August 1, 2020 The Sacramento Newsletter The Christian Community
“Ask from your heart, and it will be given to you.
Seek, and you will find.
Knock, and the door will be opened for you.”
In this newsletter:
News, notes, and needs.
Contributions from the Community: Rosemary Glover and Irina Segal.
Thoughts about Trinity.
Contemplation by Sanford Miller.
1. News, notes and needs
We will have our next Community Meeting through Zoom on Sunday, August 9, at 11 A.M. You will receive an invitation to join the meeting next week.
Following the state and county health officials request, we have to keep closed the doors of our Church. The priests will continue to celebrate the Act of Consecration daily at 9 A.M. You might consider accompanying us during the 9:00 A.M. celebration of the sacrament from your home. We would be happy to bring communion to you in your homes. Please let us know.
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Advent Fair News
The Fundraising Committee had a Zoom meeting on July 22 to plan for this year’s Advent Fair. Due to current conditions limiting gatherings and uncertainty concerning what will be permitted in the fall, the committee agreed that it would be best, at this time, to focus on three offerings for the Fair: candles, wreaths and an online raffle of five really special items. Due to the generosity of Paula Sullivan, we have our first item for the raffle: another one of her beautiful knitted blankets. We will publish a photo in the newsletter when the blanket is complete. Thank you, Paula!! If you have an original work of art or a special handcrafted item or perhaps a choice vacation rental that you would like to offer for the raffle, please contact Heidi Boucher (firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 601-9134. We are looking forward to an exciting raffle!
Donna Burgess for the Fundraising Committee
You are invited to an open-air conversation based on a selected excerpt from the work of James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time. Written in 1963, the voice of this powerful African-American leader continues to speak to and challenge us today. We will seek to understand his perspectives and explore our responses to his insights and understandings. In this excerpt he looks at music, religion, and sensuality as a way of respecting and rejoicing in the force of life. This conversation will be held next Saturday, August 8 at 10:30. We will meet at the Fair Oaks Library and find a shady place to sit. BRING CHAIR. It would be helpful to know if you plan to be there. Please email: email@example.com.
Cheryl Martine and Luis González
2. Contributions from the Community
Study of the parables
During this time of isolation, we all really miss our Wednesday Bible study group with Sanford, the opportunity to gather around the table for coffee and conversation followed by our study.
The Thursday zoom meetings are filling the gap in unexpected ways … once we learn how to press the right buttons, we can see each other in our homes, and see old friends from further afield that we may not have seen for a long time.
Working with the parables has been inspiring and heart-warming. The painting is a simple offering in gratitude for this gift.
Text and painting by Rosemary Glover
Broad sun-stoned beaches.
A green river.
scorched yellow palms
from the summer-sleeping house
drowsing through August.
Days I have held,
days I have lost,
days that outgrow, like daughters,
my harbouring arms.
Why did I choose Derek Walcott?
1 - I love this poet. He was born (1930 - 2017) on the Island of Saint Lucia, a far greater crucible of races and cultures than any other melting pot north of the equator. Walcott's style is independent of the tradition he inherited yet not altogether orphaned from it. Truly unique.
This is what Russian poet Josef Brodsky (Walcott's friend, also Nobel Laureate) says about Walcott:
"....his throbbing and relentless lines kept arriving in the English language like tidal waves, coagulating into an archipelago of poems without which the map of modern literature would effectively match wallpaper. He gives us more than himself or a ‘world’; he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language."
2 - Because, it is a small masterpiece. Laconic language effectively brings to life the place with its colors, afternoon heat, lullying rhythms - all cradled in poet's "harbouring arms", anticipating partings and losses in this seemingly lazy summer day in Tobago.
Irina Segal from L.A.
3. Thoughts about Trinity
“It is a testimony of the inherent strength of Christianity that it accepted the Trinity as an ongoing riddle without a clear definition. Understanding the threefoldness and the unity of the Trinity relies on human experience, on wisdom and a sense for spiritual realities as well as divine revelation.”
Hans – Werner Shroeder
Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, you could give me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire ever burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being. Yes, you are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light, and causes me to know your truth. And I know that you are beauty and wisdom itself. The food of angels, you gave yourself to man in the fire of your love.
St. Catherine of Siena
“Looking for the principle of threeness will give us a ground of comparison and assure us that a triune of divine creativity works in the world and in us. The Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit finds its mirror in the Threeness of:
Past (the Father), present (the Son), future (the Spirit)
Body (the Father), soul (the Son) and spirit (the Spirit)
Thinking (the realm of the Father), feeling (that of the Son), will (that of the Spirit).”
“For the Trinity is God, God is the Trinity; the Trinity is our maker and protector, the Trinity is our dear friend for ever, our everlasting joy and bliss, through our Lord Jesus Christ. And this was shown in the first revelation, and in all of them; for it seems to me that where Jesus is spoken of, the Holy Trinity is to be understood”
Julian of Norwich
“So far we have looked at the Trinity as a threeness, but will now explore the unity of the three…
Imagine a rose. Each part – the root, leaf and blossom – is something unique and separate. Nevertheless they each belong unmistakeably to the rose. In every part the nature of the rose is expressed. The nature of the rose is essentially one…
St. John’s Gospel not only points to the inner unity of the persons of the Trinity, but also on their working together.”
“Whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives Him who sent me.”
“The Father is the origin of all, the Son realizes, and the Spirit fulfils. Everything subsists by the will of the Father, comes into being through the action of the Son, and reaches its perfection through the action of the Holy Spirit.”
Basil of Caesarea
Do you want to know what goes on in the core of the Trinity? I will tell you. In the core of Trinity the Father laughs and gives birth to the Son. The Son laughs back at the Father and gives birth to the Spirit. The whole Trinity laughs and gives birth to us.
4. Gospel Reading
Matthew 7: 1-14 “ Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” “ Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you.” “ Ask from your heart, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” “ Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
There are two words for time in the New Testament: Kronos and Kairos. Kronos, from which our words connected with time are derived: chronology, chronometer, etc., is measurable, mechanical time. Kairos is connected with life, with becoming, growth and ripening and is translated variously as the “right” time, the “proper” time, “fulfillment” of time, etc. Kairos, the immeasurable, right time is a function of the working together of spiritual beings with human beings that will, at some point, bring to birth some important shift or change in the world.
One curious phenomenon that many of us have experienced during this worldwide pandemic is a change in our perception of time. It seems that time has lost its rigid, unbending nature. Time has become increasingly vague, as if Kronos-time’s relevance and pertinence have gone missing. This may be because we have lost the markers in our week, the repeating events connected with particular days, leaving us anchor-less and drifting in time. There is a sameness that like a fog muffles the once normal dynamic of our daily lives. We find ourselves wondering, “What day is this?” We don’t have to be “on time” because most everything is shut down. It is almost like the world has left Kronos-time and collectively entered into a Kairos moment, into Kairos-time. Perhaps, something new is seeking to be born, to ripen, to emerge.
Whatever kind of “time” is operative, it is in any case an utterly unique, but equivocal moment in world history. We have never in our lifetimes experienced a circumstance like the current Covid induced shutdown, a simultaneous worldwide canceling of human culture, the near evaporation of all social life, and the evisceration of the economy. Like a devastating plague of old, but different because of the telecommunication capacity of the modern world: we were forewarned and began sheltering in place, out of harm’s way, and have been mostly just hearing and reading about the rapid spread of the virus. What will become of all this? Why is it happening? Is this truly a worldwide Kairos moment? What may be emerging?
If Kairos time is characterized by a working together of human beings with the spiritual world, then, of course, it’s a Kairos moment. But then, is there ever a time that is not Kairos time, because the spiritual world is always working with human beings, supporting us in our trying to realize, to bring to birth the highest aims of what it means to be a human being on earth.
It isn’t clear what will emerge out of this crisis. Certainly, widespread suffering and death is part of it, and in which we may sense the hand of humanity’s adversaries. But there is no situation on earth out of which the greatest good may not come. But for that to happen requires that we become coworkers with the spiritual world. We need to offer ourselves as vessels, as their earthly agents. We do this when we turn to the divine in earnest, heartfelt seeking. Every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer, every time we seek the timeless realm of the heavens, either in prayer or meditation, we contribute to this world moment, this Kairos moment, that is pregnant with the possibility of significant, positive change for the planet. We need to trust the Spirit and do our part.
Thank you for your Gift
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