Showing posts from 2015

Solstice Gift

In the fourth century, Christians envied the feasting of pagans in honor of the sun's birthday at the winter solstice. Christians created their own feast in honor of Jesus, whom they called the "true sun." This was the birthday of Christmas. Whatever the meaning of Christmas for you, I hope this poem by John O'Donohue infuses you with hope appropriate to this solstice time of new beginnings. The poem fills me with courage to face new possibilities. John O'Donohue was an Irish poet and priest.      In out-of-the way places of the heart,      Where your thoughts never think to wander,      This beginning has been quietly forming,      Waiting until you were ready to emerge.       For a long time it has watched your desire,      Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,      Noticing how you willed yourself on,      Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.       It watched you play with the seduction of safety      And the gray promises that sam

Let’s Hospice Our Church

John Chuchman is a Catholic, to my observation, a Catholic like I’m a Catholic.  It’s our spiritual home, come what may. It remains our blood family, no matter what differences we have with it. John and I exchanged books and I quote extensively ( with permission and editing license ) from one of his— Let’s Hospice Our Church :             We are in a demographic collapse                         of the priesthood.             Anecdotes abound throughout the Church                         about how the collar                         trumps intellectual competence.               When are we going to pay attention? The wheels are coming off the bus,  and we are debating whether the seats on the bus should be cloth or leather.                         Priests are on anti-depressants.             Congregations feel betrayed by Church leadership.             It is no secret there is a widening chasm             between official Church teachings          

I thank my readers

My readers keep me going, as I often say in reply to their gracious compliments. John Chuchman kindly forwarded an email to me. Clancy's book reminds me of a simpler version of Ilia Delio. She writes of the relationship of science and spirituality in a way I can more easily understand. Just what you said... "Every poem is vulnerable to myriad explanations out of the poet's control." Which, to me, is a good thing. Love, Sue The quotation sounded familiar. I guessed a sentence of mine in God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky had been adapted to the discussion they were having about John's poetry. As he included Sue's address, I emailed her. I can't find the quote in my book but I think I said it of Jesus' parables. She replied, Yes indeed, that quote is from your book, page 120, Image and Symbol. I have it underlined and dog-eared as are many pages. I sent that particular quote to John, our resident poet laureate! I found the quotation, word f

Mind makes matter?

Ever since I returned to religion after trying out atheism, I have been working at reconciling the two. Both atheism and religion ask the big questions of life but they arrive at opposing answers to the questions: Where do we and all the stuff we see come from? Where does thinking come from? Atheists who are also scientific materialists say our brains create our thoughts. After mulling this over for years, I take the opposite view—I think, therefore my brain forms the way it does. My thoughts form my brain. Scientific experiments bear this out. And I feel, therefore my surroundings seem as they seem. They suit my feelings and attitudes.Our language reflects this truth. We speak of sunny or cloudy days and dispositions. The metaphor shows the connection between outer and inner. The late Wayne Dyer expanded on this truth: Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.  As I understand scientific materialism, it denies the existenc

Divorce, says Jesus, . . .

In the gospel reading last Sunday, Mark 10: 2-16, Jesus says about marriage, “Let no one separate what God has joined.” I got divorced shortly before I entered the School of Theology. The reading reminded me of my experiences there. At the SOT I studied scripture under Fr. Ivan Havener, perhaps the most helpful course I had there. Ivan was fully aware that the official Church often teaches nonsense. One day in class he referred disparagingly to bishops in denial of facts. Ivan’s analysis of Jesus' sayings put into stark relief the distinction between the man Jesus and the myth of Christ. His book, Q: The Sayings of Jesus , informed my God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky. Scripture scholars use a panoply of tools to distinguish authentic sayings of Jesus from inauthentic sayings, those put into his mouth by gospel writers but not said by the man himself. Inauthentic sayings formed after Jesus’ death as a natural process of myth-making ensued, something like the process that

E.O. Wilson and Ants

Few subjects rivet and rile me as much as the intersection of science and religion. I devoted a good portion of last year’s blogposts to scientific materialism, which you can read by finding the topic in my Index ( right ) and clicking on posts. They contain scientific arguments against it. Two recent programs, one on public radio, the other on public TV, captured me recently. Krista Tippett, host of NPR’s ON BEING interviewed two Vatican astronomers, Father George Coyne and Brother Guy Consolmagno. Coyne said, My understanding of the universe does not need God. His point was that we should not drag in God to explain science we don’t understand—God as a god of explanation, a god of the gaps. If we're religious believers we're constantly tempted to do that. And every time we do it, we're diminishing God and we're diminishing science. Consolmagno agreed but deplored the tendency to feel that science will answer all questions—conversely a science of the

Francis and Biden

I notice I’ve been gone from this space for a month. I figured out how to circumvent the computer problem a while ago but have been putting writing energy into my next book and letters to editors.   Pope Francis inspires me. Anyone who is not positively affected by him has something wrong with him or her. If this statement is judgmental, so be it. I have not changed my opinion, however, that Francis doesn’t get it when it comes to justice for women. The gravest injustice against women is training people to pray to a lord, the ultimate cause of all gender injustice. As my latest letter in National Catholic Reporter states, “The Lord/Father image is cherished and difficult to dislodge. But how could never praying to her and always praying to him not affect gender relations?” A few weeks ago I listened to Joe Biden being interviewed by Stephen Colbert. What sent me to find the interview online is Mark Shields on the PBS Newshour saying that this interview should be view

computer woes

Dear readers, You haven't seen a new post in a long time. The reason is my computer woes. I can't say when the problem will be fixed. Keep the faith.         I don't like this emoticom but it's the best I can do. Let's all keep smiling.

NCR tells it

July 9 I often wish readers could hear or see the comments I get to my blog, especially if they have more content than a compliment. I like compliments, of course, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the one from a woman whose husband liked my writing so much she asked him if he was in love with Jeanette. Occasionally I have included emails in my own post, and I decided to do it again.   John Chuchman: I am Catholic evermore, Roman, never again.   I don't see the Franciscan Spirituality of Rohr or the Spiritualities of the other Major Orders as being "Roman." Even if Jesus had organized a church, which he did not, it surely would not be Roman.  I decided to post three comments anonymously without asking or waiting for consent. fascinating, especially on Eleanor Roosevelt.   keep up your fine work. Thanks, Jeanette. Yes, I read the article in the NCR… It will take a long time to undo the literal belief in Christian myth… But I seriously bel