I Love the Pope too, but…

By Grace O’Malley. 

In her post “Finally Understanding ‘Alleluia’” Theia echoed the sentiments of many American Catholics since the election of Pope Francis. “Liberal Catholics,” she wrote, “our time has come.”

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And yes, she is right. The fact that we have a Pope even noting social inequality is nothing short of revolutionary. It is a breath of fresh air for liberal Catholics who have disassociated their faith from the Church as institution. That he is addressing climate change, poverty, and mass incarceration is fantastic. The fact that he is incredibly humble is awesome.

But sometimes I have trouble jumping on the Pope-adoring bandwagon. I think that if I could look at him simply as an international figurehead who has moral authority, or maybe if he were Lutheran or Jewish or Buddhist or Muslim, I’d be on board in an instant. How can you not?

Yes, of course we need more people to be advocates for the poor! Yes, we need to do something about climate change! Yes, we need to talk about the prison system! Yes, we need more people urging us to take action on social justice issues! Yes, Yes, Yes.

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Finally understanding “Alleluia”

By Theia. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/24/us/politics/pope-francis-obama-white-house.html

It has been a busy week for me, so I haven’t fully unpacked my thoughts on the Pope’s visit to DC and all of his political commentary, but the overall feeling is joy*. My political views and spiritual views are finally accepted, that these two identities of mine – liberal and Catholic – are no longer repelling magnets but magnets that are attracted to each other. For first time in my life I don’t have to pray to God with doubt, hesitation, or reservations that God won’t love my liberal half. But now I can pray to God with grace, with whole-hearted thankfulness that I was able to witness a Latin American Jesuit Pope in my lifetime.

Liberal Catholics, our time has come.

Matthew 5:6 “6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to help the poor.

*Joy: “While the more secular definition of joy may be simply an intense form of happiness, religious joy is always about a relationship. Joy has an object and that object is God.” James Martin, SJ

How to Get a Rise out of a Young Feminist at a Fundamentalist Religious Convention

Written by guest blogger Amara

The past week has been an interesting one for me.

I’ve been at the SDA General Conference in San Antonio, after my parents generously decided to block out a whole 10 days from my already fleeting, quickly moving summer. But I guess I’ll forgive them for that eventually.

If you aren’t familiar, the Seventh Day Adventist church is based on these three boiled down notions:

  • Church happens on Saturday, not Sunday — from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
  • Life is to be lived naturally + as straightedge as possible — many are vegetarian, no drinks or drugs.
  • Jesus is coming back to save those who have earned (enter sideeye here) it. And soon so like, get your shit together.

It seems simple because for the most part, it is. The Adventist life is a surefire way to live simply. This whole week is evidence of that, as I’ve been surrounded by people young and old, hetero families of all sizes with smiles on their faces. Adventists aren’t a flashy people, in fact most Adventists I have met are unassuming and well-intentioned.  Adventists are content.

And that’s where trouble starts for me.

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Thoughts about 9/11

By Theia.

I grew up in New Jersey, one of my first memories of Dad bringing me into New York City was when. I was five. Staring at the sky with my arms wide, I twirling in circles and saw two tall towers merging with the sky. They were twins.

One day when I was ten, I left school early because the World Trade Center crashed. I didn’t know what that was. I didn’t know it was the first thing I saw every time I drove by the New York skyline. I didn’t know the Twin Towers was just its nickname. But when serious stuff happens, no one calls you by your nickname.

I sometimes wish I had a great story about the 9/11 that I could pass down to my grandkids, and I am sometimes ashamed that I treated that day like a snow day. That afternoon I made cookies at my neighbor’s house, and we complained how the television stations were all showing the same footage. Even Nickelodeon. I went back into the kitchen and made cookies.

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“You panicked a little”

“You panicked a little right before I kissed you.”

I was 18 and I was in my mom’s car. We were parked outside his apartment. He lived in an apartment that said ‘New York’ above the door on the outside of the building. He was in the passenger’s seat, but I felt like I was along for the ride – an early example of what would become my constant struggle with him. It was his world, and I was never sure where I belonged in it. Still, I rode along for years, hoping to find out. I stared straight ahead at the Subaru parked in front of us. I felt the air spill out of the space between us as he pushed it, leaning closer, his face inches, centimeters from mine. I winced. Out of fear, yes. Out of excitement, maybe. Certainly out of ignorance. He was the one who had all the answers, he was the one who knew. I turned my head to the right and he kissed me. He kissed me and my eyes stayed open. I went sort of cross-eyed, trying to remain focused on his face, trying to keep my bearings. Funny how I thought I still had them. He pulled away and said, “Perfect red lips.”

Thea Bowman (1937-1990)

By Grace O’Malley. 

I’ve blogged about the Catholic Church and its male-dominance, an experience I am well acquainted with. As a white woman, however, I have had the privilege of never feeling marginalized because of my race in the white-dominated Church. And although I strongly identify with writings of Mary Daly, the “radical” Catholic feminist, I do not want to make the mistake she made by neglecting to acknowledge the experiences and voices of women of color. In light of this, I’d like to dedicate our first #tbt a Catholic woman of color who encountered barriers and prejudices I never have.

Thea Bowman was an African-American Catholic nun, who in addition to be being a religious woman, was a scholar, speaker, and an activist for racial justice.

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Romeo and the Feminist

By Theia. 

“People will instinctively find out, as I have done, that it is not your forte to talk of yourself, but to listen while others talk of themselves; they will feel, too, that you listen with no malevolent scorn of the indiscretion, but with a kind of innate sympathy – not the less comforting and encouraging because it is very unobtrusive in its manifestations.”

“How do you know? How can you guess all this sir?”

“I know it well; therefore I proceed almost as freely as if I were writing my thoughts in a diary…”

-Jane Eyre

Dear John*,

Although we were both too shy to admit it, I think we could call it summer love. And since we were both too shy, we didn’t know how to flirt. In the end we were just friends, and that’s what I loved most about it.

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