Ruth Bader Ginsburg blazed a trail for women's equality that is historic and revolutionary. Her testimony for justice and equality will live for generations to come. As an advocate for women's rights and a Supreme Court justice, Justice Bader Ginsburg worked tirelessly for equal protection under the law. Our nation has lost a giant advocate for women's rights. She will never be forgotten. May we be filled with Justice Ginsburg's ferocious spirit for equality and carry her legacy forward in our work for justice in our communities, churches , states, nation and world! Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, https://arcwp.org, email@example.com
"Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a trailblazer who fought for gender equality as a lawyer and became a beloved hero of the progressive movement as a justice, died on Friday of complications from pancreatic cancer. When she was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1993, Ginsburg was a reserved and relatively unknown court of appeals judge, but during the course of her 27 years on the court she became an improbable pop-culture icon, inspiring everything from an Oscar-nominated documentary film to her own action figure. She was 87."
"When we say that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a tzaddeket (the feminine form of tzaddik) we don't just mean she was a nice person. What we're saying is that she was a thoughtful person who worked tirelessly to create a more just world. One that would perpetuate equality and access, one that wasn't reliant on charity, one that was better for people she did not know, without the expectation of praise or fame. THAT is what it means to be a Tzaddeket, and I can't think of anyone who better embodies the pursuit of justice. "
Welcome! (Teresa) We warmly welcome you to our inclusive Catholic community, Mary Mother of Jesus in Sarasota, Florida. All are welcome here. We invite you to pray the liturgy where it says, All. And please sing your heart out! Everyone will be muted during the service. This is the community’s liturgy, so many of you will mic on to read one of the parts marked Voice#, then mic off again. Also during our shared homily and prayers of the community, we invite you to mic on to contribute, then mic off again. Please have bread and wine or juice with you as we pray the Eucharistic Prayer.
Theme (Michael): How we are transformed in Christ. Janet was leading a us in a discussion of Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ when Covid-19 put a stop to our weekly gatherings. I continued to read the book off-and-on, finally arriving at chapter 16, Transformation and Contemplation. It was one of those chapters that I read over and over...and over again. Today’s liturgy presented an opportunity to share Rohr’s revelation with you: How we are transformed in Christ.
Voice1 & All: We celebrate together ✝️ in the name of God our creator, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit our wisdom within. Amen. Let us welcome one another with a sign of Christ’s peace! ☮️ The peace of Christ be with us all!
Reconciliation Rite. Voice2 & All: We pause now to remember times when false messages of our unworthiness have clouded our vision of the infinite love within us. Let us imagine our imperfections, the chaos and messes of our lives all brightly lit by a love that heals and transforms us as we evolve and grow in awareness of our divinity and our humanity. (Pause briefly. Then extend arm over your heart.) I love you. Thank you. I’m sorry. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you.
Opening Prayer. Voice3 & All: Spirit of the Holy One, we gratefully acknowledge your presence within and among us. You have transformed us into the one Body of Christ, making us the face of Christ’s love in the world. Guide us to be present to those who suffer from the two pandemics afflicting our country—the Covid-19 pandemic and the pandemic of racism. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen
Liturgy of the Word
(Teresa) A few moments of silence as we await God’s word to us.
A reading from the Good News according to John.
Jesus said, “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal.” These are the inspired words from John’s Good News, and we respond, Reader & All: Thanks be to God.
(Kevin) The second reading is excerpts from Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ, chapter 16, Transformation and Contemplation.
Authentic Christianity is not so much a belief system as a life-and-death system that shows you how to give away your life, how to give away your love, and eventually how to give away your death. Basically, how to give away—and in doing so, to connect with the world, with all other creatures, and with God.....
If Christ represents the resurrected state, then Jesus represents the crucified/resurrecting path of getting there. If Christ is the source and goal, then Jesus is the path from that source toward the goal of divine unity with all things.
It is not insignificant that Christians chose the cross or crucifix as their central symbol. At least unconsciously, we recognized that Jesus talked a lot about losing your life.” Perhaps Ken Wilber’s distinction between climbing religions” and descending religions” is helpful here. He and I both trust the descending form of religion much more, and I think Jesus did too. Here the primary language is unlearning, letting go, surrendering, serving others, and not the language of self development—which often lurks behind our popular notions of salvation.” ....
But in the Buddhist frame, suffering is seen as the practical and real price for letting go of illusion, false desire, superiority, and separateness. Suffering is also pointed out as the price we pay for not letting go, which might be an even better way to teach about suffering.
Any time you surrender a negative, accusatory, compulsive, or self-serving thought, word, or behavior, the Buddhists describe this as dying”! ...
Both Christianity and Buddhism are saying that the pattern of transformation, the pattern that connects, the life that Reality offers us is not death avoided, but always death transformed. In other words, the only trustworthy pattern of spiritual transformation is death and resurrection. ...
Both groups are saying that death and life are two sides of the same coin, and you cannot have one without the other. Each time you offer the surrender, each time you trust the dying, your faith is led to a deeper level and you discover a Larger Self underneath. You decide not to push yourself to the front of the line, and something much better happens in the back of the line. You let go of your narcissistic anger, and you find that you start feeling much happier. You surrender your need to control your partner, and finally the relationship blossoms. Yet each time it is a choice—and each time it is a kind of dying. ...
The mystics and great saints were those who had learned to trust and allow this pattern, and often said in effect, What did I ever lose by dying?” ...
Things change and grow by dying to their present state, but each time it is a risk. Will it work this time?” is always our question. So many academic disciplines are coming together, each in its own way, to say that there’s a constant movement of loss and renewal at work in this world at every level. It seems to be the pattern of all growth and evolution. To be alive means to surrender to this inevitable flow. It’s the same pattern in every atom, in every human relationship, and in every galaxy. Native peoples, Hindu scripture, Buddha, Moses, Muhammad, and Jesus all saw it early in human history and named it as a kind of necessary dying.”
If this pattern is true, it has been true all the time and everywhere. ...
All of us travelers, each in our own way, have to eventually learn about letting go of something smaller so something bigger can happen. But that’s not a religion—it’s highly visible truth. It is the Way Reality Works.
Yes, I am saying:
That the way things work and Christ are one and the same.
This is not a religion to be either fervently joined or angrily rejected.
It is a train ride already in motion.
The tracks are visible everywhere.
You can be a willing and happy traveler,
Or not.These are the inspired words of Richard Rohr, and we respond,
Shared homily. (Michael) For my homily starter I want to repeat three of Richard Rohr’s statements: 1.“Things change and grow by dying to their present state, but each time it is a risk. ‘Will it work this time?’ is always our question.”
2.“There’s a constant movement of loss and renewal at work in this world at every level. It seems to be the pattern of all growth and evolution. To be alive means to surrender to this inevitable flow.”
3.“(This) is the Way Reality Works.”
As the Spirit moves you, now is your opportunity to share about the readings, the liturgy, or anything else. Please mic on to share, then mic off.
Profession of Faith. Voice4 & All:
We believe in the creator of all whose divinity infuses life with the sacred.
We believe in Jesus the Christ who leads us to the fullness of humanity.
We believe in the Spirit of wisdom, the divine breath on earth, who enlightens those living in darkness.
Amen to courage, to hope, to the spirit of truth, to wholeness, to the partnership of all persons in the divine plan.
We believe in justice and peace for all. We surely believe in all this!
Prayers of the Community (Teresa) A few moments of silence before we bring our community prayers and offerings to the table.
We bring to the table prayers for our community and the world. (Response: Christ, you graciously hear us!)
We bring to the table our MMOJ members who aren’t with us today. In this time of physical distancing may we find ways to remain close and connected to our family, our friends, and our community. We pray. R
The covid-19 pandemic continues to rage across the country. We bring to the table public health professionals and government leaders responsible for public health. May they collaborate to make wise decisions to protect our physical, emotional, and economic health. We pray. R
We bring to the table our fellow citizens who continue to protest the pandemic of racism. May we support their efforts to promote justice for those who suffer the effects of systemic racism. We pray. R
Who and what else shall we bring to the table today?
(Please turn your mic on to offer a prayer, then mic off.)
(Teresa): Christ, we will be your presence in the world today and every day of our lives. All: Amen
Final prayer. (Teresa) (A moment of silence after communion) May we go out from here full of Christ’s peace, to love and serve one another, in our community and in our wider world. And let us be thankful. All: Amen
My response:This latest effort at squashing dissent by Irish priest Tony Flannery is an indication of the deeply entrenched fear of the Vatican towards Roman Catholic Women Priests.
This "batten down the hatches to resist the growing support and presence of women priests" contradicts Pope Francis' call for open dialogue in the contemporary Church.
This fear-based mandate to Tony Flannery, a prophetic, outspoken advocate of an inclusive Church, is a violation of the Church's own teaching on primacy of conscience. It reflects the deeply entrenched misogyny of the hierarchy and its toxic teaching that violates our fundamental spiritual authority to listen to and follow the voice of the Spirit speaking in our souls. Theologians through the centuries, like Thomas Aquinas, uphold the fundamental primacy of conscience. Thomas is reported as saying: "I'd rather die excommunicated than violate my conscience."
This so-called loyalty oath threatens not only the primacy of conscience of Tony Flannery, but of all Christians who dissent on church teaching because they must obey God first, not an institution whose teaching violates their consciences.
There are 1.3 million members of the Roman Catholic Church. The believing community is the Church, not the hierarchy alone. A growing number of Catholics dissent from the toxic, sexist teaching that forbids women's ordination. Tony Flannery is not alone. There are many Catholics around the world who support women priests and the growth of Roman Catholic Women Priests around the world. All of us are spiritual equals who are living our call to prophetic obedience to disobey an unjust law.
Kudos to Tony Flannery for being a prophet in our times in resisting Vatican oppressive loyalty oaths that violate the primacy of conscience. Roman Catholic Women Priests and the entire Church are blessed by your courages witness for equality, justice and inclusivity.
Cleaning out my closet is still at the bottom of my to do list. My goal is to share outfits that no longer fit or that I no longer "love." with an informal network I call "My Sisters' Closet. I want to live simple abundance, but less is better is a work in progress for me! Bridget Mary Meehan
1 Thessalonians 5:16 (INT)
When I clean out my closet, I fuss and complain to myself and to anyone unlucky enough to be near me- l despise sorting and packing. But once the job is finished, I have a wonderful sense of simple freedom as I deposit the clothing at our local second hand store.
I had that same sense of freedom the time I invited two of my relatives to go through my closet and pick clothes they would like to wear. Happily they did so, and I enjoyed watching them select and try on and take with them some of my favorite outfits. It was fun to share my wardrobe with women I care about- but more than that, I felt a light sense of freedom. Simplifying and having "less" can be a liberating experience.
I am discovering that a "simple abundance" of goodness is all around me, such as the beauty of nature, the devotion of friends, the gift of health and faith, the comforts of home, and the love of God. I could create long lists of blessings that lift my spirits, but it all boils down to love. I am loved and I love. God's love is always more than enough for me. That is why I am happy.
The burning flame of God's love is within us and all around us. All we have to do is look and we will find abundance- gifts and blessings -everywhere. Giving and receiving love is what living a happy life is all about, and there are as many ways of doing this as there are people in the universe. Each of us can find eternity-right here, right now- in the passionate love we share with one another. The breathtaking love of our Creator is in our midst, as close to us as our own breath or the smile of a friend. We already have everything we need to be happy.
How about you? Can you look around you today and find reasons to rejoice always? Can you look within your heart and find that Christ is within you and all around you, loving you without condition and without reservation? Count your blessings and be happy. I bet that you, like me, can find many reasons to "rejoice always."
Sit still, and become aware of your breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply. Imagine God's extravagant, boundless love permeating your entire being. As a fish is surrounded by the ocean, so you are immersed in Infinite Love. Allow any anxieties or concerns to be washed away. Open yourself to the fullness of Divine Love. Rejoice in God's love for you.
Imagine God sharing this loving message with you. Be aware of any thoughts, feelings and images that come to you in response to this loving message.
(Your name), I love you totally and completely with my passion ate, tender love. Before you were conceived in your mother's womb, I knew you and loved you. Every day of your life, I have been with you. I am present within you and all around you, loving you beyond your wildest dreams. I came that you may have abundant life. I want you to be happy.
Make this your prayer today:
Holy One , no matter what happens, I know you are with me. You have called me by name. You have promised to be with me when pain, sufferings, trials and persecutions come. Neither raging waters nor burning fires will harm me. You are my God; I am your beloved. Prayer adapted from Isaiah 43:1-2
Imagine yourself affirming others in your prayer today. Imagine God's love for them, and look into their eyes as you say one or more of the following affirmations:
(Person's name), I appreciate your love (kindness, goodness, compassion, etc.).
(Person's name), I love you as you are.
(Person's name), you are beautiful (strong, honest, gentle, generous, wise, etc.).
(Person's name), you are a special gift in my life.
Let your prayer today be an act of liberation to simplify your life: give something away, cut down on your "to do" list, take a bubble bath, listen to inspiring music, or take a long walk. Chose some thing that you may want to make part of your daily routine, something that will lead you to a happier, more fulfilling life where you will rejoice always.
Make this your prayer today:
Loving Spirit, I rejoice in your presence always with me. Today I put on my dancing shoes. As I step into your embrace, sweep me off my feet. Lift me high into the heavens, and whirl me around the stars. Let us jump on moonbeams and leap over clouds, as we step lightly to the beat of rollicking cosmic rhythms and discover treasures that eye has not seen nor ear heard. Let us celebrate the unending joys of the beatific dance of life forever in your glorious love.
Use the following prayer, or make up one of your own, to praised
God for your many blessings:
I praise you, Holy One, for my family and friends, especially (name special people you are grateful for).
I praise you, Creator, for my favorite foods, especially (name your
favorites foods and drinks).
I praise you, Delight of my Life, for (name your favorite way of relaxing your body).
I praise you, Abundant Giver, for (name things about your physical condition).
I praise you, Passionate Joy, for (name one thing that gives you pleasure in your living quarters).
I praise you, Source of All Being, for animals, especially (name your favorite
I praise you, God, for (name your favorite interests).
I praise you, Healer of my Soul,, for your love, forgiveness and healing in my life, especially for being aware that I am loved as I am-faults, failures, physical infirmities and (name one more thing).
I praise you, Playful Craftswoman, for the gift of this wonderful world, especiallyfor beautiful flowers, tall majestic trees, bright sunshine, soft white clouds, and (name one more thing).