A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

Do something new

I beg of you
do something
learn a new step
a new dance
something that honors your existence
that gives you the right
to be clothed by your skin
by your hair
learn to walk and laugh
because it would be too awful
in the end
that so many should have died
and that you should live
without honoring your life…
— Charlotte Delbo Auschwitz and After
I send this poem by Charlotte Delbo who was a survivor of concentration camps during World War II. She was a member of the French Resistance Movement and was arrested and bounced between concentration camps for three years before she was released from Auschwitz, her last camp.
Delbo wrote this poem in the years after her release when she saw the world forgetting the deep devastation caused by the war. She called on the living to honor the dead not just through ongoing mourning and public ritual, but to honor them by being present to and intoxicated with the deep beauty of life. This sense of radical gratitude was the natural sister for all the deep grief. For Delbo, it was deep intentional living that crafted the sacred space to nurture the understanding necessary to never again create an Auschwitz.
This is an understanding we need today as we face the realities that have come into existence in the “War on Terror.” Amnesty is calling people to join together in a campaign entitled “Fight Terror with Justice.” This campaign is asking for President elect Obama in his first 100 days to undue the torture and detainment practices that the Bush administration created and implemented. It is a campaign calling for all of us to be intentional and intoxicated with the beauty of life and take a step to end the devastation that has been wrought in our name.
Check out the link below!

Much Peace and A Merry Christmas,


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