November 12, 2008

A future not our own

I just found out that Fr. Roy Bourgeois has been threatened with excommunication if he does not recant his belief that women should be ordained. Fr. Roy, a Catholic priest and SOA Watch founder participated in the ordination of a woman down in Lexington, KY a few months ago, and gave a homily at the Mass. If excommunicated, the action would come just before the annual protest at Ft. Benning where Fr. Roy is scheduled to lead the mass and protest.
Roman Catholic Women Priests issued a statement of solidarity to accompany Fr. Roy's letter to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
Both letters rightly point out that exactly ZERO priests who abused children — nor those who helped them cover it up — were even THREATENED with excommunication. It's really just a travesty, but I can't say that I'm surprised.

I'm again reminded of the homily attributed to Fr. Oscar Romero about how change comes about so very slowly:

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

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