Saturday, September 17, 2016

Two Clips of Mindy Lou Simmons Singing "Beautiful Mother" and "Beauty of the dance"

Homily Starter for Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Karen Hylen Sept.17,2016

Homily Starter: Bridget Mary Meehan

A long time ago around the fireside in our cozy gray cottage in Coolkerry, County Laois, Ireland, our family prayed the rosary each evening. My mother, Bridie finished the rosary with the “trimmings,” officially known as the Litany of Loreto.

This beautiful Litany contains many names for Mary that reflect the divine feminine which the Blessed Mother and the goddesses before her carried for centuries.

In When Mary Becomes Cosmic: A Jungian and Mystical Path to the Divine Feminine, David Richo shares that the archetypal images in the Litany of Loreto are a treasure trove for our spiritual development. Each of these images reveals our soul’s potential as God ‘s spiritual power acts for us and within us: House of God, Tower of Ivory, Mirror of Justice, Vessel of Honor, Seat of Wisdom, Cause of Our Joy, Comfort of the Troubled, Morning Star,  and Gate of Heaven. 

As we reflect on the readings from Amos and the Gospel, a common message challenges us to be single-hearted and compassionate and to identify ourselves with the poor, the neglected and the suffering. As we do this, there is no “us” or “them.” Each person is the beloved of God. We erase the margins that label some people as outsiders and create a circle of compassion where all belong because we are one. 

In my experience we have opportunities to care about and for others each day. Sometimes, it is simply listening with our ears and our heart. When we respond to others' needs in practical and immediate ways, we are the face of God in our world. 

As some of you know, I have breakfast with a group of elders in McDonald’s most days. I love these wise and witty people. Sometimes, we are joined by members of the homeless community who sit on a grassy lawn nearby. They call me “Silver Angel”, my favorite name. This week Jesse, Keith and Tanya left their signs "homeless and hungry" behind, and enjoyed a sausage McMuffin breakfast at Micky D's. Thank you, Mary Mother of Jesus Community, for supporting this humble, hands-on - ministry of hospitality to our sisters and brothers in need. 

David Richo writes: “… salvation is always and already happening as long as we are engaged in the works of mercy in the world. We join in the redemptive renewal when we see pain and respond to it with forms of compassion outlined in the works of mercy.” (When Mary Becomes Cosmic, p. 123) 

Here is a contemporary translation of the works of mercy from Richo's book:

The bodily works of mercy are:
Feed the hungry;
Give drink to the thirsty;
Clothe the naked;
Shelter the homeless;
Visit the sick and imprisoned;
Assist the dying.

The Spiritual works of mercy are:
Comfort the troubled;
Counsel the Confused;
Provide information to those who need it;
Speak up to the unjust;
Forgive injuries;
Bear wrongs without retaliation;
Pray for the living and dead

Homily Starter-part 2 Karen Hylen:

I was delighted when Bridget Mary suggested that for the second reading we consider using some thoughts from David Richo’s book, When Mary Becomes Cosmic.  Richo is an author who uses the lens of Carl Jung's thoughts to effectively shed a profound and expansive perspective on our human experience. Jung spent his life exploring the human psyche and recognized that at it's depth it had a kinship with soul. Richo honors this understanding with the statement, “Salvation is always and already happening as long as we are engaged in works of mercy.” At the surface it seems like an easy formula for the significant work of participating in the ongoing process of Salvation. Wouldn't it be great if all it took, having been given a list of what those works of mercy are, to follow through as Nike proclaims and, “Just Do It!”? I certainly have found that it's not quite that easy. We know we are “failing” at this extraordinary task when we see the massive suffering surrounding us in the world and we recognize how easy it is to be distracted by our own petty needs, or by all that separates, rather than connects us, to others. However, according to Jung’s understanding there is a reason we have such difficulty in getting beyond our personal selfishness long enough to serve the needs of others. To simplify Jung’s complex body of work: There is a part of God that is unconscious and we’re it! His theory of Individuation suggests that our true life’s journey is to transform the darkness residing in the personal and collective unconscious into the light of conscious awareness and, in so doing, become uniquely and wholly ourselves. He termed this process, Individuation, and profoundly states that Individuation is the ongoing Incarnation of God. In other words, as we work doggedly at the task of becoming our true selves, this process of Individuation becomes our primary work of mercy and that this work is intimately intertwined with the redemptive process by which our world finds salvation. It is our greatest work to steadfastly redeem our struggling personal ego from its imprisonment within the conditioned mind and the false self it has created. This inferior and suffering self is created by our human past and its internalized fictions. It is this process of Individuation that gives birth to the true Self. Richo explains that for Jung, “The Self is the archetype of God (dwelling) in us as unconditional love, perennial wisdom, and healing power. These divine qualities are in bodied in our very being: the love is in our hearts; the wisdom is in our minds; and the healing is in our souls. We are not complete as humans until we activate – individuate these gifts."  Jung states that each birth of this transpersonal Self is experienced as a death by the fragile ego. We participate in our own redemption through a process of Individuation in which we use self-will to mindfully disengage from actions driven by a selfish aggrandized personal ego and choose instead to engage a transpersonal Self that sees mirrored in the pain and suffering of our brothers and sisters an indwelling Christ in need of our compassion and love. This mirrored seeing occurs when we are humble enough to recognize that the suffering we see in others also resides within our own soul. We are all "wounded healers." However, through this conscious action of Individuation we become like Mary, The House of God, and actively participate in an ongoing Incarnation of God by which we and the world seek redemption and ever so precariously walk a path toward Salvation.

As a springboard for our reflections on today’s readings, as well as the thoughts shared by Bridget Mary and myself, I would like to link and highlight the wisdom statement of our gospel reading: “ No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” I would like to paraphrase this wisdom and suggest: You cannot serve both God and the false self! 

How have you personally experienced this inner tension of the false self vs. the indwelling Christ and how has it supported or interfered with your ability to perform works of mercy when the opportunity crosses your path?

Mary Mother of Jeusus Inclusive Catholic Community: Being the Compassion of God, Sept. 17thh, Co-Presiders Bridget Mary Meehan and Karen Hylen, and Music Minister Mindy Lou Simmons

Presider:  In the name of God, our Creator and of Jesus our brother and of the Holy Spirit, our wisdom.  ALL:  Amen.
Presider:  We gather at the table to share the compassionate presence of God, aware that salvation is always and already happening, as we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless and assist the dying.
ALL:  The love of God loves through us as we comfort the troubled and confront injustices in the most practical and immediate ways.

Presider:  O God, may we see your face in all who are demonized so that the bullying and hate will stop. ALL:  May we open our hearts, like Mary, to God’s mothering love, affirming fullness of life for all.  
Presider:  Jesus the Christ, may we see the divine reality in victims, especially in all who suffer violence, and discrimination..
ALL:  May we, like Mary, champion the oppressed and protect the abused.
Presider:  O Wisdom Sophia, may we see your face in people who are hungry and homeless,  anxious and stressed.
ALL:  May we, like Jesus, care for those in need.

Presider: God of love we ask our sisters and brothers to forgive our failures to serve them in works of mercy. May we be your ongoing caring presence in the world.
ALL: Amen.

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

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

First Reading: Amos 8:4-7
Responsorial Psalm: Ubi Caritas (sung)
Second Reading:  When Mary Becomes Cosmic 122-123
Gospel Acclamation:  ALLELUIA!    (sung)
Reader:  A reading from the Gospel according to Luke 16:10-23 ALL:  Glory to you, O God.
Reader:  The good news of Jesus, the Christ!
ALL:  Glory and praise to you, Jesus the Christ!


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

Presider:  Aware that God, like a fierce mother bear, who protects her young, is a defender of the oppressed and pursuer of justice, we now bring the needs of the suffering, in our church and world, before you. Response:  Loving God, you hear our prayer.
Presider:  For those who have been rejected and demonized, we pray for  acceptance and fullness of life. R.   Presider:  For  the hungry and homeless, we pray for food and shelter. R. Presider:  For those who experience loneliness, we pray for caring friends. Other intentions
R.   Presider O Holy One  we walk  in faith that nothing is impossible and we can care for others in need through the power of your Spirit working in us.   ALL: Amen

Presider:  Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all.  Through your divine providence we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of Life.   ALL:  Blessed be God forever.  
Presider:  Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all.  Through your divine providence we have this wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink. 
ALL:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Divine Presence, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus Christ in communion with all who live as the saving presence of God in our world ALL:  Amen.

Presider:  God dwells in you.  ALL:  And also works through you.  Presider:  Lift up your hearts and love deeply    ALL:  We lift them up to God.   Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator of all.   ALL: It is our joy to give God thanks and praise.

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

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

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

ALL:  As we come together in memory, Jesus we pray that Your Spirit will come upon these gifts of bread and wine and upon us, that we may become the body and blood of Christ blessed, broken and shared.  (pause as bread is lifted)

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

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

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

ALL:  The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we comfort the troubled.
The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we counsel the confused.
The Body of Christ is blessed, broken and shared every time we advocate for justice.

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

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

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

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

Great Amen.

We pray with Jesus:   Our Father and Mother….
Sign of Peace
Let us offer one another a sign of peace
Presider:  Loving God, we will serve the least and the last in our world,     ALL:  Namaste
Presider: Loving God, we will care for our sisters and brothers who need our help. ALL:  Namaste
Presider: Loving God, we will
advocate for non-violence and a more just world.
All: Namaste
Presider: There is room at the table for everyone.  Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ.

Communion Song
Blessing Song
ALL:   May the blessing of peace be upon you.
May peace be all you know.
May the blessing of peace be upon you.
May it follow wherever you go.
Shalom, salaam, shaanti, pacem May peace prevail on earth  2x
(continue with joy, love, light) © Jan Phillips 2012

Presider:  Nourished at this open table where all are welcome, may we live the saving presence of God by doing works of mercy. Go, now and live the Gospel of Jesus!

We love, bless and serve one another in the name of God, our Creator, Jesus our brother, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom.

Bridget Mary Meehan,

"Priest defrocked but still defiant" by Will Chabun

"Roy Bourgeois considered himself a good soldier.
He’d done a military tour of duty in Vietnam, then — his idealism awakened — became a Roman Catholic priest in the Maryknoll Order, specialists in foreign missions.
But as time went by, he became more and more disenchanted — first, with American political and military intervention everywhere, but particularly in Central America. There, the U.S. government trained counter-revolutionary forces through the U.S. Army’s “Schools of the Americas” military counterinsurgency centre — even as local right-wing militias killed peasants, priests and even Bishop Oscar Romero.
Bourgeois also became increasingly uncomfortable with the Roman Catholic Church’s own attitudes toward LGBT people and the ordination of women. He pressed his complaints so persistently and firmly that he eventually got a letter from the Vatican, defrocking him as a priest.
Bourgeois — who is in Regina this weekend to speak — says polls in the U.S., for example, consistently show fully 75 per cent of Catholics are opposed to the church’s stand on these issues. He also says 1976 Vatican study found no scriptural opposition to the ordination of women.
But nothing changes.
Young people — “who do not have the same image of God” — continue to drift away from the church, and the clergy ages.
His analysis is that the cause is entrenched sexism and complacency in the church’s senior management, with reformers, even in the clergy, cowed into silence by those reluctant to give up the power and privilege that comes an all-male priesthood. He holds out little hope of changes even from Pope Francis, arguing that the pope is aware of the pressure for ordaining woman priests and of the abuse, even persecution of LGBT persons, but refuses to act. He does not foresee an Anglican-style schism or split between liberals or conservatives, but instead quick decline, saying, “what I see is the Catholic church right now in a real crisis.But like guerrillas, some Catholics are fighting back, Bourgeois adds.He says around 100 women in the U.S. have been quietly ordained by bishops who keep their own identities secret, though the women are not viewed by church management “as being priests in good standing.” This weekend’s event will discuss these issues. It takes place from 9 a.m until 3 p.m. Saturday at Sunset United Church, 177 Sunset Dr. There is a fee of $30 for Saturday’s event.Spokesman Felix Kryzanowski — whose wife Jane was ordained as a married woman priest in 2015 — says it is being organized by three “circles”, mainly Catholic, whose members are interested in these issues: Sophia Sisters, Celebration Circle, and Spirit Seekers. "More information on this weekend’s event is 

"A Woman and also a Roman Catholic Priest" by Will Chabun

"Jane Kryzanowski remembers the day she got The Call.

It was 2011 and a female Catholic bishop — yes, there are such people — was in Regina for a workshop, describing her own spiritual journey — and something started “burning” in Kryzanowski‘s soul.
She felt “a real resonance” as the bishop talked.
The bishop noticed something and later asked Kryzanowski, “Are you the one I’ll be coming back to ordain?”
It was, Kryzanowski recalled, “like being struck by lightning.”
Tremors and shivers and “I think I broke into tears.”
After much thought, she began checking how to become a woman priest, trained but not recognized by what she calls the “institutional” or “traditional” Catholic church.
There’s academic and psychological screening, a criminal record check, and plenty of training: 10 units of preparation under the Roman Catholic Women Priests Canada Association model of ministry. There’s study of the sacraments and papers on their theology, pastoral and spiritual aspects.
There was, she wryly admits, a lot for a pensioner like her to learn. But what kept her going was a particular need to help those she feels are disenfranchised by the traditional church, to tell them “there is a place where you are welcome; there is a place where you can come and gather around the table and share the eucharist.”
Kryzanowski is an unlikely change agent — until you get talking and see her dedication, wit and gentle determination.
She was born and raised in southern Indiana and muses that with her interests and values — but a male gender — she might have gone to a seminary. But she was a woman who fell in love and came to Canada, settling in Humboldt and later Regina, where she worked in the offices of several Roman Catholic parishes.
Ordained by that woman bishop in 2015, she is part of a group whose members meet in homes with the priest as a facilitator or servant of those attending. It is, she laughs, a little like the ancient Christians meeting in the catacombs or, earlier, when disciples met in homes.
How many Canadian Catholics follow this alternative approach? She isn’t sure, though she figures there are at least 25 in Regina. All of their priests need jobs or pensions to support themselves.
As to why the institutional church refuses to ordain women as priests, she refuses to cast blame other than to say there’s a “purple culture” in the church that is patriarchal and can’t imagine a world with woman priests, and is willing to resist change rather than tap into their wisdom and enthusiasm.
She also agrees that, as others have speculated, the Vatican is wary of antagonizing ultraconservative Catholics in the Third World — consider the tensions in the Anglican communion over gays. 
But she sees a possible way out. Just as the Vatican recognizes regional Catholic churches from Eastern Europe and South Asia that have, say, married clergy, perhaps there one day will arise a regional church focused on North America and western Europe that will coexist with more conservative brands.
And perhaps Pope Francis will open some doors. Kryzanowski notes approvingly how he’s talked about opening the deaconate to women.
“Maybe that will be an opening for the discussion of ordaining women.
“We hope,” she says with a smile, “that might be the case.”