Lay Network Update -
The Covid-19 pandemic has placed us in a sheltered, luminal state. We don't know where we are going but we know we are leaving the old familiar way of being. It can be an unsettling dark night, but not knowing is necessary for our protection as well as a time for reflection and surrender. Saying, "Yes" to all the cups that we will be asked to drink will lead us to a new state of consciousness.
The Council of the Baptized has given many Open Forums on Evolutionary Consciousness so we have some spiritual direction to make our way - one step at a time. I must admit, there have been moments when I thought, what's the use - pass the mashed potatoes. I notice others are also focused on food during this time and it reminded me of a workshop given by a woman from South Africa at Aslan Institute.
Lyndall Johnson likened evolutionary consciousness to the metamorphosis of the caterpillar. The caterpillar is a beautiful unique creature in itself, but it is meant to be more than what it is. Imprinted on the caterpillar is the image of the butterfly. When it is time to transform, the creature goes into a hungry frenzy, consuming enormous amounts of mulberry leaves until it becomes mushy. After it is cocooned in the dark for an extended period of time, it struggles hard and long until it finally emerges as a beautiful new creation.
We are also in a time of transformation. It is dark and scary, but we must remember that we are imprinted with the Imago Dei. There have been threats to our existence as well as glimmers of hope. In this mushy mix, we are grateful for all the helpers, especially the essential ones on the front lines who project brilliant slivers of light. We are grateful for Gov. Tim Walz, a levelheaded, collaborative leader who is trying to keep us safe during this vulnerable time. We are grateful for Archbishop Hebda who has come down to be one of us - feeding the homeless and being pastoral by reaching out and touching our hearts. Francis has encouraged the clergy to smell like sheep and our Minnesota shepherd is taking the Pope seriously. As we continue to muddle through the unknown, we may as well relax and welcome the call for transformation. The imprint of the Imago Dei tells us we are more than who we are and from the throne of God, we hear, "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev 21:50).
The May CCCR board meeting is cancelled. We will prepare for a June Zoom meeting to discuss what lies ahead. One issue we decided to work on this year was the ordination of women priests and deacons. The Covid-19 pandemic has paralyzed us for the time being, but it is still on our minds. During the 1918 pandemic, the suffragettes managed to continue the hard work of getting women's right to vote. Some testified while having pneumonia and became victims of the virus. Finally, on August 26, 1920, women's suffrage was inscribed into the U.S. Constitution. It was the right time to make history. The Covid-19 pandemic may be the right time for us. Let us prepare by praying, reflecting and imagining a new world reality that includes and gives women equal standing in priestly ministry. Reread
Catholic Women and Holy Orders -
The Time is Now, put out by the Council of the Baptized. When the right time comes, we will get out of the bleachers, go to a new playing field, and once again try to make history.
Nancy Gotto - Chair
Still living in joyful hope,