"And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
- 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
I am a Franciscan Friar with the Province of the Immaculate Conception, currently ministering in New England.
I've been called all sorts of things: Lumen ad revelationem gentium in obscuritatis, Restorer of the Breach, Ha-Loruhamah Ruhami, Bone Collector, but one of my favorite nicknames is my trail-name Pilgrim Padre.
Well, for those who don't know, I'm in Antigua Guatemala learning Spanish (which means if you haven't heard from me it's because iternet is scarse... I'm on break at school right now). Yesterday during my lessons I had to read a news article and comment on it in Spanish. What I read shocked me. It turns out that a little known effect of the current petroleum price crisis is the increase in the cost of basic staple foods in third world countries like Guatemala. The article stated that 700 thousand Guatemalans have now been classified "Poor," meaning they can just get by, and 500 thousand have gone from being "Poor" to being "extremely poor," meaning they can not buy the food they need to maintain their health and to continue living without the help of the government or other agencies. Half a million people in Guatemala alone are now in danger of starving to death just because the price of oil and petroleum has risen! Half a million! This is surely a moral and humanitarian issue that needs to be addressed, and reading this has inspired me to write a letter to my congressman because surely the US government's policy concerning ethanol in gasoline affects the price of corn, which as you know is the main ingredient in the tortillas that many poor people in Latin-America eat in order to survive. So, a slight change in US policy could indeed easy the pain of the poor by lowering the demand and also the price of corn.
Okay, break's over. More from Antigua later. Peace.