THE PROMISE OF PEACE December 26, 2010

Christmas has come. It brought a number of surprises. December 22nd I was awakened early (4AM) at the Irwin County, GA Detention Center. “Prepare to leave.” I was not expecting this, and had but a few minutes to shuffle through papers. I missed 35 notes in response to cards and letter that I had ready to mail to the Cohen-Jappas’ in Tucson for forwarding. I regret I could not recoup them. I basically was not able to take anything with me.

Soon we were on our way in a van headed for Atlanta; final destination unknown. As we approached Atlanta two options appeared; one to the US Penitentiary there to a “holdover unit” for a month of processing, as I had done last year; Michael David Omondi, who I had been sentenced with, is there. The other option was a drop off at the Atlanta airport; happily the latter was my good fortune. On the way on to the plane I asked a U.S. Marshall reading off my name for my destination, and he said, “LOMPOC!” I must admit my heart leaped for joy. Yes, it had been less than five months since I had departed from that prison on the California Coast (50 miles north of Santa Barbara), and believe it or, I had left many friends there, and had good memories. I then hoped I would be there to join the Christmas festivities in the chapel with a community I had come to love. But, heavy pre-Christmas B.O.P. travel resulted in a longer stay at the Victorville, CA U.S. Penitentiary (near Riverside in Southern CA). A good meal, a 10 pound package of goodies each, and I was able to celebrate a liturgy with a small group in a larger cell. It was a joyful and hope-filled moment to welcome the Prince of Peace to that prison.

Many say there is no hope for peace in this world with so many wars, threats of nuclear bomb attacks, trillions of our dollars spent on preparing weapons even into space (as we will experience directly from Lompoc prison launched by our neighbors at Vandenberg Air Force Base—gateway to “space war.”) But, creation has been evolving for billions of years, and extends billions of light years into space. Its secrets are yet unknown—but harmony and goodness are in its essence. Many who study this evolution: scientists, philosophers, theologians, and such-- have great optimism at these wonders. Christians believe that the “child” born to us came to reveal the secret of the universe at its core, which is compassionate love from the Creator, or the positive creative energy that embraces us all and our universes.

It was a hopeful sign that the Start Treaty passed the Congress before the close of the year. START is still its name. It is FAR short of the full disarmament and actual abolition of all nuclear weapons and indeed all weapons of war—so vitally necessary to urge on “the new creations” that draw us closer to the promised “New Heavens and New Earth” towards which we are all drawn.

On January 1, 2011 we will celebrate “World Peace Day.” Some predict 2011 or 2012 will be the catastrophic end of all creation. Yes, that is a “possibility,” but we hope to see much happier possibilities. We are urged to keep our hope alive, but, to make it “active hope,” is our biggest challenge.

Jesus did show us the way, a way to nonviolence and charity. We can practice it daily and join the many peacemakers who have gone before us such as Sts. Francis and Clare (who achieved peace in their day), St. Franz Jägerstätter, (a conscientious objector and martyr who resisted Hitler’s army), Martin Luther King (wooing peace to the end), Dorothy Day (who gave her life for the poor and for peace), Cesar Chavez (totally committed to nonviolence and justice) and many, many more whom we see today, in every part of the world, in countries such as Palestine, Iran, Latin America, and here in the United States. My journey so far this year, in Georgia and Northern California, has been filled with opportunities to share this life of compassionate caring, with many. I eagerly await my journey all the way to the Pacific “peaceful” waters of California, and a new year joining in the world wide (or even cosmos wide) journey to its fulfillment: a “New Heaven & New Earth!”

A blessed 2011 to all of you. With love to all Creations….Louie


And a note from Lompoc FCI on Sunday, January 16, 2011 – Martin Luther King weekend:

It is amazing to me how much more conscientized people here in Lompoc are since I first came last year. They were fascinated with the Missiles; now they share my concerns. So also with SOA, etc. Things are also going well at the chapel. I am enjoying it. Things are a bit fragmented there, so it seems my presence is useful. In peace on this MLK weekend. Louie