Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church


From the Staff @ HIEC

Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Dallas.....Who is our neighbor?

Baton Rouge

St. Paul

Dallas …

Who is our neighbor?

We are all children of God, and each time we look into the mirror, we are meant to see the many permutations of that…everything that makes this world the beautiful place that it is. It is true that love makes the world go round. Yet, because we don’t love enough, and in some cases, are hateful, we are destroying ourselves.

Yes, we destroy ourselves, even if they don’t look like us on the outside.

We destroy ourselves just a little bit more every time we gasp, and then go on to whatever is next.

We must be done with gasping, for soon, we will have no breath left.

So often, people ask me what they can do. We all are capable of different things, and that is why we make community. Some say that it’s time to quit praying and start doing. I disagree. I believe that God can change hearts. And, beyond that, for some, praying is their doing.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus.

Come, Holy Ghost.

Just as we sing these words at ordinations, beginning what is known as the Golden Sequence, we use the same to invoke the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Then, what do we do when we ask the Holy Spirit to come to us as she came to those in the locked room after Christ’s Ascension? Do we put her away until the next Pentecost, or when we renew our vows?

Do we open our hearts for just one day and then forget that we’ve asked her to be our guide in all we do and say?


As St. Teresa of Avila wrote: “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

As our privileges increase, so must our doing. Luke writes: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” Because power comes with that privilege. It is a power to be seen, heard, and, ultimately, followed.

If we see injustice, we must use our hands and feet, and our whole selves to dismantle, and eradicate it, and, to make it right.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Shall we link our arms, bringing our gifts to the fore, offering our strengths in love? A chain of love will always be stronger than a chain of hate because hate is rooted in fear. And when we fear, we are at our weakest. We’ve been told that the only thing we must fear is fear itself. Those are wise words, because if we don’t bring love to this equation of senseless acts, fear and hatred can, and will, win.

And yes, I pray, unceasingly, and ask you to do the same, for the victims of the senseless violence that will choke all of us, and leave us not gasping in dismay or outrage … but rather, because we have no breath left in our collective body.

Baton Rouge

St. Paul


Who is our neighbor?

The real question is …who isn’t?

Comments (9)

Andre Parker on Jul 8, 2016 3:30pm

Wonderful, much needed words.

Mary Marvin Walter on Jul 8, 2016 3:33pm

Well said. Thank you,Lisa!

Lisa Shunnarah on Jul 8, 2016 7:27pm

Pray without ceasing

Rita Mayle on Jul 8, 2016 10:06pm

Beautifully said.

Mary Beth Hofmeister on Jul 9, 2016 7:47am

Thank you Lisa! So true. I hadn't heard that passage from St. Teresa of Avila before. I love that.

Jeanine Sterling '76 on Jul 9, 2016 8:24am

Worth sharing. Just posted this on our ND Women Connect site. Thank you, Lisa.

Nan Moss on Jul 9, 2016 10:24am

Wonderful words, Lisa; I do pray for our country and for peace every day.

Dawn Hennessey on Jul 9, 2016 3:34pm

Beautiful (of course). Thank you for your wise words. They provide needed guidance and strength. Veni, Sancti Spiritus-Fr Ted's favorite prayer.

carolyn yost on Jul 13, 2016 4:28pm

Way to go Lisa..beautiful words from a beautiful person.