Posts Tagged ‘Charity’

An Implanted Promise

Friday, January 9th, 2015

We all carry what Father Richard Rohr terms “An Implanted Promise”, a deeply held spirit within us, connected to God.  God both abides and enters there.

In New Church circles that implanted promise rests on innocence, charity, and mercy.  Restated the promise rests on a ….

  1. Willingness to be led
  2. Kindness towards our fellow human being
  3. Compassion
These “tether” us to heaven, a heaven we always carry.  Simply part of the human condition.  Can we ignore those deeper roots of implanted humanity? Absolutely. That is the crux of human freedom.  But they remain, for eternity, waiting to be employed.

Doing the Do

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Doing the Do.  Churches becoming “vessels through which compassion to the community flows.”  Simple.  Profound.

Listen to these pieces of New Church theology ….

Unless will and understanding … goodwill and faith devote themselves to involvement in works or deeds whenever possible, they are nothing…. People who put faith and goodwill together know what is good and are able to intend and do it, but not people who are devoted to faith apart from goodwill.  (Regeneration, pg. 96)

That word “devote” … a poignant word.  That word “nothing” … a rather unappealing alternative.

Strong language.


How about them Eagles?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

I woke this morning to numerous comments about the Eagles and Chip Kelly following their 33-27 over the Redskins.  And why not?  The new look Eagles unleashed a new look offense that left fans thrilled.  That is the lighter side.  The less light side were serious comments by people palpably nervous  about the lack of a quality safety on defense or the penchant for turnovers by the Eagles that must be urgently resolved NOW all of which of course, if unresolved, will interrupt the now inevitable march to the Super Bowl.   Hmm….

The job of faith or religion is not to be the dismissive school marm throwing cold water on that fun out there.  Faith, then, is not about creating the false dichotomy of  Chip Kelly or God.  The job of faith is to point to what matters, consistently and lovingly, not with a finger wag that scolds but in a way that calls us to a warm vision of human connectedness.   That world lived on Monday too.  A Facebook post ….

Interested in lending a hand to someone in need? One of our parishioners needs to have shoulder surgery this Friday. She lives alone and needs someone to go with her to the hospital and wait while she has surgery. She won’t know until later in the week what time her surgery will be scheduled for but predicts a morning appointment. Comment below or send me an email if you are willing to help out

What happened? People responded.   This beautiful woman will not only have a friend by her side for surgery but also several meals brought by new friends, stepping up.

So congratulations to Chip Kelly.  It looks like it will be fun a year.  And thank you to those who in quieter ways reach out for help and thank you for those who respond.  Let us “fan into flame the gift of God” in way that warms, not burns.  (2nd Tim. 1:6)

Nuns on the Bus

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

It is worthwhile to follow the current conversation taking place within the Catholic church, a conversation between the Vatican and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a professional organization for Catholic nuns.  The LCWR was recently censured by the Vatican for its stance around several issues pertaining to exclusion of women from the clergy, sexuality, and the use of birth control.   The formal Vatican response has been to place the group under the direction of 3 American bishops who will work “educating” the sisters and bringing the group in line with central church authority.

The reaction of the LCWR is deeply instructive, in my humble opinion, about how to dissent in the right way while still remaining part of a church you love.   I love the image of “Nuns on the Bus”, a tour designed to help women religious to speak their truth.  It is a great picture but there is more to it than just a bus.

One must deeply admire the over-riding goal with which these Sisters approach this issue. While formally deciding this week that they were not going to adhere to the Vatican’s directives, they clearly held that their heartfelt desire was for reconciliation.   Here is part of their resolution, passed at the end of their 3 day conference …  It is an example of loving people do.

Utilizing a three-day process of sustained prayer and dialogue, the assembly participants considered various responses to the CDF report, with the goal of deciding together on next best steps for the conference following the assembly. Recognizing that this is a time of historic challenge for the church and for LCWR, the participants expressed the hope of maintaining LCWR’s official role representing US women religious in the Catholic Church. While acknowledging deep disappointment with the CDF report, the members proclaimed their intention to use this opportunity to explain to church leaders LCWR’s mission, values, and operating principles.

The members charged the LCWR officers with beginning a conversation with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the apostolic delegate appointed by CDF to oversee LCWR. Their expectation is that open and honest dialogue may lead not only to increasing understanding between the church leadership and women religious, but also to creating more possibilities for the laity and, particularly for women, to have a voice in the church.

Reading the above, shows clearly what a Christian response looks like to issues such as those mentioned above. (1) Unwavering commitment to Truth (2) Invitation for dialog (3) Maintaining Hope (4) Prayer.  While at times we are all tempted “to take our toys and go play somewhere else” this response is frankly, the real deal and demonstrates more courage than simply ending formal ties with the Catholic church in an abrupt, vengeful manner.

A fascinating (and relieving!) part of the commentary from the LCWR’s President, Pat Farrell, was that “Dialogue on doctrine is not going to be our starting point.”  This statement clearly points appropriately to one of the most grievous falsities on which conversations like this involving clergy often start – “The doctrine says ….”  And there the conversation ends.  It is over, done, kaput.  Truth claims without deference to dialog and a loving willingness to LISTEN are no longer truth claims.  That is why in New Church circles we so clearly hold that “Doctrine divides.  Charity unites.”

Imagine a conversation starting from “What a does a loving church look like?  Act like?  Serve like?”   Imagine a conversation with women’s voices. These nuns are giving us and all of Christendom a living example.