Friday, June 29, 2012


During the US Chapter July 1-6, I will be posting daily updates following each days proceedings.  

Please go to my General Chapter blog to read the news, or paste this link into your browser:

Care of Creation 15: US Chapter

US Chapter - Engaging the Grace

How do I come to this chapter?  What do I bring?  

We began the work of this chapter with a theme of bold awakening, I find myself praying for the grace of boldness.  I bring an awareness of the boldness of Christ as a non-violent man in a violent world.  I bring an awareness of the price of war and mental anguish it causes.  I bring a passionate desire to bring about peace.  I bring a commitment to helping heal the wounds the war has caused and rebuild bonds of compassion, particularly between Muslims and Christians throughout the world.  I bring a changed heart and changed mind. 
Seven Scripture Quotes about the Grace of Boldness

“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence.”  - Ephesians 3:12

“We can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.”  - Hebrews 10:19
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God…and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” - Hebrews 4:16

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you." - Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” - 1 Corinthians 16:13

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” -
 Timothy 1:7

“The wicked run away when no one is chasing them,
but the godly are as bold as lions.” -
Proverbs 28:1


There are more varieties of love than any other emotion, but the love that Christ teaches is a greater than any of these.  Courageous Christian Love is not an emotion, it is a co-motion.  It is not a romantic affection or a pleasant feeling of being at home with someone else.  It is a deep unity of heart and mind passionately resolved to bring about a bold new world.  

Boldness is a readiness to speak the difficult truth even when no one else agrees with you or is ready to hear it.  Boldness is courageous sacrifice with far-reaching, even eternal, consequences.  

I come to this US Chapter a bold woman, ready make a commotion, willing to speak truth, to make sacrifices and to love with all my strength and courage.

Care of Creation 14: This Moment in Time

Today's Reflection is related to a clip posted on on youtube.  I think we are all moved by time lapse photography of nature.  It is simply amazing to see how the winds, waters, plants and animals change over time.  We know that time is a construct we use to order our days, our work, our lives.  But time lapse photography shows us that time is much more than that.  It is one of the great questions of life.  How can we change time, slow it, control it, move forward or backward...or even sideways in time?  

The following clip helps us to remember how awesome time is and how it inspires us.  Time keeps us from lollygagging around.  It keeps us from resting on our laurels or just sitting around and letting others take care of things.  It reminds us that we are limited beings...and if our life is to have any meaning at all it's up to us to get with it and make something of our lives.  Time is a gift we share.  All of us alive this moment share the gift of time.  Right here! Right now! We are one in this moment of time.  

or paste it in your browser and watch.

Care of Creation 13: Energy Field Dissipation

  “Matter, considered as structured fields of activity, and spirit as energy, help us make sense of death.  Energy comprises fields.  Once energy dissipates or ceases, the field dissipates or dies—but it does not disappear altogether, that is, it is not annihilated.  Rather what was 'matter' (the information pattern or field) is converted through death to energy and enters the universe as 'information' or patterns of information.  This information translates into memory in the universe.  Memory in the universe then becomes a source of new life and can help generate greater wholeness of life.  Since this renewal of life is taking place within the divine matrix (God), the new field formation is always lured into greater wholeness and unity.  The death of Jesus forms a new matrix of divine-created life within the cosmos.  Resurrection into this next form of existence and activity is a new incorporation into the ongoing divine field of Trinitarian life which is a dynamic life of ever newness in love.”  -- Ilia Delio, The Emergent Christ pp 84-85

At my death, I want to be remembered as a person who made life's struggles easier to bear by helping to dissipate negative energy and create a positive field of influence for the good.  I believe in the communion of saints, with a small s...ordinary people who do ordinary things with great love.  I believe that the good things we do live on after us and that if we contribute to the good, we will be able to remain somehow connected with the creative life of the planet even after death.  I look forward to learning what the communion of saints means in the reality of space and time in the hereafter...even if my intuitive sense is of that turns out to be wrong.  I think a new way of understanding the whole divine mystery will be revealed and that it will be far more beautiful and perfectly logical than we ever imagined it could be.  I would want to still interact with the living in some benign way for the good of life on earth.  I hope to be a blessing even after death.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Care of Creation 12: A Happy Death

This new life of Christ is new wholeness, new patterns of relationships to other beings and to the cosmos.  The life of Jesus sets the pattern:  mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, prayer, charity, justice, peace, sympathy, tears, joy, sorrow, an engaged life with other human beings, with creatures, with nature and the stars and creation.  It is awakening to our relatedness to the earth, to other creatures and assuming our responsibility in this earthly relationship:  solidarity with the poor, compassion with the suffering, hospitality for the stranger, treating each and every creature with utmost dignity.  It also means living sufficiently without consuming excess amounts of vital resources, conscious that we share this planet with diverse peoples, creatures and elements. -- Ilia Delio, The Emergent Christ pp 94-95

The new possibilities for life and relationship that I am invited into today are evolving from an awareness of the needs of so many who are grieving losses.  Our community prayer yesterday at St. Joseph Priory called upon St. Joseph as Our Patron of a Happy Death.  That phrase "a happy death" strikes me as beautifully poetic.  It is something I think we all hope for in the end.  I've been thinking about that today and praying for those who have recently died and those who are fighting for survival.  My faith teaches me to look forward with hope to eternal life and gives me sufficient hope to live without fear, a strong degree of detachment and a deep source of inner peacefulness.  These are what I share with you today.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Care of Creation 11: Church and State

"To follow Christ is to be engaged in such a way that one’s stance of being in the world is unitive not divisive. Eucharistic life sacramentalizes the vocation of whole-making by offering one’s life for the sake of drawing together that which is divided. Eucharist is being bread broken and eaten for the hungry of the world. It is the food that gives strength to make every stranger beloved, the “yes” of our lives to God’s mysterious cruciform love. What happens to us must be done by us. [Eucharist] requires death to the old self that refuses to embrace another and openness to the other as part of oneself. Whole-making is the desire to be part of a greater whole, and Eucharist sacramentalizes the whole…Jesus’ whole-making is self-surrender for a greater good, and anyone who makes whole by self-surrender for a greater good is following Jesus.” --Ilia Delio, The Emergent Christ pp 67-69 

Today I draw together that which is divided by politics.  I believe in the American way of keeping Church and State separate.  The Church is about communion and actions based on Eucharistic values and the teachings of Jesus Christ.   The State is about governing society, protecting the citizens and providing for those who cannot provide for themselves.  Although the Church and State can be drawn together effectively in an individual's life, as I am doing today, when they intermingle in the public rhetoric, they often clash horribly and create more confusion and division.

I take time to read the political opinions of all parties with candidates in the upcoming elections and various positions on the measures up for consideration.  I am grateful for the sacrifices people have made so that I have the right to vote.  I take it as a serious duty.  

I am an independent voter.  Every election I try to consider all the possibilities with an open mind and make the best choice based on my own analysis of the candidates' character, their voting records and their stated positions.  Lately, the election season has become so sullied by deceitfulness and hatefulness, it is a most unpleasant business.  It is harder and somewhat disgusting sorting the honest opinions from the deceit and rhetoric.  I consider the endorsements of organizations whose values I share, but I make up my own mind without discussing it.  Many Americans follow a similar process.  We are the "silent majority."  We do vote, we just don't talk about it much.  When we do talk about it, it isn't to parrot or dispute a particular party line.  Although I value the right to vote and take it as a serious civic duty, I dislike the election season because of the divisiveness it generates.  Hateful political rhetoric poisons the atmosphere and sickens society.  I am on guard, but I do my duty toward the State as seems best to me.  I think the place of the Church in the election season is to offer the Sacraments that soothe the spirit and heal the sickness, not to add to the confusion and disease.