Archive for July 26th, 2011

Brother Juniper

Brother Juniper was one of the first companions of St Francis of Assisi, something of a holy fool, noted for his childlike simplicity and humility. He was much loved by St Francis. Here is one story about him:


Brother Juniper was so full of pity and compassion for the poor, that when he saw anyone poor or naked he immediately took off his tunic, or the hood of his clock, and gave it to him. The guardian therefore laid an obedience upon him not to give away his tunic or any part of his habit. A few days afterwards, a poor half-naked man asked an alms of Brother Juniper for the love of God, who answered him with great compassion: “I have nothing which I could give thee but my tunic, and my superior has laid me under obedience not to give it, nor any part of my habit, to anyone. But if thou take it off my back I will not resist thee.” He did not speak to a deaf man; for the begger forthwith stripped him of his tunic, and went off with it. When Brother Juniper returned home, and was asked what had become of his tunic, he replied: “A good man took it off my back, and went away with it.” And as the virtue of compassion increased in him, he was not contented with giving his tunic, but would give books, or clocks, or whatever he could lay his hands on, to the poor. For this reason the brethren took care to leave nothing in the common rooms of the convent, because Brother Juniper gave away everything for the love of God and to the glory of his name.

(from The Little Flowers of St Francis)

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The New America

Consider—in 1979 Wal-Mart employed 21,000 workers, General Motors employed 618,000, and the average CEO was paid 35.2 times what an average worker was paid. Flash forward to 2008 (and draw your own conclusions): Wal-Mart employed 1.4 million, General Motors employed 92,053, and the average CE was paid 275.4 times what an average worker was paid…

Information from this book, and thanks to Mark Shea:


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 “As the U.S. war in Iraq winds down, we are entering a familiar phase, the season of forgetting—forgetting the harsh realities of the war. Mostly we forget the victims of the war, the Iraqi civilians whose lives and society have been devastated by eight years of armed conflict. The act of forgetting is a social and political act, abetted by the American news media. Throughout the war, but especially now, the minimal news we get from Iraq consistently devalues the death toll of Iraqi civilians.

Why? A number of reasons are at work in this persistent evasion of reality. But forgetting has consequences, especially as it braces the obstinate right-wing narrative of “victory” in the Iraq war. If we forget, we learn nothing.”

Read the rest:  http://www.alternet.org/story/151703/1_million_dead_in_iraq_6_reasons_the_media_hide_the_true_human_toll_of_war_–_and_why_we_let_them?page=entire

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