Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrates Liturgy of Corpus Christi Co-Presiders: Pat MacMillan and Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Music Minister: Linda Lee Miska Cantors: Russ Banner and Cheri McDonagh

Co-Presiders: Pat McMillian and Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, right to left


Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Prays Eucharistic Prayer
Around Altar at St. Andrew UCC in Sarasota, Florida

Introduction and Welcome

Theme: We, the Body of Christ, share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ.

Gathering Song: Table of Plenty #310, verses 1, 2, 3, 4

Presider: Opening Prayer: O Holy One, you share the depths of your love in the Eucharist. Divine Compassionate Love, be our source of strength as we live our call to be your Body, broken and shared in our world. Be with us always as we live your compassion and justice. We ask this in union with Jesus, our brother and Spirit Sophia, our wisdom. All: Amen.

PENITENTIAL RITE

Presider: O Love of all Ages, may we see your face in all who are demonized and excluded so that the hate will stop.

ALL: May we open our hearts, affirming the fullness of life for all.



Presider: Jesus the Christ, may we see the divine reality in victims, especially in all who suffer violence, and discrimination.

ALL: May we, like Mary, champion the oppressed and protect the abused.



Presider: O Wisdom Sophia, may we see your face in people who are hungry and homeless, anxious and stressed.

ALL: May we, like the saints,, care for those in need.



Presider: God of love we ask our sisters and brothers to forgive our failures to serve them in works of compassion and justice. May we be your hands and feet in the world.

ALL: Amen.



ALL: Glory to God, glory, O praise God alleluia, glory to God, glory, O praise the name of our God, 3x (sung)



Presider: Loving God, we give thanks for your tender compassion always at work in our world. We cry out today for justice for the broken Body of Christ, all who are impoverished and marginalized. May we work for their liberation and do all we can to advance their well-being. ALL: Amen.



LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 1:4b-1:6a

Responsorial Psalm: 147

Response sung: Ubi Carias

“Ubi Caritas, et amo, ubi caritas, deus ibe est.”

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

Sequence: Panis Angelicus sung by Cheri McDonagh


Gospel Acclamation: ALLELUIA! (sung)

Gospel: John 6:51-58
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP proclaims the Gospel 


A reading according to the Gospel of John:

All: Glory to you, O God.

Reader: The good news of Jesus, the Christ!

ALL: Glory and praise to you, Jesus the Christ!



Homily Starter:
Pat MacMillan shares Homily Starter

Corpus Christi – Body of Christ – Communion – Community
by
Pat MacMillan
When I was a young girl, I didn’t refer to the body of Christ as the Eucharist, I called it Communion. I didn’t receive my First Holy Eucharist, I received my First Holy Communion. Communion, to me, meant taking in God, making God part of me. Through our theological evolution, I now say, I am the body of Christ! We now acknowledge that we are in communion with Christ, we have a spiritual and intimate relationship with HIM.
Are we the only form of the Body of Christ? Look at that sphere hanging from the ceiling, what do you see? I see the image of Earth but I, also, see the body of Christ – broken and shared for us.  That Body of Christ is dependent upon this Body of Christ.
As I was reading and preparing this homily starter I came across a passage taken from a sermon preached by Annett Andrews-Lux at Earth Ministry’s 16th Annual Celebration for St. Francis that speaks to this global Body of Christ. She writes of a gift that was given to her. “A parishioner came up to me, talked with me for a bit and then offered me an unexpected gift. The gift was a monk’s begging bowl, which she had brought home from Bangkok years ago. The parishioner talked about the effect it made upon her to see the Buddhist monks moving about the people, holding their bowls out in a simple gesture of request, knowing that the people would provide for their needs. There is a web that connects the monks to their community, a community that seems to innately know the importance of the presence of these spiritual teachers among them, and so they support them with gifts of sustenance. She shared with me how she came to view this begging bowl as a sacred vessel, a sign of God’s providence, a powerful image of a community that is shaped by a deep sense of inter-dependence.”
The earth itself is like a sacred vessel, that God offers to us. The earth holds all of God’s gifts and we are like the beggar receiving all that we need to sustain us. The body of Christ.
The question is do we recognize our inter-dependence, do we see ourselves as spiritual leaders responsible for creating community to preserve our planet.
God created this Universe! He broke it and gave us a piece to share – to create community and communion with Him. Jesus gave us the rule to live by – “love your neighbor as yourself.

Our country and the world at large seem is so deeply divided right now. We are warring over politics, warring for power, warring over religious beliefs. It seems that we cannot share our thoughts and opinions or be who we are for fear of an angry retort or even worse a violent reaction. As a result, we don’t engage, we don’t get to really know each other. There is little authenticity to our relationships. I think of the community surrounding the monks, the community that took care of them and the monks in turn shared their grace with the community.

We need to create connectivity in our community not by preaching but by caring and sharing because we are dependent upon each other. Our planet earth depends on its community of living creatures to take care of it. And the community of living creatures depend on each other. This need for others, this inter-dependence, is deeply rooted and God given.

God also gave us humans a brain that is more powerful than that of any other earthly creature. And HER expectation of us is to use that powerful tool to build bridges.

To survive in a cold and cruel world requires deep relationships. Those relationship do not just happen, they require effort. We have to do more than just reach out to others; we have to share our lives with others as well.


God has entrusted the Body of Christ to the Body of Christ. We need to engage. Get to know people who are different from us.

Recently, I read the book Hillbilly Elegy (which I highly recommend). This book opened my eyes to an America that I heard news clips about but really didn’t understand the depth of the issues. This book describes the life of a boy who grew up in the Rust Belt state of Ohio, his heritage, what life was like for him growing up in a very dysfunctional home, how he overcame the educational, economic and class barriers but is still battling the emotional trauma of his upbringing. This book vividly describes the brokenness of the white working class and its strengths.

Yesterday, I read an article that describes the brokenness of our world. The article was about an immigrant boy from Venezula who was grabbed by plainclothes security during a 2014 demonstration against Mr. Maduro, the man chosen by Hugo Chavez to replace him. The security officer put a gun to this 18 year old, high school student’s head, trenched him in gasoline, wrapped a thin matt around his body and tied it with tape. Then 10 officers began beating him, kicking him with their feet, beating him with a golf club and a fire extinquisher. When they were through they threw him in jail where he was tortured for several months. Upon his release he fled to the US. Human Rights Watch, a non-profit human rights organization had extensively documented his case, so, his lawyer expected a straightforward asylum interview. Instead, he was arrested upon entering the immigration office in Miami and put in a detention facility. In the first 3 months of the Trump administration, ICE agents have arrested 41,000 people, an increase of nearly 40 percent over the same period last year.

It is not enough to admit we need each other. We must commit ourselves to getting beneath the superficial talk and become interested and committed to one another. Truth surfaces when conversations get deep, hearts open-up, lives are shared, and tenderness flows.

To quote Martin Luther King “ Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” We are all different creations of God but we are all God’s creations. Let’s create communion with God to preserve this Community of God, the Body of Christ.
.

My question for you is: How can we create community and be in communion with God?
Dialogue HOMILY



Profession of Faith:

ALL: We believe in God who is creator and nurturer of all. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who is our love, our hope, and our light. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to build caring communities and to challenge exploitation and injustices. We believe that God loves us passionately and forgives us everything. We believe that God calls us to be the saving presence of the Holy One in the world . We believe that we are called to love those in need in the most practical ways. We believe that all are one in the Heart of God. We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who support us on life’s journey. Here we dwell in loving relationships. Here we live our prophetic call of Gospel compassion.



GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

Presider: Aware that God, like a fierce mother bear, who protects her young, is a defender of the oppressed and pursuer of justice, we now bring the needs of the suffering, Body of Christ, before you.

Response: Loving God, you hear our prayer.


Presider: For those who have been rejected and demonized, we pray for acceptance and fullness of life. R.

Presider: For the hungry and homeless, we pray for food and shelter. R.

Presider: For those who experience loneliness, we pray for kind friends. Other intentions

R. Presider O Holy One, we walk in faith that nothing is impossible and we can care for others in need through the power of your Spirit working in us. ALL: Amen



PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS

Presider: Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all. Through your divine providence we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of Life. ALL: Blessed be God forever.



Presider: Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all. Through your divine providence we have this wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink.

ALL: Blessed be God forever.

Presider: Divine Presence, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus Christ in communion with all who live as the saving presence of God in our world ALL: Amen.


(At our family meal, we invite you to join us around the table)


Presider: God dwells in you.

ALL: And also works through you.


Presider: Lift up your hearts and love deeply

ALL: We lift them up to God.


Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator of all. ALL: It is our joy to give God thanks and praise.


EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

Voice 1: Holy One, it is right that we give you thanks and praise at this table of boundless compassion. Your empowering presence is revealed in the friendship meals where Jesus dined with tax collectors, lepers, sinners, and women. All are accepted, loved and forgiven. In joyful thanksgiving for your extravagant affection to all of us, we join with the angels and saints in an unending hymn of praise:



ALL: (sing) We are holy, holy, holy (Music by Karen Drucker)





Voice 2:: Jesus taught his disciples how to love with a compassionate heart. Healing Spirit, we trust that your love flows through us as we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, and assist the dying.

ALL: As we come together in memory, Jesus we pray that Your Spirit will come upon these gifts of bread and wine and upon us, that we may become the body and blood of 

Christ blessed, broken and shared. 




(pause as bread is lifted)

ALL: We remember how, on the night before he died, Jesus was at table with those he loved. He took bread and blessed you, God of all creation. He broke the bread shared it with his friends and said, “Take this, all of you and eat. This is my body. Do this in memory of me. “

(pause as wine is lifted)

Presider: Then Jesus took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered them the wine:

ALL: “Take this all of you and drink. Do this in memory of me.”


MEMORIAL ACCLAMATION

ALL: The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we comfort the troubled.

The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we counsel the confused.

The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we advocate for justice.


Voice 3: Heart of Love, we celebrate this feast in memory of Jesus, our brother, who reminds us that we are the face of God, through whom the Spirit redeems injustice by caring for our sisters and brothers in our world today especially the undocumented and those who are most marginalized in our local areas.


Voice 4: Creator of the Universe, your love flows through all beings to heal our earth. As we work for environmental healing, your sacred energy transforms the cosmic Body of Christ.


Voice 5: Energizing Spirit, we are one with the cloud of witnesses who have lived your works of mercy during their lives. As we serve human needs with generous hearts, we are channels of your tender compassion.


ALL: Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, All glory and honor is yours, loving God forever and ever.

Great Amen.


We pray with Jesus: Our Father and Mother….


 The Sign of Peace

Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” Look on the faith of those gathered here and


All: … grant us your peace. O God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us live in peace and harmony with everyone, everywhere.


Presider: May the peace of God be always with us, as we join hands and sing, Peace is flowing like a river…



Litany for the Breaking of Bread

Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of non-violence for peace and justice. We will live justly.


Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of forgiveness and understanding, healing and compassion everywhere in your name. We will love tenderly.


Presider: Loving God…All: you call us to speak truth to power. We will walk humbly with you.

Presider: This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. All: We are the Body of Christ.


Communion: Song of the Body of Christ# 324 Verses. 1,2, 3



Prayer of Thanksgiving After Communion

Presider: Holy One, thank you for this holy meal that we have shared. Fuel our hearts with your divine energy that we may share your love with everyone. May we live always as instruments of your faithful love. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Christ, and the Spirit, the Wisdom. All: Amen.


Community Prayers of Gratitude and Announcements

Final Blessing of Community:

Presider: Liberating Spirit at work within us, we go forth in your abiding presence to live joyously, and work for healing, justice and equality for all your holy people.

All: (with an outstretched arm in blessing)

May the fire of God’s love ignite our hearts in love;

may the passion of God radiate through us;

may the Spirit of truth and justice burn within us forever. Amen.

Presiders: We go forth in peace, love and joy to serve our world.


Closing Song: I am the Bread of Life #343 verses. 1, 2 ,4

Pat McMillan and Bridget Mary Meehan (right to lleft, Pat in blue stole

Supper at Dutch Valley after liturgy

Marie, Pat, Janet (left to right)
Judy and Bridget Mary (right to left)


Bob. Cheri. Kevin (right to left)


Happy Memories of my Dad, Jack Meehan with all our Family/ Music/Slideshow/Enjoy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0SJvTtw_n8&feature=youtu.be

Wisdom's Residence by John Chuchman

I have just begun
to learn
that
Wisdom resides
where
knowledge ends
in the stillness
of
the precious present moment.
All I need do
is
Be there,
Truly Be there
in
Love.
Or did we all always know that
and I have just simply recalled it?


Unnamed Women by Jan L. Richardson

Unnamed Women
A prayer for the season of Pentecost
By Jan L. Richardson

We remember unnamed women, 
Ludmilla Javorov√°, (d. 1987) -
ordained a priest in the former
Soviet Union.
 

who wove the threads of history;
who gave to the world
their music, their labor,
their children, their struggle,
their art, their visions;
their laughter, their wisdom,
their words, their lives;
who survived in wars;
who died in death camps;
Who told the stories;
who made a way out of no way;
who gave life to women who do so still:
Who ministered as priests in the underground church in the former Soviet Union
- whose ordination is not recognized by the Catholic Church;
who fight for freedom in south Africa;
who pray for their missing children in El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala;
who live with AIDS and other illnesses;
who work as healers, teachers, mothers,
laborers, community organizers;
who bear the cup of life;
who poured it out to heal the ground on which you stand;
who bid you taste and see
how good it is.

Come, Spirit of Memory,
and stir up in us
remembrance of all
who passed us this cup.

Thirsting for memory,
we cry out their names;
fill us, O Wind,
transform us, O Flame!

from Sacred Journeys: A Woman’s Book of Daily Prayer, p. 245



Read more about one of the “Unnamed Women: Ludmila Javorov√°” at

Ludmila Javorov√°, 65, Vicar-General of the underground Czech Bishop Felix Davidek(d.1987) in Brno, declares publicly for the first time: “Yes, I am a Catholic priest!”

"Let it Be" Music Video

https://youtu.be/b3wu3RbVqd8


Friday, June 16, 2017

The Healing Power of Prayer: New Expanded Edition Authored by Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan, Order from Create Space or Amazon

The Healing Power of Prayer: New Expanded Edition
Authored by Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan



https://www.CreateSpace.com/7139888



List Price: $15.95
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
140 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1546451389 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1546451382
BISAC: Religion / General

This book offers you the opportunity to experience wholistic healing , and
• a greater awareness of the variety of approaches that can be used in meditation to tap into the God within you and to access your spiritual energy for healing and transformation.

• a clearer understanding of the value of imagination and prayer in the process of inner healing

• a deeper appreciation of inner healing prayer as a powerful tool in dealing with the problems of anxiety, anger, rejection, stress, guilt and loneliness.

• a greater realization of the effectiveness and richness of inner healing meditation as a means to nourish your oneness with all creation in the Heart of God.

• an increased ability to rely on various approaches to prayer as effective sacred practices for health and vitality.

If we are to appreciate the many different approaches to healing prayer, however, we must understand the historical and biblical framework of healing in the church. Part One offers a historical overview and explains Jesus' outlook on healing, the Christian Church's teachings about healing, and the relationship between healing and the presence of the Divine in times of suffering. It also presents a practical rationale for inner healing prayer and suggests ways to find spiritual transformation in everyday life.

Part Two presents ten different healing prayer experiences:

1. Healing of Memories Prayer: inviting the Holy One into a painful memory to break through the past with the power of grace in the present.

2. Forgiveness Prayer: asking Jesus to accompany you on a journey to give and receive forgiveness and healing in a painful relationship(s)

3. Journal Prayer: using the intuitive powers of the mind to reveal the presence of the Infinite within you

4. Centering Prayer: passing beyond thoughts, images, and feelings to rest in Divine Love.

5. Scripture Prayer: moving into the details and emotions of a biblical passage to listen to the Holy One speaking personally from within the text

6. Fantasy Prayer (guided imagery prayer): using the imagination to set the stage for a prayerful encounter with an inclusive God who is beyond all names (Creator, Holy Wisdom/Sacred Mystery/Abba/Amma/Christ) and present in every faith tradition and beyond all religions.

7. Relaxation Prayer: releasing stressful situations/relationships to God/ your Higher Power and discovering the Holy One's abiding indwelling, tender presence everywhere

8. Healing Affirmations for Daily Living: affirming messages from the Spirit within you

9. Prayer for Healing Families, Races, Nations, Religions and Earth: expanding consciousness to fully know that all are one

10. Prayer of the Sufferer: encountering Divine Compassion in the midst of pain, unanswered questions, and puzzling mysteries

This book does not advocate a theoretical approach that merely teaches about inner healing prayer and meditation. Rather, it attempts to integrate a contemporary theological perspective with a creative experiential approach. This book is written with the conviction that we learn to pray by praying, not by reading or talking about prayer.

It is also written from the conviction that healing prayer is an attainable life-changing power. As we experience the abundant love of Divine Presence dwelling within us and energizing us, we can rejoice in our identity as a beloved image of God. We can celebrate a new freedom that liberates us from bonds that limit our spiritual potential, learn to forgive and ask forgiveness with greater courage, become more aware of our own growing edges, and develop greater compassion for others.

I hope you will reap rich rewards from this exploration into inner healing prayer and from your experience of the power of grace illuminating your path to the "peace that surpasses understanding." (Philippians 4:7)


BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN, ARCWP

CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/7139888

Vatican Plan to Reinterpret Contraception, Catholic Women Did this Over 50 Years Ago

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2017/06/16/vatican-plan-to-reinterpret-contraception/

Pope Francis' Bishops Begin to Break Conservative Chokehold of USCCB/ Enlightening on Tensions Within U.S. Bishops Conference

https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/ice-begins-break-conservative-chokehold-usccb

"Vatican: Catholic Groups Launch Conversation About Female Deacons" Josephine McKenna Religion News Service | Jun. 15, 2017, A Positive Signal from Pope Francis in Favor of Women Deacons

https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/catholic-groups-launch-conversation-about-female-deacons

Deacon Elena Garcia ARCWP at diaconate ordination in Sarasota, Florida , March 25, 2017

Several progressive Catholic groups are launching an initiative aimed at giving lay Catholics and clergy across the U.S. a direct say on whether the church should ordain women deacons.
Their actions follow the appointment of a panel of experts set up by Pope Francis to consider the controversial question.
The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, FutureChurch and Voice of the Faithful have launched DeaconChat in a bid to promote education and dialogue on the topic.
"Pope Francis wants to hear the voice of the faithful," the Rev. Bob Bonnot, head of U.S. priest group, told RNS.  "The church is not a clerical monopoly."
Deacons are one of the three "orders" of ordained ministry in the church, after bishops and priests, and can fulfill some but not all of the duties of priests, including preaching, conducting baptisms and serving Holy Communion.

"Women convinced of a call to ordained service as deacons, supported by many men, including our priest members, deserve to be heard," said Bonnot.
Last year, the pope met with the International Union of Superiors General, an organization composed of leaders of the church's women religious, and later appointed members to the panel.
Bonnot said Francis is giving the issue a serious hearing.
"He has asserted often that we must find ways to enable more women to play servant-leadership roles in the cht urch. This is one possibility that could touch the church from the Vatican to grass-roots parish ministry."

Francis has previously ruled out the ordination of women as priests, saying "that door is closed" in July 2013.
Bridget Mary's Response: :Looks like another positive signal from Pope Francis to prepare the way for women deacons!

Ordination in Early Christianity and Today by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP



According to retired professor of philosophy and theology, Joseph Martos, in his book, Deconstructing Sacramental Theology and Reconstructing Catholic Ritual, priestly training in patristic and early medieval times was a kind of apprenticeship where one learned liturgical duties in service to a community. The heart of ministry was caring about and for others.


In 451, the Council of Chalcedon, clearly connected ordination to ministry in a community: "No one may be raised to the order of presbyter or deacon at large without being specifically appointed to a church in a city or village or to a shrine or to a monastery." Martos observes: "there is ample evidence that prior to the interpretation of ordination as a bestowal of power in the twelfth century, women were ordained in positions of responsibility in monasteries, and in the ancient church deaconesses as well as deacons were ordained." (p. 248)


Ordination in the future "could be open to men and women, married and unmarried, heterosexual and homosexual. ..who are judged by those whom they serve as having the qualities needed  to perform the duties to which they are called. Ordination to a broad array of diverse ministries could be a possibility such as: “religious educators, youth ministers, church musicians, parish administrators, pastoral counselors, social workers, and others who receive their professional training before their ministry, who must maintain a high level of professional and ethical conduct during their service in the church, and who depend for their livelihood on the income they receive for their service." (p. 149)


The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) provides a preparation program for a renewed priestly ministry that is rooted in our baptismal equality. We do not attempt the traditional model of Catholic Seminary, but rather provide  a wholistic, academic and spiritual approach to ordained ministry that is inclusive, liberating, empowering, mystical and prophetic. Conscious of our vocation to live God’s loving presence in the world in vibrant faith communities and ministries, we, who are on the “edge of the inside” of the church, work for justice and equality for all, especially those on the margins of our church. (David Brooks used  the phrase"On the Edge of Inside" in an article he wrote for NY Times, I applied it to our RCWP Movement.)

Mary Theresa Streck and I are co-founders of People's Catholic Seminary which offers online, contemporary theological, spiritual and pastoral programs for anyone interested in a 21st century approach to ministry rooted in  Gospel equality and responding to the life-changing issues as opportunities of grace in our times.  http://pcseminary.blogspot.com/


I believe that expanding ordination to diverse ministries, as Joseph Martos suggests, is an innovative, wholistic approach that could express a community's public affirmation of ministry as loving service to the people of God.  This idea brings us full circle to the early and medieval church's understanding of ordination as a divine call to loving service in an ecclesial community. 

.