I've been out of touch for a while in the aftermath of my last drama production, but hope to resume blogging soon. This is just to say that I had a lovely lunch by the river yesterday with one of my dear gay friends here in Prague, a young student for the ministry who is just finishing up his theological degree - the equivalent of a BA. Once he's completed it, he intends to separate himself from his very narrow, gay-unfriendly Church and seek a Christian community elsewhere. He also wishes to seek ordination with a gay friendly Christian group but doesn't know quite where to turn. Since I'm connected with One Spirit Diocese, I suggested this very liberated community as a possibility, though my friend comes from an evangelical background and would find the 'Catholic' influence unfamiliar. We talked for a while about beginning a group of our own here in Prague, a Christian fellowship for gay people who would gather on Sundays in the Spirit of the Lord to worship and to celebrate our faith in the Lord Jesus and to pray together for guidance from the Spirit as to how best to serve the cause of gay people and their spiritual uplift and development.
My friend has always had a dream to found a farm/retreat center in the countryside, where troubled gay youth could find a place to heal themselves while working on the land, and where gay people of all kinds could gather for weekend retreats and workshops. We both know of several troubled young men involved in the drug and gay escort scene here in Prague who very much need direction in their lives and a place and opportunity to restore their wounded spirits. We also have other, stable friends who would welcome a weekend retreat in the country. Of course, we would have to find a good cook and offer a suitable wine list :)
We would also need to find a sponsor/ investor and may have already done so with an older British businessman who is very interested in the idea. Who knows what may come from all of this? From such small beginnings, something wonderful may grow. I pray and wait for guidance and direction from the One Spirit who unites us all. Life is wonderful, and full of spiritual blessings, but it can also be full of pain and trials. Yet even these can bring joy to the heart when they are borne with love.
When one can suffer and love, one can do almost anything, even things in this world which seem impossible.
I've chosen not to focus on the recent developments in the Roman Church re: attacks on women ministers (nuns) in the US and the abuse crisis (not to mention the ongoing attack on women and LGBT people). This is an institution in the process of implosion, and while I respect those who feel called in the Spirit to chronicle the least details of this disintegration, and to witness against the injustices of this moribund system, my own heart feels called elsewhere. This disintegration is inevitable, and while I hope and truly believe that something life giving will emerge on the other side of this tragic process, I also believe there is no stopping this downward slide into chaos. The corruption is simply too entrenched. It must work itself out before the light can emerge once again. But here is a quote that I feel is apropos during this time of war within the Roman Catholic Church, since war it indeed is, make no mistake about it. A war of the dark spirits against the good.
What is this peace, different from that which the world gives? This peace is the one your love gives ... a peace greater than suffering, not a peace without war, but a peace in spite of war, during war, above war, the peace of the soul, having, through love, its whole life in heaven and thus enjoying the peace of heaven in spite of everything which may happen on earth around it and against it.