Our celebration of Pentecost was absolutely glorious! The music, the red banners, the joyful dancing of our Tanzanian sisters all contributed to our Sunday Eucharist. I find myself wishing that Pentecost could be a liturgical season, not just one, glorious day. Even an "octave" would suit me fine. I just want to sing those Spirit hymns and dwell in the mystery of the God who is with us in Spirit.
The readings for the day focus on the impact of the Spirit on the Church, in general, but on the Twelve, in particular, who were filled with fear and transformed into courageous preachers of the "Good News." It was the Spirit who impelled the Gospel forward. It was the Spirit who laid claim to each of us in Baptism and Confirmation. It is the Spirit of the risen Lord, active and present beyond our understanding, who guides the Church 2,000 years later.
I want to say something about our Church. St. Paul was spot on. We are one body. No label can divide what Christ has made his own – neither “liberal”, nor “traditional”, not “radical” or “conservative. We are Roman Catholics. Any divisions based on liturgical practices or rubrics can be held together by mutual respect and trust in the Spirit’s abiding presence. The Church abides in Christ and no harm can come to it save what we do to her ourselves. Right worship and true faith do matter. Our Holy Father and our bishops will guide our way. This “universal” Church is big enough to hold us all together – in spite of our diversity which, by grace, is also our great gift. We need to assume good - that every Catholic loves the Lord and His Church. We need to resist any urge to judge one another. The Spirit is at work – always – strengthening, healing, breathing life into our dry bones. We are all sisters and brothers in Christ. My call, begun at baptism and fulfilled in monastic profession, is to serve Christ, to be His mercy and peace in the world and to love, especially where love is most needed. The rest, I leave to Christ who is head of the body, the Church (Colossians 1:18). And, with the gift of His Spirit, the mission of the Church cannot fail.
Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki