Hot issues: Immigrants. Differing peoples. Reform. Deportation. Fear of language. Family break-up. Exchange of gifts and life. Why? Oh why do we keep kicking against the goad?
In June of this year, Archbishop José Gómez spoke to the Catholic Media Conference in Denver claiming that immigration is more than immigration, that it is a question about America, that it is about our national identity and destiny, about our national “soul.” He quoted G.K.Chesterton who said: “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed.” Now that is an amazing statement: that our homeland, America, is the only nation in the world founded on a creed!
According to Archbishop Gómez, chairman of the USCCB Migration Committee, every other nation in history has been established on some “material” foundation, on the basis of borders or territory, on race or ethnicity, the same kind of people living in one place. But America, he said, “is different. America was founded on a vision, a dream.” (Maryknoll, Nov Dec /2013) Have we not read, sung, and heard those words often: “the American dream?”
So what is at stake as we continue to judge, discriminate or exclude brothers and sisters of differing races, religions or national backgrounds? The future of the American Dream is at stake! The dream of a nation where all children of the same God are welcomed and given the opportunity to exchange gifts, whether on an economic, cultural or spiritual basis.
It seems difficult for us to have faith in these times! On the one hand, we continue to believe that America was founded on a vision, a dream, but, on the other hand, we do not trust ourselves sufficiently to address the issue of comprehensive immigration reform?
Catherine Doherty of Madonna House used to say “Dreams dreamt in God come true.” Will our wounded hearts be healed so that, one day, we can embrace the one who is different from us? It is reassuring to hear this Russian sage go on to say: “God speaks quietly, very quietly, but He does speak. . . . He will make known to you what he wants you to do.” (Restoration 66#9, Nov. 2013). Amen. So be it. ¡Que será, sera!
Renee Domeier, OSB
Renee Domeier, OSB