Sunday, November 18, 2012
The wind blowing through the trees
speaks God's will but true;
we fight over ancient words
printed on a page
Is it not enough to say
a profound prayer
of "Thank you" for
All That Is
All Creation dances praise,
two sticks rubbed together,
bow to violin's caressing,
don't you hear it?
Let God be God, let
go of God, be filled,
that's all there is
Redeemingness ripples over
all who sing, move, praise,
barn owl benedictions,
laughing mountain melodies
Radiance splendor illuminates,
totality of life's reality,
buzzing, rumbling, rambling,
For God is No Thing,
empty in fullness,
full in emptiness,
welling up soul-drank hue...
Yossi Lopez-Hineynu, Copyright 2012~All Rights Reserved
Saturday, November 17, 2012
BBC cameraman and his wife with the body of their 11-month old son, killed by mortar fire in their home recently in Gaza. I cannot even fathom their pain, their loss, the tender love that still is expressed through all this tragedy.
How many couples have shared this painful intimacy over the body of a lost child killed by senseless war? It could just as easily be Israeli, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, Northern Irish, African, Latin American: anywhere ethnic cleansing and armed conflict takes place--why is it always the innocents who suffer?
Where is God in all of this? God could ask the same of us. What are we doing to stop war, or more importantly, make for peace? Why does this scene not outrage us, but Twinkies going away does? What do we value; what do we hold dear?
We are standing in this picture; it is our child who is wrapped in death. It is also us who surround this couple in compassion in attempts to comfort. But is also us who drop the bombs, fire the shells, and are hell-bent on the destruction of a people. We are those people who lob mortars back.
War is oh so costly and so stupid. It proves nothing, but cuts down lives without thinking of the beautiful potential they hold. It steals the innocence of a generation. How many retired soldiers, particularly generals, have said as much.
In just a week or so, Christians begin the period of Advent, when we prepare for the child Jesus to be born. The land in which he was born is a war zone. Jesus was a Palestinian Jew: he is the symbol of peace if we will but allow him to be born. Can we do that?
Monday, November 12, 2012
Sit with it. Sit with emptiness that is really full, though I do not have any way of truly knowing that. Let go of everything! Yikes...
But it is the only way to be. My late friend, Br Randy, a hermit in the Episcopal Diocese of New York, said more episodes of the dark night would visit me, and probably be worse (from my perspective). Damn, he was right!
More than anything, I would like to give up this sitting, to just walk away and get on with my life. But I can't. Whenever I attempt to do so, something holds me, and it is not fear.
And, it is never a good idea to make major changes when in this state. So, I am just present to and with the Emptiness; it is present to and with me as well.
With the exception of my experience of community last week, church neither beckons nor calls. I do read Compline every day; I sit in Silence. While I may not like it, it is okay.
Supposedly it is always darkest before the dawn. I just have to trust that is so and that, some day, the Light will shine even more brightly.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
I had a profound experience today. It was not an end to this dark night in which I find myself; in fact, I wasn't moved by the ceremony itself per se.
A group of friends (some are ordained) gathered around a dining room table. No vestments, no collection, no creed, no religious politics, just a group of folks coming together to offer thanks. But in this simplicity, the power of community was felt in a way that none of us feel in church. Sounds like Jesus and Co.
It seems like a good place to be. It nurtures my very being. It may not be officially Roman Catholic, but God is bidden and present.
I have no idea where I will end up eventually; I may leave organized religion altogether. But at this table, I will always be welcome, for which I am grateful.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Oh, yes, the institutional Church strikes again. The University of San Diego has disinvited British theologian, Tina Beattie, from coming there on orders from the Vatican. Oh my, she signed an advertisement support civil marriage equality in her homeland.
The Church on the institutional level needs to get over itself. The hierarchy is morally bankrupt in light of the abuse crisis: thousands are leaving it every day. The second largest religious group in this country is comprised of former Catholics (10%); the "nones" are now 20% of the US population. Where is the dialogue promised by Vatican II? Bishops, the people are not listening to you anymore. At all.
The paradigm is shifting; some experience as it is happening now. The Community of Disciples is alive and well; it always has been and always will be. Eventually, bishops will remember their place as SERVANTS of the servants of God and God's people. Collegiality will govern the Church comprised of priests (both male and female), married folks, Religious, LGBT, mentally and physically challenged, people of all races, and single/widowed people. The Beloved Community will come, with or without the present cadre of bishops.
Jesus came to preach the GOOD NEWS of liberation for all. He is compassion incarnate. Let us incarnate Christ and BE the Church, guided by the power of the Holy Spirit! The rest will take care of itself.