Saturday, July 9, 2016

In the darkness may we be enthralled by the tenderness of God

Psalm 39 assures us that even in the darkest places, the infinite love of God is there for us and for all- no exceptions.

Gregory Boyle SJ writes : "There is a longing in us all to be God-enthralled. So enthralled that to those hunkered down in their disgrace, in the shadow of death, we become transparent messengers of God's own tender mercy. We want to be seized by that same tenderness, we want to bear the largeness of God." (Tattoos on the Heart, p. 45)

Friday, July 8, 2016

"Make Me A Channel of Your Peace" by Susan Boyle, Prayers for Police Officers who were shot in Dalllas, Prayers for All Victims of Gun Violence

Let us pray for the police in Dallas who  died in gun violence  let us pray for people of color who die from violence in police custody.  As we listen to Susan Boyle sing, "make me a channel of your peace", may this be our prayer.  Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

"Pilgrimage Illustrates Catholicism's Woman Problem"

New: Interview with Christina Moreira ARCWP on Radio in Spain

Inspirational Music Videos: "We Have Been Told" , "Our God is Here", "Now is the Time", "I am the Vine"

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

"Tattoos on the Heart, The Power of Boundless Compassion" , Gregory Boyle S.J.

Greg Boyle focuses on the power of kinship. His book challenges us to "recognize our own wounds in the broken lives and daunting struggles of the men and women in these parables. " Read Tattoos on the Heart and be inspired! Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP,

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Homily for 15th Sunday of Ordinary Tiime, July 10, 2016 by Beverly Bingle RCWP

Scripture scholars agree that Jesus
actually spoke today's parable of the Good Samaritan,
or something very much like it.
They call the parable itself “a classic example
of the provocative public speech of Jesus the preacher.”
But they also say that Luke
created the dialogue around the parable,
reasoning that the dialogue asks two questions
that are different from the teaching of the parable itself.
Those two questions
are what I'm used to hearing about this passage:
“Who is my neighbor?” and “Which one acted like a neighbor?”
But the parable itself leads us to ask this question:
“From what quarter can I expect help
when I have been robbed, beaten, and left for dead?”
If I'm the one in need of help,
who do I think will step up and be a neighbor to me?
Phyllis is one.
Whenever I have to go out of town overnight,
she tends my chickens and keeps watch on the house.
Then there's Carrie and her family, across the street from me.
They've learned how to herd chickens
from those times the mail carrier or meter reader
has left the gate open.
Down at Claver House George and John and Tina and Shirley
get worried and phone me if I don't show up for breakfast.
And you, the members of our Holy Spirit Catholic Community,
tend me every time you see me struggling—
like when I was hobbling around on crutches last spring.
I am surrounded by Good Samaritans,
people who help me instinctively
because they have formed themselves
into compassionate human beings.
So there are people around me who I expect will help me.
But who would I not expect help from?
Jesus' audience for this parable would have thought
that the beat-up and bleeding man in the ditch was a Jew.
They would have expected the priest and the Levite to help him.
But they didn't.
They would not have expected the hated Samaritan to help him.
But he did.
And he went way beyond that,
reaching out with boundless compassion and resources
to bring help and healing.
Would I expect a Muslim to help me? Or not?
A Mexican immigrant?
A politician?
A homeless person?
A bishop?
My answer will show what I think of other people.
It will lay bare my acceptance of some and my rejection of others.
We all want to become the kind of person
who will be expected to be a neighbor to anyone in need.
The only way to do that
is to practice compassion in ordinary, everyday life.
When we decide to follow Jesus, it's a process.
We decide to reflect and pray and study and act
in ways that will form us into a person of virtue.
If we think people who are different from us—
in race or ethnicity or religion
or gender or political persuasion—
would not be expected to help us in a crisis,
that's a sign that we need to change.
Toledo janitor Karen Loudermill, taking a break from work,
saw a young girl walking alone on the street
in the middle of the night.
Karen didn't hesitate to get involved.
She didn't worry about getting back to work on time.
She didn't wonder if the girl was on drugs, or mentally ill,
or dangerous in some way.
She didn't think about what could happen to her.
Karen walked over and started the conversation
that uncovered serious mistreatment
in the home where the girl had been kept a prisoner.
D.C. government worker Larry Skutnik,
caught in a traffic jam on a bridge over the Potomac
as he headed home,
got out of his car
and saw that a plane had crashed into the river.
Larry watched as a helicopter rescued two of the three people
hanging on to the tail of the plane.
When he saw the third starting to go under,
he took off his shoes and jacket, dived into the freezing water,
and brought the woman to the shore.
Larry's comment: “I reacted instinctively, that's all.”
What made Karen and Larry take those heroic actions?
What made them risk danger to help a stranger?
What gave them that instinct for compassion?
That kind of virtue comes from how they had learned to be
in the ordinary times,
not from extraordinary circumstances.
They are ordinary people
who learned compassion
to the point that they didn't even think about themselves
when they saw another human being in need.
The crisis didn't create their character.
It revealed it.
Social psychologists who study bystander apathy
identify three things a person uses
to decide whether to do something in an emergency:
whether or not they feel the person is deserving of help;
whether they have competence to help;
and what relationship they have with the victim.
As Christians—and as Americans—
we say we believe that all people are equal
and therefore equally deserving of help.
We believe that everyone is a child of God, a brother or sister to us.
That means that we have the same relationship
with any and every victim.
And that means that we have a responsibility
to develop habits of compassion
that will cause us to act instinctively
to help whenever we can.
We can't hesitate because the person isn't like us,
or because we don't know who they are,
or because we aren't EMTs.
When Jesus says
that the law is summed up as love God and love neighbor,
it sounds easy…
but it's the journey of a lifetime.

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

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

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The Cosmic Mary "Does Not Appear to People to Bring Heaven to our Hearts, but to Expose Heaven Within Our Hearts" from David Richo "When Mary Becomes Cosmic"

"There is a cosmic Christ; There is a cosmic Mary; there is a cosmic Self in every one of us. Cosmic in this context refers to the bigness of our faith when it includes the entire universe in its embrace.  We move from focusing only our own salvation to a deep caring about all creation.

The sweet images of Mary, without earthiness or passion, depict a broken, restricted and abridged archetype of the divine feminine.  The Madonna most of us grew up with was all about comfort, and she does, indeed, offer that in a nonstop way. But she is also the challenger, the one who calls us to join her in her unceasing battle for justice , to care with active compassion for the downtrodden. She wants to bring us to the smelly, excluded, disenfranchised, marginalized members of our society because that is where she is.

There is the image of Mary from Central America showing her with dark skin under the title Madre de los Desparecidos (Mother of the Disappeared). Mary is representing the mothers of those who were kidnapped and killed. Mary is the archetype of help before, during and after the injustices. Our challenge is to ask for more and more from Mary, Protectress of the Helpless. This allows the archetype of divine feminine to evolve more fully in our consciousness.

Thus, Mary is the champion, the fierce tigress for justice.  This is the opposite  of the unattaninable, remote Madonna in traditional iconography. These images “keep her in her place” rather than acknowledge that her place is everywhere: she is one of us and for the least of us. This Mary does not support a privileged white ego. She is best pictured as the black Madonna, the creatively erotic, earth Mother, who keeps her promise to guide and protect our planet.

We see in Mary the importance of our calling to bring a prophetic vision to the world. We practice reaching this imaginative vision through a combination of contemplation and focus on world problems with an apostolic intent. Prophetic imagination means trusting divine power in history and envisioning more of it in the future.

Less devotion to Mary nowadays is not about more devotion to Jesus: It is about less consciousness of the role of the feminine in the story of our salvation. Paradoxically, one acknowledge the divine feminine, we find Jesus more fully. This is because he represents wholeness; what we mean when we say he is divine. There is a direct connection between who Mary is and what all women are in their full empowerment.

All of our lives we have seen Mary pictured as a beautiful woman. Her beauty is not meant to represent remoteness. It is symbolic of the divine wholeness in all of us… a mirror of what we are called to be whole and wholly devoted to a life of caring love… connected not to timid submissiveness, but to strength. Mary does not appear to people to bring heaven to our hearts, but to expose the heaven within our hearts."
 David Richo, in When Mary Becomes Cosmic,  pp. 3-8
Meditation: Contemplate 
Today be aware of Mary as a spiritual presence who  reveals "heaven within your heart."

Liturgy for Interdependence - Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Albany NY. All are welcome to this community where hospitality is our trademark.

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community Celebrates Liturgy of Interdependence
Dennis McDonald and Deven Horne lead the Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community in a liturgical celebration of interdependence.
Statement of Faith: Commitment to all of Creation:
 All: Recognizing that the earth is a gift from our gracious God, and that we are called to cherish, nurture and provide loving stewardship of earth’s recourses, and recognizing that life itself is a gift, and a call to responsibility, joy and celebration, today I enter into a covenant with the Holy One, for my own sake, and for those I love, and for the well-being of the human family.

I commit myself to join with others in reshaping institutions in order to bring about a more just global society, in which each person has access to the resources needed for their physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth. 

I commit myself to vote for and support those political candidates who demonstrate an authentic concern for the environment.

 I commit myself to occupational accountability: I will seek to avoid the creation of products which cause harm to others. commit myself to personal renewal through prayer, meditation and study.
I commit myself to participation in a community of faith.
Amen. Let it be so!I affirm the health of my body, and commit myself to its proper nourishment and physical well-being.

 I commit myself to personal renewal through prayer, meditation and study.
I commit myself to participation in a community of faith.
Amen. Let it be so!

A reading from Viriditas and Veritas: The Ecological Prophets Hildegard of Bingen and
Miriam Therese MacGillis, OP by Matthew Fox
“Every cosmology represents God in its own particular way, as well as offering a globalizing, integrative, and sacramental understanding of the world,” writes Boff. For Hildegard of Bingen, twelfth century German Benedictine abbess, the universe is like an egg in the womb of God.
Hildegard can be seen as an ecological prophet both in her cosmology and in her assertion that there is a profound and life giving power of lush greenness immanent in all creation,
In the light of the rapid deterioration and degradation of the earth’s wild life, rivers, flora and fauna, Berry, Swimme and MacGillis as their spokesperson, posit that the ecological crisis is necessarily a crisis
of cosmology. It is this crisis with its threats and challenges that has become the passion of Miriam Therese MacGillis. She writes: “Now, more than ever, as we move through the unprecedented dangers and opportunities unleashed in these early years of the 21st century, we’re deeply in need of a transforming vision…A vision that opens the future up to hope.”5 The new universe story provides that transforming vision.
As a so-called “green sister” MacGillis’ environmental concerns are those of many religious women, according to McFarland Taylor. Telling the story of a cosmology that will provide a meaningful sense of the nature of the universe, companion planting.
Hildegard calls it “greening love” that “hastens to the aid of all. With the passion of heavenly yearning, people who breathe this dew produce rich fruit.” Viriditas has a moral aspect reflected in the relationships of men and women:

 The earth grants sprouting fecundity according to the nature of human beings, depending on the quality and direction of their lives and actions. Men and women are the light-green heart of the living fullness of nature. A direct connection exists between the heart of a person and all the elements of the cosmos. They effect together that which has been decided in human hearts (1998:72).
These are the inspired words of Matthew Fox.
A reading from Ancestral Grace by Diarmuid O’Murchu
The vision of the kingdom is postulated on a worldview of radical inclusiveness and egalitarianism. Nothing is excluded, particularly the surrounding creation from which we inherit the primary paradigms based on differences and distinctions. We’re challenged to reclaim what we share in common (particularly the one earth), rather than clinging on to what separates and divides us.

And it is not by accident that many of the parables relate to the land, its usufruct (the right of using and enjoying all the advantages and profits of the property of another without altering or damaging the substance), and the way landowners treat those who worked on the land. Here as in the Covenant of the Hebrew Scriptures, the land is a representative icon of the ever nourishing and sustaining God, with echoes of the key role also attributed to the Great Earth Mother Goddess.
By the making of the New Reign of God the heart and core of his mission, Jesus was not merely activating a renewal program for the Jewish religion, nor was he consciously trying to invent a new religion. No, his dream, as John’s Gospel illustrates, was to call humans to a radical realignment with the God at the heart of creation as a cosmic-planetary organism. It was an awakening call, ever old and ever to embrace afresh, in radical love, justice, and liberation. Beyond all human, social, and political ideologies, Jesus brought a dream of a new heaven and new earth. As a Christian people, we still have not caught up with that visionary cosmic Jesus.
These are the inspired words of Diarmuid O’Murchu
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew
"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life--whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Mt 6:25
These are the inspired words from the Gospel of Matthew

Sunday, July 3, 2016

"Pope Not Looking Over Shoulder at Ultra-Conservatives"/ Excellent article

Homily by Christina Moreira ARCWP

Paz a esta casa

EVANGELIO XIV domingo del Tiempo Ordinario 3 julio 2016
(Lucas 10, 1-12.17-20)
“En aquel tiempo el Señor designó otros setenta y dos, y los envió delante de él, de dos en dos, a todos los pueblos y lugares a donde él pensaba ir. Y les dijo: «La mies es mucha, pero los obreros son pocos. Rogad al dueño de la mies que envíe obreros a su mies. ¡Andad!; mirad que yo os envío como corderos en medio de lobos. No llevéis bolsa, ni alforja, ni sandalias; no saludéis a nadie por el camino. Cuando entréis en una casa, decid primero: Paz a esta casa. Si allí vive gente de paz, vuestra paz reposará sobre ellos; si no, se volverá a vosotros. Quedaos en esa casa, comiendo y bebiendo lo que tengan, porque el obrero tiene derecho a su salario. No andéis de casa en casa. Si llegáis a un pueblo y os reciben bien, comed lo que os sirvan; curad a los enfermos que haya y decidles: El reino de Dios está cerca de vosotros. Pero si llegáis a un pueblo y no os reciben, id por las calles diciendo: Hasta el polvo de vuestro pueblo que se nos pegó a los pies nos lo sacudimos. Yo os digo que en el día del juicio habrá más tolerancia para Sodoma que para ese pueblo». Los setenta y dos volvieron llenos de alegría, diciendo: «Señor, hasta los demonios se nos someten en tu nombre». Y Jesús les dijo: «Yo veía a Satanás cayendo del cielo como un rayo. Ved que os he dado poder de pisar serpientes y escorpiones, y sobre todas las fuerzas del enemigo, sin que nada os dañe. Pero no os alegréis de que los espíritus os estén sometidos; alegraos más bien de que vuestros nombres están escritos en el cielo».

La misión es la paz
Hoy el evangelio se compone exclusivamente de palabras de Jesús, es una enseñanza que completa lo que escuchamos el domingo pasado, donde escuchábamos la exigencia radical de centrar nuestra vida en el seguimiento de Jesús. Jesús se proponía a sí mismo como ejemplo de desprendimiento mientras iba preparando a sus discípul@s para su partida. Iba poniendo señales en el camino. No hubo homilía para esa semana. La radicalidad se pasa de comentarios, dejarlo todo es dejarlo todo ¿qué parte de Todo hay que explicar? ¿Cómo matizar y parcializar el Todo? Si se parte o se subdivide ya no es Todo. Y cuanto antes se entienda, antes se podrá acometer el seguimiento, cuanto antes se realice la opción por quedarse sin nada, antes entraremos en el Todo. “Radical” significa centrado, enterrado, hundido en nuestra raíz. Para eso hay que dejarse caer en la tierra con todo el peso de lo que creemos ser, relajarse, dejar de manejar y controlar a mí misma y al resto de seres y bienes, tampoco depender de ellos y ni de mí siquiera.
Hoy vemos como Jesús envía a sus discípul@s que ya no son “doce apóstoles” sino seis veces doce, se han multiplicado exponencialmente y ya solo subsiste la categoría de discípulo, igualitaria, universal. El grupo de los doce es obviamente simbólico e inoperante para la mies. “La mies es mucha”. Nuestro mundo, nuestra sociedad local y hasta nuestra familia requieren esfuerzos, trabajo, empeños para los que no sobran brazos nunca.
¿Quién no tiene, a lo largo de una corta semana, la sensación de no dar abasto, de que no le alcanzan las horas, de que le salen tentáculos invisibles desde donde realizar todo lo necesario para que la gente esté bien, para que el trabajo esté a tiempo, para que el entorno esté cuidado y agradable? Ahora podemos pasar a imaginarnos el acopio de tareas, necesidades, emergencias, y mil frentes abiertos a escala de nuestra región, país, planeta. Somos la primera generación de humanos que ya podemos tener una visión global de la mies de la que habla el Señor. Es un regalo envenenado tal vez, cuya visión es sencillamente, apabullante y descorazonadora si nos creemos impotentes.
Pensemos unos minutos en lo que está pendiente… cada cual coloque aquí lo que sabe del trabajo pendiente por la paz, la unión del género humano entre sí y con la Divinidad, la pacificación de pueblos y religiones, y hasta de nuestras comunidades de vecinos se puede visualizar por momentos como imposible. Colóquese aquí los medios para la paz: la verdad que rehúsa todo tipo de mentiras, incluso las piadosas –esas trampas mortales-, la justicia que rechaza cualquier componenda o compromiso a medias. El amor, que cicatriza todas las heridas y colma las carencias.
Si yo me muero de hambre es porque alguien está reventando con mi comida en alguna parte; si me están matando es porque alguien se llena los bolsillos con la venta de armas; si mi pareja me golpea es porque le viene bien sentirse poderoso y absorber mi propio poder; si mi empresa me despide es porque mi supervivencia es menos importante que sus beneficios… de algún modo la tarea por la paz es radical por esencia, en la raíz, valga la redundancia.
Y si la mies es mucha much@s son llamad@s a repartir el mensaje “paz a este pueblo, paz a esta casa, el Reino se ha acercado a ti” que exige todo lo anterior y además la paz interior de quien lo ha dejado todo. La paz puede pisar escorpiones, no arde en las hogueras, no se puede encarcelar, “nada ni nadie” la puede dañar. Somos Paz y somos indestructibles. Y, sobre todo, no quedarse en  la contemplación del sometimiento del enemigo, sino entrar en el gozo de la paz de ver “nuestros nombres escritos en el cielo”, saber que cada un@ de nosotr@s es una nota de la Gran melodía del Gran Nombre.
Por eso podemos decir que “El Reino se ha acercado a nosotros”, una traducción posible y más esperanzadora en el sentido de que no hay que quedarse mirando y descansar en una utopía paralizante por imposible. La utopía es como un acicate de la pereza para mucha gente. Podemos, ya, y desde hace tiempo, habitar el Reino que ya llegó, esa paz que nos toca compartir con quien la quiera.
Desde ahí brota un grito desconsolado por tanta gente llamada a la mies y que no puede contestar porque se especializó el oficio: varón, célibe y clérigo. Me recuerda las veces que me tocó orar por las vocaciones y a mí se me pedía esconder la mía… y a tantas. Me recuerda el tiempo en que no pude mirar mi nombre escrito en el cielo más que a hurtadillas, hasta lo tuve que proteger e inventarme uno como escudo. Me recuerda que toda persona en el pueblo sagrado de Dios es portadora de la tarea de portar la paz, si quiere. Ni esclavo ni libre, ni varón ni hembra, ni clérigo ni laico, ni gay ni hétero, solo portapaces y un solo equipo que defender, sin campeonatos ni vencedores y vencidos. Cada cual en su labor, en su sitio, en plena dignidad.
Soñar un mundo sin pobrezas de ninguna clase porque todo se reparte entre iguales. ¡Sí se puede! Porque la impotencia caducó el día que caducó el patriarcado y sus temores viriles que tanto daño hicieron en los varones y se han impuesto a las hembras ¡que nunca fueron impotentes!
Caducó desde que sabemos que podemos, y que podemos desde siempre.
Tal vez por eso esta temporada están llegando a nuestros oídos tantas noticias de violaciones y abusos: el fin de reino de la virilidad absolutista está en sus estertores y busca asirse a lo que le queda: la fuerza bruta. Sí, la mies es mucha Señor…
Soñar un mundo donde el sometimiento y la competencia, auténticos escorpiones de esta sociedad jerarquizada y generadora de injusticia dejen de apagar la paz.
Soñar que se puede con estas manos, con estos pies, con estas bocas nuestras de humanos y humanas, de “hombres nuevos” como dice Pablo en la carta a los Gálatas. Ni bolsas, ni cayado, ni medios extraordinarios y costosos. Con este cuerpo portamos la paz, con el tuyo hermana, y con el tuyo, hermano. Este cuerpo es cuerpo del dueño de la mies y tiene que valer.
Es soñar despiert@s: el Reino se ha acercado y no se ha ido, hay que salir ahí fuera y gritarlo, a habitarlo, a cosecharlo…