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It’s Up to Us – Part I

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Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B. is an 87-year old American Benedictine nun, theologian, and  author of over 50 books and over 700 articles in numerous journals and magazines. Sr. Joan has won 16 Catholic Press Association awards and 12 honorary degrees from US universities. Her recent article, IT’S UP TO US. WHEN WILL WE FIGURE THAT OUT? really spoke to me and to what has been happening in our country. I will share her article with you over the next five days. I hope it touches you and gets you thinking, talking and acting as much as it did me……


In Imam Jamal Rahman’s, Sacred Laughter of the Sufis, he tells a story that may have as much to teach us today as it taught the desert Sufis centuries ago. Life, the ancients knew, all depends on our willingness to collaborate, to do the things together that are important for us all.

A teaching on the limitations that come from individual dysfunctions is illustrated by the classic tale of two men, one lame and the other blind, who were invited to the king’s banquet. Both men despaired of being able to go because of their handicaps. The journey was too long and difficult for the lame man, and the blind man would not be able to find his way. 

But when they lamented their difficulty at a community gathering, the mullah came up with a solution. The lame man, he showed them, could piggyback on the blind man and then use his eyes to guide the strong legs of his blind companion. 

And so, because of their mutual cooperation, both men were able to attend the king’s banquet. Both men were able to be an active part of their society. Both could bring their own gifts to it.

It’s the kind of story this country needs more and more every day.

This is an exciting time — and down deep we know it. It’s not ‘more of the same’ anymore. It is a time beyond yesterday and too soon for tomorrow.

Yes, it’s a strange time. Politicians don’t even seem to be trying to be civil to one another anymore. Everybody wants something else, more of this or less of that, but who knows what really? And do we want it for us or for them? 

Clearly, it is a time of agitation and uncertainty, but it’s an important time, too. Something is crackling in the airwaves everywhere. Little seems simply routine anymore; surely something big is on the way. But what? And if it does come, then what?

There will be more of this article tomorrow.

By Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B

Thanks to Samson Katt for the photo.

What are YOUR thoughts about what Sr. Joan is saying? Where do YOU see the blind carrying the lame and the lame helping the blind to see in our country today?


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