Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP, with Code Pink in Los Vegas

Former Colonel Ann Wriight and Paki Weiland with Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP

"God's Daughters", a video about women priests and Holy Wisdom Inclusive Catholic Community in Olympia, Washington

The film features Kathleen Bellefeuille-Rice, Lisa Gosiaco and me, Diane Whalen, as well as their Holy Wisdom Inclusive Catholic Community in Olympia, WA. Available on amazon on DVD on demand. 

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 3 Sunday of Lent, March 8, by Beverly Bingle, RCWP


The great beauty of our Catholic Church
rests in our commitment to follow the Way of Jesus
and take action for social justice.
The great ugliness in our Church
comes when we stray from that commitment
and serve other gods—
when we, or our institutional church,
idolize power and wealth.
__________________________________
In today’s first reading from Exodus, we hear a list of commands.
On the surface of it, they are from God and about God.
Below the surface, they tell us how to treat other people.
The Israelites, freed from bondage, trekking across the desert,
found themselves free from slavery to the Egyptians
but also freed to obey God’s law to love Godself
and to love one another.
Interesting, isn’t it, that there is a commandment
to love God and treat other people fairly
but no commandment to obey religious leaders?
__________________________________
Our second reading has Paul preaching to the Corinthians
to urge them to get along.
He wants them to stop arguing with one another
about whose religious leaders are the best.
He reminds them that all their wisdom
is not as wise as God’s wisdom,
and all their strength
is not as strong as God’s strength.
They are to have confidence in God,
not in Apollos or Paul or Cephas,
those disciples who shared the Good News with them.
Their human leaders have taught them about the Word,
but their relationship is with God.
__________________________________
Today we also hear John’s Gospel story
of Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple.
If we at Holy Spirit had catechumens
entering the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil,
we would have read the story of the woman at the well instead.
But both stories show Jesus thinking
above and beyond the authorities of his day.
The scholars of the Jesus Seminar conclude that,
even though both of these Gospel passages
are the creation of the evangelists,
they are also both based on historical reality about Jesus.
The story of the woman at the well paints a picture
of the typical kind of encounter that Jesus had
with people of all religions and ethnicities,
his openness to dialogue,
the expansive vision he shared in relation to God and religion,
and the impact he had on people.
The story of the cleansing of the Temple paints a true picture
of Jesus’ criticisms of the Temple cult.
What meaning does this carry for us today?
__________________________________
We can see Pope Francis’ reforms
of the Curia and the Vatican Bank
as actions parallel
to Jesus’ throwing the moneychangers out of the Temple.
We can see the economic problems in our own country today
as occasions for a cleansing
of the temples of Wall Street and corporate “personhood,”
things like insurance redlining
that charges the poor more than the wealthy,
like payday and car title loans
that bilk wage earners on the edge of poverty,
or like reverse mortgages
that draw elders into debt and destitution.
__________________________________
Perhaps, even more to the point,
we should look at the institutional hierarchy
of our own Roman Catholic Church with the same critical eye
that Jesus looked at his own Jewish Temple officials.
Much is often made of Jesus’ righteous anger,
but we need to hear about the source of it:
his understanding of the relationship
between God and the People of God on the one hand
and on the other hand
the self-serving, self-aggrandizing, profit-making ways
in which the Temple leaders were interfering
with the relationship between God and God’s people.
__________________________________
We can see the problems we have in our time—
the sex abuse scandal and cover-up;
the exclusion and excommunication of individuals and groups
because they are different
or because they do not accept
the hierarchy’s non-doctrinal statements as infallible;
the emphasis of those in power
on efforts that do not reflect our beliefs.
__________________________________
The disconnection between hierarchy and people
plagues us in lots of ways.
The much-publicized Vatican Synod on the Family
is gathering information from Catholics around the world.
But the Synod document and its 46 questions—the Lineamenta—
seems based on the hierarchy’s flawed ideas of biology
and patriarchal misogynistic view of women.
Our Church tells us that human-caused climate change
is the greatest moral issue of our time,
and Pope Francis is expected
to issue an encyclical in June on the subject.
Yet our U.S. Bishops focus their time, energy, and money
to lobby politicians to get the hierarchy’s views on sex issues
written into U.S. law.
Catholic School teachers around the country have been terminated
because they would not sign a promise agreeing to
“refrain from any conduct or lifestyle…
in contradiction to Catholic doctrine or morals….”
The list specifically includes living together outside marriage,
sexual activity out of wedlock,
homosexual lifestyle,
abortion,
use of a surrogate mother, in vitro fertilization,
artificial insemination,
and membership in organizations whose mission and message
are incompatible with Catholic doctrine or morals.
__________________________________
All this hurts people we know.
People whose marriages fail are ostracized in their parishes.
Divorced people who re-marry without an annulment
are excluded from Eucharist.
Catholics who marry other Christians
find their spouses told to stay away from the communion line.
Couples who use artificial birth control methods
to plan their families responsibly
are barred from the sacraments.
And good teachers are taken away from our kids.
To get personal, the current rule banning women’s ordination
is just that, a rule, not an infallible teaching,
yet priests are being defrocked
and theologians are being barred
from teaching at Catholic institutions
for suggesting the issue is open to discussion.
__________________________________
We have many other reasons
to speak truth to the power of our religious leaders,
as Jesus did.
It would be enough to show that same righteous anger as he did
at the sex abuse of so many of our children,
the cynical cover-up by our bishops,
the transfer of offending priests
to prey upon more and more innocent victims.
__________________________________
Thinking with the church does not mean thinking with the hierarchy.
Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church confirms that principle
when it states that a “human being must always obey
the certain judgment of conscience.”
It’s not easy to form conscience based on reason and scripture.
It takes up our attention for a lifetime...
and we have to practice what we preach.
Jesus gave up his life for it, and we’re called to follow him.
It’s worth it.
_______________________________________________
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington Church)

www.holyspirittoledo.org


Jesus's Use of Scripture Reveals God as Good, Faithful, Inclusive and Merciful, Richard Rohr's Meditation for March 3rd

...."Jesus selectively emphasizes the texts that reveal his God as good, faithful, inclusive, and merciful, and he creates stories--and concrete healing events--to communicate that very point, such as The Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, and The Publican and the Pharisee. Each of these stories and healings are true on many different levels. That is exactly what makes them inspired stories! Jesus consistently ignored passages that reveal his God to be punitive, exclusionary, imperialistic, small, or tribal. ,,,Pope Francis insists that mercy is at the very top of the Christian hierarchy of great truths, and everything falls apart whenever mercy is displaced by anything else."
Adapted from
Hierarchy of Truths: Jesus' Use of Scripture (CD, MP3 download)

Support Clemency for Kelly and Reform Criminal Justice System

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ga-woman-set-execution-seeks-clemency-reconsideration-29325539

Bridget Mary's Response:
I don't get a system of justice that releases the real killer and executes a woman who is clearly reformed according to the testimony of the prison officials! 
I am praying for clemency and the reform of our penal code. Hey, friends, let's do something about all this injustice in our criminal justice system! What are our next steps here?
 Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org
ABC News Story
"The execution of the first female in Georgia in 70 years was on hold Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed last-minute arguments by her lawyers that they hoped would persuade the nation's top justices to grant a stay.
Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, was scheduled to die by injection of pentobarbital at 7 p.m. in the state prison for the February 1997 murder of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner.
Still pending was a response from the high court after an appellate court rejected her lawyers' request for a delay on the grounds that Georgia's lethal-injection procedures aren't transparent enough to be challenged in court. Late Monday, her lawyers also added that the court should take into account the fact that she didn't kill her husband herself, and that she had been thoroughly rehabilitated.
Previously, courts had found Gissendaner had plotted the stabbing death of her husband by her boyfriend, Gregory Owen, who will be up for parole in eight years after accepting a life sentence and testifying against her.
Gissendaner would be only the 16th woman put to death nationwide since the Supreme Court allowed the death penalty to resume in 1976. About 1,400 men have been executed since then, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence, denied clemency last week and upheld that decision late Monday. The woman's lawyers had urged the board to reconsider and "bestow mercy" by commuting her sentence to life without parole. The board said it voted to abide by its earlier decision after "careful consideration" of the request.
Kelly and Douglas Gissendaner had a troubled relationship, repeatedly splitting up and getting back together, divorcing and remarrying. She was a 28-year-old mother of three children, 12, 7 and 5 years old. And she had an on-again, off-again lover in Owen.
In prison, Gissendaner eventually took responsibility: Rather than divorcing her husband again, she pushed Owen to kill him. Acting on her instructions, Owen ambushed her husband while she went out dancing with friends, and forced him to drive to a remote area. Then he marched him into the woods and stabbed him multiple times, prosecutors said.
Owen and Gissendaner then met up and set fire to the dead man's car in an attempted cover-up, and both initially denied involvement, but Owen eventually confessed and testified against his former girlfriend.
Her lawyers challenged the constitutionality of her sentence as disproportionate, given that she wasn't there when Owen killed her husband, and yet Owen will eventually be eligible for parole. But Georgia's Supreme Court voted 5-2 Monday to deny her motion, citing Owen's testimony that she pushed for murder rather than divorce so that she could get her husband's insurance money.
In their request Monday for reconsideration, Gissendaner's lawyers said the parole board did not have a chance to hear the overwhelmingly positive testimony of many corrections employees who declined to speak up for fear of retaliation.
Her clemency petition already included testimonials from dozens of spiritual advisers, inmates and prison staff who described a seriously damaged woman transformed through faith behind bars. She has shown remorse and provided hope to struggling inmates while helping guards maintain control, they said."

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stop Monday's Execution of Kelly Gissendaner


http://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/governor-deal-use-your-power-to-stop-the-execution-of-kelly-gissendaner
I just signed the campaign: Stop Monday's Execution of Kelly Gissendaner
It would mean the world to me if you could also add your name to this important issue. Every name that is added builds momentum around the campaign and makes it more likely for us to get the change we want to see.
Will you join me by taking action on this campaign?
After you've signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others. It's super easy – all you need to do is forward this email.
Thank you!

Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
www.arcwp.org

Interview of Oprah with Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, is now online for viewing,

 http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Full-Episode-Oprah-and-Sister-Joan-Chittister-Video

Inclusive Catholic Ministries on Palm Coast, Florida with Women Priests Miriam Picconi ARCWP and Wanda Russell ARCWP


INCLUSIVE CATHOLIC MINISTRIES
What is "Inclusive Catholic Ministries?"
We want to maintain the best of our Roman Catholic heritage and traditions.  We want to invite EVERYONE to participate in God's love and our ministries and we use inclusive language.   We want to offer what you the people of God want and need. We are starting several ministry outreaches.  Come and see if this is the faith community you are seeking.
MARCH
LENTEN PRAYER TIME AND COMMUNION WEDNESDAYS, March 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 7:00 PM at 2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast
MONTHLY MASS in PALM COAST Saturday, March 14, 4:00 P.M.  (USUALLY 2nd Sat. each month)   Hospitality follows.  Place:  2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast, FL 32164
ST. PATRICK’D DAY  Tuesday, March 17
CASTLE OTTTIS – INTERFAITH WORSHIP AND COMMUNION SERVICE Palm Sun-day, March 29, 10:00 AM at 103 3rd Street St. Augustine, 32084. See http://www.castleotttis.com/
ORDINATION OF PRIEST from  Columbia, South America on Saturday, March 14,  Sarasota, FL
APRIL
EASTER WORSHIP AND COMMUNION SERVICE AT CASTLE OTTTIS  Sunday, April 5, 10:00 AM at 103 3rd Street St. Augustine, 32084.  See http://www.castleotttis.com/

MONTHLY MASS in PALM COAST Saturday, April 11, 4:00 P.M.  (USUALLY 2nd Sat. each month)   Hospitality follows.  Place:  2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast, FL 32164
CASTLE OTTTIS – INTERFAITH WORSHIP AND COMMUNION SERVICE Sunday, April 26, 10:00 AM at 103 3rd Street St. Augustine, 32084.
MONTHLY PRAYER TIME AND COMMUNION Wednesday, April 22 from 7:00 to 8:15 PM at 2 Westmill Ln., Palm Coast (Usually 4th Wednesday each month.)
CATACOMB ORDINATION IN OHIO Please keep person in your prayers.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Faith Family,
Lent started on Ash Wednesday, February 18, and it was wonderful to celebrate with new friends.  As I challenged us last month to reflect on the blessings that Jesus’ suffering and death has given us, I wonder how we have done so far.
I know that because Jesus suffered, I have been given much forgiveness and been freed from guilt.  I have been concentrating on those people whom God is bringing to mind and looking at our past/present relationship to see what I need to forgive or ask forgiveness.  It has been startling to see more than one person brought to mind.  I want to free any person with whom I have been acquainted from my judgmentalism, criticism, and other “isms” that come to mind.  I don’t want them to be bound in any way because I don’t release my negative thoughts and energy from them. 
This has been difficult yet a wonderful blessing for me and the other person.  The other person may not even know I have had any “problems” with them.  God’s Spirit may or may not have me go to them personally and ask forgiveness.  Having to go to them causes me anxiety; but God knows I am willing to receive the blessing from whatever it takes to free me and the other person.
I encourage each of us to reflect not only on the sufferings of Jesus and ourselves but also on the blessings Jesus’ life and death has brought us.  Reflect on the blessings Jesus has given us as we walked with Jesus over the years.  Reflect on the person we need to set free from some personal attitude we have had towards them.  What a blessing to set them free!
Love and peace,
Wanda

ORDINATION IN SARASOTA
Luz Galilea, from Columbia, South America, will be ordained a priest on March 14 at Mary Mother of Jesus, Sarasota, Florida.  There is much persecution and danger in South America at this time and we ask your prayers for all our candidates, deacons and priests ministering there.  Because of the danger, Ms. Galilea will be ordained in the USA.


INTERCESSORY PRAYER MINISTRY
Please send your prayer requests to wandayrussell@aol.com and we will enter your request in our book and offer your intentions to our loving God.  Many will join us in prayer for you.  You do not need to use names if you wish to protect confidentiality.  Our God knows for whom you are requesting prayer.

CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE FOR SALE
"Children and adolescents are being sold into a $150 billion annual market for sex and labor. This is happening globally, and domestically; in urban and suburban areas. Florida is ranked 3rd in the nation for the most calls to the national hotline for trafficking cases.
Devereux Florida, a part of the Devereux Foundation founded over 100 years ago, has a proven history of providing a wide variety of treatment programs for children who have experienced emotional, physical and sexual trauma.  Devereux’s program model is based on advanced clinical expertise, evidence based approaches and techniques to help individuals transition from troubled lives to bright futures filled with personal accomplishments and hope.  For over 25 years in Florida, Devereux has offered a full continuum of services for children who are victims of sexual abuse, sexual trauma and more recently sexual exploitation."  Perhaps you are being called to help these children?     Here is the address for the website: 










MATTHEW FOX COMING TO SARASOTA, FLORIDA


Monday: March 16,2015
Call-To-Action, St. Andrew UCC
6908 Beneva Road, 34238
7:00pm - Lecture - Being a Mystic in Today’s World: 

Teachings from the Wisdom of Hildegard of Bingen 
and Meister Eckhart 




JESUS AND THE GRAND INQUISITOR
The psychological association Julia Clair Carbone, ARCWP, is a part of (Archetypology of Everyday Life) began a formal study last weekend of Dostoevsky’s "The Brothers Karamazov". Below is a link for short video with John Gielgud of “The Grand Inquisitor” - one of the remarkable chapters in the book. It reenacts the encounter between Jesus who has returned and the Cardinal Inquisitor who has condemned him to burn at the stake for his radical view on human freedom.  It is quite profound and something it seems we are all now globally in the process of coming to an awareness of.       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om6HcUUa8DI
Perhaps this video is a good source for a Lenten meditation?
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Go to link about women in prison per Sr. Megan Rice who is in prison.







DINING AND FRIENDSHIP AFTER CASTLE OTTTIS SERVICE

Wanda Russell stands behind three new friends whom we met at the interfaith worship and communion service at Castle Otttis on February 22.
Lorraine Sharpe is a candidate discerning becoming a woman priest with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.  Lorraine and her husband, George, live in Casselberry, Florida.  They visited their friend, Terri Thell, in St. Augustine and decided to join us in worship at Castle Otttis.  It was a delight to have them worship with us.  Afterwards we shared over a meal at Caps Restaurant and had a beautiful view of the St. Johns River.  More importantly we had a wonderful conversation getting to know one another and answering questions about our woman priest movement.  It was a delight to hear George say that he liked the inclusiveness of our worship.  This included not only the inclusive language, but also, the inclusive welcome of ALL to the table of God.

We shared with them about the informative documentary, Pink Smoke Over the Vatican.  The documentary tells about the beginning of the Woman Priest Movement beginning with the Danube Seven in 2002.  The movement has grown from seven women to over 200 women and men around the world today.  The Sharpes and Terri plan to purchase it and share with others.  It is a well done and a telling documentary.



Wanda Russell behind Lorraine and George Sharpe & their friend, Terri Thell
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
The meditation below is for Ash Wednesday.  If you would like to follow all the daily meditations, go to www.cac.org to Center for Action and Contemplation where you can sign up to receive the daily meditations.  There is a blue box indicating an e-mail sign up. 
For the prophets, it was all about the purity and integrity of the divine-human relationship, which led them to point out the immense injustices of their world, their kings, and their priests.

Prophets: Self Critical Thinking


A Self-Balancing System
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 
(Ash Wednesday) 

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the central institution of Temple sacrifice, priests, and Levites attempted to balance itself with prophets, or the legitimation of official, sanctioned critics, even though they usually killed them in the end. But at least the immense institutional prestige and authority of ritual and priestcraft was balanced by the charismatic authority of the truth-speaking prophets. One was an inherited and ascribed status, the other was earned by speaking truth with no formal legitimation ever possible (Deuteronomy 18:9-22). There is no ordination for a prophet. So you can perhaps sense the inherent tension between prophets and priests, and also between prophets and kings (2 Samuel 12:1-7). Kings and priests were maintainers of social order. The prophets were disrupters of the social consensus. Within the system there is inherent conflict but, ideally, also a balance.

The priestly class, the scribes, the lawyers, and the temple formed a structured, rational religion. Prophets focused less on the rational, and spoke more from the right-brain, from intuition, through poetry and images and what they referred to as oracle, trance, or divination. To the prophets, everything revolved around faithfulness to Yahweh. For them it was all about the purity and integrity of the divine-human relationship, which led them to point out the immense injustices of their world, their kings, and their priests.

Prophets, by their very nature, can't be right at the center of the social structure. They cannot be full insiders, but they cannot throw rocks from outside either. Their structural position to this day is "on the edge of the inside." You must know and live the essential rules before you can critique what is not essential or not as important. (See Jesus do this masterfully in Matthew 5:17-48.) As Moses, the first prophet, learned, once Pharaoh is your benefactor and protector, there are many questions you can't ask anymore. You can't ask about liberation of slaves in Pharaoh's house, nor do questions of justice or equality make it to the dining room table. And if you do ask such questions, you will not be answered, but quietly--or savagely--eliminated. Is this not obvious? I think it would be very hard to preach the real Gospel in the White House, under any President of the USA, Democrat or Republican.

After Christianity became the established religion of the Western Empire in the 4th century, the priestly mentality pretty much took over in both East and West, and prophets basically disappeared. The Emperors even convened the Councils of the Church for many centuries. I have never come upon a single church in the whole world named "Christ the Prophet." Maybe now you know why. The top of the hierarchy was where almost all clergy henceforth resided, and usually in the good company of kings and princes who were their patrons. That is the perspective for most of preaching and Scripture interpretation for the next 1700 years: from white, European, educated, comfortable, often celibate males. I am one myself, and we are not all bad. But we are not all--by a long shot! It is time for the democratization of the Church, and Scripture has given us all the needed building blocks to do just that (e.g., 1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 3:26-29).

My father, St. Francis, saw this problem in the 13th century and refused priesthood himself (he conceded to some early ordinations in the community, but only if such friars were first committed to radical poverty and humility). Pope Francis is evoking the same Gospel spirit, and I pray for his success and protection. What an irony that the ultimate establishment person would take the name of a non-establishment saint. It shocked the world, because we do not expect prophecy from popes. I am not sure we have ever seen a pope and a prophet in the same person in all of history!

Adapted from Way of the Prophet (no longer available);
and 
Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer, p. 37;
and Prophets Then, Prophets Now (
CD, MP3 download)

LINKS TO THE TRUTH
ByDan Morris-Young  

Faculty handbooks of the four high schools owned and operated by the San Francisco archdiocese
 will carry a new, free-standing section for the 2015-16 school year that puts teachers and faculty
on notice about heightened demands regarding adherence to Catholic teaching, particularly on
sexual issues, and warns against taking public positions that are contrary to church teaching.
Read More      Or paste this link into your browser: 
http://ncronline.org/node/95506
                 
                                                                                                                                                                                          MORE LINKS TO THE TRUTH

Monday, February 2, 2015             Happy Irony Week!!!  QUESTIONS FROM AN EWE

Boys and girls, a strange week it is indeed, and it’s only Monday.  

          I believe we women have been in bondage to Rome and our local
                                                  bishops and pastors, but, really!!!!    This is too much.  Speak out!
For more information go to this link and check article dated Feb 2 as well as the Vatican Response.
http://questionsfromaewe.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-vatican-responds.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+QuestionsFromAEwe+%28Questions+from+a+Ewe%29


WHAT ABOUT ALTAR GIRLS?!
CBS Local
National Catholic Reporter
"If the Catholic Church ordained women, altar girls would make sense, but the Catholic priesthood is a male charism," he said. "Nothing awakens a ...
Francis recognizes Oscar Romero as martyr; beatification expected   By Joshua J. McElwee  

“Pope Francis formally declared Tuesday that Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated as a martyr for the Catholic faith, and the beatification of the prelate who was shot dead after radically calling on the church to stand with the poor is expected within months. “
Read More Or paste this link into your browser: 
http://ncronline.org/node/95376
  
Catholic hospital system about to take a huge step.   In the age of Pope Francis, why are Catholic bishops trying to deny health care coverage to people just because they're gay?
One of the nation's largest Catholic hospital systems, Mercy Health, is considering extending health insurance benefits to their employees' same-sex spouses. The decision could set a powerful precedent for other Catholic employers.
But now a handful of right-wing bishops are lashing out at Mercy Health, claiming that extending health care benefits would be like "abandoning the faith when subjected to the cruelty and torture of the Roman Empire."
Mercy Health has rushed to clarify that it is "still exploring" its options, so we need to show just how many Christians support health care access for all families, regardless of sexual orientation.
HOW YOU CAN HELP THE MINISTRY
Please pray…..  Gather people together and invite us to come…… Work on publicity for our movement…..Make phone calls…..  Bring a friend with you……  Talk about what is happening in the Church today and how others can help…… Help us create a web site….. Help us apply for 501c3 status with IRS…Make cup cakes…..Please pray for all lay and religious leaders AS WELL AS THE Pope and Bishops across the world.
LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION:                                                                   www.arcwp.org                                                   http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/
news@arcc-catholic-rights.net                           http://www.womensordination.org   
www.cta-usa.org                                                 www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org

" You Are the Beloved of God, A Radiant Light" -Homily Starter and Lenten Liturgy for Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Sarasota, Fl. 2nd Sunday of Lent by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP with Jack Duffy, Co-Presiding



Bridget Mary Meehan and Jack Duffy co-preside at liturgy at MMOJ for Second Sunday of Lent, Feb. 28


video
A beautiful chant of Ubi Caritas led by Alicia Bartol-Thomas before our Lenten liturgy

Alicia Bartol-Thomas leads Taize Chants before Liturgy
( Homily Starter Meditation by Bridget Mary Meehan, followed by dialogue with community led by Jack Duffy) Mindy Lou Simmons played  Holy Ground by Monica Brown in background)

Take a few deep breaths and relax as we journey to the depths of our mystical soul.  Let us be aware that all of life is sacred and that we walk on holy ground…

Karl Rahner, a prominent Vatican 11 theologian, stated that “the devout Christian of the future will either be a mystic, “on who has experienced something or he (she) will cease to be anything at all.”…

Our Gospel story describes a religious experience of the disciples in which they encountered Jesus as the Beloved of God, radiant in the light of Divine Mystery.... 

Let us go to the mountain top with Peter, James and John and contemplate Jesus transfigured in radiant light… “Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them and there came a voice from out of the cloud:“This my Beloved, my Own, listen to this One”…. 

Be aware that you are the beloved of God, a radiant light of God's presence in our world... Every day as you reach out with acts of kindness you help others give birth to new life, tender compassion and prophetic justice in our world….


 St. Hildegard of Bingen said: “You shine with radiant light…God hugs you.  You are encircled by the arms of the Mystery of God.” …

Sometimes an illuminating light appears in times of loss and pain and God speaks to us…

Open yourself to the Word of God shared in the following letter written by a grieving father to Dr. Alexander in Map of Heaven  (pp.105-106)

 “My daughter Heather was born in 1969 with severe cerebral palsy. She never sat up or spoke, she died at the age of 20….Fast forward to 1995. In bed for the evening and still fully awake, I asked: “how can there be a God who let this happen?”  Instantly a glowing all white figure appeared on the left side of the room. It was my daughter. She pointed at me and shouted: “No Daddy, you are wrong! Look! She pointed to the right side of the room. A rolling cloud of bright white light engulfed the room. I instantly knew a few things with no words spoken at all. It is hard to describe the feelings of euphoria I had.  I knew she was okay and an angel of God.  I knew we were all ok with what’s ahead after death… I knew it was real and when some asks me: “Do you believe in God?” I answer, “No, I just don’t believe, I know without a doubt.”

Be aware of experiences you have had of God’s glorious presence in happy times and sad times….

With every breath, in every step, we walk on holy ground in awe of Divine Mystery encircling us and all beings in our universe….
(Sing Holy Ground)

 Questions for Discussion in Shared Homily:
 Share a Mount Tabor experience of God’s presence in your life.


How can we live as mystics nurturing our spiritual lives and serving others each day?
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,
www.arcwp.org

www.marymotherofjesus.org





Liturgy for Lent

GATHERING SONG AND GREETING
Presider:  In the name of God, Midwife of Grace, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit, our Liberator.  ALL:  Amen

Presider:  My sisters and brothers, God loves us infinitely and is with us always.  ALL:  and also with you.
PENITENTIAL RITE
Presider:  As we pray, fast, and give alms, may we be midwives of grace by living Gospel compassion, Jesus, you are compassion. ALL:  Jesus, we live compassion.  
Presider: Jesus, your death reminds us that God is always on the side of those who suffer. Christ, you walk with us in our sufferings.  ALL:  Christ, we walk with others in their sufferings.
Presider: Jesus, in your dying and rising, you show us the path to liberation from structures of domination, Jesus, you are liberator.  ALL:  Jesus, we are liberators and doers of justice

Presider:  Let us pause now for reflection.  Place your hand over your heart and breathe in God’s compassionate love for you…be aware that God forgives, frees and heals you and all…Let go of guilt … live justly..  love tenderly… You are the face of God, a midwife of grace, in our world… (Extend hands and recite prayer of General Absolution)

ALL:  God, the Father-Mother of mercies through Jesus you have reconciled the world and sent the Holy Spirit among us to experience forgiveness and healing.  Through the ministry of the Church, may God give us pardon and peace, and may we absolve each other of our sins in the name of God, the Father-Mother, and of Jesus, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

OPENING PRAYER
Presider:  God of Love, Midwife of grace, during Lent you call us to renew our bodies, minds and spirits. May we experience your grace drawing us to new life in the depths of our mystical souls and in our prophetic call to live justly, love tenderly and walk with integrity in your presence. We ask this, one with our brother Jesus, through the power of your Spirit.  ALL: Amen. 

LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading
Responsorial Psalm
Second Reading
Gospel Acclamation: Praise, honor and glory to our God.  Be compassionate as God is compassionate, praise honor and glory to our God.

Gospel: Reader:  A reading from the Gospel according to . . .  ALL: Glory to you O God.
Reader:  The good news of Jesus, the Christ!
ALL:  Glory and praise to you, Jesus the Christ!

HOMILY

Profession of Faith:  ALL:  We believe in God who calls us to be compassion in our world. We believe in Jesus, whose death and resurrection reveals that God’s liberating love overcomes all oppression, including death and evil. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to live Gospel equality in inclusive communities. We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who inspire us to live holy lives. We believe in the love that does justice and heals our world.

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS
Presider:  That we may live compassion and mutuality, letting go of all patterns of domination we pray.
Response: God of all ages, inspire us!
Presider:  That those bound by hatred, hostility, and violence will be set free, we pray.  R.  
Presider:  That the sick may be healed, especially (mention names), we pray.  R.   
Presider:  That the dead may dwell forever in God's presence, we pray. R.   (Other Intentions)

PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
Presider:  Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer.  Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation. 
ALL:  Blessed be God forever.
(All come around the table to pray the Eucharistic Prayer, background music may be played) 

Presider:  God is with you, proclaiming liberation ALL:  and also with you. 
Presider:  Lift up your hearts that Jesus proclaims healing, justice and peace for all people. 
ALL:  We lift them up to God. 
Presider:  Let us give thanks to our God.
ALL:  It is right to give God thanks and praise.

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER
Voice One:  Lifegiving Love, You have called us to be midwives of grace, radiant reflections of your holy presence on earth. United with You, we are one with all beings in the community of creation as we celebrate the new life occurring in our expanding cosmos. And so we join the angels and saints as we say: 
ALL: Sung “We are holy, holy, holy, you are holy, holy, holy, I am holy, holy, holy” chant by Karen Drucker

Voice Two:  Gracious God, you set the banquet table and invite all to the feast that celebrates your boundless love in the universe.  As midwives of grace we are Your hands, lifting up those who suffer, the vulnerable and excluded in our world today

Voice Three: We especially thank you, Holy One, for Jesus, the Compassion of God, who came to show us a new vision of community where every person is loved and all relate with mutual respect. As midwives of grace we welcome all God’s family into the Circle of Life at  the Banquet of Love.

Voice Four: Jesus threatened the religious and political leaders of his time and so they put him to death.  Like Jesus, the holy ones throughout the ages have been executed for their prophetic witness by the oppressive systems they challenged.  As midwives of grace we speak truth to power and work for justice and equality, no matter what the cost.

All: (please all extend hands as we recite the consecration together)
Let your Spirit come upon these gifts as we pray:
On the night before he died, Jesus took bread into his hands and said:
This is my body, he said. Take it and eat of it. Do this in in memory of me.

Pause

At the end of the meal Jesus took a cup of wine, raised it in thanksgiving to you, and said:
Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life in you. Do this in memory of me.

Presider:  Now then, let us proclaim the mystery of the Christ Presence made new again through you:  

ALL:  In every creature that has ever breathed, Christ has lived; in every living being that has passed on before us, Christ has died;  in everything yet to be, Christ will come again! 

Voice Five:  We honor the holy women and men who have revealed your compassion and justice in our world.  We thank you for ordinary people in our lives who show us how to love tenderly and have revealed the heart of our God, especially  (pause to remember and name some of these holy women and men). 

Voice Six: And so, liberating God, Midwife of Grace, we hold our religious ministers and political leaders in the light of Christ Sophia, Holy Wisdom.  We pray for our pope and bishops, the young and the elders, and all God’s holy people.


Voice Seven:  We remember those who are sick and suffering.  May they be healed and comforted.  We remember Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary Magdala, Peter, Paul, Junia, our patron saints and all the saints and angels who surround us with loving prayer each day.   We remember our loved ones and all those who have died, that they may experience the fullness of life in the embrace of our compassionate God.

ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Holy God, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

THE PRAYER OF JESUS
ALL:  Our Father and Mother . . .

and forever.  Amen.

THE SIGN OF PEACE
Presider:  Let us pray for the peace of Christ in our world as we sing and hold hands in a community prayer for peace (Peace is flowing or other appropriate hymn)

 LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD
ALL:  Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power, we will do so. Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice, we will do so. Loving God, You call us to live as Your presence in the world.  We will do so.

Presider:  This is Jesus, who called women and men to be partners and equals, and who liberates, heals and transforms our world and us.  All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. 

ALL:  Jesus you make us worthy to receive you and become you for others.  We are the Body of Christ. 

Presider:  Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ!  ALL:  Amen.




PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Presider:  Life-giving God, Jesus showed the way to overcome all oppression through his death and resurrection. Through the power of the liberating Spirit at work within us, and our world, we will comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable by living as the Compassion of God the Gospel values of justice, peace and equality in our lives and communities.   ALL:  Amen

CONCLUDING RITE
Presider:  Our God is with you.
ALL:  and also with you. 

BLESSING
(everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL:  Holy One, Midwife of Grace, we bless one another as we, like Jesus, live Your generous service to all especially the least and the last.  Amen.

DISMISSAL
Presider:   Go, bring forth life as midwives of grace in our world.  Let the service begin!  ALL:   Thanks be to God.

CONCLUDING HYMN


God, A Midwife: Psalm 22:9-10 “Yet You drew me out of the womb, you nestled me to my mother’s bosom; you cradled me in your lap from my birth; from my mother’s womb, you have been my God.”
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Bridget Mary Meehan
Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests
http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/