Advent header 2010
Advent 2010: Pray - Study - Act
In This Issue
PRAY: Reflection for First Sunday of Advent
STUDY: Sudan in danger
ACT: PC International asks for Bethlehem messages
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First Week of Advent, Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2010

"The world will be saved by beauty..." 

In The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, the main character, Prince Myshkin, is mocked by another character for having reportedly made the statement, "The world will be saved by beauty." As Advent approaches this year, I find myself haunted by the quote. 

I live in a Catholic Worker House through which broken people pass every day. I work for any organization that every day is neck deep in the challenges presented by injustice, violence, greed, and war. I sometimes am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it all. 

As advocates and activists it seems that the only power we can draw on is the power of our pain, or the power of our anger at the way things are. But there is another power afoot in the universe, a power we are sometimes lucky enough to glimpse if we only have eyes to see. We can call it God, or Love. I think maybe Dostoevsky understood it as Beauty. 

This Advent, as the days grow shorter and the nights grow darker, let us wait together for the birth of Love, for the birth of Beauty. And attune our eyes to see that which will save the world.

In peace,
Johnny Zokovitch
Program Director, Pax Christi USA

  PRAY: Nov. 28, First Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 2:1-5 | Romans 13:11-14 | Matthew 24:37-44

"One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again" (Isaiah 2:4)

The readings during the holy season of Advent include some of the most beautiful passages from the Bible, specifically the words from Isaiah. Today, as we light the first candle of the Advent wreath and enter our waiting time, we are greeted with the Creator's great promise: Peace will come, and swords will be beaten into plowshares. While we must prepare ourselves for this time of darkness and silence, we should not be afraid; rather, as Romans tells us, dress in Jesus Christ, put on that armor of light, and stay awake. The darkness is descending, and things will change when we least expect, but fear not, we walk in the light of God...

To read the rest of this reflection from "The Presence of God: Reflections for Advent 2010" by Judy Coode, click here.
STUDY: Sudan in danger
(The following article was written by Madeline Labriola, Head Delegate to the UN for Pax Christi International and member of Hudson Valley [NY] Pax Christi.)

The message was loud and clear "The situation in Sudan is critical"! On October 14, 2010 the Sudan Ecumenical Church Leader's Delegation, sponsored by Religions for Peace, World Council of Churches and Caritas International meet with the NGO community at the United Nations to give a first hand account of the serious situation in the Sudan. 

On January 9, 2011 the country will hold a referendum, which was an important and crucial part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005. This referendum will determine if North and South Sudan will become separate countries. It is more than likely that the South will vote for separation. 

Daniel Deng Bul, Archbishop Episcopal Church of Sudan and Bishop of Juba said he was "afraid that Sudan is slipping back to war." The members of the delegation expressed several concerns and warned of a "blood bath" worse than the civil war, which claimed millions of lives and left many innocent people in poverty and despair.

To read the rest of this article, click here.
ACT: Prayers of peace for Bethlehem
For the 11th consecutive year, we would like to call on all of you to send your wishes and prayers for justice and peace to Bethlehem on the occasion of Christmas 2010, by e-mail. 

Suggestions for non-violent actions will also be received with arms wide open. Individuals, communities, churches and congregations, organizations and partners... everyone is warmly invited to join this initiative. 

No matter how small this gesture may seem the sending of a wish or prayer provides enormous support to those who receive them. It is a sign of hope.