Friday, October 16, 2020

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy Celebrating St. Teresa of Avila - October 17, 2020 - Presiders: Dotty Shugrue, ARCWP and Joan Pesce

Zoom link for video and audio:
Meeting ID: 862 4086 8327
Password: 1066

Dial-in for audio only
929 436 2866
Meeting ID: 862 4086 8327
Password: 1066

Theme:   Through prayer and contemplation we realize the presence of the Divine within ourselves. 


Presider 1:  Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community, where all are welcome.  At these difficult times, it is now more important than ever to gather together to support one another as “companions on this journey”, a journey of the unknown.  For “wherever two or more of you are gathered in my Name, there is love.”

Presider 2: We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond where it says, ALL. All participants will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. During the shared homily we ask you to unmute yourself to contribute your thoughts.  Please, when you are finished, remute yourself. Please have bread and wine/juice in front of you as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.

Let us begin now with our gathering song:

OPENING SONG:   Fire of Love by Kathy Sherman, CSJ



My sisters and brothers, we celebrate the life of St. Teresa of Avila, who was honored by the Church as the "seraphic virgin," and reformer of the Carmelite Order, “and ranks first among women of wisdom and learning.”  She is the first woman ever recognized by the Church as an “extraordinary teacher and spiritual director.”   Appointed as Doctor of the Church, and called Doctor of Mystical Theology, Teresa’s commitment to a life of prayer and contemplation is still consider exemplary.  She set into motion directives teaching others to pray in a contemplative way.   

In the name of St Teresa, we choose to recognize the profound influence she has on our understanding of the importance of a personal commitment to prayer and contemplation.  May we find strength from her example and believe and trust in the power of our prayer.  



The suffering being experienced by the people of the world is greater than ever before in our lifetimes. We commit ourselves to do whatever we can to contribute to the slowing down of the spread of the virus.  We commit ourselves to do whatever we can, in any way we can, to comfort the sick and their families.

ALL:  Transform us O Holy One

The disturbances and chaos existing in our country today keeps us all on edge.  It is difficult to keep our focus on the Divine Presence within in us and within everyone around us.  Peaceful protests are interrupted needlessly.  Racism and white supremacy infiltrate all our structures. We have forgotten our country is founded on immigrants.  We commit ourselves to be strength for one another, to open our minds to faith and to believe, “all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

ALL. Transform us O Holy One

The division among our leaders of government work against the needs of our people.  The lack of leadership, the insanity of behavior from some elected officials leaves us with feelings of helplessness.  We commit ourselves to support the needs of others in whatever ways we can and to share our faith that goodness will prevail.  We commit ourselves to enter into prayer daily for the needs of Americans.

All:  Transform us O Holy One


Glory to the Spirit of Life, to the Holy One who surrounds us, who lives within us, whose Sacred Word is shared by us. 

Glory to the Spirit of Life, who offers us peace; peace in our hearts, peace in our thoughts, peace with one another. 

Glory to the Spirit of Life, who cares for the health workers, postal workers, store clerks, garbage collectors and all those who serve our special needs in numerous ways.

Glory to the Spirit of Life, who sent Jesus who teaches us how to live the Gospels, who brings hope and healing to all those in need. 

O Holy One, you are one with us.  We are strong in our faith and will live life in hope and faithfulness to you, to be Church committed to the message of the Gospels

We depend upon the ever-present Spirit to walk with us as we journey in the present and rejoice in the life before us.  

All:  Glory to the Spirit of Life


First Reading: A reading from Praying With Visionary Women by Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

After entering the convent of the Incarnation in Avila in 1536 at the age of 20, Teresa continued to take care of her beloved father until his death. After his death, Teresa lived in two worlds for nearly 20 years. On the one hand, she longed for intimacy with God that religious life offered her; on the other hand, she was distracted by the pastimes that were part of convent living at the time. She found herself becoming attached to things that made her lose her focus on spiritual growth.

When she was forty years old, Teresa saw an image of Jesus in agony that changed her life: “The vision of Christ left upon me an impression of His most extraordinary beauty, and the impression remains today; one time is sufficient to make this imprint....After I beheld the extraordinary beauty of the Lord, I didn’t see anyone who in comparison with Him seemed to attract me or occupy my thoughts. A tearful Teresa then told Jesus that she would not rise from her prayer until he answered her plea—that she would not offend him again. From that time on, Teresa grew closer to Jesus and developed a way of practicing the presence of God, which Teresa described as an intimate sharing between friends. Her deepening prayer life led Teresa to reform the Carmelite Order. For years she had ambivalent feelings about the lifestyle she and other nuns were living. 

After prayerful reflection, Teresa decided that it was time for a renewal of religious life. She would initiate communities in which the “primitive rule” would be followed, where women would live as passionate disciples of Christ through prayer and asceticism. Teresa believed that the fruitfulness of prayer was demonstrated in daily living.

On August 24, 1562, Teresa opened Saint Joseph’s Convent, the first of seventeen convents and four monasteries of Discalced Carmelites that she would found in the next twenty years. Discalced means “unshod”; the nuns wore sandals as a sign of their commitment to the “primitive rule” of the order. In spite of the opposition to these new communities from local people, clergy, and nuns, Teresa felt she was doing God’s work. Nothing would stop her

These are the inspired words of Bridget Mary Meehan and the community affirms them by saying by saying:  


Psalm:  Adaptation of Psalm 23 

Shelter Me by Rev. Michael Joncas (c. 2020)

Second Reading:  

Reflections on the writings of St Teresa of Avila

By Maureen Dillion (adapted)

With the recent violence in the United States and throughout the world, it can be challenging to continue to hope for peace in the world--the peace of Christ. As Christians, we accept that we live in a fallen world and the cross is a reality. We accept that suffering and death are part of this journey, but that the ultimate reality is the Resurrection. We also accept that peace begins in our own hearts, our own families, and then radiates out into the world…. 

It is a great challenge when we witness such viciousness to continue to trust in God's wisdom and mercy and persevere in prayer for all involved. 

We have many worries in our world. Many of these are legitimate and valid, but some demand time and energy that would be better spent elsewhere. If we could all strive for deeper relationship with the Holy One, we would naturally release many of the worries, fears, and anxieties that separate us from one another and cause conflict between individuals, and, on a larger scale, between nations. It starts with each one of us. 

It is challenging to understand why tragedies happen in our world. We know prejudice is at the root of these tragedies.  It is the human person who creates the problems, and it is the same who must correct them.

One way to change our perspective is to dwell on the stories of heroism and courage that arise in crisis. Yes, we see great evil. But even devastating evil cannot completely wipe out the goodness and beauty of love. Look for the heroes--look for God in the wreckage, and you will find God glimmering through the stories of many souls that rose up to protect and aide those around them even at their own risk and self-sacrifice. 

Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the victory of peace over fear. If we desire peace, let us cultivate peace in ourselves and in our hearts.  May we always be assured of God's presence with us and be filled with the peace that comes of that assurance. 

Peace will only reign if we can learn to love. Love destroys pursuit of self, pursuit of power, pursuit of wealth, and so many other desires that can so easily be foundations of violence and conflict. Sometimes we may feel like we will never see peace in the world. We must persevere in prayer for peace. Nothing is impossible with God. 

These are the inspired words of Maureen Dillon. And the community affirms them by saying:   ALL: SO BE IT!


The Gospel: A Reading from the Gospel of Mary Chapters 6 & 7

Peter said to Mary, “Sister, we know that the Lord loved you more than the rest of the women.  Tell us the words of the Lord which you remember, which you know, and we do not, nor have we heard them”.  Mary answered and said, “What is hidden from you I will tell you.”  And she began to say to them these words:

 “I saw Jesus in a vision and I said to him, ‘Jesus, I saw you today in a vision.’” He answered and said to me, “Blessed are you that you did not waiver at seeing me.  For where the mind is, there is the treasure.”  I said to him, “Jesus, now, does one who sees the vision see it with the soul or with the spirit?”  Jesus answered and said, “One does not see with the soul or the spirit, but the mind which is between the two, sees the vision.”

These are the inspired words of Mary of Magdala and the community affirms them by saying:  ALL: SO BE IT!





We believe in our Creator who has not forgotten us and is ever and always present with us.

We believe in Jesus, prophet and teacher, who journeyed on the earth, blessing the sick, making whole the broken, healing many, instilling faith in his followers so that they insure his legacy till the end of time.

We believe in the Cosmic Christ, the everlasting Presence, one with the universe.

We believe in Sacred Spirit, the breath of wisdom Sophia, the power of the winds enwrapping us in glory.

We believe in the communion of saints, our heavenly friends who walk with us in love, who are never far from us, who are separated from us by a mere veil, always near opening our minds to what is difficult to see

We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our Church and our world.  Here we live our prophetic call of Gospel equality.


We pray that the Holy One renew in our hearts our commitment to journey always in faith and hope as we reach out and support, comfort and love those closest to us, and all the needs of the citizens of the earth and beyond.

We pray for all those women and men who are asking us to vote for them in the coming election.  We pray that each one of them will put aside personal differences and demonstrate their commitment to put first the people of our country.  Especially to support programs for the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the children and families.

We pray for those persons in our country, in our world who suffer from decease especially from Covid 19.  We pray they may experience love and support as they heal.

We pray for all those we love who need healing from cancer. For they shall be “healed, whole and cancer free.  We pray especially for Dianne, Bridget Mary and Sally as we assure them that we hold them in our hearts with much love.

We pray for the children, the ones who are still kept in cages by our government.  For the ones who have been taken away from their parents by our government and been given away.

Holy one, we pray not just rote prayers but rather spend reflectively and contemplatively moments focused on our faith, believing the Energy, the Compassionate One, responds in love and works through our hearts and minds and souls.  We these intentions on our home altars and we remember. 

And together we say,


LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST: (Adapted from words spoken and recorded by St. Teresa of Avila.)

OFFERTORY:  By Breath by Sara Thomsen

Place your bread and cup of wine before you on your table as we pray the Offertory Prayer (Eucharistic Prayer is taken from the writings of St Teresa of Avila) 

“May today there be peace within. May we trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May we not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May we use those gifts that we have received and pass on the love that has been given to us. May we be content knowing we are a child of God. Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow our soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us. The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.”

 Our commitment to respond in faith and action will reveal the power and presence of the Cosmic Christ.  May all of humanity gain strength and peace of heart.


Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy


Reflect upon the providence and wisdom of the Holy One in all created things and praise the Holy One in them all. Truth suffers, but never dies.  In this distress, present in our world, in our homes. Your words alone, O Holy One, were enough to remove my fears, and give me perfect peace: ‘Be not afraid, my daughter: it is I; and I will not abandon you. Fear not.  Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world. Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.  Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.  You pay God a compliment by asking great things in prayer.  Reflect upon the providence and wisdom of God in all created things and praise God in them all, to have courage for whatever comes in life — everything lies in that.  We need no wings to go in search of the Holy One but have only to look upon the Holy One present within us. The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.”

(Hold your hands over the bread and the wine):  

In this sacrament of breaking bread and blessing wine, we pause now and call upon Sacred Spirit to bless this bread and wine which is made sacred through our faith.  We celebrate with one another as we remember Jesus walked this same earth we walk today.

During Jesus’s life on this earth he lived and died loving the poor, healing the sick and challenging the injustices within society.   Because of his ministry Jesus was feared by the authority of his day.

Jesus met with his closest friends in the upper room on the evening of the Jewish Seder.  Jesus was tired from all the activities of the previous days. He entered the city of Jerusalem to the cheers of the people; he visited the temple expressing his fury, accusing the High Priests and elders for allowing goods to be sold in this Holy place. He healed the sick and the infirmed and he was tired.

The meal was prepared but first Jesus spoke to his friends reminding them of what he had taught them.  He then knelt before each of them and washed their feet as an act of love.

Jesus returned to his place at the table and took the bread provided for their meal, He lifted the Passover bread, and spoke words of blessing. He broke the bread saying these words:

“Take and eat. This is my very Self.  Do this in memory of Me.”

Jesus then lifted the cup filled with wine. He spoke the blessing and said:

“Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life for you and for everyone.  Whenever you do these things, remember Me.”



The Many – Love is greater than fear.



It is through learning to live as Jesus lived,

And why he lived, and for whom he lived,

That we awaken to your Spirit within, moving us to celebrate life with you,

life-giving Creator Spirit at this time, and all time, and in all ways.  

As we celebrate the memory of Jesus in our sharing of Eucharist, we remember all those people in particular who walk with us in the search for the Divine.  We remember families we know and those we do not know who suffer because of Covid.  We remember worshipping communities everywhere who gather together praising the Holy One and praying for one another.

Let us pray in the manner that Jesus taught his companions to pray:

ALL:  O Holy One, you are within, around, and among us.

We celebrate your many names.

Your wisdom come, your will be done,

unfolding from the depths within us.

Each day you give us all that we need.

You remind us of our limits, and we let go.

You support us in our power, and we act with courage. 

For you are the dwelling place within us,

The empowerment around us,

And the celebration among us,

now and forever.  Amen.

(adapted, Miriam Therese Winter, MMS)

It is through living as Jesus lived, we are awakened to the Spirit and give thanks and praise for all gifts given.


St. Teresa of Avila


Let nothing affright thee,
Nothing dismay thee.
All is passing,
God ever remains.
Patience obtains all.
Whoever possesses God
Cannot lack anything
God alone suffices.  

All:  SO BE IT


Blessing for All

May the blessing of the Holy One hold you on your journey.

May the blessing of Spirit Life give all families peace.

May the blessing of Divine Mystery protect all those alone.

ALL:  Amen

ALL:  We will put into practice what we heard here today.

Closing Song:  Go Light Your World by Chris Rice 


No comments: