Thomas Merton
'What we are asked to do is to love...'
Every Monday, we share a bit of Thomas Merton's wisdom to get the week started. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to be among the first to see #MertonMonday. You can find past installments on the CIR blog.
Nationwide COVID Memorial
Shine a light for those we've lost
Cities and towns around the country will light up their buildings and ring church bells at 5:30 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, Jan. 19, in a "national moment of unity and remembrance" honoring the lives lost to COVID-19.

Individuals are encouraged to light a candle in their window.

From the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which is sponsoring the event: “In the midst of a pandemic — when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors — it is important that we honor those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation’s history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation."

Wisdom Wednesday
Sharon Salzberg on our relationship with suffering
This #WisdomWednesday clip is from the 2018 Festival of Faiths and features author and Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg discussing our relationship with pain. “Suffering itself is not redemptive. The point is not to suffer,” she says. “It’s not in and of itself a state of grace. What matters is how we are with the suffering. That brings us back to love and compassion and a sense of community rather than isolation; it brings us back to letting others help us.” 

Click here to watch the Wisdom Wednesday clip, or check out the full talk on YouTube.
Common Action
Support the new Black Market KY
Our latest #CommonAction highlights Black Market KY, a healthy grocery focused on “combating the food apartheid in the West End of Louisville.” Founded by Feed the West, the nonprofit grocery opened Jan. 10 and will work with local Black farmers to offer fresh meat and organic fruits and vegetables to the community. They also offer food bundles, including their "Feed the West" bundle, where the purchased food goes directly to a West End family in need.

In the summer of 1963, Thomas Merton wrote that Dr. Martin Luther King "has based his non-violence in his belief that love can unite men, even enemies, in truth. That is to say that he has clearly spelled out the struggle for freedom not as a struggle for the Negro alone, but also for the white man."

Click here to read more from Merton's "Letters to a White Liberal," the latest selection in our Reflect series.

An excerpt of this work appeared in the catalogue from our 2016 Festival of Faiths, "Sacred Wisdom: Pathways to Nonviolence."
Calling All Young Writers!
Essay contest open through Feb. 8
A Single Donation Can Help Save Three Lives
Now through Jan. 31, please consider donating through CIR's nationwide #SleevesUp campaign — no matter where you live! Simply click here, then make (and keep) an appointment to give blood at a Red Cross site near you.

As an additional service to donors, the Red Cross will test all donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Click here to learn more.
Inspiration
(In 280 Characters or Less)
Sometimes wise words appear in the most unexpected places — like Twitter. Check out this week's enlightening tweet...
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