Skip to main content

Each of us is on our own spiritual journey, despite the promptings of the institutional Church; responsible for our own seeking a way down the path, with our own compass, We are always seeking new ways to bring sense to being “here”, to experience the transcendent and the Divine presence in life around us. But setting out on your own is a spiritually lonely journey. The spiritual path was meant for partners. Jesus walked with others. He joined seekers on the road to Emmaus, explained the workings of the Kingdom, then sat and broke bread. Sharing a meal brings us together, leads us to engage, to be open.  Being together on that spiritual path, sharing our stories on the road, can be “Church”.

There is a role for “Church” as a body that leads us to share, to the way of belief and worship, and becomes a model of justice, but this doesn’t come without much struggle, and frequent dark nights of institutional reflection.  The clergy centric Church, ever more conservative, is fighting to make a comeback and once again be the teacher of dogma and to restore the esteem lost in so many years of scandal. And despite what some may think or want, we are not  destined to replay pre-Vatican II, where the pews are filled with the pious fingering their beads depending on Mother Church to feed her people.   We are older now, we’ve grown up, and we can feed ourselves.

Remembering that we are Church can be a difficult thing, especially when we look to the institution for sacramental ministry, which increasingly our ministers feel they are allowed to withhold from those who dissent.   This doesn’t excuse the Church, but should only call it to greater fidelity to the Gospel Way.

But I am increasingly drawn in my spiritual thinking to our God as a God of the present, the God of now!  

“Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation”. (2 Cor. 6:2)

Not 100 years from now when women greet us as Celebrants from the altar, when family planning or how to vote isn’t the topic of Sunday worship, or when gay life is finally no longer looked upon as “disordered”….not only disordered, but “intrinsically disordered” (meaning the “essential nature” of a person is out of whack), or when “religious freedom” is truly a liberating idea, not a cover for political agendas.  Now!

“Now is the time when you are perfectly transformed in Christ.  Not tomorrow.  Not yesterday, not this morning, not at three o’clock.  But right now!”
  Kevin Hunt Sensei, OCSO

I think it can be good to be angry, to dissent, to be an activist.  But you need prayer and a connection to Spirit to hold it all together.  This is what drove Martin Luther King, and Daniel Berrigan to actively confront an unjust war.  Fr. Berrigan (who is 91 now!) was very clear that he could not engage in the struggle without a source of prayer and the Eucharist as his base. He saw that as his starting point.

The Church is our source of sustenance.  A place to refresh and hear each other, and God, but it is also there, in its truest form, to challenge.  The challenge is to be here now, to walk the path of the righteous, and seek justice in all ways. Our struggle, it seems, is to either maintain allegiance to the body of the Church, or to find our own path, developing a larger allegiance to the body of Christ. The institutional struggle will be whether to open the windows to the fresh air of dialogue, encouraging the spiritual journey with those alienated and disillusioned, or to maintain the retrograde, exclusionary approach of those who believe that a smaller Church, made up of “true believers” who tow the dogmatic line, is the way forward.  

Let us never forget that the Table is welcoming, We break bread as a community, we disagree as friends, and we hold each other close like family.  The journey is for us all,  the struggle is for us all.   The road can be muddy sometimes, but it leads in one direction.


“Walk as tall as the trees…As strong as the Mountains.  Be as gentle as the Spring Winds and the Great Spirit will be with you always.”.    Black Elk, Indian Chief
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site