If we could shrink the earth's population to
a village of precisely 100 people, with all
the existing human ratios remaining the same,
it would look something like the following:
There would be:
14 from North/South America
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual
6 people would possess 59% of the
entire world's wealth and all 6 would
be from the United States.
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death
1 would be near birth
1 would have a college education
1 would own a computer
When one considers our world from
such a compressed perspective,
the need for acceptance, understanding
and education becomes glaringly apparent.
The following is also something to ponder...
If you woke up this morning with more health
you are more blessed than the
million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture,
or the pangs of starvation...you are ahead of
500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a worship service or say
public prayers without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death...you are more
blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes
on your back, a roof overhead and a place
to sleep...you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet,
and spare change in a dish someplace...you
are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If you can read this, you are more blessed
than over two billion people in the world
who cannot read at all.
More will be added soon.
Visit us again.
Mother of the Disappeared
For Catholic peoples of Latin America,
the Sorrowful Mother Madre Dolorosais a central image in their life. Her
statue stands in most churches, clothed in black. Marys bitter experience on Good
Friday has made her a sympathetic sister to those whose lives are marked by similar
sorrow. She has shared the lot of the downtrodden and can stand in solidarity with them
through all ages.
Tens of thousands of Latin American mothers have had family members
abducteddisappearedby death squads in recent years. What can these
women do in their despair when their governments ignore their requests for help? In 1976 a
number of Argentinian mothers began a silent protest every week in front of government
offices as a way to release their despair. Wearing black dresses and white kerchiefs, they
carried photographs of their missing loved ones and marched around the plaza. They wore a
white rose bud if they hoped their loved one was still alive, and a red rose bud for the
dead. From Argentina the march of the mothers spread to El Salvador and other countries.
This icon presents a new Madre Dolorosa, who stands in solidarity with the Mothers of the
Disappeared. She wears their white kerchief, and her wine-colored Byzantine garment is
almost black. She has no photographs to carry of her son, who was also abducted by a death
squad and tortured to death, but she carries his crown of thorns. She wears both red and
white rose buds, since she has become mother of all the disappeared.
The white handprint smeared across the side of the icon is the signature of the El
Salvador death squads. It is unusual to add such a detail to a Byzantine icon, and the
result is shocking: the icon is violated! The hand, however, expresses a deep truth. The
death squads violate icons of God every time they abduct and torture a human being. If the
truth is not pretty, let it challenge us to action.
"Mother of the Disappeared" courtesy of and © Br. R. Lentz ofm.
Reproductions available from Trinity Stores www.trinitystores.com