need to hold your own. You swim through the bodies, pushed left and right. Finally, I got close enough, almost there.
I should stop here. I was conscious of being different. Different religion. I only speak English. From America. My reddish hair, now reddish-gray, pale skin. Of the thousands of people inside the shrine that day, I was probably the whitest guy in the room. I reach up and put my hand up to touch the lattice work and I can’t reach it.
What happened with me is that as I reached up, I couldn’t touch it, and a hand took mine and pushed it up against the grate. It was a brown hand, taking my white hand up against the final resting place of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him). It was a visual imprint in my mind that beyond all color, all race, all religion, all language, the language of love and truth and courage is one. The love of Hussain. Our eyes met. We just looked at each other.
As I swam away, just a few yards away, I saw this man. He stared at me. Tears were streaming down his face. He asked me as many did on my trip, “Where are you from?” I told him, America. He just started bawling. He hugged me and kissed me. I have joked that I never have been kissed by so many men with scratchy beards.
But what is this?
Iraq. A country that felt post-apocalyptic to me. I like many of us Americans, watched from a distance as our leaders lied us into war, destroyed Iraq, and then ignored its suffering. No one goes there. No one that I know, except my brother-in-law. He is a professor at NYU and he goes often to the northern part of Iraq because of his work of peacebuilding with the University of Kirkuk. Besides my brother-in-law and soldiers, I know of no one who had been to Iraq. A country that Americans like me need to visit. A country devastated by the demonic, by lies and wars, by bombs and depleted uranium. By hatred from outside powers, mercenary terrorists and puppet tyrants, the people left to fend for themselves.
The US state department tells Americans not to go to Iraq. Too dangerous. Bad. Whatever. What did I find? I found love. I found tears. I found joy. I found hope. I found my heart had expanded. A Christian American was embraced and shown the love of Hussain (alayhi s-salam).
My heart was expanded. Courage is the result of an expanded heart. With courage is insight to tell the truth as best you know it when you need to tell it. That doesn’t mean I know truth more than others. That doesn’t mean I am not ever wrong. I am wrong often. Courage is admitting it and learning from it.
Courage does not mean me selling you my truth. It doesn’t mean that. Hearts do not expand that way. You tell what is true and live what is true and God does the rest.
But it does mean that I cannot be afraid of what I know or of what I learn because of the discomfort of truth to me or others or to the powers that deceive.
I included in today’s order of worship, three different quotes from Dr. David Ray Griffin. Dr. Griffin, in my opinion, is the most important Christian theologian in the 21st century. The reason I make that very bold statement is because of sacrifice.
He held on to what he believed to be true, not only true, but important for justice, despite misunderstanding, ridicule, name-calling, and marginalization.
He communicated what he believed to be true at the very point when and where it matters most.
I am going to add Dr. Kevin Barrett to my list of the most important Muslim scholars of our time as well for the very same reason. Sacrifice.
He communicated what he believed to be true at the very point when and where it matters most. He did so at great risk to himself and at great loss.
That is the type of sacrifice that is in the spirit of Jesus and Hussain (peace be upon them both).
That is what I want to leave with you my dear beloveds at Southminster.
Hold to your truth.
Hold fast to your truth.
Whatever that truth is, don’t let it go for the sake of acceptance by others.
No relationship that requires you to deny your truth is worth keeping.
Do know that if you do hold fast to what you know is true,
and this truth is in order to goodness,
it will at some point require sacrifice.
But if it is true and good, it will last.
It will resurrect beyond death.
It will live and save.
In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus said:
If you bring forth what is within you,
What you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
What you do not bring forth will kill you.
In other words if you bring forth your truth,
that truth will save you.
If you do not bring forth your truth,
that truth will destroy you.
So in answer to the question of the boy who asked me on Friday if I am a Muslim.
I will leave that for God to judge whether or not I am worthy to be called a Muslim.
For my part, I will trust the brotherhood of Jesus and Hussain as bringers of Divine Values.
May we all embrace these values regardless of our religion.
In terms of a blessing, this is for you, Southminster.
It is from John O’Donohue’s book, To Bless the Space Between Us.
It is called A Blessing of Angels.
May the Angels in their beauty bless you.
May they turn toward you streams of blessing.
May the Angel of Awakening stir your heart
to come alive to the eternal within you,
to all the invitations that quietly surround you.
May the Angel of Healing turn your wounds into
sources of refreshment.
May the Angel of the Imagination enable you to stand on the true thresholds,
at ease with your ambivalence and drawn in new directions
through the glow of your contradictions.
May the Angel of Compassion open your eyes
to the unseen suffering around you.
May the Angel of Wildness disturb the places
where your life is domesticated and safe,
take you to the territories of true otherness
where all that is awkward in you can fall into its own rhythm.
May the Angel of Eros introduce you to the beauty of your senses
to celebrate your inheritance as a temple of the holy spirit.
May the Angel of Justice disturb you to take
the side of the poor and the wronged.
May the Angel of Encouragement confirm you in worth and self-respect,
that you may live with the dignity that presides in your soul.
May the Angel of Death arrive only when your life is complete
and you have brought every given gift to the threshold where its infinity can shine.
May all the Angels be your sheltering and joyful guardians.