Tuesday, March 28, 2023

It’s time for a Catholic ethic that sees sexuality as a gift not a curse by James F. Keenan

It is time for the institutional Church to  change its toxic, negative teachings on sexuality. The good news is that Catholic theologians for decades have been developing " a Christian life-giving, love-oriented sexual ethics worthy of its name." As  James F. Keenan points out, it is enlightening to know how this negative teaching on sexuality that has damaged the spiritual life of Catholics through the centuries evolved, and to chart a positive, life-giving teaching that is rooted in an ethic of  Gospel love, oneness in body and soul, mutuality, and justice.  Cardinal McElroy's article  on radial inclusion challenges the Church's official teachings on human sexuality and supports the development of  more holistic theology rooted in  the Gospel and  sensus fidelium- the lived experiences of loving, sexually active, holy people everywhere.  Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

"In the recent discussions raised by San Diego Cardinal Robert McElroy on "radical inclusion," for LGBTQ people and others in the Catholic Church, one obstacle posed is the consistent teaching of the church in sexual ethics. As a moral theologian, I believe it is worth knowing how and why those teachings were formed in the first place. History helps us to see that underlying that "consistency" are a number of matters that convey an overriding negative estimation of human sexuality.

Christian moral teachings on sexuality evolved somewhat haphazardly over the centuries, with successive generations appropriating earlier positions that often had been based on very different premises. In general, a series of fairly negative accretions were added one upon another until, in the 17th century we have basically an absolutely negative estimation of sexual desires. Thus, with reason, historian James Brundage claims in Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe: "The Christian horror of sex has for centuries placed enormous strain on individual consciences and self-esteem in the Western world."

For the most part, the teachings derive from the concerns of celibate men who, while pursuing a life of holiness, found sexual desires to be obstacles rather than aids in that pursuit. These sexual desires were not understood as belonging to or needing to be included into a broader understanding of any particular dimension of human personality. Rather they were as random and as precipitous as they were for anyone who does not have an integrating concept like "sexuality." As arbitrary, powerful feelings, there was little about their nature that lent to their being conceptually incorporated into an overarching, integrated reality. The idea of these venereal desires was as unstable as the desires themselves were felt.

Language, too, hindered any tendency to understand these desires as belonging to something more integrated or holistic. In his The Bridling of Desire: Views of Sex in the Later Middle Ages, philosopher Pierre Payer reminds us:

A contemporary writer dealing with medieval ideas of sex faces a peculiar problem of language. Treatises entitled, "On sex," are nowhere to be found, nor does one find talk about "sexuality," because medieval Latin had no terms for the English words "sex" and "sexuality." In the strictest sense, there are no discussions of sex in the Middle Ages. … The concept of sex or sexuality as an integral dimension of human persons, as an object of concern, discourse, truth and knowledge, did not emerge until well after the Middle Ages.

Of course, the development of these teachings is so different from the positive language of the body that helped early theologians to continually articulate teachings on the resurrection of the body, the Incarnation and the Eucharist. As I argue in A History of Catholic Theological Ethics, our tradition on the human body expanded the depth and range of the Christian vocation. Indeed, whether we talked of the body, the family or the virtues, we considered each of them as gifts. Our tradition in those areas is indeed complex, but it is also rich, affirming and cogent.

The same cannot be said for the church's teachings on sex.

(Unsplash/Sandy Millar)

(Unsplash/Sandy Millar)

The tradition on sexual ethics led us not to greatness but to negativity and minutiae. Anything we added to the tradition only cast human sexuality as more and more negative. For instance, Paul's simple injunction that those who could not remain celibate should marry (1 Corinthians 7:8-9) led later to the Stoics' claim that marital intimacy needed to be validated not by the marriage, as Paul suggested, but by purposing the intimacy for procreation. That led later to Clement of Alexandria's judgment that sex for pleasure even in marriage was sinful. Why did we problematize marital love as we moved from Paul to Clement? Why did we need to validate marital love when Paul did not?

A likeness of St. Augustine is seen in stained glass at Caldwell Chapel on the campus of The Catholic University of America May 25, 2021, in Washington. (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

A likeness of St. Augustine is seen in stained glass at Caldwell Chapel on the campus of The Catholic University of America May 25, 2021, in Washington. (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

Still, a look at the patristic period is not as problematic as later periods. In fact, Augustine's theology is less negative on matters of sex and marriage than both his contemporaries or worse, his 16th- to 19th-century successors. The negativity emerges more after than with Augustine.

For instance, we could examine the so-called consistent teaching on masturbation, which excepting Clement, was never assessed as a sin until John Cassian (360-435) and Caesarius of Arles (470-542) made it one, but only for monks and nuns who, violated their vows of chastity by masturbating.

Still, eight centuries later when Pope Innocent III imposed upon the entire church the Easter duty in 1215 requiring an annual confession of all Christians, sexual teachings change. Now masturbation is considered gravely sinful for all. The genesis of masturbation as sinful was precisely dependent upon the vow of chastity of those who chose the ascetical life. What was a sin for a 40-year-old monk in the eighth century became, however, the same sin for a 13-year-old boy or girl in the 13th century. Worse, as we will see, we made it a very grievous sin.

While there are many other topics, not least how the sexual experiences of women were assessed (or not), I propose three teachings that by building on each other bring the evolution of sexuality into an ambit completely defined as inevitably an occasion of sin. These teachings are known as "sins against nature," "intrinsic evil" and "parvity of matter."

Sins against nature were so named by St. Ivo, bishop of Chartres, as "always unlawful and beyond doubt more flagrant and shameful than to sin by a natural use in fornication or adultery." The sin was "to use the member for an illegitimate use."

In Contraception: A History of Its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists, Judge John T. Noonan Jr., describes these language games: "There is never any attempt to provide a biological description of the acts condemned. Medical terms are eschewed. The vagina is usually described as 'the vessel' or 'the fit vessel.' Ejaculation is often described as 'pollution.' The term 'coitus interruptus' is never employed, but the usual description is 'outside the fit vessel'."

What links all these sins together is basically that the semen went elsewhere than the "fit vessel" and by going elsewhere the sin was "unnatural."

From Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas until the 20th century, the moral treatises distinguished between sexual sins "in accordance with nature" and those "contrary to nature." While the former could include fornication, adultery, incest and even rape, in general the latter sins (solitary or mutual masturbation, contraception, anal or oral intercourse, bestiality) were considered more grievous, such was the obsession with the finality of semen and the "fit vessel." That masturbation was so long and consistently taught to be more grievous than rape might give us pause about the argument from consistency. And, it might also suggest how inadequately grievous rape was considered by the celibate theologians.

The sins against nature received further treatment by being coupled with two other conceptual categories: "intrinsic evil" and "parvity of matter." "Intrinsic evil" comes from the 14th-century Durandus of St. Pourcain (1270-1334), the anti-Thomist detractor. The term described a particular type of action as absolutely, always wrong regardless of circumstances. As I have written, this a priori evaluation removed from consideration any question of the moral legitimacy of such actions. They were described as such either because the action was against nature and/or the agent had no right to the exercise of such activity. All sexual acts against nature were now also classified as intrinsically evil. As intrinsically evil, all sexual acts against nature were now unequivocally exceptionless. No circumstance could mitigate their sinfulness.

Nonetheless, the history of sexual teachings became even darker when moral theologians entertained whether any sin against the sixth commandment could be considered light matter, that is, not mortal. Here emerged the question whether under the sixth commandment there was any "parvity" (lightness) of matter. Was any sexual sin ever venial?

In the 15th and 16th century some moralists began asking questions about lesser matters. They asked what was the moral quality of a kiss that aroused a person or a passing fantasy that was not repelled but, rather, allowed to stay, what they eventually called a "delectatio morosa." Were all these actions mortal sins? For some time, moral theologians were divided on this question.

(Unsplash/Elizabeth Tsung)

(Unsplash/Elizabeth Tsung)

As theologian Jesuit Fr. Patrick Boyle reports in his Parvitas Materiae in Sexto in Contemporary Catholic Thought, in 1612 the superior general of the Society of Jesus, Claudio Acquaviva, condemned the position that excused from mortal sin any slight pleasure in venereal desires. Not only did he bind Jesuits to obey the teaching under pain of excommunication, he imposed on them the obligation to reveal the names of those Jesuits who violated even the spirit of the decree. As I have noted, these and other sanctions dissuaded moralists from entertaining any of the circumstantial exceptions as earlier casuists had.

By 1750 the moral manualists locked into place the teaching that all sexual desires and subsequent activity were always mortally sinful unless it was the conjugal action of spouses who assured that their "act" was in itself left open to procreation. Therein they assimilated into the tradition the claims that sins against the sixth and ninth commandments had no parvity of matter. Notably this position did not apply to any of the other commandments.

"Parvity of matter," "intrinsic evil" and the "sins against nature" combined to isolate venereal desires absolutely as such. In effect, just as the monk in the first millennium sought through ascetical practices to integrate himself body and soul but at the cost of dispensing with his own sexual desires, so too, in the second millennium after the imposition of the Easter duty, celibate church theologians managed to take away from the laity any sense of the legitimacy of sexual love and any sense that those desires could ever lead to anything good except under certain very clear conditions for procreative marital relations.

It is important to note that no other set of issues had such an unequivocal intolerance in the moral tradition, let alone such an elaborate set of linguistic concepts to "subdue" and condemn the activity. Even the prohibition against abortion allows certain indirect therapeutic exceptions (e.g., in the cases of women with a cancerous uterus or an ectopic pregnancy). And even then, there was never anything like the issue of "parvity of matter" that pursued people who considered an abortion or confessors who may have responded to questions about abortion without absolute severity.

It is important to note that no other set of issues had such an unequivocal intolerance in the moral tradition, let alone such an elaborate set of linguistic concepts to "subdue" and condemn the activity.


The other near absolute issue is lying. Yet, even though lying was named by Augustine as always in itself sinful, not everyone in the tradition at every time concurred, particularly on the matter of lying to protect the well-being of another. In fact, two distinctive trajectories of teaching on lying emerged. Only the teachings on sexual ethics were absolute, severe, extensive and without any exception.

The cover of the book "Sex, Love and Families: Catholic Perspectives," edited by Jason King and Julie Hanlon Rubio (CNS)

The cover of the book "Sex, Love and Families: Catholic Perspectives," edited by Jason King and Julie Hanlon Rubio (CNS)

The Gospel summons to love and the early church's call to be one in mind and body developed well throughout the centuries but they never really influenced the church's later teachings on human sexual desires. In order for Christianity to advance, it did so by isolating and morally quarantining sex.

Until St. John Paul II introduced the "theology of the body," sex remained definitively the Catholic taboo. Now we can move on and take up where he left off, by articulating a theology of sexual ethics that sees sexuality as a gift and not a curse. But as we do, we might also consider the questions from Cardinal McElroy regarding the severity of these teachings that kept so many Catholics away from the sacraments and how we might begin a process of reconciliation for all those, who like ourselves are never worthy to approach the altar, but are by grace nonetheless invited.

Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley (CNS/Courtesy of Yale Divinity School)

Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley (CNS/Courtesy of Yale Divinity School)

Indeed, there are other signs that we are moving in the right direction, In Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, ethicist Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley proposed a sexual ethics of love founded on justice. Though the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a notification that it "risks grave harm for the faithful," it has become a staple in the writings of most theologians. More recently, the award-winning 25 essays in Julie Hanlon Rubio and Jason King's edited collection, Sex, Love, and Families: Catholic Perspectives provides a model for a responsible and loving sexual ethics.

A church that is trying to make itself right in the light of its record on sexual abuse needs to look not only at what it did and did not do, but also at its teachings that guided it in its judgments. Indeed, if anything is clear here, it is that the experiential wisdom of the laity needs to be fully engaged in the articulation of these much-needed teachings. Then, we may have a Christian life-giving, love-oriented sexual ethics worthy of its name."

Monday, March 27, 2023

Litany of Women for the Church by Joan Chittister OSB


Saint Scholastica

Dear God, creator of women in your own image
born of a woman in the midst of a world half women,
carried by women to mission fields around the globe,
made known by women to all the children of the earth,

Give to the women of our time
the strength to persevere,
the courage to speak out,
the faith to believe in you beyond
all systems and institutions,
so that your face on earth may be seen in all its beauty,
so that the church may be converted to your will
in everything and in all ways.
We call on the holy women who went before us, channels of Your Word
in testaments old and new, to intercede for us
so that we might be given the grace to become what they have been
for the honor and glory of God.
Saint Mary Magdalene, minister of Jesus,
first evangelist of the Christ;

Saint Scholastica,
who taught her brother Benedict to honor the spirit above the system;

Saint Hildegard, who suffered interdict
for the doing of right;

Saint Joan of Arc, who put no law above the law of God;

Saint Clare of Assisi, who confronted the pope
with the image of woman as equal;

Saint Julian of Norwich, who proclaimed for all of us the motherhood of God;

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who knew the call
to priesthood in herself;

Saint Catherine of Siena, to whom the pope listened;

Saint Teresa of Avila, who brought womens gifts
to the reform of the church;

Saint Edith Stein, who brought fearlessness to faith;

Saint Elizabeth Seton, who broke down boundaries between lay women and religious;

Saint Dorothy Day, who led the church in a new sense of justice;
Mary, mother of Jesus,
who heard the call of God and answered;

Mary, mother of Jesus,
who drew strength from the woman Elizabeth;

Mary, mother of Jesus,
who underwent hardship bearing Christ;

Mary, mother of Jesus, who ministered at Cana;

Mary, mother of Jesus, inspirited at Pentecost;

Mary, mother of Jesus, who turned the Spirit of God into the body and blood of Christ,

pray for us.

— from A Litany of Women for the Church, by Joan Chittister. The full prayer can be purchased as a downloadable PDF through It is also included in On WomenAs Women’s History Month comes to an end, consider sharing A Litany of Women for the Church with others.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Fifth Week of Lent March 25, 2023 Presiding: Andrea Seabaugh & Michael Rigdon Readers: Mary Kay Staudohar & Joan Pesce Prayer Leaders: Jim Brandi, Suzanne & Jerry Bires, Beth Ponce IT Team: Cheryl Brandi & Jerry Bires

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389

Passcode: 803326

Welcome. Andrea. We warmly welcome you to the inclusive Catholic Community of Mary Mother of Jesus in Sarasota. All are welcome here. 

Whoever you are,

Wherever you are,

Just as you are,

You are welcome at this table. 

(Integral Christianity by Paul Smith) 

Theme. Lent: from asceticism to contemplation. 

Sign of Peace. Andrea. Let us offer each other a sign of peace.

All: (Namaste pose πŸ™πŸΏ toward camera) Namaste. The peace of Christ be with you! Namaste.

Gathering 🎢  Prayer of St Francis  (2:55)

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where there is injury your pardon, God,

And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace. 

Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.

Where there is darkness only light, 

And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Oh God, grant that I may never seek

So much to be consoled, as to console,

To be understood as to understand,

To be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace. 

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 

In giving of ourselves that we receive, 

And in dying that were born to eternal life.

Make me a channel of your peace.

Transformation Prayer. Beth. We commit ourselves to respond to the needs of others in whatever ways we can and to share our faith that goodness and love will prevail. May we be transformed by our sharing in the paschal mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  All: Transform us, O Holy One!

Liturgy of the Word (Please pause for a moment of silence.)

Mary Kay. The first reading is from the prophet Ezekiel. 

God said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Listen to what they're saying: 'Our bones are dried up, our hope is gone, there's nothing left of us.'

"Therefore, prophesy. Tell them, 'God, the Master, says: I'll dig up your graves and bring you out alive—O my people! Then I'll take you straight to the land of Israel. When I dig up graves and bring you out as my people, you'll realize that I am God. I'll breathe my life into you and you'll live. Then I'll lead you straight back to your land and you'll realize that I am God. I've said it and I'll do it. God's Decree.'” (From The Message, by Eugene H Peterson)

Response. Michael. Dialog between lover and beloved (The beginning of The Song—Best of All Songs—Solomon’s Song. Excerpts from The Message.)

Suzanne. (The Woman)

Kiss me—full on the mouth!

       Yes! For your love is better than wine,

       headier than your aromatic oils.

    The syllables of your name murmur like a meadow brook.

       No wonder everyone loves to say your name!

    Take me away with you! Let's run off together!

       An elopement with my King-Lover!

    We'll celebrate, we'll sing,

       we'll make great music.

    Yes! For your love is better than vintage wine.

       Everyone loves you—of course! And why not?

     I am weathered but still elegant,

oh, dear sisters in Jerusalem,

    Weather-darkened like Kedar desert tents,

       time-softened like Solomon's Temple hangings.

    Don't look down on me because I'm dark,

       darkened by the sun's harsh rays.

    My brothers ridiculed me and sent me to work in the fields.

       They made me care for the face of the earth,

       but I had no time to care for my own face

    Tell me where you're working

       —I love you so much—

    Tell me where you're tending your flocks,

       where you let them rest at noontime.

    Why should I be the one left out,

       outside the orbit of your tender care?

Jerry. (The Man)

If you can't find me, loveliest of all women,

       it's all right. Stay with your flocks.

Lead your lambs to good pasture.

       Stay with your shepherd neighbors.

       You remind me of Pharaoh's

       well-groomed and satiny mares.

    Pendant earrings line the elegance of your cheeks;

       strands of jewels illumine the curve of your throat.

    I'm making jewelry for you, gold and silver jewelry

       that will mark and accent your beauty.

Joan P. The second reading is from Paul’s letter to the Romans. 

Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.

But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!  (From The Message, by Eugene H Peterson)

Response. Michael. Lovers’ Dialog (Continuation of The Song—Best of All Songs)

Suzanne. (The Woman)

    When my King-Lover lay down beside me,

       my fragrance filled the room.

    His head resting between my breasts—

       the head of my lover was a sachet of sweet myrrh.

    My beloved is a bouquet of wildflowers

       picked just for me from the fields of Engedi.

Jerry. (The Man)

Oh, my dear friend! You're so beautiful!

And your eyes so beautiful—like doves!”

Suzanne. (The Woman)

And you, my dear lover—you're so handsome!

       And the bed we share is like a forest glen.

    We enjoy a canopy of cedars

       enclosed by cypresses, fragrant and green.

    I'm just a wildflower picked from the plains of Sharon, a lotus blossom from       the valley pools.

Jerry. (The Man)

A lotus blossoming in a swamp of weeds—

       that's my dear friend among the girls in the village.

The good news from the Gospel attributed to John. Michael

Shared homily. Michael & MMOJ community

When I shine, you shall glow.

When I flow, you shall become wet.

When you sigh, you draw my divine heart into you.

A blissful abiding prevails between us.

—Mechthild of Magdeburg

Profession of Faith. Jim & All

We believe in God, who creates all things,
who embraces all things, who celebrates all things,
who is present in every part of the fabric of creation.
We believe in God as the source of all life,
who baptizes this planet with living water.
We believe in Jesus Christ, the suffering one, the poor one, the malnourished one, the climate refugee, who loves and cares for this world and who suffers with it.
And we believe in Jesus Christ, the seed of life,
who came to reconcile and renew this world and everything in it. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God,
who moves with God and who moves among and with us today. We believe in everlasting life in God.
And we believe in the hope that one day
God will put an end to death and all destructive forces. 

(Gurukul Theological college, India / adapted by Keld B. Hansen 2009) 

Community prayers. Beth. We now bring our prayer intentions to the table.

Response: You hear us, O Holy One.

We pray for our sister Peg Bowen. May she continue to experience healing love and strength. And for all our MMOJ members, family, and friends who are experiencing chronic or life threatening illness. R

We pray for the devastated families and all still suffering from earthquakes and  the other 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 justice will prevail for all. R

We pray that our political leaders will put the flourishing of all people before power and greed. R

We pray for our MMOJ intentions in our community prayer book. R

For whom and what else shall we pray?

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

Offering of our gifts. Michael.(Have bread and wine/juice on your table)

O Holy One, we bring you our gifts from creation, bread πŸ₯–of the grain 🌾 and wine 🍷 of the grapes πŸ‡. We recognize that they are holy in you their creator. And we know that they will make us holy, one with you and one with each other. 

Michael. Please join in song to begin our Eucharistic prayer.

Eucharistic Prayer  🎢 We Are Holy  (1:33)

Jim & All. We thank you for the gift of Jesus in history and the gift of Jesus in faith. Through him, you breathe life into us. His life on earth was deeply moved by his vision of your constant presence in everyone he met. He reflected you in everything he said and did in his life well lived. And he showed us by his many examples not only how we should live, but also for what we might even die, as he did, in the service of the gospel message of selfless love.

(Hold your hand over bread and wine) 

Andrea & All. Jesus, we celebrate the last meal you had with your followers. We call upon Sacred Spirit, ever and always with us, to bring blessing on this bread and wine as they are made sacred through our faith in the presence of Christ. 

During Jesuss life on 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 authorities, and they sought out ways to bring him to his death.

Beth & All. On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends. He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly with them, he bent down and washed their feet.  All lift πŸ₯– and pray the following:

When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying: 

Take and eat, this is my very self.


Pause, then lift the 🍷 and pray the following:

Jim & All. He took the cup, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:

Take and drink. This is the new covenant. Whenever you remember me like this,

I am among you.  (pause)

Andrea & All. What we have heard with our ears, 

we will live with our lives.  

As we share communion, 

we will become communion 

both love's nourishment and love's challenge.

Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice, nonviolence and peace, remembering that we are bearers of light and hope. We are the Christ alive today.

Everyone consumes the bread and wine at this time

Instrumental 🎢  Sentinel Meadow, Mars Lasar  2:33

Mary Kay & All. Sacred Spirit, we rejoice that the Universal Christ remains always and ever present within and around us. We remember all those who have transitioned from life on earth to complete union with your Sacred Presence— Mary of Nazareth and all great saints, prophets and martyrs. We also remember family members, friends, and MMOJ members. We remember all those whose lives have been lost to covid, to war, to racism and other forms of exclusion and violence that exist in our world. And we remember those you wish to be remembered (we pause to remember our loved ones) All are beloved souls who have blessed our lives and who continue to inspire us. And we respond together: All: So be it!

Joan P. We pray our common prayer that Jesus taught us: 

All: Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, 

Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echoes through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your will be done by all created beings!
May your beloved community of peace and freedom 

sustain our hope and come on earth. 

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen. 

(Adapted from The New Zealand Book of Prayer | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa.

This version of the Lords prayer was influenced by Maori theologians) 

Final prayer. Andrea. O Holy One, may this season of Lent be for us a time of joy and compassion. 

When you shine, we shall glow.

When you flow, we shall become wet.

When we sigh, we draw your divine heart into us.

A blissful abiding prevails between us. All: Alleluia

Michael. Please share the gratitude you hold in your hearts.


Community blessing.

Andrea. We go forth filled with the presence of Christ. All: Alleluia, Amen.

Concluding 🎢  The saints go marching in.

If you want to add an intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to Joan Meehan

To support our community, please send your check to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

5342 Clark Road #3079
Sarasota, FL 34233