Saturday, 27 March 2010

St Mary's in exile, Brisbane

Do take time to listen to Peter Kennedy’s homily from St Mary’s Community in exile Brisbane. Like him and his community or not (and I do of course) they have a lot to say to the church today.

The progressive spirituality network he mentions in the homily has a website well worth a visit. There is also comment regarding the unfolding and ongoing scandal of abuse among the clergy.

St Mary's Community is also one of those prophetic voices in the world pointing the way towards new ways in which the church could be if it dared listen !

Peter Kennedy 21.03.10 from St Mary's on Vimeo.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Appeal to John Henry Newman

I feel a great deal of empathy with this post that appeared on Val Farrell's blog. I reproduce it here in full. his blog can be found here.

Dear your Eminence,

You were always good with the words so you will find my salutation odd, to say the least. But I feel sure that somewhere in your grammar of assent there is room for subtlety of implication, not merely confusion of expression and that therefore you will eagerly await my explanation.

I opened with that clumsy and silly greeting because I feel it reflects the ridiculous situation in which we find ourselves. You will be aware that when you entered the Roman fold you were not by any means an easily identifiable Roman Catholic. Indeed there were some who harboured the suspicion that you might turn out to be a fifth columnist working for the other side. That turned out NOT to be the case, but the passing of time showed that your coming among us encouraged us into new thinking and an urge to remodel ourselves. When eventually Vatican 2 came along, many Periti (Expert Advisors) were heard to remark "J.H.N. was right lads".

Well now, from your lofty lookout point you will know better than I what has become of Vatican 2 and the wicked cunning by which it is being undone. I will not bore you with what you can all too easily observe for yourself, but I do pray this.

Just as your arrival among us Romans once encouraged some to think "outside the box", could you now please arrange for our Church to stop belly-aching about the need for more priests when, as must be clear to you and others above, God has moved on. The old mould in which we formerly received God's plans for us now hangs like a used-up chrysalis upon a low-lying branch. The Almighty is surely not so insensitive as to have us at all that praying and lighting of votive candles when His decision on the matter is already abundantly clear except to those who refuse to see.

"Abundantly clear" did I say? "Lead kindly light you will be thinking", and why not? Oh that the fever that befell you in that Mediterranean Banana boat all those years ago and caused you to pen that lovely hymn would now visit those high clerics who brazenly adopt you to their worn-out cause. Blasphemous boneheads! (Sorry Cardinal, got a bit overheated there) Must dash now, things to do, fever of life by no means hushed yet.

Thank you for listening, JHN

PS: Please don't take my mention of the fever of life as some kind of subtle hint that I want to be off. I do look forward to meeting up with you one of these days, but not just yet, eh?

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Lenten Thoughts 4

“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts . . . . Know the Lord” Jeremiah 34 v 33 –34.

Have you experienced the day to day reality of this phrase in your life? Have you begun to “Know the Lord” in new or unexpected ways this Lent ? Perhaps you are still searching, longing. Wherever you have been led this Lent listen to the following reflection keeping the words of Jeremiah close to your heart.

John Shelby Spong, reflecting on the words of Paul Tillich writes that “Tillich, referred to God as “Being Itself,” which meant that my search for God would be identical with my search for my own identity.” – pg 11 “Jesus for the Non-Religious” To some, finding God through understanding yourself is incomprehensible, even pyschobabble.

“Everything in the Church, her doctrines, discipline, liturgy, organisation is a means to an end, to open us up to the goodness of God to make us more and more sensitive and perceptive to his presence within each of us.” In Search of a Way pg 37 Gerard W Hughes. These thoughts might create a conflict within. Jesus says “Come to me . . . .”

How have these thoughts left you feeling ? Positive ? confused ? angry ? peaceful ?
Think of the words of Jeremiah during this day in any situation that arises – “Know the Lord!”

Sunday, 14 March 2010

The Emerging Church

Thanks to Cathlimergent Conversations for the points below. Do take the time to visit the whole article at Catholica.

10 historical developments propelling Emerging Christianity ~Richard Rohr

∙ recovery of contemplative tradition (Thomas Merton)

∙ critical biblical scholarship on a broad ecumenical level

∙ new global sense of Christianity

∙ new ability to distinguish the essentials from the incidentals in church practice & teaching

∙ broad awareness that Jesus was teaching peacemaking, simplicity, love of Creation

∙ concerned with healing and transformation of persons & society on earth as it is to be in heaven

∙ charismatic movement, experiential Christianity & a more Trinitarian theology

∙ developing spirituality & theology of non-violence

∙ new structures of community and solidarity

∙ non-dualistic thinking: a non-oppositional, contemplative mind and heart

Excerpted from: The emerging Christianity movement - Richard Rohr for what Fr. Rohr identifies as 10 historical developments that he sees propelling Emerging Christianity.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The Open Tabernacle

Whilst I follow the blogs of some of the contributors to "The Open Tabernacle," I failed to realise some of them contribute to this wonderful Blog. This is what they say about themselves ;

The Open Tabernacle is website dedicated to Catholic Christianity as a journey of exploration and not a map to a particular final destination. Everyone is welcome to help with the journey.

There are no tolls, one-way highways, or preferred vehicles. There are no speed limits, license requirements, or assurances. There will be back roads, seldom used byways, and plenty of bumpy rutty roads.

At times a shovel may be necessary and more often a personal compass, but hopefully Open Tabernacle will be a challenging journey worth the effort.

May you cross our paths frequently.

Visit the Blog here or by clicking on the logo above.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Companions on the Journey

I'm constantly surprised by the innovative, experimental groups of people who gather together from different faith backgrounds. Here's one thats been around for 13 years and could be a way forward for some communities in the UK. Perhaps they already exist and I haven't discovered them yet.

"Companions on the Journey" describes a group of Roman Catholics and persons from other faith traditions who have gathered as an independent non-hierarchical Eucharistic community since May 1997. Each individual’s faith is derived from his/her experiences of God, immanent and transcendent, and is illuminated by the teachings of Christ and the wisdom of other spiritual traditions. Find out more here.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Lenten Thoughts Week 3

Three weeks into Lent and we can be filled with a sense of achievement thinking we're doing well. we’ve continued to give up what we promised to, or we have continued to do the things we said we would. Reflect for a moment on how your Lenten journey has progressed.

If you think your Lenten observance is going very well, then think again – you may have stopped journeying ! Consider why you chose to undertake the Lenten journey in the first place Has your observance become a substitute for the journey ?

Spend some time reflecting on your journey and your openness to God’s presence this Lent

Consider letting go of everything you have undertaken this Lent – can you let go of your observance, or does the thought of ‘giving in’ bring on feelings of guilt ? I so why ? Perhaps it’s time to think of a different Lenten observance maybe – maybe not !

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Catholics & the 'Emerging Church'

A new networking forum has appeared in cyberspace.

It aims to promote discussion and identify new practice in ways of being ‘catholic’ within the context of the emerging church movement.

If you are interested in the emerging church movement in a catholic context, then join this forum to find out what’s happening and where.

‘Cathlimergent’ can be found by clicking the logo above or clicking here. Find out more background as you await full membership of the forum here at the emerging church website.