The Most Dangerous Drug

07-31-2016Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

A lady that I know just came from Columbia,
She smiled because I did not understand.
Then she held out some marijuana, ha ha!
She said it was the best in all the land.

And I said,
"No, no, no, no, I don't smoke it no more,
I'm tired of waking up on the floor.
No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze,
And then it makes it hard to find the door."

— No, No Song by Ringo Starr

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God's Plan Redux

07-24-2016Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

I keep telling you to trust in the plan of God, His timing and His ways. God has a way of making things happen when they need to and we just muck it up when we try to force the issue, exert our own will on events or try to control the outcome. If there's one thing the Bible demonstrates again and again or that the lives of the Saints teach us is that God gets His plan accomplished right on time. And for those who trust God, God has a way of arranging the circumstances of our lives to get us where we need to be, when we need to be there and at the right time.

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Justice For None

07-17-2016Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

My years as a prison chaplain brought me into close contact with the criminal justice system and gave me a lot of firsthand knowledge of how the system works. Sadly I discovered that the justice system was often unjust. While the virtue of Justice is blind, human beings who administer that justice often are not. The system is often tilted in favor of the politically connected, economically advantaged, and educated. Probably the biggest corruption of our legal system is caused by the fact that it is so often politicized and reduced to serve partisan viewpoints. That is seconded by the imbalance of power that loads up prosecutors with unlimited resources and virtually no accountability for misconduct and political bias. No matter how fair on paper and how many safeguards are in place including ethical standards in our legal system, no average Joe, yet alone, a poor minority can really compete with the power that a Prosecutor, District Attorney or Attorney General has.

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A Bad Idea

07-10-2016Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

In a democracy, or a republic such as ours elections, laws and polices are ideally a reasoned discussion on ideas. Each side presents its positions for or against and through a sometimes messy and cumbersome process the best idea wins. That's the ideal but we know that often the battle over ideas becomes very partisan, personal and divisive with each side accusing the other of nefarious or malicious motives like discrimination or trying to impose its values on the other. And sometimes as we have seen that debate is cut off by a Judge or Court that usurps the right of the people to debate ideas and allow them to percolate through our political system to form consensus or compromise and that usurpation in turn causes more divisiveness in a society.

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A Period of Great Difficulty

07-03-2016Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

In Vietnam they often refer to the War years (1964-75 or so) as "the period of great difficulty". A very polite way of recalling a very painful time when the country was split between North and South and the people were pitted against one another. We are entering our own period of great difficulty. Not a war but a very divisive and likely chaotic time in our country.

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