by Emily Tetalman, Call To Action 20/30 Leadership Team
Author’s note: While preparing for this reflection, Trevor Thomson’s song, “Christ in Me Arise” kept playing in my head. I’ve incorporated some of the lyrics into this reflection.
“Christ in me arise and dispel all the darkness. Christ in me arise in Your power and Your strength….”
Today’s Gospel reading is the Transfiguration of Jesus, which is often described as the account that confirms Jesus as the Son of God. In this story, the disciples, Peter, James, and John, witness Jesus being encased in a brilliant, white light and speaking with Elijah and Moses. Peter wishes to construct three tents to pay homage to Jesus, Elijah, and Moses. In reply, God speaks saying, “This is my beloved Son…Listen to Him.” Then the white light vanishes and only Jesus is present instructing the disciples not to repeat what they just saw until after the Resurrection. I don’t know if the Transfiguration was an actual event, but the story reminds me that Jesus can be hidden among us.
This Lent, the Call To Action 20/30 community offers each other a series of simple Lenten reflections on the sacred season. Today and each Sunday of Lent, we will share a reflection by a young progressive Catholic. May we inspire each other, now and always. Next up, 20/30 Program Coordinator, Katie Jones.
“At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” – Matthew 4:1
In which Adam exhibits the age-old unhealthy human tendency to blame the other guy.
Let me teach you about sin, the way I learned it from my fourth grade CCD teacher: every time you sin, it’s like a little black spot grows on your heart. The graver the sin, the bigger and darker the lesion. My teacher drew a heart on the blackboard for emphasis – chalking in little sin dots here and there until it was a freaky-looking thing. I think there was a happy ending involving confession and an eraser, but I’m not sure. Part One of the lesson was the scary part, instilling that grotesque, embodied fear for which we Catholics are so notorious.
This Lent, the Call To Action 20/30 community offers each other a series of simple Lenten reflections on the sacred season. Today and each Sunday of Lent, we will share a reflection by a young progressive Catholic. May we inspire each other, now and always. First up, 20/30 Leadership Team member, Megan Graves.
For me, the upcoming season of Lent is one of the most reflective times of the year. This season not only allows me to reflect on my life as a student, but also on the journeys ahead.
This season of Lent is also important for me because I will be traveling with a group of students from Dominican to New Orleans this Spring Break. We’ll be working with United Saints Recovery Project – a community-based organization with a mission to keep current residents in their homes by providing low-cost and free home rehabilitation to make their houses safe and livable again. We’ll be taking a tour of the city and learning about its rich history, ongoing struggles, and the deep culture that continues to form it. We’ll also be visiting the National Civil Rights Memorial in Memphis on the way down and learning about how the struggle for civil rights continues in our country.
In today’s world, there are so many issues that need to be addressed. Yet we must all try to strive to be someone’s foundation, while at the same time, taking the time out to reflect on our purpose during this season of Lent.
The CTA 20/30 Leadership Team is so excited to offer this summer gathering! More details forthcoming. For now, save the date. Reserve your spot or direct your questions to: katiejones @ cta-usa.org
by Kate Conmy and Katie Jones
Build justice-seeking Catholic community around your dinner table!
For the past 10 months, some progressive Catholics in the Washington, DC area have been gathering for monthly potluck dinners. The event is called Guerrilla Communion (here here to Kate for the jazzy name!), and its purpose is simple: to gather progressive Catholics around a table just to be together. Typically, we’ll have 20 people or so show up with some chili, or hummus, or a six-pack or two. We eat, share stories, get to know each other, and go home. We bring with us ties to a host of church justice organizations – Call To Action, Women’s Ordination Conference, New Ways Ministry, Catholics United, DignityUSA, Catholics for Choice, NETWORK, Pax Christi, the volunteer corps, various parishes – but ultimately come just as ourselves. There is a special kind of cross-pollination that happens over a plate of rice and beans that can be downright transformational.
Last year’s team at our annual planning meeting.
Each year, CTA 20/30, Call To Action’s young adult community, elects a few new members to its leadership team. Team members commit to visioning and creating programming for and with young progressive Catholics. Last year, we planned young adult events at the annual CTA conference, revamped this blog, and sent young adult pilgrims to World Youth Day. This coming year, who knows what more we can accomplish? I am thrilled to announce our four new team members who will get started in February! If you have ideas and dreams for what you want us to work on this year, please leave us a comment.
This one goes out to all my progressive Catholic comrades who feel misunderstood. Does your family inch away from you when you conspicuously gender-neutralize the prayers at mass? Does your queer community give you the stink eye for hanging around a church that still sort of teaches that “homosexual acts are intrinsically evil?” “I can explain,” you begin. “See, there’s this concept in queer theology called the ‘Transgender Christ,’ and…” but you’ve already lost them. Yes, we’re a confounding bunch all year long, but once it’s time for the office holiday gift exchange, things can get stressful. That’s why today I offer what may be the first-ever Christmas shopping guide for progressive Catholics. Share it with your confused loved ones, water cooler pals and OK Cupid dates today, so the only mysteries left this holiday season will be the sacred ones!
Let’s get started. In the name of the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sophia-Wisdom-Spirit. Amen.
1. Rainbow Rosary
The Equally Blessed LGBTQ-and-ally pilgrims who made waves at World Youth Day this summer gave out rainbow rosary swag – and I almost flew to Rio just to get my hands on one. Make some for the roamin’ Catholics in your life, and turn their prayer practice from drab to fab.
Good for: Catholic Workers, Evangelii Gaudium cheerleaders, Occupy Catholics and other simple livers who actually mean it when they say they don’t want you to buy them stuff.