If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature, even a caterpiller, I would never have to prepare a sermon. So full of God is every creature. Meister Eckhart

Saturday, December 31, 2011

AT THE TIME OF THE END

"If they ever take away our radio, suspend our newspaper, silence us, put to death all of us priests-bishop included, and you are left alone-a people without priests-then each of you will have to be God's microphone. Each of you will have to be a messenger, a prophet. The church will always live as long as one baptized person is left alive."

Oscar Romero, quoted in Messengers to the Kingdom by Jon Sobrino S.J.

I begin to understand by Romero scared the bejeesus out of some of the Vatican Curia in the three years he was archbishop of San Salvador. And I wonder how closely Morris West, author of the Clowns of God, followed the persecution of the church in Central America. Because he echoes that message in the novel. When the time comes, the little people, the lay people will have to carry on the work and the sacraments of the church whether they are ordained or not. Imagine how well that went over with old men who had spent their lives climbing the ladders of power.

In the novel the pope believes he has received a vision of the coming end times, the parousia. And the encyclical he is preparing is discovered. The curia could probably take the middle part of the equation. After all the church believes that Christ will complete history at some point. It's the private revelation and the pope's prescription for dealing with the expected chaos. The idea that in a time with no ordained men or women available, the laypeople would have to carry on the mission of the church as best they could went over like the proverbial lead balloon.

Romero's problem was smaller in scope but no less pressing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A CELTIC PRAYER

A CELTIC PRAYER

This is an adaptation of a Celtic prayer I found in the book KNITTING INTO T HE MYSTERY.

May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within and light inside the darkness within.

May the blessed sunlight shine upon you and warm your heart ‘til it glows, like a great peat fire, so that strangers may come and warm themselves and that friends may come.

And may the light shine out of the eyes of you, like a candle set in the windows of a house, bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

And may the blessing of the rain be on you – the soft, sweet rain.

May it fall upon your spirit so that the seedlings of light in you shadow may spring up, and shed their sweetness on the air.

And may the blessing of the great rains be on you, that they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there many a shining pool, and sometimes a star.

And may the blessing for the earth be on you – the great round earth who carries all; the great round earth whose suffering has already become radiant.

May you ever have a kindly greeting for people you pass as you are going along the roads.

And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly, your kin and all creatures.

Blessed be

Sunday, December 04, 2011

THE UNIVERSE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

My brothers and sisters, our help is in the name of the eternal God,
who is making the heavens and the earth.

From the New Zealand prayer book.

Some of the folks down under have either been working with Creation Spirituality or there's a strong Celtic influence. The Irish, you see, have no creation myths. For them the universe has always existed. The closest some of the stories come to creation is the idea of shaping. Somehow the universe is being shaped, or brought into new shapes. The closest anyone can come to an answer is that the universe itself is doing the shaping and using itself to make new shapes. I know, it's enough to give you the feeling that the answer is out there. It's just out of reach and everytime you think you've caught it, it slips away.

The last line really struck me when I read it for the first time. The act of Creation isn't finished. The heavens and the earth (earths?) have been made, are being made will be made. Aging stars die, some in spectacular super novas. The blast creating and seeding the space around them with the heavy elements needed to create planets and moon. The shock of the stellar blasts forces gases to surrender to gravity and new stars are born. New universes being born: some assembly required.