Other circles

Fifty years after Nostra aetate – In our time – redefined the Roman Catholic Church’s relations with Judaism a BBC headline today reads Catholics should not try to convert Jews, Vatican says – as it reports the release of a new document. Judaism, says the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, “is not to be considered simply as another religion; the Jews are instead our elder brothers”. A good read, especially since I’ve spent some time over the past few days reflecting a bit on native American Joy Harjo’s marvellous Eagle Poem – which one might describe as wonderfully catholic – universal – with a small c. We are evolving. We are. When we know it and when we don’t. Whether or not we’re thankful for it, we are evolving!

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

Joy Harjo
In Mad Love and War

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