Compiled by Holy Heretic Benjamin Foster
“If you want to know who your friends are get yourself a jail sentence.” -Charles Bukowski
Unsurprisingly, or perhaps surprising to a few of you with more genteel and conservative sensibilities, the Bible, the Qur’an, and the teachings of many different religious and spiritual leaders, have centered around jail, being jailed, our loved ones being jailed, and how we, on our spiritual path, should respond. Bukowski, the man quoted above, one of the most beloved cynical poets of our time, spent time in and out of jail for different offenses. Bukowski’s most notable sentence is perhaps the 17 days spent in Moyamensing prison for suspicion of draft dodging. Though this sentence may be short considering the men and women still jailed for “crimes”of protest or non-violent offenses, Bukowski, with his way with words, shows us something in this quote that I believe everyone walking the spiritual path needs to be reminded of at some point along the journey.
It’s important to remember the message of Psalm’s 69:33, which reads this: “For the lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.”
In this verse we are reminded that despite the offenses committed, God still loves us and cares for us as much as before we were imprisoned. In following our spiritual path and striving to love others as God loves us, it is our responsibility to love, care for, and visit those incarcerated for whatever reason, whether it be in a jail of brick and bars or an emotional or mental prison. If we are to be true friends of a world that is lost and dying, who are far from the path of God and faith, we should be the first to walk through the gates on visitation day.
Today’s Action: Visit someone who is incarcerated. It doesn’t have to be in a physical prison. It can be someone imprisoned by grief, depression, or poverty. Let them know you’re thinking of them and praying for them.
Today’s Sharing: Share the struggle of the person you went and visited today, as much as you and that person wish to share. This allows us to come together and understand our conjoined struggle and to better pray for the end of their, and everyone elses, incarceration. Share your stories on our Facebook page at facebook.com/holyhereticzine
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