Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Healing Family Feuds

In our search to make peace with the gods
We continue to sacrifice
The need to make peace with all creation,
And we continue to pay a dear price.

There is no place where we can
Seek solutions in our family feuds.
We allow strangers in our courts
To decide who and what is good.

This is not the way to solve
Problems with those we love,
So we medicate our consciences,
And sweep our problems under the rug.

We seem to have progressed no further
Than the ways of Cain and Abel,
Lying about our guilt
Instead of laying it on the table.

We could lay down our swords and sorrows,
Once confessions are given and accepted.
The restart button could be pushed,
Instead of living in continued rejection.

Being born again could include
As ceremony of re-entry
To communion with our fellow humans
Once our fear and anger are set free.

Many people sin in secret;
They don't let their truths come out,
But admitting our faults and starting over
Is what New Orleans is all about.

New Orleans is a city of great passion,
A city of celebration of The Spirit and sin.
We must simply be aware of these things
In choosing what we let come in.

We used to have a Catholic culture of
Saturday afternoon confessions,
Keeping the sins of yesterday
From becoming our obsessions.

Now, I'm not sure what people do
To slow themselves down and think.
Instead of examining their souls,
Perhaps they simply have a drink.

It is not so different than anywhere;
We all have bad things we have done.
But I sure miss the days when we had
A confessional to which we could run.

It's not that I think the way to
Absolution was well administered;
It was simply that it was cleansing
To have our failings heard.

What I wish they handed out for penances
Is the directive to make amends
With all those we had hurt that week,
Ourselves, our enemies, and our friends.

Perhaps we could add a codicil
That would offer extra absolution
To those who seek to cure cancer
And clean up the earth's pollution.

Extra penance would be needed for
Those who take from the poor,
Like those who profess to be the voices of God
While standing in greed's door.

Maybe we all need sinners' anonymous
Something like going to AA;
It would be a place where each of us sinners
Would have support to live by what we say.

Wouldn't it be nice if
Our churches would become
A place for laying down the burdens
From which we generally run?

They could be places where we
Pledge to seek reconciliation.
Not simply places where we go
Straight to the celebration.

We could replace our courtrooms
With centers for seeking peace,
Where members of our churches
Speak for those who are the least.

Instead of priests, we'd have mediators;
All confessions would be confidential.
But having dialog with both warring parties
Would be seen as essential.

Perhaps we could then get past the sins
Of the fathers being passed down to their sons.
We could begin to reclaim the harmony
In which humanity was begun.

1 comment:

  1. Food for thought! New Orleans is a good place to begin again. Why? Perhaps because of the ability to become anonymous? I'm sure that large cities serve that need in a manner of speaking. In these little towns if a person falls into sin it is well known very quickly - all over town. Sadly, many have not reached the stage where they can forgive and forget.