NO MASS TODAY—For safety’s sake, we decided that it was better for everyone to be safe and cozy at home, therefore we are cancelling our Community Eucharist today. We pray for abundant blessings for you at home.

Dear Friends,

In this week’s Gospel,

we hear of Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law (see, there were married priests right from the beginning)! 

We are led to reflect on how do we heal one another? 

Richard Rohr reflects on the reality that when we diminish any one, we are all diminished. When we think less of the poor, the mentally challenged, people who do horrendous acts, we might think them less than human. Rohr also notes that, unfortunately, the Church has a long history of diminishing women. His reflection, quoted below, prompts us to ask how can we make women more visible, more valued in the Church, in our world. How can we see and increase The Divine Image in the homeless sleeping in doorways, in those begging for money at street corners, in those whose behavior we might feel bizarre, in suicide bombers, in the Marathon bomber. How can we heal one another? 

Some people pass on healing energy through Reiki, we can all pass on healing energy through prayer. In addition, in our encounters with those who might be seen as less than, we can offer a smile, a hello, caring energy sent their way. How else can we build up the humanity of all, including ourselves?  We invite you to read and reflect upon Rohr’s thoughts: 

The whole universe together participates in the divine goodness more perfectly and represents it better than any single creature could by itself. 

-Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, 47, 1 

The "Catholic synthesis" of the early Middle Ages was exactly that--a synthesis that held together for its adherents one coherent world, a positive intellectual vision that was not defined by "against-ness" or enemies, but by "the clarity and beauty of form." It was a cosmic egg of meaning, a vision of Creator and a multitude of creatures that excluded nothing. The Great Chain of Being was the first holistic metaphor for the new seeing offered us by the Incarnation: Jesus as the living icon of integration, "the coincidence of opposites" who "holds all things in unity" within himself (Colossians 1:15-20). God is One. God is whole, and everything else in creation can now be seen as a holon (a part that mimics, replicates, and somehow includes the whole). 

Sadly, we seldom saw the Catholic synthesis move beyond philosophers' books and mystics' prayers and some architecture. The rest of us often remained in a fragmented and dualistic world, usually looking for the contaminating element to punish or the unworthy member to expel. While still daring to worship the cosmic Scapegoat--Jesus--we scapegoated the other links in the Great Chain of Being. We have been unwilling to see the Divine Image in those we judged to be inferior or unworthy: sinners, heretics, animals, the poor, the bounty of the Earth, the Earth itself, and often we must admit half of the human species called women. Once the Great Chain of Being was broken or disbelieved, we were soon unable to see the Divine Image in our own species, except for "men" just like us. This was the dominant view called patriarchy that formed most cultures, and in some cultures lasting until today.

As the medieval teachers predicted, once the Great Chain of Being was broken, and any one link not honored and included, the whole vision collapsed. It seems that either we acknowledge that God is in all things or we have lost the basis for seeing God in anything, including ourselves.

Adapted from Hope Against Darkness: The Transforming Vision
of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety
, p. 136

We invite you to make The Spirit of Life your ‘spiritual home’.  In our community’s midst you will find support for your inner spirit’s growing in peacemaking. We will help you remember that you are Beloved. We promise you a unique experience of community; one where members and guests find support and hope in the journey through time and body to deepen our spiritual lives, and work together to transcend our limitations and grow in faith. Our liturgies are not “cluttered’ with non-inclusive language and messages that discount the dignity of all people. Rather, we are radically simple in embodying the “good news” of Jesus Christ... “uncluttered” by messages caught in the moral time warp so present in more traditional Catholic liturgies. At the Spirit of life... the call of women to ordained priesthood is affirmed...the sacredness of all loving relationships is honored and celebrated, and as Jesus did, we welcome ALL to the Table!   If you are seeking a Catholic community where you do not need to mentally/silently “insert” inclusive language into your prayer at Mass, or lament that your children are hearing non-loving messages about people whose sexual orientation is other than heterosexual, or feel that your “voice” is not heard.....we invite you to come and experience life in our community. We are an inclusive and interactive community, where everyone has a “voice.”  We are truly a people of “justice & Joy.”

Remembering that you are Beloved of God and beloved to us as well, we send prayers of love and peace for you, 

Ron & Jean