Claire Danel: Faith in action

She had just celebrated her 101st birthday last February. Claire Danel, very attached to the Pastoral Center of Saint-Merry and still faithful to the Eucharistic Sharing group on Wednesday evening, left us. We publish here the homily pronounced by Dominique Lambert during his funeral on July 3

{GOOGLE TRANSLATED}

Take life as it comes, as God gives it to us, live the days and the events when they are there, knowing that misfortune is always lurking at our door. Here is a brief summary of the 1 st reading heard today of Ecclesiastes, atypical and so modern in many ways (1)

It is sometimes believed to be pessimistic because he observes what is happening “under the sun” and concludes that we cannot count on justice: there are wicked people who live long and righteous people who die too early, wise men poor and rich idiots. But is it really pessimism to say that the only sure values ​​are the present moment and the generosity of God who gives it?

There is “a time for everything” and “God makes all things beautiful in its time”: each time of life has its meaning in its moment, says Ecclesiastes. What seems frightening and difficult at any given time can – with hindsight and re-reading – help us to grow or have positive consequences. Ecclesiastes offers a look at humans and society, which to be somewhat disillusioned, nevertheless remains sparkling with irony, and turned to the joy of the present moment to live fully.

Our ambiguity sometimes makes us suffer, we are capable of everything and its opposite. But this list in this reading also highlights the fullness, the richness of the existence made of these multiple different times. Despite the brevity and fragility of life, all these actions find their place there.

We who run after time, who speak of “lost” time, we who do not have time, reread Ecclesiastes and find a time for everything. It is a question of seizing and living fully the present time, whether happy or unhappy. There is no time lost, says Ecclesiastes, but times to live. Do not erase the moments of pain, nor forget those of joy … Each moment can be beautiful, even the worst, once you step back.

There is no eternal truth, time flies, everything changes. But we must not live in the regret of the past or in the illusion of the future, the present time is the only one we have.

With today’s Gospel, we have to see that salvation is not only for the cutting edge of our soul, but for our whole body (2) .

Jesus sometimes approaches and touches the sick or he heals him from a distance, as for the servant of the centurion. But it always goes through personal meeting.

The centurion, a stranger, no doubt attracted to rumor and designated by his function. The centurion is an author whose word is authoritative. The soldiers obey him “with the finger and the eye”. The centurion believes in the power of speech: once the order is pronounced, it is as if it was done.

He recognizes in Jesus this same authority and believes in the same way that the Word of Jesus will come true. Jesus adapts to the centurion’s thought pattern. He does not need to touch the patient. He says a word and the servant is healed.

You, Claire’s family, who prepared and chose the texts for this celebration, you could also have proposed the rest of this text which tells us about another healing of Jesus, this time with the story of Peter’s beautiful mother. A woman presented in the Gospel as a woman of action more than of speech. The evangelist reports no words between her and Jesus, and she immediately returns to service. Everything goes through the body: a look and a gesture. Jesus touches her hand. He joined her in his way of believing: that of faith in action “I will show you my faith by my actions” (Jacques 2/18).

Yes, Jesus raises us up and heals us if we allow ourselves to be joined by him in what we are. This requires a personal encounter to live, to desire, to grasp, to want! It is the meeting of the inexhaustible goodness of God proclaimed in this psalm sung just now.

Yes, Jesus joins us in our daily life, in what we have to live today, in our present moments.

Children of Claire, you chose these texts, because you found that the centurion, “It went well with mom. She knew what to do with her life. She was determined. She was not in trivial things. She asked for simple things. She knew what she wanted, ”you told me.

And for the 1 st reading, you said to me: “Mom was effective. In all situations, she adapted. She was in the concrete, in the relationship with the other, ready to listen ”.

So yes, let’s be determined too, live every moment that is given to us, thoroughly. “This great lady, energetic and committed, so often present at the preparations for the celebrations of the Pastoral Center of St Merry. I had great pleasure in seeing her again on June 23. She wanted to be present at this Mass for Gérard’s 50th anniversary, ”shared Eliane.

Let us be witnesses to the joy of God. Let’s have that smiling face of Claire in our relationships. Let us be full of empathy and kindness towards each other, as Claire was! Let us carry with us the humor that characterized Claire. 

During our Eucharistic sharing on Wednesday evening, Jacqueline brought back to me this word heard by Claire: “Even if God could have invented something other than old age…! She had said. With her humor, in a convinced tone, Claire had a word that reflected the courage of her opinions, the frankness and the strength of the life she loved ”. Another Claire shared with me: “Ah, dear Claire Danel, she marked me with her freedom of speech”.

Finally, Georges said to me: “Claire presented a smiling but questioning face on the life of the beyond. For example, she wondered if her husband would always recognize her. ” It was indeed one of his great questions, which came up regularly in our Eucharistic sharing on Wednesday evening: “But what is on the other side?”.

Now Claire, you live this present moment with the father of your children. Let us remain in peace, and a serene joy.

Source: Claire Danel. La foi en actes – Saint-Merry

From Pope Joan to … Anne

Quel lien entre la figure légendaire de la papesse Jeanne et la théologienne Anne Soupa, qui a fait acte de candidature au siège épiscopal de Lyon ?

What is the link between the legendary figure of Pope Joan and the theologian Anne Soupa, who applied for the Episcopal See in Lyon? No. If only once again – certainly, in a less romantic way – the question of the place of women in the Roman Catholic Church is raised. 

A few weeks ago, Anne Soupa, a recognized theologian, applied for the Episcopal office in Lyon. Since then and in France alone, more than fifteen thousand people have supported its initiative. The courage of this act is only one of the possible responses to the permanent scandal of the place of women in the Catholic Church, they who constitute the vast majority of the lifeblood of the communities. The denunciation of such a scandal once again underlines the age-old resistance of male clericalism and its desire to save at all costs an omniscient power at the expense of the service and pastoral needs of the baptized while the model of the priesthood, versusTridentine, is out of breath in a very large part of Roman Christendom. The personal and media gesture of Anne (Soupa) easily refers the historian to the legendary papess Jeanne who would not have been satisfied with a cathedron but would have squarely occupied the pontifical throne (1) .

La papesse Jeanne (illumination, 1450), Ms. 033, f. 69v, Spencer Collection, New York

Without knowing how and why this legend was born, perhaps at the end of the 10th century, it was around 1255 that Jean de Mailly clearly mentioned it in his Universal Chronicle. Of German origin, Jeanne is said to have studied and traveled across Europe. Disguised as a man, she would have become a notary at the pontifical court, then a cardinal, elected pope in 855 before giving birth publicly in 858 and perhaps dying as a result of her childbirth; unless it has been stoned or simply laid down. This amazing story would not have lived until the 16th century if the faithful themselves had not believed in it, sometimes slyly diverting the meaning of symbols. For example, the presence of two curule seats during the election of the pope, mark of the collegiality of the curia, was transformed for one into a pierced chair which, since the usurpation of Joan, would have enabled a cleric to verify the presence of male attributes of each new pope. “Duets habet and bene pendentes”the auditor would have cheered in a very carnivalesque and joyfully anticlerical scene. Similarly, the detour undertaken by the procession during the pontifical coronation between the Lateran and the Colosseum was interpreted as avoiding the place where Jeanne had given birth to her child while she was on horseback.

For its part, the Church supported for a long time, especially through Dominican literature, but hollow the existence of Pope Joan. It allowed him to make this episode an exemplum, a sort of story with moral value by vilifying the cross-dressing. She also drew an argument from it during successive crises of the papacy, especially during the Great Schism of the end of the 14th century with the simultaneous presence of several popes. If unworthy candidates could therefore access the throne of Peter they could also be deposed. In turn, the Lutherans used this figure to denounce the excesses of the Roman institution and its discredit while Calvin for his part stressed that Joan had ended the apostolic succession. It was only then that Rome, aided by the scholarship of the Jesuits, proved at the end of the 16th century that Joan had never existed.

Far be it from me to use the figure of the Pope in my turn to support positive denunciation and above all the claim of Anne Soupa. His fight deserves much better than that even if History can be of some help to him in this field. It will be noted simply that since this announcement, it is radio silence on the side of the French episcopal conference which never reacts when a problem disturbs it. Only a few second knives have tried laboriously to explain that the ecclesial and hierarchical structure of the Church came from the will of God herself. Will that they know better than anyone, probably thanks to their ordination. It is therefore always and again the place of women in real positions of responsibility that is posed in the face of rules written by and for men. Even if still very timidly,

In fact from Anne to Jeanne, a personal pronoun was lost. This “I” which resonates in the nave and in the choir not only as a legitimate claim but as an imperative pastoral necessity and an urgent theological rereading.

Alain Cabantous

Source: DE JEANNE À… ANNE – Saint-Merry

Cardinal Dolan’s public flattery of Trump forgets a few things

I wonder whether the U.S. Catholic bishops have crossed a sort of Rubicon recently.

When their Roman predecessor, the general Julius Caesar, brought his army illegally over the Rubicon River, he set in motion the events that ended the Republic and saw him presented with a crown. “The die is cast,” he is reputed to have said as he marched his army toward Rome: there was no going back. What he had done could not be undone and it would change the shape of history.

I do not think that New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan is in any danger of being crowned emperor (or, anything else). But I do believe that his public flattery of President Donald Trump from the pulpit of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and on Fox News may prove to be a moment from which American Catholicism cannot turn back.

Smart analysts have interpreted the cardinal’s blandishments as a savvy effort to smooth-talk the president into devoting stimulus funds to help Catholic schools that, no doubt, will struggle in the post-pandemic environment. Maybe that is what the cardinal thinks he is doing. Maybe it even looks smart from one point-of-view. But it seems to me that we have to overlook a lot to see how smart the cardinal is being.

Dolan praised Trump’s sensitivity to the “feelings of the religious community” on Fox News. Think about that.

Cardinal Dolan’s homily praising Donald Trump

Then, think about this. “I think Islam hates us,” or, “The children of Muslim American parents, they’re responsible for a growing number for whatever reason a growing number of terrorist attacks,” or think about what Trump said after the Supreme Court struck down his first travel ban that fulfilled his campaign promise of a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.” — “Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.”

Continue reading “Cardinal Dolan’s public flattery of Trump forgets a few things”

Cardinal’s cover-up trial puts French Catholic Church in glare of abuse scandal

The highest-profile Catholic cleric to be caught up in a paedophile scandal in France goes on trial on Monday charged with failing to report a priest who abused boy scouts in the 1980s and 90s.

Source: Cardinal’s cover-up trial puts French Catholic Church in glare of abuse scandal

“Grâce à Dieu” de François Ozon

Synopsis : Alexandre vit à Lyon avec sa femme et ses enfants. Un jour, il découvre par hasard que le prêtre qui a abusé de lui aux scouts officie toujours auprès d’enfants. Il se lance alors dans un combat, très vite rejoint par François et Emmanuel, également victimes du prêtre, pour « libérer leur parole » sur ce qu’ils ont subi. Mais les répercussions et conséquences de ces aveux ne laisseront personne indemne.

Alexandre lives in Lyon with his wife and children. One day, he discovered by chance that the priest who abused him to scouts always officiates with children.He then starts a fight, quickly joined by François and Emmanuel, also victims of the priest, to “release their word” on what they suffered.But the repercussions and consequences of these confessions will leave no one unscathed.

The Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

On this feast day of my favorite saint (sorry Ignatius!) a reflection from My Life with the Saints, on Thérèse Martin.

On January 2, 1873, Marie Francoise Thérèse Martin is born in Alençon, France, to Louis and Zélie Martin, two devout Catholic parents.  Louis, a watchmaker, had earlier in his life presented himself to a monastery but was refused permission, because of his lack of knowledge of Latin.  Zélie was similarly rejected by a local order of nuns called the Sisters of the Hôtel Dieu; she becomes, instead, a lacemaker.  But the couple’s intense love for Catholicism and for religious life will be passed on to their children.When Thérèse is four her mother dies.
Shortly afterwards,[ . . . ]

Read full post at: The Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux | America Magazine