Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Well, the Pope picked a punk rocker to lead the Christmas concert. Conservatives are up in arms because the rocker had a 1975 song that said Jesus did not die for her sins. She wrote it in 1975. This is 40 years later. Only fear-based, or angry, or resentful people hold in memory something that was said 40 years ago. Cannot people grow? Change? Thank God no one remembers what I said 40 years ago. Liberals tend to forgive and forget. This is my experience. The Orthodox Church won't forgive the Latin Rite Church for stuff that is centuries old. The Orthodox are pretty conservative. I just could not be at peace holding on to what someone said 40 years ago.
Monday, November 24, 2014
There are a group of young people who hang out on a nearby outdoor mall in a town where I live. They dress differently, and look differently than the people who are shopping and eating in the restaurants on the mall. I think of these young people as "unique." Unique is all that they can change in their world that seems so otherwise hopeless to them. They cannot change their home life, parents, school situation, job prospects, or the world around them. So they change the one thing over which they still have some power. They change their face and clothes. It gives them a sense of some empowerment. Someone living on the street sees how little they can change, in their estimation. So they change one thing, their consciousness. They get drunk. Some people just do dope for the same reason. It gives them some sense of power. I have found the power in the spiritual. I can seem to have a whole change of attitude when I sit quietly in silence, or talk to someone about this interior life. I have tried the other things but they did not go deep enough. Just more problems.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
A big time college football coach is not returning after the end of this season because his team lost too many games. He said he understands it is time for him to go because "this is a business." Oh! And here I though it was a sport. The players are student-athletes. I think the coach spoke the truth. Revenue producing sports in college are a business. Players are employees who get some perks, such as free food/room/classes. The priority is working for the school so the school can make money. As a business, I suspect the school will say one thing but maybe do another. Its number one priority is to make money. This is why I prefer to focus my life on the spiritual. There is no money in it. If you get rich as a guru, I suspect it will corrupt you. Well, say it would corrupt me. Everyday I have to examine my conscience to ask if I am doing what I am saying. Do I pray in silence and stillness on a daily basis? To teach what I don't do, would make the world of soul a business. For this I should be fired.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
I am going to take a guess at this one. Why are some people so upset about the thought of giving communion to people who get remarried after a divorce? The cover is that it goes against church teaching or will change dogma which would be pretty serious, except that it is not a dogma. It is rule, a punishment for getting divorced and remarried without an annulment. It is not in the Creed. One could uphold marriage being indissoluble and yet permit remarried to go to communion. Don't use Eucharist as a reward/punishment. The fact that you cannot get the remarriage, or attempted marriage, as some would say, to be blessed in the church could be the punishment. But back to my original issue. Why such anger about these remarried people? A guess, is that these angry people are staying in miserable marriages and resent others from getting out and trying to marry someone else. Why don't people get just as angry about rich/poor, or ecology or the fact that we are running out of water to drink? What do you think? I don't mind being wrong. I get angry about stuff, but then have to ask myself why one thing and not another.
Friday, November 21, 2014
I am not recommending you go and see the war movie, "Fury." There is a lot of violence as one would expect in a war movie. It is war. But at the end of the movie, amidst all this violence and killing, there is a singular act of kindness. It is a kindness that is no way reinforced by all the fighting going on around it. It can only be "grace" that came into play. What it says to me is that just when all hope for humanity is gone, something happens to resurrect hope. Can we do acts of kindness, let grace work in us, when all around us is bad behavior? I will try.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
While the Pope is talking to world leaders of big industrial countries about unbridled consumerism and the downside of unfettered capitalism, the American Bishops are meeting to talk about procedural changes in language, translations of some prayer rituals, and merger ideas. We are a country that is about to go big time into consumerism with "Black Friday" and "Holiday" shopping. I suspect our religious leaders will talk about keeping Christ in Christmas, because this is safe. To take on capitalism in this country is more like a revolution. The pope is not looking for socialism but a correction of capitalism that would more live out the gospel values. Isn't that what Christian leaders are supposed to do? The Jesus of the gospels is much more of a challenge than the Jesus of the Church councils and its dogmatic decrees. Religious leaders of First World countries seem to get angry with people who ignore or disagree with dogma, but seem to let things be if people ignore the gospel teachings of Jesus. Jesus was not about "more." He was more about "less."
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Yet one more prelate is up in arms about all this talk of gay marriage and remarried Catholics having access to Communion. His reason is that the laity will be confused. Why is this so often the reason given? I don't find lay people confused. I find prelates afraid of changes happening in the world of the 21st century. It seems that the laity are not given much credit for being able to figure things out. Maybe this is why the ordained want to give the people so little power. Hierarchical organizations tend to be this way. They tend not to listen.