Archive for May, 2013

Awareness

May 31, 2013

Romans 12:9-16 Lk. 139-56 Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary and Elizabeth were open and were aware to God–which led through to their actions of raising two sons who changed the world.  When we are aware we become sensitive to each creature that is around us–or we can be like Dr. Will Tuttle describes:

Even those who acknowledge that our treatment of animals is indeed a great evil may feel that it is, like the other evils in our world, simply a product of human limitations, such as ignorance, pride, selfishness, fear, and so forth.

According to this view, the horror we inflict on animals is a problem, but not a fundamental cause of our problems—and, because it’s a problem for animals, who are less important than us humans, it’s a lesser problem.

Singlemindedness

May 30, 2013

Mk. 10:46-52

Bartimaeus was blind and a beggar on the margins of society.  But he had the heart of a lion. Knowing that the chance of a life time was passing by, he shouted hardly caring for the angry responses, and sides from people. To serve Jesus we have to be single minded in our service, putting all else aside. People say I am stubborn, single minded, single focused–well I am, I have no choice to be, for only in that single mindedness can I see Jesus. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God! 

Following Jesus

May 28, 2013

Mk. 10:28-31

This is a hard saying: Jesus calls us to follow him. I have people tell me that the Gospels should be understood in their historical context, not viewed very literally, hence they intellectualize the message. I do view the Gospels historically, but I hear Jesus speaking through their words–calling us to follow him: by putting him first, loving our neighbor, which for me means living simply, feeding, counseling, caring for people, being a vegan–he calls for our total committment. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Mortal Sins: A Book Review

May 28, 2013

MORTAL SINS: SEX/CRIME/AND THE ERA OF CATHOLIC SCANDAL By Michael D’ Antonio

This book is an excellent overview of the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church.  It is detailed from the very beginning with the major players.  It hits hard on the church’s desire to run from the crisis, an effort that seems to continue. It is a good book, but it is very biased and single focused.  There are several errors that I see: First is that the Bishops view sin as being forgiven without recompense. As a priest I hear confessions but forgiveness comes only when recompense is made: for example if you kill someone you turn yourself in to begin the process of pentitence. Sin in all of its forms is a need for repentance. You seek grace, you are also seeking to right the wrong if possible; Secondly, when anyone gets so single focused they demonize the wrong doer and lose sight of compassion and caring for the wrong doer. The Gospel loves even the abuser and we are called to show the same love; The author appears to demonize the priesthood in general, rather then pointing out it is a small percentage of priests who are the wrong doers, and in so doing he to puts the priesthood on a higher pedestal then other occupations. It is a good book, but single focused, rather biased, and shows a lot of not dealt with anger.    

Loving

May 27, 2013

May 27 St. Augustine of Canterbury Mk. 10:17-27

God has given us two hands — one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for giving.  –  Billy Graham

 

The rich young man could not give up his wealth to totally give himself to Christ–for when one gives himself to Christ he/she gives himself/herself to others. Jesus calls us to give up all: material possessions, ego, and give ourselves to him in service. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

 

Being Free

May 26, 2013

Jn. 16:12-15 Solemity of the Most Holy Trinity

 

Today is the Feast of the Holy Trinity-God expressed in three different ways: Father/Mother/ Son/ Holy Spirit. That  expression is one of love–calling us to love, care for another in small ways that grows into large expressions:  simply being gentle and kind in our interactions with all creatures, respecting their space, and providing for their needs. Dr. Will Tuttle sums it up:

To be free, we must practice freeing others.

To feel loved, we must practice loving others.

To have true self-respect, we must respect others.

The animals and other voiceless beings, the starving humans and future generations, are pleading with us to see: it’s on our plate.

“Why Priests? A Failed Tradition” by Gary Wills

May 25, 2013

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.

Good (How Baby Boomers Help)Faith(Recaptures a Biblical Faith)Hunting by Henry Stewart

May 25, 2013
Good (How Baby Boomers Help)Faith(Recapture a Biblical View of Faith)Hunting by Henry Stewart
 
This book is an excellent resource on why the church as we know it is dying..  It sums up my journey with the Church. I am a priest, and I work with street people, outside the gates, and people in the church have a hard time understanding my lack of interest in brick and mortars concept of the Church.  The author sums it up: “God was (and is) feral, untamable (describes the Hebrew journey out of Egypt). . .They persevered, trusting the untamable God of the Hebrews who led them through out their wilderness passages, even though they preferred the tame gods of Egypt.  Like the Hebrew people we discover on our quests that God provides sign posts and sustenance when we least expect them. God leads us ahead, weaning us from the tame gods and idols of our younger years.”
That is my experience with God, for I know that I am feral.  And the following quote sums up for me the message of the book:
 
My belief is that the Sacred speaks to me in the events of my life, in other people’s voices, in my own voice expressed in my body, my emotions, my dreams, and in the silence at the center of my sacred being. There is something in us beyond our brains that calls us to fullness and wholeness, or holiness if you will. This is what allows us to be connected to the spiritual realm, an interwoven network that connects us all, whether we recognize it or not.” – Betty Dee Kling, Listening for Voices from the Sacred Center

 

(How is the calling to fullness/wholeness breaking through in your life at this time? How are you called to respond?)

 

Day by Day

May 23, 2013

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!

Hope

May 23, 2013

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!