Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Pentecost...Spirit...At...Work

Since I was ordained ,almost 50 years ago, the only constant has been change. For some there have been too many, for others not enough. There is one change, however, I would love to see happen, yet deep down I know this will never happen. I was brought up with this fact, there is no harm in dreaming or in asking the question. So why stop now? We as Catholics are brought up to think, to reason. That is why we had two years of philosophy in the seminary, so we would be ordered in our thinking, and help others in their journey of discovery. This journey of discovery is a never-ending one. We go from discovery to discover without ever becoming satisfied with what we are in possession of. [G.K. Chesterton remarked "Catholicism is a thinking persons religion." He was a wonderful thinker himself, and add so much to the Catholic Church.] So what is this change I desire to see, and why do I think there needs to be a change? What is the reasoning behind this way of thinking? Well to begin with, I wish we would stop using those two words, "ordinary time”, to describe the time we are journeying through right now. It is NOTordinary, like all time it is extraordinary. It is like all time is to been seen as Kairos time. Kairos time is full of the awe and full of mystery of God. There is no moment in time that the Divine is not communicating with each one of us personally. In each and every one of our "creature" moments we meet with and are met by. Each and every moment is used by The Creator God to continue the creation, which had its origin in the mists of antiquity. Over these so many eons creation is being perfected. What is really mind blowing is that you and I have been chosen, even before the mists of time to be co-creators, and co-perfectors of this great mysterious endeavor. This is a dignity that must be claimed, again and again, otherwise we lose our Creators intention for our creation. How often have we been told that we are called to be "co-creators and co-perfectors of the universe"? How often have we heard that expression and we either forgot it or conveniently ignored it? Why? If we really believed in the radical trust our God has in us what a difference we would make. Our world would undergo a radical transformation and become that which The Creator originally planned. The Second Vatican Council sure changed our way of seeing, believing and acting. It was for those of us lucky enough to be around then, like a New Spring. It was an awakening that radically changed our lenses and thank God, it is still revealing an ongoing newness. With change and the threat of newness came opposition. Opposition that Pope Francis sees as working against the workings of The Holy Spirit. It was great to hear our Pope express so clearly that the efforts of The Holy Spirit must not be impeded by human fear. What we need, no, what is demanded of us, is a strong abiding belief in eternal newness of ourselves, our church and all of creation. What is demanded of us is a lively, life giving and life enhancing faith in the reality of a living and loving God. A God who is always pouring Herself/Himself out into an eternal act of fruit-full, creative love. This love, then of its essence, is creative and so where this love is, there is the creative force of Our Gracious God always creating. This creative, loving Spirit dwells within each of us, in the depths of who we really are. It is only in that place of my radical I-am-ness that that this gift is realized. (Oh what a journey that is.) The Holy Spirit ,This Loving Creative Force is first encountered by us in the Sacrament of Baptism. This Sacrament has in the past been called the Sacrament of Enlightenment. How come we have lost that awe-full, wonder-full name which conveys so much of what that Sacrament is intended to accomplish within each person. It conveys that which we are so desperately in need of right now. We need to be enlightened, to be reminded who we are, who we are called be, and Who it is that has done the calling? I would like to suggest we have a desperate need for this voice to be present in our minds, hearts, and souls. Why? Because we are exposed to so many loud voices whose sole purpose is, to drown out that gentle, whispering voice which dwells within. A voice which calls us Beloved. A voice which reminds we are previous, called, chosen, gifted, blessed and consecrated. The voices which strive, endlessly and sometimes unceasingly, wage endless war to distract us from who we are, who we have been called to be, and above all, Who it is that has done the calling. In each so called, "ordinary moment" of every day this is what is happening, the reality we face. There is The Voice of The Spirit of Pentecost, reminding us of who we are in our Creators Love. Then there is the is the voice of negativity, the voice of the prosecutor. The sole purpose of this voice is to somehow to bring disquiet ,and the denial of our essential goodness. This deceiver has only one goal. That goal is to ultimately destroy that loving eternal relationship we have, and have enjoyed, with The Eternal. These loud voices can be heard, not only in the world we are forced to live in, but are alive, as a destructive force within ourselves. As they are within ourselves they are, of necessity, to be encountered in our homes, parishes, ministries, local and universal church. With each day comes a death. With each dawn comes forth a new day. It is virginal. Untouched. We, each one of us, will choose in every moment to be life-givers, or death-dealers. How we act will result from which voice we listen to. Let us choose then to live each moment of every day in the freedom of being, beloved daughter/son, of our Prodigal God. In this way each and every moment becomes for us a sacrament. A sacramental "meeting with", is nothing ordinary, but very much extra-ordinary, awe-full, wonder-full. (I am aware of why it is called ordinary time, but I feel the question should be raised!)