dimecres, 28 de novembre de 2007

Downstairs with Chist of Hurtado's Hall


One of my adventures at St Francis Xavier Church. A church which has a subkitchen to feed about 600-700 poor people each Sunday. For thanksgiving they organized a meal and also delivered food to an amazingly number of homes.


Thanksgiving. I overslept and woke up too late for the morning mass, but decided to go to the parish anyway because I was strongly determined to help and join the thanksgiving meal at Hurtado’s Hall. It was not that being new at New York I had nowhere else to go, which was actually true, but a very meditated and conscious decision, which I made with the very intention of starting to move again towards God, towards placing me a little near to His Kingdom. In fact, for years, scouting had been the very place in which I experienced the loving God, a place in which people learn to care one about another, a place where sometimes the-heaven-to- come appeared at ease at my eyes, a tremendous gift certainly. But now, in New York I started to feel more like the city, self-centered, and unworried about others, and I wanted to change this.

I arrived at maximum speed to the St Francis Xavier Church parish entrance, where I was kindly block by the young door man. There were apparently too many people already helping, so I was not allowed to enter the Hall. However if I like, I could wait with the poor people outside and come inside with them for lunch. What?!? !?##! !?##!
I got shocked, obviously. Had I been one of his friends, or even someone known to him, this would not happen to me! But I was a stranger. And also, if there were too many people inside, why not a bunch of them were also waiting (or lining) outside! Aha! Good question! I got a little angry, probably angry would not be the word, but upset. Upset to be putted in the situation of choosing between going home, waiting with the poor as if I had no money to pay a nice meal, or trying to slide myself to Hurtado’s Hall from the 16th street gate. At the end I surrender grudgingly to what I believe that was the will of God for that moment. I joined the line outside. In fact, this was something that I was both fearing and willing, something that I had been worrying, talking and dueling with God all the morning since I woke up and hurried up to the subway. I surrender, and I was happy to be talking with people in the line, but also uneasy because I didn’t want just to come into and sit down as a homeless people.

The door opened and we were allowed to enter to the Hall. Very fortunately I immediately found Father Joe. He took the opportunity to ask about how we are doing and building the young adults group and I took the opportunity to let him introduce me to Mary, one of the people in charge of the Hurtado’s Hall. I jump the gap and now I was aligned nor with the poor people but with the parishoners. However I didn’t like it neither. Parishoners wear labels with their names, and gloves, and serve people in the tables, who were also not supposed to stand up. I even saw myself saying truly and genuinely –sir and -madam several times when I was serving some of the meals. It was actually nice. It was, as someone point me out, like a restaurant. Poor people who don’t go to restaurants being served as if they were in one. Served by rich people who do go to restaurants. Don’t you see the gap? The ennormous gap. By putting labels with names, by being the waiters and waitress we place ourselfs in a superior dignity, a superior category. Even if we don’t intend to do so, even while we are serving, we are creating differences. But in the Kindom of God there are NO such differences. The table of our God is not a restaurant! The table of our God is a feast, a great great feast, with everyone being equally.
Why don’t we all just wear our name’s label, why don’t we all sit and start eating together? Why don’t we all prepare the tables, serve the cakes, and so on? I know that our word is not the heaven, but I wish we go in this direction.

In a divided word, Jesus is with the poorest side. I know this, and at the Hurtado Hall I wished to be with them. This is where Jesus will preferentially be. I said preferentially, because He could be found in everyone. But this poor people were there a truly image of the crucified and beloved Jesus. The crucified because He, who was of divine nature, equal to God, emptied himself taking the form of a slave; he humbled himself and become obedient to the point of death (Ph 2.6-8). And since then our eyes are open to recognize Christ in the ones that cannot speak aloud, the ones that suffer the rejection of the word, the ones that have to line up waiting for someone to tell them when and what to eat. They are also a truly image of the beloved Jesus, the Son, who receives everything from the Father and does His will. I have too much to learn from him yet! I have to keep learning to be loved, and let the people serve me and love me in their way, not as I may wish, but as God whishes. I know that this can be learned from people who are poor in spirit, being many of them poor in wealth also, since being poor seems to put you in a situation of accepting or rejecting being loved regardless of you merit, with nothing to give back. I guess that’s why sometimes I can see Jesus the beloved Son in the poor people.

So I was there, wishing to be with the poor, but with my human weakness not allowing me to do so until the end of the meal, when parishoners started to eat. Some of them standing up or in alone places. Others might had gone home or I didn’t see them. I was looking very doubtfully where to sit, until Mary suggested me to join the nearest table. I went, and ask them if I could join them. They said no, but fortunately this was a joke. So, I sat there, I ask their names: Loria, Ellis, Barbara, and have a nice talk and enjoyed the moment. We were sisters and brothers eating at the same table. Now I have three more names in my extended family. I hope to remember to pray for them and consider seriously to volunteer regularly to the Hurtado’s Hall.


PS. I remember now a very nice image that, I think, Oriol Xirinacs, a priest that worked a lot with poor people, once wrote. He hoped that, were he be at the doors of heaven, the poor people, who would be lined up there to enter, might slide him in their line, so he can enter as well, disguised between them. Very nice image. I would like that this could be some day applied to me.

divendres, 23 de novembre de 2007

La flauta magica

Sabieu que mai havia anat a l'òpera? Doncs aqui a New York em vaig estrenar amb La flauta màgica. Vaig anar dos hores abans a la taquilla i vaig aconseguir (justet, pero aconseguit!) un tiquet a platea per $20. La funció em a agradar bastant i sobretot el que vaig trobar molt molt interessant va ser els "efectes especials", vull dir tot d'animals grossos i petits que es movien per l'essenari, moguts per assistents vestits de negre. Perfecte, amazing!. Una escenografia sorprenenet. Per celebrar l'estreno, em vaig conviadar a mi mateix a una copa de cava "caríssima" al entreacte, pero em vaig voler donar aquest gust.

diumenge, 11 de novembre de 2007

Apendre a celebrar

Aquest estiu vaig tenir la sort de compartir uns dies dels campaments dels Pioners i Caravel.les, PiC's, de l'agrupament escolta i guia Gregal. Aqui dalt teniu una foto d'un moment impressionant, encara que no l'únic, dels campaments. Dic impressionant en el sentit de que que queda imprès a la memòria. Aquí els nois i noies donaven gràcies amb les seves pròpies paraules pel que havien viscut durant aquests campaments i durant el curs. Cantàven de memòria ( i a capel.la ! ) una cançó escrita per ells. El public erem els caps. La veritat es que estava molt ben afinada i arribava al cor. '' somriure..." " no us oblirarem mai...'' Jo recordo haver fet una pregària en silenci, en aquells moments.

Sovint, a mi em sembla, hi ha molta confusió quan es parla de l'educació en la vessant espiritual de la persona. Alguns pensen que es reflexionar, altres que son valors, a mi em sembla pero que l'opcio per treballar l'espiritualitat-fe-transcendencia va més enllà de tot això, arribant al cor del que es fonamental i orienta la persona, allò que ens relaciona amb el misteri i ens fa anar més endins, i sobretot més enllà de nosaltres mateixos. Oberts a un misteri positiu que s'amaga sovint al fons de la vida (bla bla bla.... i que els cristians anomem...). Millor que no m'enrotlli ara, i vagi al punt essencial: la capacitat de celebrear. La capacitat de celebrar el que hem viscut i rebut gratuitament, com els campaments, ems sembla un dels punts essencials en l'educació espiritual, i vés per on, més o menys atzarosament ens en sortim a fer-ho. Créixer en la gratuïtat es creixer en espirtualitat, i és una font i una oportunitat per anar mes enlla de nosaltres. Ara només caldria ser-ne una mica més conscients i anar-ne aprofundint de mica en mica. Pero bueno, això es un desig d'un que està a milles i milles de distància ;-)


dissabte, 3 de novembre de 2007

Necessites un Miracle? Vols ser Milionari?. Trucan's!

A la tele, els diumenges:
Estas passant per moments dificils, necessites diners, o salut, o un miracle? Trucan's. Deu no respon a les teves necessitats o preocupacions sino a la teva fe. Nosaltres no podem canviar les teves necessitats pero si la teva fe. Trucan's. Planta la teva llavor donan't uns quants diners. A veure aixequeu la ma els que us heu convertit en millonaris ( molts del public l'aixequen). Veus, si tens fe deu esta del teu favor. Nosaltres no podem canviar les teves necesitats, si has de pagar factures, hipoteques, el metge. Deu, no respon a les teves necesitats perque el que ell vol es que tinguis fe. Esta molt clar, si tens fe, Deu estara amb tu i tindras prosperitat. Nosaltres podem canviar la teva fe. Necesites un miracle, trucan's. Mentre el predicador parla, molt mes convincient que aquestes paraules, a sota la pantalla apareixen unes linies que rapidament diuen que els miracles son un do de Deu i que no els poden garantir encara que truquis.

A vegades en terres catalanes, mes sovint del que sembla, em trobo gent que, segurament cansada d'un catolicisme malentes, agobiant, i poc vivificant, anuncia a cegues les virtuts dels protestants. "Veus, en canvi els evangelics, tot aixo no ho han de patir". Dons, com podeu veure, d'evangelics reformats (i de protestants) n'hi ha de moltes classes. Alguns, mes nombrosos del que jo primer pensava, es dediquen a la publicitat escombraria que acabeu de llegir.