Tonight I feel compelled to talk about changes.. not just religious changes or bodily ones as we get older..nor necessarily spiritual ones..but change, and how it affects us.
I of course can and will only speak of change personally.
To do so otherwise would be to ‘talk of what I know not of” as a wise woman once said.
Right now, change for me is palpable…ever before me..as I get older..medically my body is changing..and the problems it creates in doing so,give me much to reflect on,and to Pray to God about. It also causes me to learn humility as well.
Changes in jurisdictions brings with it not only fresh air, but new challenges of a different kind.
We can just gripe about it,and look at all change as the glass being half empty, which just makes us and those around us more miserable.
We can look at it as a side journey to our lives as Christians and spiritual people. Our loving God wants us to learn something either about a situation, in our lives or the world we live in, or the way we think about things.
I try to use these changes as a time to deepen my spirituality through my prayer life.
I see them(changes) not as obstacles to over come, but as a renewed call to prayer and enrichment in my life as I seek out to use my gifts to be of service to others along the way.
O.K., I’ve been vague, and very general here as to what kind of changes that are happening for me.. suffice it to say some of them are great, and involve humility, or growing more into it; other changes are more faith centered, and are asking me to step more out on faith, and taking ownership of those Gifts that I know God has given me, yet I seem to keep them in reserve, for fear of being to prideful and boastful.
Well.. when I was a kid..and writing poetry,and such.. I never told anyone about it..Some of it was good, some not so. Yet I felt that if i told someone, or had it published, I feared rejection if it was bad, and felt as a spiritual person growing up that the best way to avoid any type of ego trip, was just keep it all quiet.
Obviously those notions have somewhat changed over the years.. but not by much.
Being a newly consecrated bishop, (2 years) and especially in the Independent Sacramental Movement, Ego must best be kept in check.
I have seen over the years as i have observed the goings on of Old Catholics, and Independent types, just how ones head swells after the pointy hat has been put on. how some of them worship liturgy,and have fallen in love with themselves, and the office of bishop, and have forgotten that the reason why the Holy Spirit opened the window to other types of catholicism, was because the main line churches were slamming and continue to slam their doors in the faces of people hungry to seek and see the face of Christ.
How can any of us do something to others that has been done to us?
How can we be blind to the true spiritual needs of others?
How dare any of us be so self-righteous, as to allow it to happen?
However…there is a lot of GOOD in the movement. I see other bishops stretching out their hand in unity with others. I see independent priests of different jurisdictions opening soup kitchens,
Being visible to the gay and lesbian and transgendered communities through pride events.
I was in Boston for their pride event in June. A young girl came up to me,crying..holding out her arms wanting to be hugged…and when I did so.. said in my ear, “thank you for being here”.
A Boston policewoman, passed me by and gave me a ‘high five’ as she walked past me on the street.
So to end this LONG parade of words, in a nutshell, Change comes, sometimes slowly, sometimes faster than we were able to imagine, yet it comes.
We as spiritual people, need to allow it into our lives, and as people of prayer, let it renew our prayer life foundation.
To make us better in the eyes of God, so when that stranger comes to us with pain and hurt on their face, we in turn can be the gentle hands of Jesus, and his calming and loving voice.
Bishop Mel Borham is a long time member of the Independent Sacramental Movement. He lives in Massachusetts and is a member of the Old Catholic Churches International.