Thanks to Ann Pelo for sending the poem below by Richard Rohr. Ann is a delightful friend and colleague of the last seven years — I love her ability to see the “and” in the “all.” Richard Rohr, a Franciscan Friar, is a person that I have never met in person, yet feel like I’ve often been met by his words. “And” is from his book, The Naked Now.

The Shining Word “And”

“And” teaches us to say yes

“And” allows us to be both-and

“And” keeps us from either-or

“And” teaches us to be patient and long-suffering

“And” is willing to wait for insight and integration

“And” keeps us from dualistic thinking

“And” does not divide the field of the moment

“And” helps us to live in the always imperfect now

“And” keeps us inclusive and compassionate toward everything

“And” demands that our contemplation become action

“And” insists that our action is also contemplative

“And” heals our racism, sexism, heterosexism, and classism

“And” keeps us from the false choice of liberal or conservative

“And” allows us to critique both sides of things

“And” allows us to enjoy both sides of things

“And” is far beyond anyone nation or political party

“And” helps us face and accept our own dark side

“And” allows us to ask for forgiveness and to apologize

“And” is the mystery of paradox in all things

“And” is the way of mercy

“And” makes daily, practical love possible

“And” does not trust love if it is not also justice

“And” does not trust justice if it is not also love

“And” is far beyond my religion versus your religion

“And” allows us to be both distinct and yet united

“And” is the very Mystery of Trinity

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