Let's start with a nice picture of San Xavier mission taken yesterday--an iconic view of whitewashed adobe walls and deep blue sky.
Now onto more substantial matters. I finished up my work at Poverello House this morning. We had nine clients, spent most of my time helping to make Beef Stroganoff for lunch, and doing laundry.
It was hard to leave. I very much enjoyed my time doing basic service and getting to hear the experiences of men who are living on the street. I don't think I will ever be able to talk to homeless men again and not see them in some way as "my guys." I suspect I will become more involved in their plight when I get home.
The disappointment was then attending a meeting of the Secular Franciscans in the afternoon. They seem a very nice group of people who are committed to following St Francis's example of serving the poor. I felt that they might be a model for us as Episcopalians to be more in touch with this Gospel imperative. The only problem is that their agenda (at least for this meeting) was all about "Obama's attack on the family", and how requiring insurance companies to provide birth control was an attack on "religious freedom." I am sorry, but I don't buy that argument. Nor do I think that those who support a Woman's right to chose, same-sex marriage, and birth control are out to destroy the country. I did keep my mouth shut as a guest, even though I was invited to speak. My mentor, Br David, whom I have great regard for, tried to steer the conversation towards the values of St Francis, but it appears the the culture wars have sidetracked even this most compassionate of Catholics.
It reminded me of a friend in New York City who said than in the last year he has received 10 letters from the Cardinal there. Seven were about sex, and three were about church governance. None was about the poor.
I don't want to be in the position of casting the first stone here. Our record in the Episcopal Church of siding with the poor has not always been great, but I had somehow expected better from the admirers of the Poverello(the little poor man), St Francis.