Monday, May 28, 2012

Thanks, Jan

Hat tip to Jan at  Yearning for God (who attributes to Co Exist)

 Hilary Clinton:  
Gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world.  They are all ages, all races, all faiths.  They are doctors and teachers, farmers and bankers, soldiers and athletes.  And whether we know it, or whether we acknowledge it, they are our family, our friends, and our neighbors.  Being gay is not a western invention.  It is a human reality.
 Jimmy Carter:
The truth is that male religious figures have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or to subjugate women.  They have for their own selfish ends overwhelmingly chosen the latter.  Their continued choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.

Lonergan on Authenticity

For unbloggable reasons I had to drop out of the Ignatian Exercises.  Too bad; I was looking forward to completing that 9 month project and had had some really helpful experiences.

Anyway, this book, The Dynamism of Desire: Bernard Lonergan, S.J. on The Spiritual Experience of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, (James Conner, editor) has me really excited to continue the exercises.  When I wrote my dissertation on Authenticity I didn't know that Lonergan was a source.  Catholic theologians--we never thought to look there! ha!  Should have, because from what I can tell so far, he's amazing.

He says what so many spiritual teachers say:  to find and develop the Authentic Self we need to let go of the false ego (to overcome oneself, to transcend oneself) and open ourselves to what God has created us to be and to become.

Lonergan wrote that we have a inbuilt structure and process by which we move toward authenticity, and this structure/process is profoundly religious...."Development occurs in stages:  we attend to the data of our lives, make sense of it through understanding and judgment, and after deliberation reach decisions and takes action.... based on values--is what I've achieved really worthwhile? These kind of questions can be principles of benevolence, of genuine cooperation, and true love."

All authentic being in love, says Lonergan, is a total self-surrender to the Gift of God's love. But it includes something more, something in itself, something personal, intimate, and profoundly attuned to the deepest yearnings of the human heart.  It constitutes a basic fulfillment of our being.  Earlier, Augustine wrote of the deepest yearnings of the human heart when he exclaimed that 'God has made us for himself and that our hearts are restless till they rest in him.'  Lonergan explains Augustine's restlessness by underscoring that 'there exists in us a capacity for holiness, a capacity for love that, in its immediacy, regards not the ever-passing shape of this world, but the mysterious reality, immanent and transcendent, that we name God."
"But remember that being in love with God is never a state that is fully and finally attained in this life:  'the very being of the human person is not static but dynamic; never a state of achieved perfection; always at best a striving....'Indeed, the basic fulfillment of which he speaks is not "the fulfillment of any appetite or desire or wish, more precisely, it is "the fulfillment of getting beyond one's appetites and desires and wishes and impulses, the fulfillment of self-transcendence, the fulfillment of human authenticity, the fulfillment that overflows into a level of love of one's neighbor as one's self."

More later.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

No Sermon! Woo-Hoo!

First week at new job.  Friendly people.  I felt very welcomed--they were glad to have me aboard.  My boss wasn't in until Wednesday, so I decorated my office, filled out paperwork, went to a couple of meetings and tried to learn the names of my 36 co-workers.

Today is Saturday, and I've had a fantastic day!  There's an incredible sense of FREEDOM, knowing that tomorrow I go to church and do my thing (my first assignment is to be with the Children's Minister, who reports to me, and observe the children's program) and I don't have to worry about a sermon.  That feels pretty darn good!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rest and Work

View from our cottage at Beaver Lake, near Eureka Springs
Vacation was wonderful, but, oh, too short!  David and I both remarked on Thursday morning, as we were leaving, that we'd only just begun to decompress.
          David and I both lead such busy lives.  Three days is hardly enough time to reconnect, either.  That we did reconnect only left us wishing we had more time for ourselves and our marriage.
          Ministry is so demanding--it's always zeroed in on my conflicting work-ways.   As I approach this new job and position, I'm aware of my need to create strong and appropriate boundaries.  My awareness also extends to my need to prove myself a strong and effective minister and employee which always tempts me to say 'yes' when I really don't have the time!  David is warning me to stay true to appropriate boundaries and not overwork.  
          I'll have to take the pulse of the culture.  Hopefully it's a healthy one and won't stress me out.  At least not too much!! :-)  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

In-Between Time

I've enjoyed my week off...First couple of days were restful, then I prepared for helping to facilitate "Space for Grace," a Courage and Renewal-type retreat on Thursday.  I was strangely tired after that, but took Friday afternoon to drive to Denton to pick up our little granddaughter Morgan.  We had a wonderful couple of days playing - we went to the mall, rode the merry-go-round, got her nails done, watched a seemingly endless number of movies (I think "Care Bears: The Movie" was her favorite, with at least 3 showing!), and just goofed around.  She's SO fun.

Now we soon travel to Arkansas to our favorite cottages on Beaver Lake.  A nice trip and good time with my sweet husband.