FROM “CEOs” TO “CEDs” – FINDING A WAY OUT OF BABYLON
I woke up Sunday morning, October 4, 2020, with memories of tons of conversations and the great birthday I had the day before, feeling blessed to have so many great people in my life, and living in a place like Prince Edward Island.
My mind then turned to the research I had left before bed as I made my coffee, to mentally position where I would pick up with that work. Then something strange happened. A image of a book cover I had co-edited and contributed a chapter to when I was the Executive Director of the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto in the mid-nineties suddenly popped into my mind, with the very clear idea: “You should scan and post that!”
I hadn’t thought of that book in ages. I knew I had a copy somewhere, so I started rooting around for it in a disorganized pile of books in the closet, remembering the planning process to get that published, and all the great discussions and meetings with Murray MacAdam and John Bird, who were both involved with Community Economic Development.
I finally found a copy, but then couldn’t get the scanner working. I wasting at least an hour before admitting defeat and moving on to other work after thoughts of hurting my own machine started obscuring my focus. But it bothered me not being able to just scan and post that article.
I checked my email and saw that a good friend, Mark Mallett. had posted a new article on his website, the Now Word. I clicked and read the following:
“This morning when I awoke, the “now word” on my heart was to find a writing from the past about “coming out of Babylon.” I found this one [On Getting Out Of Babylon], first published exactly three years ago on October 4th, 2017! The words in this are everything that is on my heart at this hour, including the opening Scripture from Jeremiah. I have updated it with current links. I pray this will be as edifying, reassuring, and challenging for you as it is for me this Sunday morning… Remember, you are loved.”
Whoa! That sent a bit of a chill down my spine. Mark has a unique Catholic ministry and writes relying on scripture, but always remains within the magisterium of the Catholic Church. He also relies heavily on the Church Fathers and Papal Encyclicals. What is unique about Mark’s writings, analysis and understanding is that he is one of a very few catholic thinkers and writers brave enough to also incorporate (with discernment) what catholic seers and prophets (most officially recognized by the Church, many being canonized saints) have alleged they have heard or otherwise received as messages from God, either from Jesus or Mary. I hope you take the time to read his Babylon piece, preferably before continuing with mine.
The title of the Babylon article I woke up remembering for the first time in years with the idea to post is: “Babylon Revisited: CED and The Economic Injustice of Our Times.”
There wasn’t a lot of support for me using biblical apocalyptic writings in my piece for the book to be honest. But it was my call so not needing to get permission I wrote what I felt inspired to write at the time, knowing it was really meant for another time in the not-too-distant future.
I figured I’d try one more time to see if me and my bargain-basement scanner could somehow figure out how to get along, but no luck.
When Murray MacAdam – the driving force and key inspiration behind the book – first approached me in Toronto about putting together a book on Community Economic Development, we agree we wanted to have contributions from various churches and to also look ahead to what might be helpful for the future.
He, John Bird and I all felt that the time was probably not right for Community Economic Development to catch on in Canada; however, we also concurred that with the trends leading to concentrated economic power globally, a day would one day come when it would be far more relevant and, hopefully, useful. I guess October 4, 2020 was that day.
My article focussed on how the economic system – if allowed to progress along the same trajectory – would eventually lead to a situation where one global system controlling everything: a type of “Babylon” as prophesied in both the Old Testament (Jeremiah) and New Testament (Revelations) would mesmerize and enslave the world in the so-called “end times”.
I wasted a couple of more hours with the scanner without success last Sunday, then finally gave up to do other work.
I thought I’d try again this morning, since I idea that I should post this article hasn’t left my mind, although I tried to make it leave, knowing it meant wrestling with that damn scanner again. Then just like that, Halleluiah! I finally GOT the stupid thing working.
I’m posting my Babylon article to honour the inspiration I had in the wee hours of the morning on October 4th and also (to a lesser degree of course) as an “in your face” to my scanner.
It’s certainly interesting to me that Mark and I both woke on October 4, 2020 (the feast of St. Francis of Assisi) each independently inspired to post articles we had written in the past about the urgency of “getting out of Babylon”. That’s a curiousity…what’s important is the material in the two articles.