Thursday, July 21, 2011


Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to them to eat. Eucharist is the primary sacrament of reconciliation. We bring our life experiences to the altar to be blessed, broken and shared. I wonder today about the sins we let happen so that a greater sin does not take place? What about that kind of sin when no one knows of it but God and ourselves? I have in mind something I did or let happen because I felt allowing it to happen would prevent a worse thing from happening. Yet what happened was unjust and I did nothing to stop it. How do I find forgiveness for that sin? We do violence to ourselves and to the community when we don’t embrace our truth. That is where we find God. Do I really trust in my dreams or do I short change myself by letting things happen that compromise who I am? Do I trust in my dreams and my own inner truth even when they put me at odds with authority figures? This is what I will take to prayer and reconciliation and ask forgiveness for along with gentleness and patience, both of which it seems I always needing more.

Father Joe told us a creation myth in which God drew in the divine breath and placed vessels throughout the universe. When God breathed forth the light of the creation, the vessels were shattered because they could not hold it. The work of humanity is to travel throughout the world picking up the shards of the shattered vessels, healing the scars of that shattering and repairing the vessels. I am listening to the slow intake of God's breath today and waiting for the light to come back.

In the film Moonstruck, Olympia Dukakis is betrayed by her husband who cheats on her with another woman. All through the movie she plans to get back at him by doing the same thing to him. In a crucial scene she agrees to go out on a date with her husband's best friend who has always expressed his admiration for her. They have a wonderful intimate dinner together and he invites her to come back to his house. She says, “No, I know who I am.” That moment of recognizing her own truth and that a betrayal of her husband would damage her own integrity more than her husband is the message of the movie. The Eucharist happens in just such an atmosphere of betrayal and self-doubt that calls us to face what is really important deep down inside. It is an experience of the aching love and desire to be one with Christ like the apostles in the moment of that First Communion. We cannot betray that truth of who we are in our best selves. Even when questions nibble at our consciences and quibbles threaten to dampen our spirits, we know who we are. We are people who ache to be one with the Christ who died for us and gives us his Body and His blood to redeem our sins through the Eucharist.

Places of transcendence for me in nature are the many beaches where the waves rush in and recede taking all manner of creatures and pebbles back out with them. The repeated rhythm reminds me to accept my losses and gains in stride. God gives and God takes away and God gives back again. I savor the memory of that rhythm as it unites with the rhythm deep in my heart. My instincts teach me that all creatures are fascinated with what happens at the seashore and convene there to examine what is left behind and what is taken up by the waves. It does not surprise me that even whales when they grow weary turn themselves to the shore to die. The inner star, the light in my being is the vocation to write and teach. I need to heal some wounds before I can go on to do that or I will do violence to my true self and to the community. I need to embrace my truth and trust in my dreams even when they put me at odds with authority figures in our own congregation.