from John Chuchman

I’m Grieving, You’re Grieving, We’re Grieving!
Fifty years ago at Vatican II
the world’s Bishops gave Our Church Hope.
They reaffirmed Freedom/Primacy of Conscience.
Today’s hierarchy says it must conform to their pronouncements.
We grieve.

A church governed in loving Collegiality was promised;
We’ve been dealt a Feudal Monarchy.
We grieve.

The Sharing of Power with local Synods of Bishops Representing the People
was foretold.
Power, instead, has been consolidated in the chief hierarch.
We grieve.

Lay Leadership of and in the Church was mandated.
Rather, the laity have been re-delegated to less-than-clergy.
We grieve.

Ecumenism was seen as essential to the future of
Catholicism, Christianity, Religion.
Instead, the walls have been raised.
We grieve.

We all got excited about Renewed Liturgical Practice
honoring local Artists, Musicians, and Traditions.
In a show of power, the hierarchs imposed
new archaic liturgical language and rituals.
We grieve.

The Council launched Intellectual Debate with Respect for Theologians.
With the silencing of hundreds, Dialogue is Dead.
We grieve.

The Church of Vatican II was to Heed the Signs of the Times.
Rather than a Church of and in the twenty-first century,
we’re told to revert to the Fifteenth (15th).
We grieve.

The Bishops of the world correctly saw the Church as the People of God.
Instead the Pyramid has been preserved with the people of God the base.
We grieve.

A Deeper Spirituality was promised,
seen as the essential mission of Church.
The corporate hierarchy of today has no clue.
We grieve.

True Biblical Scholarship was encouraged.
Today, Fundamentalism pervades.
We grieve.

Respect for and Protection of Young people
was deemed essential to the Future of Church.
Instead, Young people are abused
with their abusers protected.
We grieve the alienation and loss of the Young.

Liberation Theology was valued.
Rather, It has been undermined, squelched, stifled, silenced.
Latin America grieves.

The promise of a Christ-like Church with Christ-like Leadership
excited us all.
Yet, It is nowhere to be found.
We grieve.
We grieve.
We grieve the loss of all that Church is meant to be.

Love, John Chuchman
Pastoral Bereavement Educator and Companion

Thanks (I think) for reminding me, Matthew Fox


In Each and Every Moment, the Unknown

Those of you
who have shared in my ponderings
and/or read some or all
of my fourteen books
know how much I have written about
trying to live in the Present Moment,
simply being awake, aware, alive
to what is happening
in the Now.

It dawns on me
that how I approach
each and every moment
is always influenced by
my past experiences,
my own accumulation of perspectives.

As a human being,
I’ve rightfully developed mental shortcuts
that have given me
a jump-start, a heads-up,
to facing what is in front of me,
here and now.

for much of my life journey
I restricted too much of my approach
to the Precious Present Moment
to my way of seeing things,
instead of realizing that
to truly learn and grow
I need to be aware of
the limitations of my own view.

I need to hold my assumptions
more lightly.

Left unchecked,
my personal projections
based on the accumulation of all my past experiences,
instead of simply being useful
become rigid,
blocking me from learning
what is available to learn
in the Now.

I know that I Do need to continue
to develop convictions
based on my experiences,
but am learning
that I cannot, must not,
restrict myself by the past
in learning from the Now.

I have come to the realization
that I must bring to each and every moment,
not only my convictions,
but also an awareness
of how much I simply do not know.

When I search for a suspected answer,
I tend to look only in the direction of that answer,
without creating enough of
an open space
to withhold my conclusions,
being open to
All Possibilities.

I work now
to approach each moment, each experience,
from multiple viewpoints
so that I have the option to
change my understanding
or even form a new perspective.

I know now
any single point of view is partial.
Perhaps this is what Dom Bede Griffiths meant
when he said,
“Truth is in the coming together of opposites.”

As you know from my musings,
my workshops, and my books,
Loving Listening
has been a key,
not only to helping others through Grief,
but also in my own personal growth.

Loving Listening
affords me
a flexibility
that frees me from the hold of
unexamined views;
much of my sense of self
having been derived from these views.

Loving Listening
creates an opening
in which I can choose
to accept or put aside
whatever I discover in the moment,
and not be bound by
a rigidity based on my past experiences.
While I remain committed to
seeking Wisdom
through all of my experiences,
(which Wisdom institutional religions tend to ignore)
I can free myself
by embracing the unknown
resident in each and every Precious Present Moment.

Love, John Chuchman

better than church stuff, eh?

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