A blog and podcast about radical Gospel living, nonviolence, simple living, social justice, service, community and contemplation.
Father Adam Bucko: Every Day A Beginner
"Every day, we need to start anew. Every day, we need to show up as beginners."
Season 2, Episode 8 of Messy Jesus Business, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh
IN THIS EPISODE:
In Season 2, Episode 8, Sister Julia Walsh talks with Father Adam Bucko about contemplation, new monasticism and the messiness permeating seemingly everything. "This is, I think, in a way the nature of our lives, that there are surprises every single day," Father Adam reflects.
The same holds true for spiritual life, he says. "Every day, we need to start anew. Every day, we need to show up as beginners. And be humble. And listen with the ear of our hearts to that voice of God that is here to guide us."
Sister Julia and Father Adam also discuss contemplative life. "To me, contemplative life, or contemplative life in the world, is a life where our practices and things that we commit to in a sense help us to kind of awaken that Christ within us. And then, our job is to be in a state of receptivity and consent so that Christ can begin to live, love and maybe even sometimes protest through us."
Father Adam explains, "Contemplation and action are really two sides of the same coin, in fact, contemplation is not complete unless it involves action."
He also explains what he says when praying with those who don't have a sense of God's presence. "During that part of prayer, speak to an imaginary friend, who you can imagine maybe loves you more than you have ever been loved." In that moment, Father Adam says, they often begin to experience the real presence they had otherwise been missing.
ABOUT THE GUEST:
Father Adam Bucko has been a committed voice in the movement for the renewal of Christian Contemplative Spirituality and the growing New Monastic movement. He has taught engaged contemplative spirituality in Europe and the United States and has co-authored two books: "Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation," and "The New Monasticism: An Interspiritual Manifesto for Contemplative Living."
Committed to an integration of contemplation and just practice, he cofounded an award-winning non-profit, the Reciprocity Foundation, where he spent 15 years working with homeless youth living on the streets of New York City, providing spiritual care, developing programs to end youth homelessness and articulating a vision for spiritual mentoring in a post-religious world.
He currently serves as a director of The Center for Spiritual Imagination at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, New York and is a member of The Community of the Incarnation, a new monastic community dedicated to democratizing the gifts of monastic spirituality and teaching contemplative spirituality in the context of hearing and responding to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth.
You can find Father Adam Bucko on social media:
Jon Sweeney: Finding Comfort and Confidence in the Mess
"I sometimes feel like part of my vocation in the world is to tell people that messiness is normal."
Season 2, Episode 7 of Messy Jesus Business, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh
IN THIS EPISODE:
In Season 2, Episode 7 of Messy Jesus Business, Sister Julia Walsh talks with author Jon Sweeney about his journey from Evangelical Christianity and the Moody Bible Institute to writing about saints, becoming Catholic and marrying a rabbi. They also explore his thoughts on what Christians need to know and respect about Judaism.
"There's a lot of things that Christians need to do to be sensitive to their Jewish neighbors," Sweeney explains. Among them, "to uncover some of the sort-of anti-Jewishness that is actually in the pages sometimes of our scriptures."
Sister Julia and Jon Sweeney also discuss how the story of St. Francis of Assisi and Franciscanism influence him. "It's like I need to keep St. Francis really close to remind me that it's the heart that matters, and it's not the stuff that I read on a page that matters, and that the two are not necessarily related," he says.
So, what does he think is messy about living a life of faith? "What's not messy?" He asks, explaining that the mess is normal. "I am so much more worried about the people who think that there aren't messes, or who all they want to do is clean up the messes and live in a clean, unmessied place. I am so much more comfortable and frankly confident among the messy."
Sister Julia and Jon also talk about his new book about Nicholas Black Elk.
ABOUT THE GUEST:
Jon M. Sweeney is an award-winning author who has been interviewed in print by a range of publications from the Dallas Morning News to The Irish Catholic, and on television for CBS Saturday Morning and many other programs. His book, "The Pope Who Quit," was optioned by HBO. He’s also the author of 40 other books including a new biography, "Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Catechist, Saint;" "The Complete Francis of Assisi;" "Inventing Hell;" "Thomas Merton: An Introduction to His Life and Practices," forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press; and "The Pope’s Cat" series of books for children.
Jon recently edited and presented two collections of the lectures of Thomas Merton including, "A Course in Christian Mysticism" and his coauthored volumes (with Mark S. Burrows) of Meister Eckhart poems, including Meister Eckhart’s "Book of the Heart," which has been translated and published in other languages.
In the late 1990s, Jon cofounded a multifaith publishing house, SkyLight Paths Publishing, in Vermont. Today, he is the publisher at Paraclete Press in Massachusetts, speaks regularly at literary and religious conferences, is a Catholic married to a rabbi, and their interfaith marriage has been profiled in national media. He’s active on social media (Twitter @jonmsweeney; Facebook jonmsweeney) and lives in Milwaukee.
Our Contemplative Moment in this episode of Messy Jesus Business is taken from the Prayer for the Canonization of Nicholas Black Elk.
MESSY JESUS BUSINESS is produced and hosted by Sister Julia Walsh and edited by Charish Badzinski.
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Shane Claiborne: Faith as Fuel for World Change
"We do have a real spiritual crisis in America, because there's a lot of things that are camouflaging themselves as Christian, but they don't look very Christ-like."-Shane Claiborne
Season 2, Episode 6 of Messy Jesus Business, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh
IN THIS EPISODE:
In Season 2, Episode 6 of Messy Jesus Business, Sister Julia Walsh talks with Shane Claiborne, a best-selling author, speaker and activist. They discuss what it means to be a peacemaker while living in one of the world's most heavily armed countries, with a monumental gun death toll.
"Violence is one of those demons that goes back to our very foundations in our country," Claiborne says.
"This country is almost unthinkable without our guns. How do you take land from other people? How do you subjugate entire people that you enslaved? That's the historic backdrop, and I don't think that has to hold us hostage, but surely we've got to be truthful about that," Claiborne explains.
Claiborne says the U.S. has 5% of the world's population, but almost half of the world's guns, and poses the question, "What would Jesus, the Prince of Peace, be saying right now?"
Sister Julia and Shane Claiborne also discuss the importance of remaining joyful and hopeful, even when surrounded by the pain of the world.
"I like how Karl Barth said we need to read the bible in one hand, but we need to hold the newspaper in the other....so that our faith doesn't just become a ticket into heaven and a license to ignore the world we live in, but our faith should actually fuel us to want to change the world," Claiborne says.
In addition, they discuss the importance of community, and the messiness that comes from the Christian veneer of perfection.
"A lot of the times we sort of act like the church is a country club for saints, rather than a hospital for sinners." Claiborne says honesty can help manage the resulting mess. He remembers walking into a church where greeters wore shirts that said, "No perfect people allowed."
"If that was greeting every person coming into every church, it would give you a sense of reality, like this is a home for you even if you don't have it all together...our wounds are not our liabilities, they are our credentials."
He adds, "Honesty can show this Gospel is not for the Righteous, but for the sinner."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Learn more about the Red Letter Christians movement, headed by Shane Claiborne, by exploring their website.
To read more about how Shane Claiborne's work influenced Sister Julia, check out this Messy Jesus Business blog post: A Visit to The Simple Way.
ABOUT THE GUEST:
Shane Claiborne is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author. He worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia. He leads Red Letter Christians, a movement of folks who are committed to living "as if Jesus meant the things he said." Claiborne is a champion for grace which has led him to jail advocating for the homeless, and to places like Iraq and Afghanistan to stand against war. Now grace fuels his passion to end the death penalty and help stop gun violence.
Claiborne’s books include, "Jesus for President," "Red Letter Revolution," "Common Prayer," "Follow Me to Freedom," "Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream," "Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers," "Executing Grace,
Michael Okinczyc-Cruz: Where Civic Life and Mystical Life Meet
In this episode of Messy Jesus Business, host and Sister Julia Walsh has a conversation with Michael Okinczyc-Cruz about the integration of mystical life into public life, and why that's essential to addressing social issues we face today. In addition, this episode also touches on the Archdiocese of Chicago's 50th Anniversary Catholic Campaign for Human Development: what it is, and how you can be a part of the important work of this initiative to create vital systemic change.
Father James Martin: Prayer and Polarities
Season 2, Episode 4: of Messy Jesus Business, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh
IN THIS EPISODE:
In Season 2, Episode 4 of the Messy Jesus Business podcast, we get into the mess of learning to pray as well as polarities in the Church, which Father James Martin reflected upon. As an author, Priest and editor at large for America Media, Father James is adept at understanding and facing these challenges while remaining true the Gospel.
Father James Martin. Photo Credit: Nutopia.
POLARITIES IN THE CHURCH
"I've been a Jesuit 30 years. I've never seen it so divided," he said. "I mean...I cannot believe it. It's stunning to me that you have even some cardinals and archbishops and bishops opposing the Pope."
Father James has experienced these polarities first-hand in his ministry. "It's difficult. but I think part of it is understanding not everyone's gonna like me," he explained. "Not everybody liked Jesus and he was a pretty nice guy."
Sister Julia agreed, "Yeah, but he upset the system, and sometimes when we're being faithful to Christ, we might have to disturb the status quo a little too."
Finding the right approach in the face of division is essential. "The personal attacks are just amazing to me. So that's messy, and the key is to try to be charitable, to never attack people personally, to give them the benefit of the doubt, but also to keep preaching the Gospel," Father James explains.
In this episode, Father James and Sister Julia also explored vocational discernment, what drew him to the Jesuits, and what it was like for him to have a private audience with Pope Francis. And with his latest book on the horizon, "Learning to Pray," they also talked about how surprisingly difficult prayer can be.
ABOUT THE GUEST:
Father James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America, consultor to the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication and author of many books, including the New York Times bestseller, Jesus: A Pilgrimage. His latest book, Learning to Pray will be released in February 2021.
This episode's contemplative moment includes a prayer by Father James Martin, called "A Prayer for When I feel Rejected," taken from his book, Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and LGBT Community Can enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity. You can find the prayer here.
MESSY JESUS BUSINESS is produced, hosted and edited by Sister Julia Walsh with assistance from Charish Badzinski.
Email us at a href="mailto:messyjesusbusiness@gmail.
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Looking for the Church of Merton, Day, John 23 here it is so peaceful and open thank you Sister