Another voice for renewal

From the first moment on the balcony overlooking Piazza San Pietro Pope Francis initiated a renewal in the Roman Catholic church. This renewal will (because we are all connected) influence the lives of all Christians, no matter their denominational affiliation.
In celebrating the 50th year of the Vatican II document on the Liturgy (titled Sacrosanctum Concilium) one of the speakers, Archbishop Piero Marini indicated that “The reforms launched by the Second Vatican Council are not behind us but ahead of us.”

An image of  Vatican II posted by

Given all that has happened so far in the pontificate of Francis, I agree with the Archbishop. I believe (and I hope) that the reforms envisioned by the Second Vatican Council may begin to see the light of day—to the glory of God and for the welfare of all God’s people, and indeed, of all creation.

The full report of the Archbishop’s remarks (and others, too) is made by The Catholic II’s reforms are still ahead of us, says Archbishop Marini.

Here are some other points to consider from this report:

  • The ongoing reform of the liturgy and sacraments will continue to impact all areas of ministry done by the church, inspiring hope
  • There is (apparently) a growing voice within Roman Catholicism to restore the ‘Sacraments of Initiation’ to a more ancient order: baptism-confirmation-eucharist (in contrast to the current order of baptism-eucharist-confirmation)
  • A hope was expressed (in so many words) that the church follow the lead of the Pope and understand that there are no “outsiders.”

As we listen to the Spirit and share with each other, this will certainly become a theme to explore. What do you think?

Wind Chimes: 8 Oct 2012

On Sunday, October 7, 2012 we began reading from the Book of Job in our worship (which uses the Revised Common Lectionary to inform scripture choices for our Sunday worship). We will continue to read from this book for the remaining Sundays in October. Among the themes explored in this ‘parable’ are good, evil, God, creation, fate, suffering, pain, faith, doubt, lament, praise, and more. Here are some of today’s sounds in the Wind Chimes as we explore the Book of Job.
What do you hear?

“On the Church in the Modern World”

This ‘Pastoral Teaching’ of the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 7, 1965. Often referenced by it’s Latin title, Gaudium et Spes, it is one of the documents of Vatican II (1962-1965). Consider these words from the teaching:

…the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics. (Gaudium et spes, No. 4; emphasis mine)

The questions of Job, the responses of Job’s friends, Job’s own response to his plight, the role of God in deprivation, suffering, and pain, the presence of God in the midst of these things, are not just parts of an ancient story but contemporary questions (“perennial questions”) of folks like you me, questions addressed to the Church. So what do we learn from Job and what do we hear the Spirit singing in the chimes?

A contemporary story of faith and struggle and hope beginning with cancer

Cover of the book You mean besides the cancer?If everyone’s life is a book, and every day a page, then there are some days that deserve to be dog-eared. Your high school graduation, your wedding day, the birth of your children, and the day that your doctor discusses cancer with you for the first time.

If you are a caregiver, or about to be one, this book can hopefully shortcut the learning curve that sliced me to shreds.

This book is the story of my wife’s cancer and our journey through the medical system that eventually led us to one of the most cutting edge, lifesaving surgeries on earth.
—Bob Marcotte introducing You Mean Besides the Cancer?

I am proud to call Bob and Carole Marcotte my friends. Carole is living with cancer. Bob is her primary caregiver. Bob has journaled his thoughts and made them available to others in his book and his blog You mean besides the cancer? I encourage you to explore (and  buy) the book.

A prayer

Dear Lord, for all in pain we pray to thee,
O come and smite again thine enemy.
Give to thy servants skill to soothe and bless,
And to the tired and ill give quietness.
And, Lord, to those who know pain may not cease,
Come near, that even so they may have peace.
Amy Carmichael (1868-1951) in Lyn Klug, ed., Soul Weavings: A gathering of women’s prayers, p. 48

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