Friday, March 04, 2005

In Search of Belief.

What has for years been considered "dissent" in the church, by those who want more answers than questions, more clerical authority than spiritual investment, may not be real dissent at all.

People are not challenging Christianity and leaving the Church. They are not arguing against the need for spiritual life. They are not denying God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. They are not ridiculing religion and going away. On the contrary. People that are currently considered "excommunicated" or "suspect" or "heretical" or "smorgasbord" believers, in many ways, are among the most intense Christians of our time.

They do more than sing in the choir or raise money for the parish or fix flowers for the church. They care about it and call it to be its truest self. They question it, not to undermine it, but to strengthen it. They call for new ways of bringing church together. They do not dismiss the need for spiritual life. They crave it!

What's more, they look for it in their churches. But they crave more than ritual. They crave meaning. They look for more than salvation. They look for authenticity and the integrity of the faith. Sister Joan Chittister, OSB (pg. 9)
Submitted by a parishioner.

Rule # 8 for Church Reform:
"conformity means death for any community. A loyal opposition is a necessity in any community" Karol Wojtyla, Archbishop of Krakow (Pope John Paul II)

Peace & Justice Committee
The following was a submission for the first Sunday of Lent bulletin, from the now disbanded Peace & Justice Committee, which (like many more before) was rejected by our pastor. Why?... Not relevant, too controversial..., ?

What do you think? E-Mail me your opinions.

Isaiah clearly tell us how God defines Penance and Fasting. It is not by wearing "garments like sackcloth" and ashes that satisfy God. It is in the living of justice that God delights.

"Is this the manner of fasting I wish, of keeping a day of penance: That a man bow his head like a reed, and lie in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:

Releasing those bound unjustly,

Untying the thongs of the yoke,

Setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke;

Sharing your bread with the hungry,

Sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;

Clothing the naked when you see them,

And not turning your back on your own.

If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation, and malicious speech; if you offer your bread to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and he gloom shall become for you like midday." (Isaiah 58: 5-7,9-11)

It is by personally practicing the works of mercy and by assuring that structures of oppression are brought down that we please God. This is the fast that we are called to,.. an active pursuit of personal and social transformation.
From a (previous) Committee Member?

1 comment:

Kanickers said...

From a reader:
What a timely reading from Isaiah! If the pastor
finds this offensive, he is in the wrong line of work.
May he go where his talents are needed; obviously NOT
Holy Spirit Parish!