Garry Willis in “Why Priests? A Failed Tradition” presents the argument that the priesthood is a tradition developed by the Church and has failed, and that it is not necessary. He is right in the failure of priests in the power structure of the church. But I also believe he is wrong that the priesthood is not necessary. I am a priest, I believe one aspect of being a priest is a “keeper of the mysteries,” one who passes down the tradition as it evolves. The priesthood is shared by everyone, but I believe that God calls some to be “a keeper of the mysteries.” I also believe there is alot of failure. Today is Aldersgate Day, the day in which John Wesley felt his heart strangely warmed, and called to ministry. I too, felt my heart strangely warmed at 12 and called to ministry and that call has been with me since, and I have been hurt by the Church, and yet I stay in it because it is evolving as God leads in our lives.
(How is the calling to fullness/wholeness breaking through in your life at this time? How are you called to respond?)
Sirach 5:1-8, Mk. 9:14-50
I am fasting for twenty four hours in protest to close Guantamo–it is senseless, un civilized and against everything I believe is human. Last night 29 year old Dexter came by, just got out of jail after taking the blame for a girlfriend’s crime, and he has disability and could get a place to live, but chooses to live on the street. He has severe mental illness. I walk with him, and care for him without judgment. And I think of others who are so addicted to money that they do not see the Dexter’s of the world and Gunatamo–
Self-centered craving for pleasure and fulfillment at the expense of others is the antithesis of the Golden Rule and of every standard of morality Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Sirach 5:1-8; Mk. 9:41-50
People asked me what keeps me going? Simply hope–Walter Wink describes it so well:
Hope envisages its future and then acts as if that future is now irresistible, thus helping to create the reality for which it longs. The future is not closed. . . Even a small number of people, firmly committed to the new inevitability on which they have fixed their imaginations, can decisively affect the shape the future takes. – Walter Wink, The Powers that Be
(What do you hope for your life? Your family? The world? Invite the Spirit to help you envision this reality coming true. Feel yourself drawn into this future.) My hope is for the reign of God to become vsible in everyone being fed, housed, with health care, and wealth equality. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
One of my favorite quotes of Dorothy Day is: “People say what is the sense of performing small efforts. They can not see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.”
Each day I feed one person at a time, give out a pair of socks one at a time, spend time with individuals one at a time. It seems like I am not doing much, but over a monthy I will serfve 500 to 1000 people. It is not in the big things we do–but in the small that touch lives, accomplish great things, and Christ is present. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Sir. 2:1-11; Mk. 9:30-37
St. Christopher Magallanes
St. Christopher was martyred in Mexico because of his stand for the Gospel. Sirach sums discipleship up: Accept whatever be falls you and in times of humiliation be patient. For gold is tested in fire, and those found acceptable in the furnace of humiliation.
For me that is the call of Christ. I have learned ministry was never to be easy, and in embracing it have found the Risen Jesus–new life, and always hope, always hope! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Mk. 9:14-29 St. Bernadine of Sienna
Last night I ran into two young guys in the Haight, gave them some cookies, socks–but more importantly I listened to them for an hour–they said over and over how no one pays attention–and then I spent an hour with an 18 year old, with severe mental illness. Sadness over the pain, so much, so much, and I know it shows in my face at times, but there is healing in being present to people. Facebook, Twitter, skype–none of those substitute for one taking their time to sit with someone, to simply be with someone. That is why I always have time to simply sit and be. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Jn. 14:15-16, 23-26 Pentecost
Our lives flow from our beliefs, and our beliefs are conditioned by our daily actions. As we act, so we build our character and so we become.
By consciously making our meals celebrations of peace, compassion, and freedom, we can sow seeds in the most powerful way possible to contribute to the healing of our world. Will Tuttle
We are entering Pride time, and as we do I think of my experience of coming out of the closet in so many ways. Coming out as queer, while difficult and costly, has freed me to be me, to truly be open to myself and others, but I have found we are always “coming out”, and I come out now as vegan. I have used excuses of health but the reality is I respect my fellow beings and for the welfare of our planet feel we must eat vegan. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Today we are having the Philip Workman Anti Death Penalty Ralley. Few will be there, but I remember Philip and his last act of giving vegetarian pizza to the homeless, and I remember the words of Thomas Merton who tells us:
This matter of “salvation” is, when seen intuitively, a very simple thing. But when we analyze it, it turns into a complex tangle of paradoxes. We become ourselves by dying to ourselves. We gain only what we give up, and if we give up everything we gain everything. We cannot find ourselves within ourselves, but only in others; yet at the same time, before we can go out to others we must first find ourselves. We must forget ourselves in order to become truly conscious of who we are. The best way to love ourselves is to love others; yet we cannot love others unless we love ourselves, since it is written, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” But if we love ourselves in the wrong way, we become incapable of loving anybody else. And indeed when we love ourselves wrongly, we hate ourselves; if we hate ourselves we cannot help hating others. Yet there is a sense in which we must hate others and leave them in order to find God… As for this “finding” of God, we cannot even look for Him unless we have already found Him, and we cannot find Him unless He has first found us. We cannot begin to seek Him without a special gift of His grace; yet if we wait for grace to move us before beginning to seek Him, we will probably never begin. – Thomas Merton (1915-1968), No Man is an Island
Pierre de Chardin taught of the evolution in the universe with the Cosmic Christ. People fight change, they want the status quo–but things are always changing, and evolving, and I believe that when we acknowledge the evolution of our faith we see the loving, caring God in Christ who loves and accepts all people. I see alot of suffering, and it is in the love that I see that I see the Christ.
Will Tuttle sums up evolution very well:
The calling we hear today is the persistent call to evolve. It is part of a larger song to which we all contribute and that lives in our cells and in the essential nature of the universe that gives rise to our being.
It is a song, ultimately, of healing, joy, and celebration because all of us, humans and non-humans alike, are expressions of a beautiful and benevolent universe.
It is also a song of darkest pain and violation, due to our accepted practices of dominating, commodifying, and killing animals and people.