Dan Berrigan, US prophet, turns 90

On May 9, 1921, Jesuit priest, poet, and prophet, Daniel Berrigan was born. Father Dan is known for his outspoken – and poetic – resistance to war and oppression. Exiled from New York to Latin America for a short period, he returned and became involved in opposition to the US War in Vietnam and later in opposition to the US nuclear arsenal. He has spent time in prison for burning draft files and pouring blood on nuclear-related weaponry.

I have met him and heard him speak several times. What I most appreciate about him is his poetic approach which is humble, yet cuts to the heart. Here’s one thing he wrote which speaks to me, especially since I love to bake bread.

 Sometime in your life,
hope that you might see one starved man,
the look on his face when the bread finally arrives.

Hope that you might have baked it
or bought it or even kneaded it yourself.
For that look on his face,
for your meeting his eyes across a piece of bread,
you might be willing to lose a lot,
or suffer a lot,
or die a little.

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