What needs to change in us?

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What needs to change in us?

Changing the way we go about life is not all that difficult. We all do it all the time. We change jobs, states, houses, relationships, lifestyles over and over again as the years go by. But those are, in the main, very superficial changes. Real change is far deeper than that. It is changing the way we look at life that is the stuff of conversion.
 
Metanoia, conversion, is an ancient concept that is deeply embedded in the monastic worldview. Early seekers went to the desert to escape the spiritual aridity of the cities, to concentrate on the things of God. “Flight from the world”—separation from the systems and vitiated values that drove the world around them—became the mark of the true contemplative. To be a contemplative in a world bent on materialism and suffocated with itself, conversion was fundamental. But conversion to what? To deserts? Hardly. The goal was purity of heart, single-mindedness of search, focus of life.
 
We do not need to leave where we are to become contemplative. Otherwise, the Jesus who walked the dusty roads of Galilee surrounded by lepers and children and sick people and disciples and crowds of the curious and the committed was no contemplative either. Jesus the healer, the prophet, the preacher, the teacher, by that standard, was not engrafted into the mind of God. The thought appalls. No, surely contemplation is not a matter of place.
 
“Flight from the world” is not about leaving any specific location. “Flight from the world” is about shedding one set of attitudes, one kind of consciousness for another. On the contrary, we simply have to be where we are with a different state of mind. We have to be in the office with the good of the whole world in mind. We have to be on the corporate board with the public at heart. We have to be in the home in a way that has more to do with development than with control.
 
What needs to be changed in us? Anything that makes us the sole center of ourselves. Anything that deludes us into thinking that we are not simply a work in progress, all of those degrees, status, achievements, and power are no substitute for the wisdom that a world full of God everywhere, in everyone, has to teach us.

To become a contemplative, a daily schedule of religious events and practices is not enough. We must begin to do life, to be with people, to accept circumstances, to bring good to evil in ways that speak of the presence of God in every moment.
 
     —from Illuminated Life by Joan Chittister (Orbis)

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Women of the Well-St John the Baptist-Essex, MA

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Women of the Well

 A gathering of women — usually from 8 to 12 in number — who meet each Saturday morning at St. John the Baptist Parish Hall from 7:30 AM to approximately 9:00 AM.  “Leadership” rotates among the women as they choose and they are free to select their own topic and begin the sharing with their personal reflection.  There is no cross-talk, giving of advice or interruptions of anyone who has chosen to speak.  Confidentiality is honored and a safe and welcoming atmosphere is paramount.  We welcome any and all women — of whatever faith or spiritual practice — who may be interested in sharing their faith journey with us. Would love to have you. Please join us!

 

A United State

African-American and white men embrace after taking part in a prayer circle July 10 following a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas. Theologians and justice advocates have called upon the church to better address racism as a life issue and see it as an “intrinsic evil.” (CNS photo/Carlo Allegri, Reuters)

At the end of 2016, the nation continues to grapple with police violence toward unarmed black men, unprovoked attacks on police officers, the threat of mass deportations and the re-emergence of white nationalism as a political force. Tensions are high across the country, but many Americans, the U.S. bishops included, are eager to work against racial injustice and inequality and toward healing and reconciliation.
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Young adult Catholics discuss their search for community, identity – National Catholic Reporter

Attendees at this year’s Call to Action panel spent their Saturday morning keynote session contemplating a question that troubles faithful Catholics throughout the United States: why isn’t the church attracting new generations of young adults?

Source: Young adult Catholics discuss their search for community, identity – National Catholic Reporter

Women of the Well-St John the Baptist-Essex, MA

DSCN2625.JPG

Women of the Well

 A gathering of women — usually from 8 to 12 in number — who meet each Saturday morning at St. John the Baptist Parish Hall from 7:30 AM to approximately 9:00 AM.  “Leadership” rotates among the women as they choose and they are free to select their own topic and begin the sharing with their personal reflection.  There is no cross-talk, giving of advice or interruptions of anyone who has chosen to speak.  Confidentiality is honored and a safe and welcoming atmosphere is paramount.  We welcome any and all women — of whatever faith or spiritual practice — who may be interested in sharing their faith journey with us. Would love to have you. Please join us!

The Kindness Rocks Project to visit Salem

Mayor Kim Driscoll, City of Salem Public Space Initiative and the Artisans at Artists’ Row recently announced a The Kindness Rocks Project event to take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 1 at Artists’ Row, 24 New Derby St., Salem.The Kindness Rocks Project was created to spread inspiration and motivation for unsuspecting recipients through random inspirational rocks placed in easy to access locations. It started as a hobby of one and has now turned into a movement due to the energy of many. Continue..click here

Source: The Kindness Rocks Project to visit Salem