Like holidays or holy seasons, commemorative months such as Black History Month can fall into the trap of becoming purely symbolic, routine, and thus stripped of their power to transform us. We may even find ourselves a bit fatigued by the repetitive cycles of the calendar year.
So what does a Franciscan friar know about the top five issues facing the health-care system in the United States? Plenty, if he’s Franciscan Father Thomas Nairn, minister provincial of the Sacred Heart Province of the Order of Friars Minor.
As we enter Lent, we are reminded that we are “dust to dust” and “ashes to ashes.” After a year full of sorrows such as the separation of families at the US border, destructive wildfires, mass shootings, war and famine in Yemen, refugees fleeing Syria, and much of the world’s suffering that frequently goes without notice if it is not in our own backyard, I am ready for a season of somber humility.