Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quote du Jour (Religion Department)

Does anyone not know I'm getting married in November? And you do know I'm marrying an Episcopal priest, right?

I mention this at the top of a QOTD post because our marriage prep has included general conversations about ecumenical marriage and a few about why I am and will remain Roman Catholic.

Once again, I have found soulish nourishment in America magazine (July 18-25, 2011).  These quotes are from Cynthia Reville Peabody's essay, "Staying Power: What Keeps Women in the Church?"

More and more I think the time is long past due for us Catholic women to have a conversation among ourselves about what keeps us in the church and what we can pass on to our younger sisters in faith. I am not suggesting a confrontation, mind you -- since confrontations are exhausting and often end in divisive misunderstanding -- but a conversation.

Perhaps becoming more aware of each other’s work could instill a pride powerful enough to dispel despair and keep more of us in the faith. Certainly sharing each other’s exhaustion, exhilaration and confusion is more necessary now than ever....

We can continually rebuild each other as we are rebuilding the church we long for. Let us make a point of asking each other, “Why do you stay?” And then let us listen without judgment or cynicism and with compassion and understanding.

─ Cynthia Reville Peabody


  1. Oh I really like this - hmmmm to think that we women actually have voices and that we may actually have something of worth to contribute - how Vatican II!!!

  2. It is my hope to always listen with compassion, caring and support wherever your spiritual journey takes you in our lives together.

  3. If we could discuss without getting into the Catholic Women's League clique thing, that would be wonderful.

    This kind of conversation is actually promoted/encouraged by il mio Papa JPII in Familaris Consortio.

    You're going to make me look it up, aren't you?
    Darn. Okay. Tomorrow morning, I promise.

  4. Keeping in mind that it is really difficult to find "short" excerpts from any of his writings...
    Familaris Consortio,
    #69, Pastoral Care after Marriage, paragraph 2:

    Young married couples should learn to accept willingly, and make good use of, the discreet, tactful and generous help offered by other couples that already have more experience of married and family life. Thus, within the ecclesial community-the great family made up of Christian families-there will take place a mutual exchange of presence and help among all the families, each one putting at the service of others its own experience of life, as well as the gifts of faith and grace. Animated by a true apostolic spirit, this assistance from family to family will constitute one of the simplest, most effective and most accessible means for transmitting from one to another those Christian values which are both the starting point and goal of all pastoral care. Thus young families will not limit themselves merely to receiving, but in their turn, having been helped in this way, will become a source of enrichment for other longer established families, through their witness of life and practical contribution.

    #72 Associations of families for families, paragraph 2:
    For this reason the Synod expressly recognized the useful contribution made by such associations of spirituality, formation and apostolate. It will be their task to foster among the faithful a lively sense of solidarity, to favor a manner of living inspired by the Gospel and by the faith of the Church, to form consciences according to Christian values and not according to the standards of public opinion; to stimulate people to perform works of charity for one another and for others with a spirit of openness which will make Christian families into a true source of light and a wholesome leaven for other families.

    #86, Conclusion, paragraph 6:
    Loving the family means being able to appreciate its values and capabilities, fostering them always. Loving the family means identifying the dangers and the evils that menace it, in order to overcome them. Loving the family means endeavoring to create for it an environment favorable for its development. The modern Christian family is often tempted to be discouraged and is distressed at the growth of its difficulties; it is an eminent form of love to give it back its reasons for confidence in itself, in the riches that it possesses by nature and grace, and in the mission that God has entrusted to it. "Yes indeed, the families of today must be called back to their original position. They must follow Christ." (182)

    With all of these quotes, it is very easy to read "family" as mom-dad-kids only, and be miffed or conclude that this leaves you off the hook, but I do not think that is a correct reading.

    For one thing, John Paul II would never have been so exclusionary. For another, in other places in the document, he makes it very clear that family is an inclusive term; we are born of family, we have extended families, the Church is a family, all mankind is a family. We all live in relationship of one kind or another, we are all part of family, in one way or another.

    And now, of course, I'm not being "short" either.



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