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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.



  • Family activities, spirituality, liturgy, Christian apologetics, social justice topics, special education issues, and promoting the peace and unity of the human family.
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January 17, 2007



It is indeed hard, the burden of duty made all the heavier, when the names of friends, mentors, even of family appear on a misguided list, as I saw once many years ago supporting the "right to choice." This is the sword Jesus brought, His way or the highway.. but it seems even harder when one's co-workers are on some dismal list-- or many. But of course there were dismal lists even in Jesus' day, or the word "mammon" would not have scraped our ears.

Few of us escape all lists, because some causes seem quite reasonable (as you say, due to fear), but we must keep looking, grow out of them, free ourselves with His grace first, and then, neighbor.

It is very hard, sometimes, to not sell out Christ just as Judas did.. but what is gained in that? Peace? No, there can be no peace in a two-faced heart. Prosperity? Only until one lies down for sleep and faces the Maker of one's heartbeat, the One Who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Indeed, we owe a great debt to all who intercede on our behalf..our minds and hearts are opened by these.


I think there is still a great need though, whether we are in a monastic community or out in the world, for personal asceticism, and that it benefits all of humanity in a supernatural way.

I have a little trouble with the idea that it is imperative to make "our presence felt, seen and known." I believe there is still, as there has always been, a great force of hidden ones, ones who have no ability, desire, or calling for activism.

There are many ways of "consecrating our lives to God", and many ways in which transformation is accomplished. When we do our best to "ascertain that which is good for all men, women and children of our world", the answer for some may still be to follow His call into a hidden world of prayer and supplication.

Deacon DW

I agree that not everyone is called to activism; however, I do believe that everyone is called to share their gifts-whatever they may be. One's gift may be prayer, but I see prayer as leading us to do God's bidding in specific ways.

Until a few years ago I never gave much thought to the following prayer of St. Theresa of Avila:

Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes through which He looks
compassion on this world
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

I now view it as deeply mystical, contemplative, and ascetic--and certainly a good one for those called to action.


I agree with both of you..

I've held blatantly pro-life signs outside of voting areas, and was mortified to be so public, because I was directly if silently confronting some community folks' and even some family's beliefs, whereas I was taught, no, whereas I was drilled into never offending anyone. And if I thought merely standing there was mortifying, it was nothing compared to speaking to the faithful about the faith in various Church Season reflections or inviting into RCIA - suffice it to say my kids thought it a eulogy. It probably would be better for me to confront pagans than to address congregations, especially any with Sisters of Mercy in full habits..If I were a cat, I'd now be down to 2 lives.

As Gabrielle knows and does, I'd much rather be a Mary, cozy at Jesus' shins, which He Himself said was the better part, and to Martha only very gently. I cannot imagine what writing in my blood on a missile could accomplish, yet if I were in a spot where I had that opportunity, I'd do it.. and for me, just as I challenged my disciple love by speaking of Him after realizing that both Peter and Paul in Acts were not less afraid than I, it would've sprung from contemplation first, for sure. (EvangelizaShin!)

There is only one way a poor churchmouse can measure orthopraxis these past few decades: WWJD. Or more accurately, WWMMD. Those who are called one way or another are deeply blessed.

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