Saturday, October 22, 2016

"The Divine Dance" by Richard Rohr, New Book!

"There is a rising rumble, like a midnight train approaching through the wastelands. Not only do we hear it from the distance, but we can feel it if we put our hands on the ground or in the water or in the torn bread and poured out wine. The rumor in the deep places of our souls is that there is a party going on, and we can scarce trust our invitation. Could there ever be a toast raise to us? Might a hand reach out and lead us into the divine dance, whispering in our ears that we were always made for this? And so we wait for the kiss, the breath in and out that awakens our sleeping hearts to life. We were made for this, utterly found within Relentless Affection! "

The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr, p. 21.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Homily: "Nagging God" at Stanislaus Parish, St. Louis, Missouri by Annie Watson ARCWP

Luke 18:1-8
Annie Watson, St. Stanislaus
October 15, 2016
In this parable of the Unjust Judge (which is a great oxymoron), Jesus tells his audience “about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.” Since I’m a woman I can say this: Jesus seems to encourage us to “nag” God in prayer.
In the parable a widow relentlessly pursues justice against her opponent, although we are never told what the opponent did. We can assume that, because she is a defenseless widow, as all widows were in that day, someone is taking advantage of her.
At first the judge refuses to help her, but eventually he gives in because he doesn't want the widow to continue coming to him and wearing him out. He has other things to do. He has other cases to resolve. He's more interested in people paying him under the table and other unethical practices that will make him rich. He could care less about this widow woman, and yet to get her out of his hair he brings justice to her.
Jesus then offers the moral to the story: If even an unjust human judge will eventually come around and help someone in need, will not the Almighty Judge do what is right at all times? Jesus is suggesting that God will answer our prayers if we are persistent.

Is that true? Does God always answer our prayers if we are persistent? Some might say, “Yes, but sometimes God answers with a ‘no’.” Perhaps it is true that God says “no” to us at times, but this is really an assumption on our part. We are assuming that the silent response to our prayers is a “no” when it could just as well be a non-response.
If we follow the wisdom of Jesus’ parable, we should ignore all the “no’s” or non-responses to our prayers and continue to nag God until God says “yes” (much like a salesperson ignores the first few “no’s” of a prospective customer).

There are many types of prayers. There are prayers of adoration or praise, prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers of confession. Some people practice meditation and contemplation, types of prayer that come from the monastic traditions.

But the type of prayer implied in Jesus' parable is “prayers of petition.” When we pray a prayer of petition we are asking God for something. Like the widow in the parable, we might ask God for justice. We might ask God to heal the sick or comfort those who mourn. These are prayers of petition or intercessory prayers.

Whether we ask God for something that benefits us, or benefits others, prayers of petition create theological problems for some people. For some Christians, asking God for something seems a little silly. Giving God a verbal “wish list” as if God is a heavenly Santa Claus who will give us what we pray for if we are good enough or persistent enough seems a little silly.

Why do some Christians have a problem with prayers of petition? First, if God already knows our needs and wishes, why do we need to persistently nag God about them? Don't we insult God by acting as if God needs to be reminded about these things? Doesn't persistent, nagging prayer imply a senile God?

Second, there is the reality of unanswered prayers. Let's be honest. We have all prayed for things that simply did not materialize. I'm sure we have all prayed for someone’s healing only to discover that they did not recover from their illness or injury. We have all prayed for world peace and for an end to world hunger. If we say that God has simply said “no” to these prayers, then we have to grapple with the reality of a God who doesn't seem to care about people very much.

Because of these theological problems, some people choose not to pray intercessory or prayers of petition. Even when a prayer seems to “work,” people are often surprised.

A priest stopped during his morning walk when he saw a man bending over one of the tires of his car. The rear had been jacked up, and the man was tugging at the tire muttering profanities. Then he stood up, kicked at the tire, and expressed his feelings at the top of his voice.
The priest came over to him and said, "My good man, surely there is no need for such heated profanity. Why don't you calm down and try the power of prayer. The man turned to the priest and said, “You mean pray about something as mundane as a flat tire? How do I do that?”

“I'll show you,” said the priest. “It’s the simplest thing in the world.” The priest raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Our heavenly Father, if it be Thy pleasure, help guide this man to faith and make him aware that all in the universe, from the mightiest star to the tiniest fly, is in Thy hands at all times. Let this man in true contrition of soul find that the removal of this tire is not a hard task for one with faith.”

As the final syllable fell from his lips, the tire quivered and, of its own accord, plopped off the wheel, made a short spinning clatter on one side, and lay still. The minister stared at it for a moment, then muttered, “Well, I'll be darned.” (That’s not a true story by the way …)
Do you see the problem that confronts us? Even when prayer seems to work, we have a hard time believing it. Nevertheless, I still believe we can justify prayers for ourselves and others. I still believe there are good reasons to pray. Let me briefly offer three good reasons:
First, prayers of petition feel like a natural way to express our cares and concerns. Second, prayers of petition do have a positive effect on people (especially if they know they are being prayed for). Third, whether prayers literally “work” or not, we become more intimate with God when we pray.

Those are good reasons to pray, regardless of how theologically “correct” we may or may not be when we pray. Jesus concludes the parable of the unjust Judge by asking, "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

I think this is what prayer is all about. Prayer is directly linked to faith. Prayer is how faith expresses itself. We are called to persist in prayer, not because God will finally “give up” and answer our prayers. We are called to persist in prayer because we are also called to persist in faith. So feel free to nag. Amen

Our Lady of Guadalupe Words of prayer and hope "Am I not here, I, who am your Mother?"

The miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe has had a powerful impact on people for centuries. But there is another aspect of the events that occurred on the Hill of Tepeyac, which is sometimes overlooked or forgotten. Our Blessed Mother’s words to Juan Diego convey the tender love of a mother for her child. They also recall events in Jesus’ life, and call each of us to an important mission of love, prayer, and mercy.
   Here are Mary’s extraordinary words, faithfully translated from the native language of Juan Diego, and accompanied by Scripture, prayers, and suggestions for action. Spend 30 days with the words of your Blessed Mother, and let your life be transformed.

32 PAGES •  4" X 6"  •  $2.95
ISBN: 9781627852135

Available Now

To order by phone,
call 1-800-321-0411
Bookstore orders: ext. 129

ARCWP-APCR: Asociación de Presbiteras Católicas Romanas: VAMOS DE PRISA ANUNCIANDO EL EVANGELIO. Olga Lucia Álvarez Benjumea ARCWP*

Mónica: Pero, si dicen que de la carrera no queda sino el cansancio?
…. Pues, ve, vos que opinas, si te llegan con alguien infartado, qué hacés?
Cecilia: No pues, ahí mismo me arremango a atenderle, no hay tiempo que perder.
…Pues, lo mismo nos esta pasando con el anuncio del Evangelio. Necesitamos que le llegue a muchos de nuestros hermanxs, antes de que sea tarde. En el Evangelio de ayer, reflexionábamos que la cosecha es abundante  y los operarios muy pocos. (Lucas 10:2) Te acuerdas? Acaso, quienes cultivan café, no sienten en el momento de coger la cosecha, esa angustia de que ya no vienen trabajadores a ayudar a recogerla?,.Tu misma me comentabas las dificultades que han tenido en cada cosecha, además que en el campo, ya no van quedando sino personas mayores, porque los jóvenes quieren, salir a buscar un “futuro” mejor.
Lucero: Si, eso mismo se ve y he vivido en mi vereda.Con la gravedad de los males que se le esta haciendo a la Madre Tierra con el glifosato, las matas de plátano criollo que protegen el café, con ese elemento le entra un gusano en su raíz que acaba con ellas. Por eso se esta viendo cada vez más en el mercado, el plátano de exportación, de Urabá privilegiando de manera especial esa zona, y acabando con el pequeño caficultor, en el resto del país.
Juan: Eso que ha dicho Lucero, es cierto. Además, cada día se esta incrementando el monocultivo. Cuando la diversidad en el cultivo es una protección contra las plagas.
…No vemos en vano, como se ha ido fomentando, la violencia, contra aquellos lideres que quieren proteger la Madre Tierra.
Mónica: Ahora, estoy entiendo mucho más la labor nuestra en el ministerio!
Arturo: Es urgente, que nos preparemos para salir a anunciar el Evangelio. Uniendo cada vez más la Palabra de la Divinidad, con la acción.
…Si seguimos el Evangelio, con la sugerencia de Arturo. Esto nos hace recordar que el asesinato de Jesús, hasta el día de hoy ha sido un crimen que quedó impune, como muchos de los que conocemos. Se conocen los autores intelectuales, (Pilato-los Sumos Sacerdotes) los ejecutores, los “falsos positivos”=falsos testigos. La guerra psicológica, el pánico, (Pedro y sus amigos huyen), se gesta la persecución a los cristianos…
Cecilia: Contemplación-Acción. Van unidas, pero tenemos que tener cuidado, como dice el refrán popular: “ni tanto que queme al santo  y ni tanto que no lo alumbre”.
…Me encanta ver el trabajo que se esta haciendo. Mucha cercanía con la gente, cada vez con olor a campo, a café, puro olor y sudor a ese amor a la Madre Tierra.
Les invitamos a ver en el material gráfico la experiencia que hemos vivido, que seguirá grabada en lo más profundo de cada unx. Una imagen dice más que mil palabras.
Una las principales calles de la Ciudad de Popayán,conocida como la Ciudad Universitaria, Religiosa, Gente encantadora,humilde y sencilla, nos revelan su identidad indígena. Por algo es la sede de la ONIC (Org. Nal. Indigena de Colombia)
Una las principales calles de la Ciudad de Popayán,conocida como la Ciudad Universitaria, Religiosa. Gente encantadora,humilde y sencilla, nos revelan su identidad indígena. Por algo la sede de la ONIC (Org. Nal. Indígena de Colombia), se encuentra en Popayán-Cauca.
Vamos llegando a la Vereda Julumbito. Felices de encontrarnos. Han venido Mónica y Arturo del Eucador para acompañarnos
Vamos llegando a la Vereda Julumbito. Felices de encontrarnos. Han venido Mónica y Arturo del Ecuador para acompañarnos.
Una maloca! Que linda! Aqui trabaja Cecilia con su esposo, atienden a los pacientes y cuidan de la Madre Tierra. La maloca es un diseño de casa indígena circular. Todo el tiempo vivimos abrazadxs del signo de la Unidad.
Una Maloca! Que linda! Aquí vive y trabaja Cecilia con su esposo, atienden a los pacientes y cuidan de la Madre Tierra. La Maloca es un diseño de casa indígena circular aunque no lo parezca. Todo el tiempo vivimos abrazadxs del signo de la Unidad.
Ya estamos en casa. Es increíble! Cocina-comedor-habitaciones-y atención a pacientes, abajo. Arriba esta el Oratorio, desde donde cubre toda la casa!
Ya estamos en casa. Es increíble! Cocina-comedor-habitaciones-y atención a pacientes, abajo. Arriba esta el Oratorio, desde donde cubre toda la casa!
Juntxs hemos celebrado la Eucaristia.
Juntxs hemos celebrado la Eucaristía.
Atendiendo a un paciente, tambien se celebra la Eucaristía. Cecilia y su esposo lo atienden.
Atendiendo a un paciente, tambien se celebra la Eucaristía. Cecilia lo atiende. En este espacio, hacen terapias, masajes, aplican inyecciones, y sobre todo  el acompañamiento espiritual…
Cecilia a dónde vas? A visitar a Raúl y a Rogelia.
Creo que sola no te vas. Nos cambiamos y nos disponemos a ir a a celebrar la Eucaristía en casa de Rogelia y Raúl
Creo que sola no te vas. Nos cambiamos y nos disponemos a ir a a celebrar la Eucaristía en casa de la Señora Rogelia y Don Raúl.
Preside la Eucaristía,Lucero. Le acompañamos la pareja, Arturo, Mónica, Cecilia y yo.
Preside la Eucaristía,Lucero. Le acompañamos la pareja, Arturo, Mónica, Juan, Cecilia y yo.
En este hogar, hemos compartido la Palabra de la Divinidad y la Eucaristía. En la Homilia que fue compartida, dimos a conocer la historia de nuestros ministerios. Ellxs libremente, nos hicieron preguntas que ya una u otra respondíamos. Ellxs nos dieron la comunión, y ellos como pareja, fue lindo verlos compartir la Eucaristía: la esposa, se la da al esposo. El esposo se la da a la esposa. Fueron ellos lo que nos la dieron, porque ellos, en la casa, en la vereda, en su trabajo, son testimonio y han formado a sus hijas, en la fe y en los valores cristianos.
Regresamos a casa. Pues Arturo, no nos dejaba un minuto libre. Y muchas cosas nos faltaba conversar todavía.
Regresamos a casa. Pues Arturo, no nos dejaba un minuto libre. Y muchas cosas nos faltaba conversar todavía.
Nos preguntábamos acerca de la Historia del ministerio sacerdotal de la mujer en la Iglesia. Comentamos el Canon 1024, el Decreto Graciano 1.140 (las mujeres deben llevar cubierta la cabeza, porque no son la imagen de Dios…) y el sexismo en general de la Iglesia institucional.
Comentamos que sin salirnos de la Iglesia, aqui estábamos anunciando el Evangelio, pues amamos la Iglesia, no hemos renunciado a Ella, no aceptamos por ningún motivo el que se nos arrebaten la fuerza de nuestro Bautismo!
Vamos de prisa a llevar el mensaje que Jesús le dio a Maria de Magdala:Juan 20:1-18, pues muchxs, no se han enterado de ello todavía.
Resultado de imagen para Maria de Magdala en la resurreccion
Ella lo busco, lo encontró, lo descubrió, lo conoció
y su vida, se transformó
Nuestra tarea: No vamos a parar de anunciar el Evangelio, y así lo hicimos todo el tiempo que estuvimos en esa querida ciudad de Popayán-Cauca, cargada de historia ancestral!

Nuestros agradecimientos a la Esencia Divina, por su Presencia en medio de nosotras/os. A Cecilia, a su esposo, por su acogida, fraterna, su generosidad.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Part of the Symphony" by Balbir Matbur, Inward and Outward, "You are the Beauty of the Dancer" by Sara Thomsen

Part of the Symphony
I serve. I do the dance I must. I plant trees, but I am not the doer of this work. I am the facilitator, the instrument—I am one part of the symphony. I know there is an overall scheme to this symphony that I cannot understand. In some way, we are each playing our own part. It is not for me to judge or criticize the life or work of another. All I know is that this is my dance. I would plant trees today even if I knew for certain that the world would end tomorrow.

"Lutherans and Catholics Chart Path to Unity" by Thomas Ryan, National Catholic Reporter M71

Bridget Mary's Response:
A sign of major progress! Roman Catholic Women Priests have broadened the issue of who can be ordained by leading the church forward to gender equality in inclusive communities now. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP,

"As we approach the year of events leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation on Oct. 31, 2017, a resurfacing question will be: Do we celebrate? Repent? Commemorate? Perhaps all three? This is the first time the centenary observance of the Reformation will occur in an ecumenical era. Since the Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification by the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999, we've reached a new stage. We've made more progress in the last 50 years toward healing the wounds of our divisions than we have in the last five centuries. Top Lutheran theologians participated as observers at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). The international dialogue between the Vatican Secretariat for Ecumenism and the Lutheran World Federation started in 1967. After five sessions, they came out with the Malta Report in 1972 in which it was clear they decided to take on in the ensuing years a whole range of issues: Scripture and tradition; admission to the Eucharist; justification by faith; church law; ordination. At a weeklong conference on "Fifty Years of Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue" last July at the Lutheran Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France, Dominican Fr. Hervé Legrand, a participant in the dialogue, gave an overview of the dialogue commission's work. Discussion on Eucharist and ministry led to a new document in 1978 on "The Lord's Supper." Catholics and Lutherans agreed: Celebration of the Eucharist doesn't "repeat" the sacrifice of the cross or add to its salvific value. In the document, giving Communion under both kinds and preaching at every Mass was asked of Catholics, while a weekly celebration was asked of Lutherans. There is extensive agreement on the real presence under the signs of bread and wine. As Lutherans only have two sacraments -- baptism and Eucharist -- they do not profess the sacramentality of ordination. For them, it is more of a collegial reality, whereas for Catholics it has an indelible character, that is, it marks one for life and cannot just be given up or repeated. There was a convergence of understanding on this, but a lack of accord on who can be ordained..."

At US-Mexico border, SOA Watch focuses on the same message through a new lens

"16-year-old Juan Antonio Rodriguez was shot on Oct. 10, 2012, in Nogales, Mexico, he was unarmed.
He wasn't attempting to cross the border fence that separates his city from Nogales, Arizona. Reports say he was throwing rocks at border agents on the United States side to distract them from two men climbing the fence from Mexico into Arizona.
Ten shots later, Rodriguez died — the bullet marks still visible on the nearby wall today.
On the weekend of the fourth anniversary of his murder, the site of his death drew a crowd of more than 1,000 people on either side of the 18-foot steel fence at SOA Watch's annual rally Oct. 8-10. SOA Watch is an organization that for 27 years hasprotested the School of the Americas (now the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or WHINSEC), a U.S. Army school that SOA Watch says has trained Latin American soldiers in techniques of violent repression.
The weekend included a prayer vigil at the Eloy Detention Center in Eloy, Arizona; various educational workshops, including how to build a grassroots organization, how trade agreements cause economic and labor abuse, and how to refuse to pay taxes so as not to support a war; concerts at the border; and a prayer vigil for Rodriguez.
Also over the weekend, Catholic sisters hosted Encuentro de Hermanas, where they gathered in a soup kitchen in Mexico to offer prayers and discuss immigration reform.
But before the workshops and spiritual gatherings, about 1,000 people marched from one country to the other, ending at the border fence, Ambos Nogales."

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 30th Sunday of OT by Beverly Bingle RCWP

The parable in this week's gospel shows us two men at prayer,
one a Pharisee, assumed to be righteous
according to the traditional religious practices of the day,
and the other a tax collector,
assumed to be unjust, dishonest in his dealings,
disloyal to his country, and unfaithful to his religion.
That's the way Jesus' audience would have thought of them.
The people who first heard this parable
were victims of what we now call “implicit bias,”
the unconscious attitudes
that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions.
We often make judgments about people automatically,
without thinking.
It's called implicit bias
and it has been part of our national conversation about racism
ever since Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald
conducted experiments for their book Blindspot 20 years ago.
Last Monday on NPR
Banaji called attention to mentions of implicit bias
in both the presidential and the vice-presidential debates.
One of the candidates said
that implicit bias is a problem for everyone,
and that, “unfortunately, too many of us in our great country
jump to conclusions about each other.”
Banaji gave a simple example that shows
how we come to have a bias without consciously realizing it.
First, our brains pick up information from what we see.
If we repeatedly see
doctors who are male and nurses who are female,
our brains pick it up and recognize it as a pattern.
Second, Banaji says, we begin to act
in ways that support the pattern,
and we think that's the way it really is.
So men become surgeons and women become nurses.
Today's parable turns the tables
on the implicit biases of Jesus' audience.
The tax collector is justified, not the Pharisee.
What that has to do with us is that,
just like the bias of ancient Israelites against tax collectors,
we all, regardless of the color of our skin
or the size of our bank account,
act unconsciously on faulty assumptions.
We have all learned to be biased.
When we find out that we're biased,
it doesn't mean that we have to stay that way.
Today's first reading, psalm, and gospel tell us one thing:
unlearn our biases.
We are God's people,
called to be holy, called to reflect God's goodness.
Sirach describes God
as a “God of justice, who knows no favorites.”
The Psalm tells us that God hears the cry of the poor.
Just as God has no favorites,
so are we to treat all people equally.
Just as God responds to the cry of the poor,
so are we, the People of God,
called to listen to their cries and work for justice.
The meaning of these scriptures for our times
is rooted deeply in our Catholic Social Teaching tradition.
We are called to work for the “common good”
so that all people have food, clothes, shelter,
medical care, education...
so that all people live in right relationship with others
and with the earth
and with all of creation.
With just two weeks and two days until election,
these scriptures call us to look at our biases
and learn to be just.
They call us to look for the candidates
whose policies work for the good of all,
not just for the rich and the powerful.
They call us to examine the issues
and weigh their impact on the poor.
This is our faith.
As our U.S. Bishops said in their document
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,
“A basic moral test for our society
is how we treat the most vulnerable in our midst.”
Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si',
called the preferential option for the poor
“an ethical imperative
essential for effectively attaining the common good.”
He said that wasting food, for example,
takes it out of the mouths of the poor.
An ethical imperative:
if we seek to imitate the life of Christ,
we must work for justice
until the basic needs of all people are met.
It's not ethics as a general idea.
It's a specific ethical imperative for each one of us.
Our own way of life must reflect our values.
We know what that means.
As Gandhi, and so many others, have put it,
we must “Live simply so that others may simply live.”
It starts with an examination of conscience,
ferreting out those implicit biases we hold
and unlearning them.
And it continues with serious prayer that we might—
as our favorite hymn says—
act with justice, love tenderly, serve one another,
and walk humbly with our God.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church)

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006