This is a blog that I post to several times a week although not necessarily daily. These reflections are triggered by the scripture found in the lectionary used by many Christian denominations. While I am part of the Catholic tradition, these posts are not --or rarely--sectarian. I try to put myself in the space of a of Jesus Christ and listen to words that come to me as I read and pray the scriptures. Each post also includes a photograph. These rarely have any connection to the content of the post but are simply pleasing images that I capture as I make my pilgrimage through life.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A New Year and a new beginning

First light in Grand canyon from Yavapai Point
Taking a photo of a sunrise can be tricky.  At first you want to capture the sun coming up over the eastern horizon but that can result in what has become a hackneyed image often devoid of context.  Eventually you realize that looking away back to the west provides a much more interesting image.  In the above photo, one can see the first light on the sun in the Grand Canyon as it illuminates the northern rim.  There is enough ambient light so that the details of the canyon and the Colorado River become visible.  So sometimes we can get more information by looking away so we can see and experience the impact of something on its environment.

I begin 2020 with this in mind as I think about my relationship to the Roman Catholic Church.  2019 has been a difficult year for me and the church, nationally and locally.  No need to catalog the issues that plague the church of my upbringing except to say that the lack of accountability to the members of the church by its leaders on every level can be infuriating and debilitating.  It certainly was for me.

I actively investigated membership in other Christian denominations.  I found much that was important and attractive but in the end I couldn't get myself to leave the Catholic tradition.  So I am committed to membership in my local parish and will continue to support it and indirectly my diocese and the Roman Church.  I wish I could withhold my financial support to the last two without penalizing my local parish but that is not possible given the organizational format of the Roman Church.

I am under no illusion that remaining in the church, participating in weekly worship, serving as a lector, volunteering in social ministry, and generally being a "good parishioner" will address my need for spiritual enrichment.  Indeed what I have learned during my year of prayer and discernment is that church membership is a necessary but far from sufficient condition for a vital faith.  My spirituality vitality is a function of my personal relationship with the Divine One.

This blog for 2020 will focus on just that, my personal relationship with the Divine One.  Sometimes this will seem in perfect concert with the institutional church and sometimes it will seem completely out of sync with that institution.  I look forward to diving into those waters and sharing my insights with those who find their way to this blog.

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