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Soundings Celebrations Ministries Prayer/Reflection Formation Extended Family Justice and Peace Safeguarding Links Rshm sites Rscm

Exchange March 2008

 

 

 

   

    FROM THE FORMATION TEAM

 

 

 

 

 

In July 2007, Marie Chin, RSM, presented a paper to the General Chapter, entitled:

Beyond Boundaries There Be Monsters 

 

 We offer the following summary points from this paper for your consideration and reflection:

 

      I have noticed that you have indeed taken seriously to heart the theme of yourChapter --- transcending boundaries for the sake of mission. …I heard the deep desire of your heart to work together as a community, to dig deep into the wellspring of your charism and enkindle justice and compassion, making room for differences and welcoming "the stranger" into your lives, irrespective of personal cost. I perceive this desire to be "nudges" from God that ultimately will disturb complacency as you push against boundaries that confine and limit possibilities in the reign of

God.

 

              responding to these “nudges” will require a good grasp of the

particular challenges in this cultural moment…. “signs of the time”

 

How do we perceive difference/s?

 

     

     …differences can never be meeting places for new grace to unfold? ….

….this is in fact a belief, a frame of reference, a prevailing paradigm in our world that keeps our world wounded and hurting. This mental model that touches every aspect of our lives creates inequalities and a “disparity of power that is at the bottom of much of the dynamics of cruelty” that is in our world.

     

      If we look deeply at most of the stories with which we have grown up, we would see that they tell a tale of how we favour and choose whatever gives us the advantage.

 

        We reject and negate whatever disadvantages us.

 

         There is only one right answer and it has to be my answer.

 

       I believe that because humankind has been so fiercely committed to this story of privilege, fear, and domination…we have a crisis of meaning in our environment, economy, technology, politics, in our social relationships, our intellectual, moral, and religious systems.

 

       What we need…is a new mindset, a new consciousness---a new way of

              seeing, feeling, and acting.

     

     To offset the tendencies of the dominant version of life …writers from every discipline are calling us to activate the power of our imagination to find new images, symbols and myths, song and poetry to express a new consciousness of ourselves in right relationship with God, ourselves, one another, and earth, our home.   

 

 

          Ronald Rolheiser: the power to create the images we need to understand and respond to what we are experiencing. ….. We have healthy imaginations when we can stand before any reality and have a sense of

 

 

 

             what God is asking of us.
 

 

 

 

 We must dig in our Gospel heels and find ways of relating that tell a   credible story about love and power that is for and with others, power that is  relational, transforming us from conflicted and conflicting individuals into open, sharing persons of a new creation, who walk humbly with God into right relationships of neighbourliness and kinship. In this way we can transcend boundaries as lines of separation and instead make them into meeting places where grace unfolds because:

 

 

 

      At the edges of our borders [God] waits,

And at our territorial lines [God] lingers,

Because the place where we touch beyond our boundaries

Is where [God] takes delight.

And when we learn to read the landscape of our fears,

And when we come to know the terrain of every sorrow,

Then will we turn our fences into bridges

And our borders into paths of peace.

 

 

      Unlearn power as control. Learn power as being in right relationship

 

******************************************************************

 

In response to the above we have been invited to consider the following questions:

 

v     How will we deepen our awareness of the interconnectedness of all life?

v     How will we cherish and share our resources and gifts for the whole?

v     How will we invite and support new life at all ages and stages?

v     How will we encourage each other for mission?

v     How will we act collaboratively, locally and globally?

v     How will we engage with differences as potential meeting places?

v     How will we listen and respond to the voices that are made silent,

            especially those of women and children?

 

 

***A fuller Reflection on Marie Chin’s papers and the Call of the Chapter

is available on Powerpoint CD by contacting a member of the Formation Team

 in your area.

 

 

Anne Murphy  pp Formation Team: Pierre Dullaghan, Margaret Lee, Dominique Treacy

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                February 2008

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting in Fazakerley on January 24th, 2008 of sisters from communities in the Liverpool area of North West England. The General Chapter had asked us to ‘immerse ourselves in a new understanding of the interconnectedness of all creation and integrate this awareness into the living of our spirituality in a global context’ – this was the basis of the day.

 

Mary Jo had prepared prayer and readings – including ‘The Testimony of Chief Seattle’, the video ‘The Great Work’ the life and work of Fr Thomas Berry.  Chief Seattle tells us how the ‘red man’ sees the earth as ‘sacred’, ‘holy’, ‘precious’.  He pleads with us ‘with all your strength, with all your mind, with all your heart, preserve it for your children and love it… as God loves us.’ Thomas Berry reminds us that we are living through the greatest extinction spasm of the past 65,000,000 years.  He encourages us to change how we see and use the world and all in it, in order to become who we are, saying ‘I am not myself without everything else.’ Reflecting and sharing together led us to attempt to comprehend the power and mind of God.  Yes, we can and do believe but is it possible for our human mind to ever really understand?

We had a good morning and a great lunch. 

Thank you, Fazakerley.

 

 

 

       

                 FAZAKERLEY MEETING        Agnes Lyons

 

 

  

      LONDON CITIZENS AND MAYORAL ELECTIONS  

 

 

                                                                                             Céline and Barbara

 

 

 

On 19th February we attended a gathering of “London Citizens Governance of London Campaign” as part of a group from our parish in Shepherd’s Bush.  We were one of some 120 varied members’ organisations from across London.

 

The meeting was the final stage of a process of listening, formulating and prioritising proposals to be put to the Mayoral Candidates at an even larger gathering in Westminster Hall on 9th April. The four proposals finally voted in were some very practical steps around

-  A SAFER LONDON

-  A FAIRER LONDON – living wage

-  A BETTER HOUSE LONDON

-  A MORE WELCOMING LONDON - migrants

It was a truly multicultural group, representative of the many forms of diversity in London’s population.  We were gathered in our groups each with a clear banner telling everyone who we represented.  Our immediate neighbours in the hall were the Brazilian Revival Church, Muslim Heritage Centre, Federation of Poles, and those who spoke from the platform included school children, professors, hotel workers, Muslim and Christian Clergy. It was heartening to see that about one third of the organisations there were Catholic churches, organisations or schools.  Although there was pretty well an equal number of men and women there were a noticeably large proportion of interventions from black women.

 

It is hoped that a capacity number of 2,500 will be at the April 9th Lobbying Meeting.  If the enthusiasm and solidarity of this meeting is anything to go by, we think we will make this target.