Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quote of the Day

. . . Each place is sacred – even places dominated by strip malls, industry, and parking lots. Nature doesn't write off parts of the Earth, and neither can we. This place we live is all we have. There is no place "else." . . . I grew up in a culture that claimed the right to conquer, use up, and displace nature. Human intelligence coupled with technology would take us on a one-way trip to a brighter future, we were told. Today, as we reach the limits of what life on Earth can tolerate, we need a little less hubris and a little more humility. If we learn from nature and from our indigenous brothers and sisters, I now believe we'll have a much better shot at that bright future.

– Sarah van Gelder
"Nature's Original Idea"
Winter 2013

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Threshold Musings
"Something Sacred Dwells There"
Thomas Berry, 1914-2009
Superstorm Sandy: A 'Wake-Up Call' on Climate Change
A Self-Wrought Hell
Capitalism on Trial
May Day and a "New Bridge"
Michael Greyeyes on Temperance as a Philosophy for Surviving
Solar Brother
An Evening Stroll (and Theological Musings)

Recommended Off-site Links:
Will We Adjust to Life on a Finite Planet or Continue Devouring Our Future? – Chris Hedges (, January 14, 2013).
Religion, Science, and Spirit: A Sacred Story for Our Time – David Korten (Yes!, January 17, 2013).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The 'Fool Soldiers' of the Lakota

Recently I visited the Minnesota History Center with my friends Julia, Jim and Edgar. Currently on display at the Center is an exhibit on the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, which includes information on the little known story of the 'Fool Soldiers' of the Lakota. I'll get to their story in a moment, but first a little background information.

The Dakota or Sioux are Native American and First Nations people in North America. They comprise three major divisions based on Siouan dialect and subculture: the Santee or Eastern Dakota; the Yankton and the Yanktonai, or, collectively, the Wičhíyena or Western Dakota; and the Teton or Lakota, who are the westernmost Sioux. (Crazy Horse, whom I've written about previously, was of the Oglala band of the Lakota.)

The original Lakota/Dakota homelands were in what is now Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota. The Sioux traveled freely, however, and there was also significant Sioux presence in the modern states of Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, and northern Illinois, and in south-central Canada. Today, most Sioux people live in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Saskatchewan.

As to what's been called both the Sioux Uprising and the Dakota Conflict, here's an excerpt from the Minnesota History Center's website:

When you visit the "U.S.-Dakota War of 1862" exhibit at the History Center, you'll examine the evidence, hear heart-wrenching stories and learn about the broken treaties and promises that led to this disastrous chapter in Minnesota history.

The war ended with hundreds dead, the Dakota people exiled from their homeland and the largest mass execution in U.S. history: the hangings of 38 Dakota men in Mankato on December 26, 1862.

2012 marks 150 years since the U.S.-Dakota War. It was waged for six weeks in southern Minnesota over the late summer of 1862, but the war’s causes began decades earlier and the profound loss and consequences of the war are still felt today.

One of the aspects of this conflict that I find particularly interesting concerns a group of Lakota men known as the "Fool Soldiers." At the Minnesota History Center's exhibit their story is highlighted in the display at right, one which also focuses on the plight of three white women and eight children from Lake Shetek, Minnesota who on August 20, 1862 were taken captive by Santee Chief White Lodge and his band.

Following is how writer and educator Alicia Bayer recounts the rescuing of the women and children.

In November, word of the captives reached a group of young Lakota men. These men had formed a group based on non-violence and helping all people, leading some others to mockingly call them "Fool Soldiers."

The Fool Soldiers decided to make the journey to the Santee camp to negotiate a trade and rescue the hostages. Since they believed in non-violence, they gathered and bought supplies like blankets, coffee and sugar to offer in return for the women and children.

The Fool Soldiers made the dangerous trek to the camp and spent three days negotiating for the release. When they finally succeeded, they were left to journey back with only one horse (the others had been added to the trade) in bitter cold and snow. They had very little clothing and few supplies for either themselves or the rescued captives.

The Fool Soldiers carried the smallest children and put one injured woman on their only horse. One soldier gave his moccasins to the other woman because she was barefoot. They were later able to trade a gun for a cart to put the children in, but it was too heavy for their horse to pull so the Fool Soldiers took turns pulling it themselves.

The journey was dangerous, as they had to be on guard against those who considered them enemies from all sides of the conflict (including U.S. forces who might see them as kidnappers) and they also were battling brutal cold and ice. They succeeded, though, and returned the captives to Fort Randall.

Following the rescue (and a later rescue of starving Lakota on Medicine Creek), they were not greeted as heroes by either side of the conflict. When they arrived at Fort Randall they were imprisoned by the U.S. until the end of the conflict, and it is believed that two of them died while in the stockades. Once released, they were ridiculed and shunned by many in their tribe and their log homes were whitewashed. They eventually anonymously relocated to other areas.

This story would make an excellent film, don't you think? A well-made documentary is already available (left), but I'm thinking a well-made drama is also in order – one that powerfully and beautifully captures all the courage, inspiration and tragedy of this story. Such a film is needed as the story of the Fool Soldiers' bravery, sacrifice, and commitment to nonviolence just isn't very well known to the general public. And I think it should be as, for one thing, we don't hear enough stories that embody such a combination of inspiring qualities.

Above: The monument in Mobridge, South Dakota that commemorates
the Fool Soldiers' rescuing of the Lake Shetek captives.

Recommended Off-site Links:
Nonviolence: An Introduction
Waging Nonviolence: People-Powered News and Analysis
Friends for a Non-Violent World

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Crazy Horse: 'Strange Man' of the Great Plains
"Something Sacred Dwells There"
A Visit to the National Museum of the American Indian
North America: Perhaps Once the "Queerest Continent on the Planet"
Michael Greyeyes on Temperance as a Philosophy for Surviving
Something Special for Indigenous Peoples Day
In the Garden of Spirituality – Paul Coelho
John Dear on Celebrating the Birth of the Nonviolent Jesus
The Most Dangerous Kind of Rebel

Opening image: "Heritage" by James Bama.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Threshold Musings

I must admit I've been feeling rather small lately.

By this I don't mean I'm feeling insignificant or unworthy in any way. Rather, I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the momentous times we're living through. I mean, we're basically witnessing the unraveling of some very major societal structures – economic, ecclesial and environmental.

Yet we're also witnessing the emergence of a new 'story,' a new understanding of how we as humans can relate to one another, to the planet, and thus to the sacred force that infuses all things. It's a story, an understanding, that integrates science and spirituality, and one that heralds a new era, a new paradigm.

A time of transition

Around this time last month there was a lot of hype about the Maya 2012 prophecy and the supposed 'end of the world.' Yet as Michel Chossudovsky and others have pointed out, the prophesy has been greatly distorted and misunderstood. In reality, the Maya calendar did not end on December 21, 2012. Rather that date marked the beginning of a new “Long Cycle” in the Maya calendar system.

For Mayas, December 21, 2012 was a joyous event, not an apocalyptic one. Yet as the date approached last month, attention to it became so frenzied and overblown that Ricardo Cajas, president of the Collective of Native Organizations of Guatemala, felt compelled to declare that the date did not represent the end of humanity but rather the start of a new cycle that carried the potential for "changes in human consciousness."

Pedro Celestino Yac Noj – a Maya sage living in Cuba – also said last month that December 21, 2012 "is for giving thanks and gratitude [while] the 22nd welcomes . . . a new dawn." In a similar vein, Maya priest Jose Manrique Esquive shared the belief that December 21 marked the beginning of a transition for humanity, a movement into a better time. Shift of Ages is a new film that presents the Mayas’ beliefs in detail, and its title and content reflects this hopeful idea of transition and transformation.

Looking around at the various upheavals taking place in numerous spheres of influence – including the Roman Catholic Church – I cannot help but agree with the idea that humanity is indeed in a time of transition. Whether or not it's a positive transition is, of course, up to us.

Another way of describing this time of crisis and opportunity is to invoke the imagery of threshold crossing. I have a particular affinity for such imagery as it's very much grounded in Sufism, that form of universal wisdom that's at the heart of all the great religious traditions. In Sufism, one who understands him/herself as being at the threshold of a new stage of spiritual development or enlightenment is called a dervish. As I've noted previously, I’ve come to realize that I am, at heart, a dervish. My life seems like a series of threshold crossings that have led me to new levels of awareness and engagement with self, God, and others. I don't think I'm alone in this experience. Nor do I believe that it's just individuals who experience this type of journey, but also communities, institutions, and humanity itself.

I have a real and, quite frankly, awe-inspiring sense that humanity is at a very major and important threshold. We have the opportunity to enter into a new phase of consciousness, one that I and others believe is absolutely crucial for the future of not just ourselves, but of all forms of life on the planet.

A paradigm shift

This time last year I noted that my prayer life involved praying for a paradigm shift in human consciousness – one that I believe God is calling humanity to embody. It's a shift – a movement, a journey – from greed to justice, from apathy to compassion, from mindless consumption to sustainability, from fear to love. In the twelve months since I wrote about this shift, this threshold crossing, its reality has become so much more apparent.

For instance, events like Superstorm Sandy the recent bush fires in Australia, and the record-breaking pollution levels in China, not to mention the fact that 2012 was the hottest year on record for the U.S., are making an increasing number of people aware of climate change and, more importantly, moving them to commit to doing something positive about it. An example is the Transition Network, a network made up of communities dedicated to "small-scale local responses to the global challenges of climate change, economic hardship and shrinking supplies of cheap energy." The movement seeks to facilitate humanity's transition from reliance on fossil fuels and other unsustainable practices to the building of strong, local, resilient and sustainable communities. The Transition movement began in the United Kingdom and has quickly spread around the world. I recently discovered that the closest "transition initiative" to me is in the nearby Corcoran neighborhood of south Minneapolis.

And then there's the Idle No More movement – a movement that began within indigenous communities across Canada and which has rapidly spread throughout the Americas and across the globe. There was even a recent Idle No More action at Minneapolis' famed Mall of America. Jacob Devaney describes the movement as a "battle cry of love for the planet," and makes the connection between it and the myriad of other movements at the vanguard of humanity's "threshold crossing" into a new level of planetary consciousness, or what eco-theologian Thomas Berry once described as the "Great Turning."

Writes Devaney:

At first glance it might appear that [the Idle No More] movement is isolated and doesn't effect you if you are not native or if you don't live in Canada, yet it does. It may appear that this resistance is not related to the Occupy Movement, the Arab Spring, the Unify Movement, Anonymous, or any of the other popular uprisings sparked by social unrest, but it is.

At their very core, all of these movements have very common threads and are born from common issues facing people everywhere. Those who represent financial interests that value money over life itself, that are devoid of basic respect for human decency, and for nature have dictated the future for too long and people everywhere are standing up to say, "No more." This non-violent social uprising is viral in the minds and hearts of everyone across the planet determined to bring healing to our troubled communities, our planet, and the corruption that is eroding the highest places of governments around the world.

And then there's the way that the people and government of the U.S. are responding to the horrific violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut. It's a response that is palpably different from previous reactions to mass shootings. There's a real sense that as a society we've crossed some threshold of what we will and will not accept. There's resistance, of course, by entities that feed on people's fears and which have monied interests in making a profit. In this case, it's a profit from the making and selling of firearms. I think of these types of entities as the "principalities" mentioned in the New Testament. They're systemic structures that in their greed and hubris are terribly destructive of creation and the best aspects of humanity – including our creativity and our sense of interdependence on each other and the natural world. Yet, as I said, I think things are different this time. The National Rifle Association (NRA), for instance – a principality if ever there was one – is revealing itself as the extremely dangerous and fear-mongering entity that it is. And people are standing up to it and its influence and looking elsewhere for answers and responses to the problem of gun violence.

A 'watershed' year

For gays and lesbians in many parts of the world, the last year has been a time of positive transition. Writing for the Religion News Service, Lauren Markoe notes that last November's U.S. elections indicated a major "social sea change on gay marriage." Closer to home, journalist Beth Hawkins observed that the November 6 defeat at the Minnesota polls of the anti-equality 'marriage amendment' was proof that "the tide has turned" in favor of gay people and their access to the rights and benefits of civil marriage.

Of course, some may dismiss these advances as simply a U.S. phenomenon. Yet as the Los Angeles Times compellingly documents, the recent marriage equality victories in the U.S. mirror global advances.

The emerging church

Changes are also afoot in the Roman Catholic Church. The church's clerical caste has, and continues, to lose credibility – most glaringly around issues of human sexuality. The bishops' fixation on specific sex acts and thus their ongoing efforts to demean and obstruct marriage equality within civil society, is a source of great embarrassment and pain for many Catholics. As I've noted previously, given the Catholic people's acceptance of gay people and their lives, relationships and families, it seems clear that the bishops' anti-gay rhetoric does not represent actual Catholic belief, not only as it relates to homosexuality and same-sex marriage, but also to the complex reality of human sexuality in general.

Not only are there compelling cases being made by Catholics for a renewed Catholic sexual theology (see, for instance, this Wild Reed series), but increasing numbers of Catholics are recognizing that in order for such new ways of thinking to be fully realized, church structures must be reformed. I find it both significant and hopeful that this call for church reform is coming not only from the laity (see, for example here, here and here) but from all kinds of "official" church leaders, including priests (see here and here), abbots and other religious (see here and here), theologians (see here, here and here), church historians, and even bishops (see here and here) and a cardinal.

I believe that new ways of being Catholic, of being church, are emerging all around us. The crumbling of the hierarchical clerical caste, most notably around the clergy sex abuse crisis, is simply a sign of this emergence – one that I welcome. Increasingly, Catholics of conscience are recognizing that in many areas the bishops have no moral credibility. They have failed us. True, such failure has lead many Catholics to walk away from the church completely. Others, however, are gathering together and discussing, envisioning, planning and embodying church structures and practices that emulate the life and message of Jesus and thus serve as a truly radical (in the best sense of the word) sign of God’s compassion, wisdom, and justice in the world.

The local church of St. Paul-Minneapolis is a veritable epicenter of such activity and thus of what's been called the 'emerging church.' There is, for example, Call to Action MN (which is bringing Sister Simone Campbell to the Twin Cities on March 2 to talk about how to remain hopeful in times of economic, environmental, societal, and political uncertainties). There's also the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities and its Catholics for Marriage Equality MN initiative, the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (which gathered Catholics together for an "exciting and hopeful" prayer breakfast back in 2009, went on to plan and host a Synod of the Baptized in 2010 and 2011, and is currently planning a series of workshops on evolutionary Catholicism as a lead-up to Synod 2012), the Council of the Baptized (which has recently issued not one but two important proposals), the Progressive Catholic Voice online forum, and the Spirit of St. Stephen's Catholic Community.

Without doubt, it has been a great honor and a source of purpose and hope to have been part of many of these groups and their activities.

And yet . . .

The call to go beyond

I feel that in my own life I'm very much in a time of transition. In thinking about the important issues and challenges highlighted in this post, I find myself questioning how best to use my time and energy, my talents and gifts. I wonder, too, about my future. I must admit I'm tired of living 'off the grind' to the extent that I have been for, well, almost twenty years! It's not as though I want to become totally 'mainstream,' but I do want and need to start earning more money. I think too about my family and friends in Australia. None of us are getting any younger, and, in particular, I find myself wanting to be closer, geographically, to my parents. I have no definite answers and I certainly haven't come to any decisions about next steps. But I do know that I have a very real sense that I'm being called to journey beyond what's been the 'usual routine' in terms of the focus of my time, energy, and capabilities, and thus, in many ways, beyond what's been comfortable for me.

So, yes, as I noted at the beginning of this post, I've been feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the gravity and the range of challenges that I'm facing personally and that we're facing collectively. And I say 'we' because it seems that at this time in humanity's journey we're all called to 'go beyond' what for so many of us has become routine and comfortable.

In facing these challenges it quickly becomes apparent that, in many ways, we are entering a realm of uncertainty and new, perhaps even unknown possibilities. This is the nature of thresholds. One could choose to focus on the scary aspects of such a realm, but I strive to focus on the potential for positive transformation, the seeds of which are contained in our responding to uncertainty and challenge. I like how the 'overwhelming' aspect of the opening image and the image at left, is represented by trees. Yes, they are huge and gnarly and kinda scary. But they also contain deep within them the potential, the promise, of new life. And I like how in this same image I'm standing on a rock – the ancient symbol of conscious insight; of Christ, God's spirit of consciousness, compassion and justice.

This is where I want to be: in the presence of this sacred energy, this Christ spirit. An important insight I've gained in writing this piece is that I need to be mindful and intentional in creating time and space to be in the presence of God, to open myself to that sacred flow of love that both illuminates and transforms.

"The Cosmic Christ" (detail) by Alex Grey.

I am a dervish . . . and thus a mystic – one who desires and seeks intimate union with Sacred Mystery. This is another insight that has blossomed within and through these 'threshold musings' of mine. My hope is that these same musings will bring to consciousness and life something within all who encounter them. And I pray that this 'something' will contribute in a tangible and positive way to the great transition, the threshold crossing, that I truly believe we are being called to embody – individually and collectively – at this moment in time. May it be so!

Related Off-site Links:
Will We Adjust to Life on a Finite Planet or Continue Devouring Our Future? – Chris Hedges (, January 14, 2013).
“Flash Mob Prayer Circle” Shows Idle No More’s Spiritual Side – James Trimarco (Yes!, January 14, 2013).
Why Canada's Indigenous Uprising Is About All of Us – Sarah van Gelder (Yes!, February 7, 2013).
Catholicism's Curse – Frank Bruni (The New York Times, January 26, 2013).
Implosion at the Vatican? – One Can Only Hope – Betty Clermont (The Open Tabernacle, January 27, 2013).
Religion, Science, and Spirit: A Sacred Story for Our Time – David Korten (Yes!, January 17, 2013).
A Catholic Spirituality for the 21st CenturyThe Progressive Catholic Voice (January 20, 2013).
A Queer New Year – Peter Montgomery (Religion Dispatches, January 2, 2013).
Embarking on a New Journey of Consciousness – Phillip Clark (The Open Tabernacle, January 13, 2013).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Something to Celebrate – November 7, 2012
Rescuing Catholicism
Knowing What to Do, Knowing Why to Stay
A Song and Challenge for 2012
Rocking the Cradle of Power
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Singing It and Praying It; Living It and Saying It
Into the Fray
In the Eye of the Storm, A Tree of Living Flame
The Onward Call
Sufism: A Call to Awaken
Keeping the Spark Alive: Conversing with "Modern Mystic" Chuck Lofy
As the Last Walls Dissolve . . . Everything is Possible

Opening image: The bur oaks of Camp Coldwater, Minnesota.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Quote of the Day

Related Off-site Links:
Obama Inauguration Speech Makes History with Mention of Gay Rights Struggle, Stonewall UprisingThe Huffington Post (January 21, 2013).
First Inaugural Use of the Word 'Gay' – Kevin Robillard (, January 21, 2013).
Obama’s History-Making Use of the Word ‘Gay,’ and Why It Matters – Sean Sullivan (The Washington Post, January 21, 2013).
Obama Lauds Progress on Gay Civil Rights in Inaugural Address – Mark Felsenthal (Reuters via Yahoo! News, January 21, 2013).
Obama Embraces Progressive Agenda in Second Inaugural address – Liz Goodwin (Yahoo! News, January 21, 2013).
President Obama's Inaugural Address on Stonewall and Gay Equality: Historic Affirmations – William D. Lindsey (Bilgrimage, January 21, 2013).
Obama's Second Inaugural Will Stand the Test of Time – Jonathan Cohn (The New Republic, January 21, 2013).
Climate Change Moves to Forefront in Obama's Second Inaugural Address – Suzanne Goldenberg (The Guardian, January 21, 2013).
President Obama's Climate Change Pledge in Second Inauguration Speech Tested by Keystone XL Pipeline – Matthew Daly (The Huffington Post, January 21, 2013).
Obama Turns ‘Austerity Inauguration’ Into a Dash for Corporate Cash – Ed Pilkington (The Guardian via The Raw Story, January 21, 2013).
The Big Money Inauguration: Obama Kicks Off Second Term with Help of Unlimited Corporate DonationsDemocracy Now! (January 21, 2013).
The State of Obama – Robert Kuttner (Reader Supported News, January 21, 2013).
President Obama’s Inauguration 2013 Speech: Full (January 21, 2013).
Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco Makes HistoryWisconsin Gazette (January 21, 2013).
Gays Referenced in Benediction, Inaugural Poem – Lou Chibbaro Jr. (Washington Blade, January 21, 2013).
'Making a Man Out of Me': Inauguration Poet on His Homophobic Grandmother – Richard Blanco (The Huffington Post, January 20, 2013).
From Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall – Eric Fought (, January 21, 2013).
Obama Inaugural Address Challenges Tea Party History – Julie Ingersoll (Religion Dispatches, January 21, 2013).
Obama Extols Biblical Vision of Equality for All in Second Inaugural Address – David Gibson (Religion News Service via National Catholic Reporter, January 22, 2013).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – May 9, 2012
Frank Bruni on President Obama's "Historic Words"
Quote of the Day – December 18, 2010
Something to Celebrate – November 7, 2012
Photo of the Day – September 5, 2012
Something to Think About – July 21, 2012
Lisa Cressman's Concise, Reasonable Answers to Marriage Equality Questions
A Head and Heart Response to the Catholic Hierarchy's Opposition to Marriage Equality
What Part of Jesus' Invitation to "Be Not Afraid" Don't the Bishops Get?
The Bishops' Reaction to Marriage Equality: "Wrong-Headed and Counterproductive"
Responding to the "Continued Harm Our Bishops Cause"
Marriage: "Part of What is Best in Human Nature"
A Catholic Statement of Support for Marriage Equality
Tips on Speaking as a Catholic in Support of Marriage Equality
Jonathan Capehart: "Catholics Lead the Way on Same-Sex Marriage"
Steve Chapman: "Time is On the Side of Gay Marriage"
Stephanie Coontz on the Changing Face of “Traditional Marriage”

Image: Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Today is the feast of St. Sebastian, and over at the always insightful Jesus in Love Blog Kittredge Cherry shares the image at right of the saint by Tony de Carlo, along with an informative essay on Sebastian as "history's first gay icon."

For more of St. Sebastian at The Wild Reed, see the previous posts:
The Allure of St. Sebastian
"From Byzantine Daddy to Baroque Twink" – Charles Darwent on the Journey of St. Sebastian
Sebastian: Saint, Martyr, Gay Icon
St. Sebastian: "The Most Frequently Renewed Archetype of Modern Gay Identity"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Quote of the Day

After his baptism, Matthew tells us that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert in order to be tempted. . . . When I experience my own desert times – times of alienation, barrenness, or aloneness, I tend to forget that I may have been led there by the Spirit to face my own demons, to let them emerge and rise before me, and to learn my own powerlessness and weakness, to enable me to see my openness with others who feel alienated, rejected, barren, alone. I need to recognize and acknowledge those whom I have kept at a distance as those who can broaden my vision, who can stretch my boundaries and free me from the trap of judging who or what is "acceptable." My demons can minister to me if I acknowledge them, and those others whom I hold at a distance may well be the angels who will bring me to wholeness.

– Excerpted from Hidden Friends: Growing in Prayer
The Carmelites of Indianapolis
Sheed and Ward, 1995

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Why Jesus Is My Man
Quote of the Day – June 18, 2010
Who Is This Man?
Jesus: Path-blazer of Radical Transformation
The Essential Christ

Image: "Christ in the Desert" by Maria Laughlin.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

20 + C + M + B + 13

This morning at Spirit of St. Stephen's Catholic Community we did a doorway marking and blessing, one that my housemate Tim and I repeated this evening at our home.

Since the Middle Ages there has been a tradition that on (or near) the feast of the Epiphany Christians pray for God’s blessing on their homes, marking the entrance with chalk (an ordinary substance put to holy use). The front entrance of the home is marked with the initials of the legendary names of the Magi – Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar – written between the numerals of the new year. All the symbols are connected with crosses.

Some suggest that the letters C M B may also stand for Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless this house.”

Following is the Epiphanytide doorway blessing from the book Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers (2012). It's the blessing we used today at Spirit of St. Stephen's.

Welcoming God, bless this door.
May all who come through it find in our home
welcome, love and friendship.

Welcoming God, help us keep the door of our heart open.
Do not let fear, prejudice or hatred lock our door.
May we be hospitable to all as you are.

Welcoming God, bless our comings and our goings.
Teach us not to hurry through life's doorways
lest we miss You who beckon us at the threshold.
Never let us forget that where You are, God,
the door is always open.


See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
What We Can Learn from the Story of the Magi
Feast of the Epiphany
We Three . . . Queens