"At the core of Christ's teachings was a message of living a life of compassion, mercy, and love. He taught that the important thing was the state of our heart NOT whether we lived by a set of rules and regulations."
So, I figured it out. Why I am so grumpy/irritable/down today.
Funny how you can know something, but not know it? Even though my conscious mind didn’t want to think about it, my heart and spirit did - today is the 25th - something I always know, yet do not want to return to each year. You know it's coming, yet you want to avoid the memory, the exactness of a time stamp, the ending of a chapter, the turning of a page.
Today, 11 years ago, my wife began a journey to a place that I could not follow. I was lucky that I got to be with her those 15 years but still, when a heart is broken it never truly mends. That is so easy to write on this page, but living with such a scar every day for years, and on into the rest of my life is the reality that words can't do justice to. Holding your beloved in your arms while this life drains from her is something that forever changes you in profound ways.
I am blessed in so many ways to have been married to her, not the least of which is our three children, who are bright and spiritual and kind hearted as their mother.
When you love someone in heaven, the doctrine of the Communion of Saints becomes so much more than a dry words on paper, it provides a way to still be connected/tied to those that we love so dearly, but can not see with our eyes any longer. One good thing, someday when my journey continues in the nearer presence of God, I will get to see her once again.
Fidelium animae † per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace
(May the souls † of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace)
Hello Saints, Sinners and all those in between,
I am just grumpy today. My sinuses are a mess, I think I have an infection setting in, which also makes me tired as my body fights it off, and my brain not work as well as I would like. I have had two deaths in my extended family and one infant in my parish, so I am in no mood to brook annoying fundamentalists, and their not so compassionate ways.
Just now I am tired of thrice-married holier than thou conservatives getting in my face about various sins someone, somewhere must be committing, and why oh why don't I care about that?! Shaking a big-assed Bible at me, with some proof-texting they have memorized, yet never bothering to learn about the context or historical nature of such items.
It is amazing to me how things Jesus never mentions have become so important, while things He did say get glossed over as socalistic somehow.
Oh well, this too shall pass.
Vincit qui patitur "He who perseveres, conquers."
Today the Cardinal Deacon announced to the world:
Nuntio Vobis Gaudium Magnum
I announce a Great Joy to You All
We have a Pope...
And so a new Journey begins, and Benedict XVI came out and gave his Apostolic Blessings to the crowds below. It will be interesting to see how this Benedict will make his mark on the Roman Church. I know he must have had the support of 2/3's of the Cardinal Electors of the Church, but are they even aware of how this old man all concerned with Laws will look to the younger people of the world?
I certainly hope that this Benedict lives up to the meaning of his name which comes from the Latin word for "blessing."
All I can say is thank God that I am Anglican! ;)
Today, during Morning Prayer, the Gospel is Luke 6:1-11 (NRSV). As I was reading it and meditating on it, part of it has really struck me as a difficult, and almost impossible thing to do!
The story is, how that the Pharisees "catch" Jesus and His followers doing something minor (plucking and rubbing heads of grain in their hands) against the laws of the Sabbath. While I personally think this is such a MINOR thing to get tweaked about, in those days faithfulness to God was mostly determined on how well you obeyed the Sabbath/dietary/purity laws. The followers of God were not concerned about how sick people needed healing, on how hungry people needed feeding, ONLY if the "rules" were being obeyed. After all, God is holy, transendant, and must be obeyed!
This is where it gets tough for me, Jesus responded to their accusations with this; "I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?"
Wow! How on earth can our American Church respond to that? How often do we reach out beyond our rules to heal, to do no harm, or more importantly to save a life? I know rules/laws are important, yet clearly Jesus is more interested in loving and healing the person than living in the restriction of Laws. How can we do that? How can *I* do that?
lex orandi, lex credendi - the law of prayer is the law of belief. How a person worships not only shows what the person really believes, but may form belief.
This is a very important statement from Tim's blog, you can access that below.
lex amor est
(the Law is love)
This week's collecting prayer: Third Sunday of Pascha O God, whose blessed Son made Himself known to His disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold Him in all His redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. "His redeeming work" Hmm. Just what is that in our/my life? How are we entering into and owning that work? Is redemption happening that we are not aware of? Today a particpation in redeeming work was time spent in contempation at St. Joesph's Monastery. Sharing with the other souls doing Centering Prayer and Lecito Divina was truly refreshing in the mid part of my day/week. Any time I can open myself to His Spirit, I feel part of my redemption occuring.
This week's collecting prayer: Third Sunday of Pascha
O God, whose blessed Son made Himself known to His disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold Him in all His redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
"His redeeming work" Hmm.
Just what is that in our/my life? How are we entering into and owning that work? Is redemption happening that we are not aware of?
Today a particpation in redeeming work was time spent in contempation at St. Joesph's Monastery. Sharing with the other souls doing Centering Prayer and Lecito Divina was truly refreshing in the mid part of my day/week.
Any time I can open myself to His Spirit, I feel part of my redemption occuring.
Ok, for those of you so fortunate as to know me, you KNOW I can be good only so long...
So with a twinkle in my eye, I ask you behold this and and be certain to read the tag line at the bottom! www.drewmarlowe.com/pictures/brackets.jpg
As the chants echo and the incense rises...
POTESTATEM OBSCURI LATERIS NESCIS
(You don't know the power of the dark side.)
Soon, I will travel to Mount Alvernia Friary in upstate NY to have an interview with my Order's Brotherhood Council. Should the intereview go well, I will be invited to come next summer to begin the serious part of my journey. I will make my Postulant vows before the high altar in the Church of the Stigmata. Part of me sings with joy, but there is another part that fears and draws back. My life will change, and much like a wedding, I will give myself over to others, no longer will I be the supposed captain of my soul.
Poverty..Chastity...Obedience. Which will be the hardest? If I know me, and I do, I suspect the Obedience.
Christe Fili Dei vivi, miserere nobis
(Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy upon me)
There are times when people of Faith have to do more work than at other times. The Reformation for example, or the time of Christ and the early Church. However Holy Mother Church as known from long experience that Truth, and the deep, unsearchable Wisdom and Judgement of God Almighty, can seem so obscure to many people that you actually may have to torture and kill them before they see the error of their ways, and quite naturally save their Immortal Souls.
I think we are in one of those times now. For many years the Church has found the culture changing in ways that is hard for people of rigid beliefs to react to, in meaningful ways. I think it was somewhat like that in the days of the Apostles and we are just as challenged to deal in ways that both honor God and are a blessing to our neighbors on this planet. Here, in the Tulsa area, it appears to me that the Church sees only Heresy, not some new aspect of Truth in the lives of younger, freer people.
Think of it, eating forbidden food!! In our culture it has no meaning, yet for the people of the first century, it was as horrific as welcoming the local gay man's chorus to sing your Easter Cantata would be at almost any local church here. When we read the Gospels, Acts and the letters of St. Paul, we must put ourselves in the pecarious position these people found themselves in. Before their very eyes the impossible happened! Nothing in their experience of the history of their Faith, their understanding of the Law or Prophets prepared them for the actions occurring before them.
It is so hard to imagine, the Spirit falling on GENTILES! Peter and all faithful Jews had been taught all their lives, and deep within the very core of their being was the settled fact that gentiles where outside the Chosen, strangers to the Law, unworthy to enter the Sacred Temple. How then could this be so? Obviously the Spirit was working in a way unfamiliar to the Apostles. They had the Grace to accept the obvious and incorporate them into the Church, a step that I personally benefit from to this day.
How does this inform my journey (and perhaps others)? I once could not abide female Priests or Ministers. I felt Paul and through him, God Himself had, once for all, settled the matter and women were not allowed to serve in that capacity. However, the Spirit has been kind enough to remove the scales from my eyes, and I see more clearly now. I was wrong. Some of the most dedicated, successful and Spirit-filled ministry of my last few years has been done my women. Clearly the Spirit has fallen, our understanding of the Scriptures was in error, the Church benefits in wondrous ways from the Apostolic Truth of female Priests, Ministers, and Deacons.
I am fortunate that I participate in a community that allows exploration, some freedom to the Spirit, or i would have been trapped in dry certainty, never receiving the pnumea that God so desperately wanted to give to me.
Perhaps St. Augustine has it right.
Melius est dubitare de occultis quam litigare de incertis.
(It is better to make doubt of those things which are secret,
than to strive about those things that are uncertain.)
And a tidbit for those who want to know more about women's roles in the early Church: