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Friday, February 3, 2023

St. Brigid of Kildare: Patroness of Ireland and...Reproductive Justice?



On February 1, we celebrated the feast of St. Brigid of Kildare, an early Christian abbess whose popularity among both Irish nationals and Catholics worldwide has grown in recent years. An exciting figure of the Catholic Imagination, Brigid's reemergence as a powerful agent of compassion and self-determination is perhaps due to her rather surprising miracles—including her abortion miracle.
Brigid's abortion miracle can be traced back to her two medieval hagiographies: Vita Prima, her earliest hagiography, and Vita Brigitae (Life of Saint Brigit) published around 650 C.E. by Cogitosus, an Irish monk from Kildare. Although Life of Saint Brigit is not the first hagiography, it’s the one that’s cited the most, possibly because it’s the only Brigid hagiography with an author's name attached to it.

Her hagiographies are also noteworthy for her ability to heal people suffering from numerous ailments, as well as miracles involving animals...and beer!

Why abortion miracles?

Abortion miracles are the norm—not the exception—for medieval Irish saints. Brigid is one of three Irish saints who have abortions miracles attributed to them.

Abortion miracles may work in numerous ways: They comment on sin, sexuality, and chastity. They test our understanding of healing, both physical and spiritual. And for Brigid, they reflect how women, medicine, and agency were intertwined.

Abortion miracles also reshape how we view sexuality and purity as constructs. The women in Brigid's abortion tales needed Brigid so their "chastity" and dignity may be restored. The abortion was a catalyst for relief, healing, and change.
Catholics for Choice recently created a downloadable St. Brigid prayer card! Visit their website to download the card and share it with those who are on their own abortion journey.
Brigid has long been considered a woman of compassion. Many of her miracles include healing others of ailments and nourishing the people in her village. For example, Brigid nourished a woman by turning water into milk.

Her association with pregnancy, including these abortion miracles, and providing nourishment and life to others is why Brigid is known as the patroness of fertility and midwives! As we reimagine Brigid in this contemporary moment, we may also consider her the patroness of reproductive justice.

At Call To Action, we continue to discern our involvement in reproductive justice, including formulating new theologies of abortion and strategizing ways to support abortion access and people who have sought abortions. We call on members to reflect on St. Brigid's life and miracles and remember that everyone is deserving of compassion, healing, and grace.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, Presider Team: Kathryn Shea & Lee Breyer, Prayer Readers: Andrea Seabaugh & Beth Ponce, Prayer Leader: Marty Cummins , Music Minister: Linda Lee and Rick Miller

Zoom link: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81534075389?pwd=TTdGY2NxS3AzTW13ODJESkdYME9aUT09


Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389
Passcode: 803326

                   


5th Week of Extra-Ordinary Time

February 4, 2023



Theme: “You are the salt of the Earth and the Light of the World”


Welcome and Gathering


Lee: Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome.


-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. 

-Please bring a candle and have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.


Whoever you are, 

Wherever you are, 

Just as you are, 

You are welcome at this table. (Integral Christianity by Paul Smith)


Let us now take a few minutes to collect ourselves as we prepare to focus our minds and our hearts on our knowledge that we are all one, brought together at this time to transform ourselves and our world through love; love for our Holy One, love for our neighbors, love for ourselves, and love for our planet.  Let us begin our liturgy by lighting our candle and expressing this love through song.  


Gathering Song: “Gather Us In” by Marty Haugen


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar0BXa82F9M








Opening Prayer


Kathryn: Oh Holy One, we are delighted to gather with you and one another today as we share this sacred space and as we celebrate our oneness in you.  You told us on many occasions to “love one another, as I love you.”  In this time of great turmoil on our planet, we need to more fully embrace and act upon your words.   As we gather today, may we be ever more mindful of our call and responsibility to serve your people as your anointed ones.  We give thanks for our Brother Jesus, who being both fully human and divine, showed us the way; the way to love, the way to peace and compassion, the way to creating the kindom of Holy Mystery on Earth.  Let us work to bring your light to this hurting world. AMEN.


Rite of Transformation


Marty:  We pause now to remember the times we have not born fruit in caring for self and others. Take a moment to recall one missed opportunity, one broken or damaged relationship.  (Pause briefly and extend your hand over your heart)


ALL: As we ask for and receive forgiveness, we open our hearts to Infinite Love embracing and healing us. Let it be so, Yes, Alleluia!


A Joyful Gloria: Linda Lee Miller and graphics by Rick Miller



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lA5I0nODZI






Liturgy of the Word


Andrea: First Reading:  Isaiah 58:7-10

Thus says the LORD: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own.

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and God will say: Here I am!

If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

These are the words of the prophet Isaiah, and we affirm them by saying, AMEN.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 112: “The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.”    



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScWJabK2Lq0


Beth: Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.



Lee: Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.

Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Holy One.”

These are the words of the Gospel writer Mathew, and we affirm them by saying, AMEN.


Celtic Alleluia: 


https://youtu.be/o1rc7ojQtJU


Homily/Community Sharing

Communal Statement of Faith


Marty and ALL: We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery beyond all definition and rational understanding, the heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that ever will exist. 


We believe in Jesus, messenger of God's Word, bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion, bright star in the firmament of God's prophets, mystics, and saints. 


We believe that we are called to follow Jesus as a vehicle of God's love, a source of God's wisdom and truth, and an instrument of God's peace in the world.


We believe in the Holy Spirit,

The life of God that is our innermost life,

The breath of God moving in our being,

The depth of God living in each of us.


We believe that God's kin-dom is here and now, stretched out all around us for those with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it, and hands to make it happen.



Prayers of and for the Community


Andrea: We now bring our prayer intentions to the Table.

 

Our response is: All: May our light bring healing in our world.  


We pray for the devastated families of those still suffering from the two hurricanes and all the natural disasters in our world. R


We pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia that they may live in peace without fear and that goodness and sanity will fill the hearts and minds of those that would cause them harm.  R


We pray that our government puts children above guns, power, and greed.  R


We pray for our MMOJ intentions on our community prayer list. (Joan shares)


Our response is: All: May our light bring healing in our world. 


For what else should we pray?

Our response is: All: May our light bring healing in our world.  


Andrea: Holy Mystery may we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers in loving prayer and solidarity. Amen


Liturgy of the Eucharist

Beth: Gracious Wisdom, you embrace us with your extravagant affection in our times of both blessedness and weakness.  You are always with us, carrying us, you living in us and we living in you.  As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware of our call to serve, our call as your anointed ones to tend to the sick and dying, hold the hearts of those in emotional pain, and protect and defend the marginalized.  In this festive meal, your Spirit is poured out on each of us, your anointed disciples, gathered together in this time and place.  We also ask that your Spirit be spread to those of our community who are not with us today.

Let us rejoice as we sing:

All:  Holy, Holy, Holy Linda Lee Miller

(adapted from Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orKBBIj5LZA


Kathryn:  We thank you for the gift of Jesus of Nazareth in history -- and the gift of Jesus in faith. On earth, his life burned with the vision of his mission on earth. Through the example of his life – his teachings and actions - he showed us not only how we should live, but also what was worth even dying for. 

Lee and All: When his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave us his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death.  And then, in providing an example of this wisdom for all people in ages to come, he opened wide his arms…and died.  And the spirit that lived in Jesus resurrected him to a new life, a promise made to all of us too who live the new story.  Jesus is with us today and he will be through the end of time.

(With an outstretched arm, we pray the consecration together.  

ALL: We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died.  He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal.  And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing and shared it with them saying: take this, all of you, and eat it.  This bread is you; this bread is me.  We are one body, the presence of God in the world. When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you.  This is the new and everlasting covenant.  

           [short pause]

Kathryn: In the same way, Jesus took a cup of wine, said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this, all of you, and drink it.  This wine is you; this wine is me.  We are one blood, the presence of God in the world.  When you do this, remember me and all that I have taught you. This is the new and everlasting covenant.

Marty: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us now in this bread. The Spirit, of whom the prophets spoke in history, is with us now in this cup.  Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.

Beth:  Jesus has died.  Christ is risen.  The Divine Presence lives in us and through us in the world today.

Andrea: God, we know that you bless your church throughout the world. We, your people, ask for your grace that we may continually grow in our love and caring for Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop and for everyone with whom we come in contact, especially those who live on the margins of church and society. They are all our brothers and sisters, members of your Blessed Family.  We remember also all those, living and dead, who touched our lives and left their footprints on our hearts.  We remember especially….(mention names here, if you would like to..) 

Lee and All: We believe that the Spirit of God is at work in and among us and will do more than we could ever ask or imagine.  We believe that it is through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever.  

Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy76fpfkNsg


The Prayer of Jesus


Beth and ALL: Let us pray as Jesus taught us. 

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 we need.  You remind us of our limits, and we let go.  You support us in your 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


Sign of Peace:


Kathryn: Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave You.  My peace I give You.”  Let us now extend a sign of peace to one another by saying, “Namaste, Namaste, Namaste”.


Lee: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread:


Lee: Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power; we will do so.

Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of healing and justice; we will do so. Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world; we will do so.


Andrea: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to Christ’s table.  


Beth and All:  What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives.  As we share communion, we become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.                          


Please receive/share Eucharist now, saying: “You are the salt of the Earth.” And “You are the Light of the world.”


Communion Song: Holy Wisdom, Lamp of Learning by Earthwash



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bQgeKHA8KY


Introductions/Thanksgiving/Announcements


Community Prayer


Lee: Lord, Make Me a Channel of Disturbance: The “Reverse St. Francis Prayer”.

Lord, make me a channel of disturbance.

Where there is apathy, let me provoke.

Where there is compliance, let me bring questioning;

Where there is silence, may I be a voice.

Where there is too much comfort and too little

action, grant disturbance; 

Where there are doors closed and hearts locked,,

Grant the willingness to listen.

When laws dictate and pain is overlooked…

When tradition speaks louder than need…

Grant that I may seek rather to do justice that to

talk about it;

Disturb us, O Lord.

To be with, as well as for, the alienated;

To love the unlovable as well as the lovely;

Lord, make me a channel of disturbance.

-Author unknown


ALL: Let it be so.


Kathryn: Please raise your hands in blessing: And together with our arms extended to one another we say: 


ALL: May our lives radiate the light of the Holy One.  May we have the

courage to speak truth to justice in our church and in our world.  

May we be humble enough to be like children in receiving the kin-dom of Great Mystery.  May we be a blessing in our time and the Face of God to all whom we meet. 


ALL:  Thanks be to all that is holy! Go in Peace to be light in our world!  Alleluia! 



Closing Song:  Closing Song:  Go Light Your World – Kathy Troccoli



Go Light Your World - Kathy Troccoli - YouTube
 



 

If you would like to add your intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayers book,

Please send an email to jmeehan515@aol.com



If you would like to invite another person to attend our liturgy please refer them to

www.marymotherofJesus.org where the day’s liturgy is found. Zoom instructions are also included there.


NEW PO BOX:

Please send donations to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
5342 Clark Road #3079
Sarasota, FL 34233


The Eucharist is about more than Real Presence by Thomas Reese SJ, I Agree---My Thoughts...

 https://www.ncronline.org/opinion/guest-voices/eucharist-about-more-real-presence



My Response: 

Real Presence is  a holy mystery of love  that is within us and beyond us. We  can experience the Presence of Christ  everywhere including when we  gather in love at any meal and when we gather for Liturgy in memory of Jesus.  According to the writers of the gospels, Jesus shared bread and wine at an open table with lots of different people - some of whom- were considered despicable. 

 When we gather around the table today to celebrate Eucharist, the real question is not  how Christ is present in the bread and wine but that Christ is in present in our bodies - broken, blest and shared, in our sisters and brothers everywhere and in the entire cosmos.  The Real Presence of Christ is within all living beings - past, present and future. It is the Divine Mystery in which we live and move and have our beings and beyond that too. It is the energy that connects us and makes us one.  It is the grace that calls us to love and serve one another and all in need. It is always so much more and always beyond anything we can describe. 

I agree with Thomas Reese that it is time to drop the medieval language of transubstantiation to explain changing the bread and wine  into the Body of Christ in Eucharist. 


Namaste!

Bridget Mary

"The language of transubstantiation, dependent on Aristotelian metaphysics, is meaningless to Americans who do not learn Greek philosophy in school."

"During the first half of the 20th century, church attendance by Catholics was very high, higher than that of Protestants. Catholics then believed that it was a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday, and unless you went to confession, you could die and go to hell. This filled Catholic churches despite boring homilies and a Mass in Latin that the people did not understand.

During the same period, American Catholics were taught in the Baltimore Catechism that the bread and wine were turned into the body and blood of Christ, a teaching that was explained using terms like transubstantiation. For true believers, this was an opportunity to adore Christ and be sanctified in Communion. For nominal Catholics, it was a meaningless ritual to be endured...

I just don't believe in transubstantiation because I don't believe in prime matter, substantial forms and accidents that are part of Aristotelian metaphysics.

Thomas Aquinas used Aristotelianism, the avant-garde philosophy of his time, to explain the Eucharist to his generation. What worked in the 13th century will not work today. If he were alive today, he would not use Aristotelianism because nobody grasps it in the 21st century.

So, first, forget transubstantiation. Better to admit that Christ's presence in the Eucharist is an unexplainable mystery that our little minds cannot comprehend."


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Brigid, a thoroughly modern 1,500-year-old saint Born of a king and a slave and raised by a druid, Brigid integrates opposites and stands as the sister of all


https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/2023/01/30/brigid-a-thoroughly-modern-1500-year-old-saint/
By Maeve Brigid Callan

 “Well done, Ireland!

 Recognising Brigid’s Day as an official holiday – the first commemorating an Irish person, and a woman at that. (Nothing against Patrick, the Brit.) 

True to her transcendent nature, the holiday celebrates her as both a saint and a Goddess, since the saint’s feast day (February 1st, the day she died and entered heaven) is also Imbolc, the pagan spring festival.

Her patronage befits an Ireland that honours bodily autonomy, as her miracles include rescuing a woman from an unwanted pregnancy. She offers inspiration especially for Ireland’s Catholics, who have urged reform on multiple fronts, with 96 per cent favouring female ordination. Brigid isn’t just a saint, or a goddess, but a bishop to boot.

Some have tried to erase the saint to emphasise the goddess, but evidence for St Brigid predates evidence for the Goddess Brigid by centuries. Indeed, her biography by Cogitosus is Ireland’s oldest. Patrick’s earliest biographer, Muirch├║, calls Cogitosus his father, whereas Cogitosus doesn’t even mention Patrick, let alone Muirch├║. Rather, he claims all of Ireland for his saint and her monastery, Kildare, declaring their jurisdiction extended “from sea to sea”.

Swaggering assertions made by Armagh, Patrick’s chief church, about its own authority still had to make room for Brigid, ceding part of the island to her.”

https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/st-brigids-day-traditions

See excellent RTE program/- Finding Brigid

https://www.rte.ie/player/movie/finding-brigid/362119208110

Monday, January 30, 2023

Pope Francis' Affirmation that Homosexuality" is not a crime" and may not be a sin depending on circumstances is a step forward for the Church

 Pope Francis ' statement on Jan. 24  in which he said that homosexuality "is not a crime," and should never be criminalized is important. In a note  on Jan. 27th,  Francis clarified that even this Church teaching is subject to circumstances that might eliminate the sin altogether. His interpretation of this teaching will come as good news to Catholics who were raised with the rigid doctrine that every sexual act outside marriage is a serious sin. 

In order to live the fullness of love taught by Jesus, the Catholic Church must treat all people equally regardless of sex, gender identity or gender expression. 

Bridget Mary Meehan


Dignity Speaks Out:

 Applaud Pope Francis Saying Being Gay “is Not a Crime"
 

DignityUSA is celebrating Pope Francis’ statement that “being homosexual isn’t a crime” in an interview with the Associated Press. DignityUSA says this welcome change in the Vatican’s position “could vastly improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ people around the world.”

Read DignityUSA's Full Statement

Check out the other media coverage including quotes from the DignityUSA statement and DignityUSA members:

Pope Francis: Criminalization laws are ‘unjust’ in the Los Angeles Blade

Pope Francis says being gay "is not a crime" and the Catholic community respondsat GLAAD

Pope Francis Condemns Laws Criminalizing Same-Sex Relationships at MetroWeekly

Thanks to all for speaking out.

LGBTQIA+ Catholic Group Applauds Pope Francis Saying Being Gay “is Not a Crime,” Says Statement Could Improve Global Condition of Queer People

January 25, 2023.  The world’s oldest Catholic group advocating for LGBTQIA+ equality is celebrating Pope Francis’ statement that “being homosexual isn’t a crime” in an interview with the Associated Press. DignityUSA says this welcome change in the Vatican’s position “could vastly improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ people around the world.”

“Since the Vatican led the opposition to a 2010 United Nations proposal to decriminalize homosexuality DignityUSA has repeatedly challenged our church leaders to reverse this stance,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA’s Executive Director. “We have led nationwide witnesses at cathedrals across the U.S. for this purpose, held a rally at the United Nations, and called on Pope Francis to make a statement like this when he visited Africa in 2015. I served as an Advisor to the State Department on faith and LGBTQ+ issues during the Obama administration, and urged both Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to make this their top request when they visited with Pope Francis. 

Duddy-Burke noted that the Vatican’s stance on homosexuality has world-wide impact. “World leaders and legislators in many, many countries pay attention to what Catholic officials say. The Vatican’s support of criminalizing homosexuality has made life very dangerous for countless gay people in countries on nearly every continent. Shifting the stance and pushing for an end to making Queer identity illegal will make life safer for many people around the world,” she said.

Duddy-Burke said that DignityUSA stands ready to work with Vatican officials on the implications of this new position. “It is critical that the church’s bishops immediately end any support they have given to laws that make being gay or same-sex relationships illegal. We also call on Catholics in our own country and around the world to support equality and non-violence for their LGBTQIA+ neighbors.”