Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Oh, you're IN it, don't worry

From a perceptive student:

"I was in ... Michigan for a funeral last week-end.  Two Churches were on the same block.  One had a sign that read, “Be IN the Jesus Movement.”  The other one read, “Christ calls us to be holy.”  Of course, the latter was the Catholic Church."

This alludes to some of the insights behind the genesis of Spiritual Diabetes.  To make a long story short, there's more to the Christian life than merely our immediate emotional and spiritual satisfaction.  It's tempting, of course, to play along;  hey, I have teenagers at home.  I get it.  The fun, the active, the liveliness--how can it not be the Real?  Well, because that's not what Scripture and the Church indicate God wants from us.  Hence the emphasis on holiness--which could take us far away from our emotional and spiritual happy places.  After all, St. Matthew (16:24) and St. Luke (7:23) both tell of Jesus' stark challenge:  "If any of you want to be my follower, pick up your cross and follow me."

But that's probably not being IN the Jesus Movement nor the Jesus Moment that the Michigan sign had in mind, is it?

God’s Garden, July 29, 2015 | Blog | Order of Carmelites

God’s Garden, July 29, 2015 | Blog | Order of Carmelites

LOTS going on this month.  After a great week teaching theology at St. Joseph's College in Maine (follow the faculty blog here--great, inspiring, trenchant Catholic theological blogging!), I'm back in upstate New York.  Among the many interests being pursued stands Carmelite spirituality, something quite familiar in Catholic circles (St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Edith Stein--so many popular saints from this tradition) but oddly still out of the Catholic spirituality mainstream...or at least the academic variants I know.  Stay tuned for Carmelite-infused reflections....until then enjoy the link about God's Garden.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

amidst many things, the call

Many things going on this summer, some of which will be blog material soon.  Today, though, is the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The readings deal with hearing God's call and going, often where the one called least expected or, in St. Mark's account, going ahead with very little.

Here is one blogger's view.

 ... learn to rejoice in what it says about the way God has specially chosen you, predestined you, and He as done this not just for some earthly importance, but for the very glory of a Kingdom that goes beyond any earthly glory that man can attain through his own efforts.
Indeed, that is the very first thing that has to be understood when it comes to this election of ours: we did absolutely nothing to merit it as men sometimes do merit election, importance and glory in this world.
Secondly, we also cannot reach that ultimate glory on our own. It is primarily God’s work from beginning to end, and if we participate or cooperate in this work – which we must since we are free creatures, nonetheless it always remains a pure gift of God, no matter what degree of merit we accumulate after being chosen and graced by God.

Read it all here.

And here is Father Robert Carr's homily from today. Father Carr pastors a multicultural parish in Massachusetts and blogs at  His weekly homily posts offer provocative, reflective reads.  Good stuff to follow.  ANYWAY, on today's reading Father Carr says:

If you look carefully at the second reading, you will see about the middle of the passage, that God has shared with us his plan of salvation. He has not shared with us just the admission ticket to salvation, but his plan of salvation. Understand what that means. It is not that we are waiting for the calvary to come over the hill to rescue us and bring us to freedom.When someone shares with you His plan, He is sharing it with you in front of a map, with his description of what resources he has where and what plans He is working through to bring his plans forward. If you were talking to a general, you would be in the war room, if you were talking to a CEO you would be in the board room. In either case, you are not riding a bus or waiting for God’s armies to rescue you, you are active agents in his plan of salvation. You are the cavalry. You are the army.

Read it all here. That's pretty heady stuff--and a smart correction to anybody tempted to lie around waiting for somebody else to do the hard work.  God calls us all, and that call might involve work and places we least expect.  And yet there's no whining--we are the cavalry to do the rescuing.