The Trappist abbot, Thomas Keating, visited the Diocese of Orlando at the invitation of Annunciation Catholic community’s Contemplative Outreach Central Florida Chapter. His spiritual witness remains as present to me as his actual visit six years ago. I have pondered one of his admonitions almost every day. He said that identification with “kith and kin” stands as a final barrier in the spiritual life. Whether Sunni and Shia Muslims or the Jets and Sharks in “West Side Story,” tribal identification with friends and family over and against solidarity with others of differing backgrounds prevents my union with God in Christ. On the July 16, 2011 Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, I joined the Lay Carmelite community for the celebration of Eucharist in Holy Family’s chapel. Fr. Justin Vakko, O.C.D., proclaimed Matthew 12: 46-50. While speaking to the crowds, someone interrupts Jesus and informs him that his family members are standing outside. “And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, [Jesus] said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” I entered the Gospel scene and encountered our Risen Lord in my struggle to love God in all my sisters and brothers. This week, we offer the 2010 documentary: “The Human Experience.” Four young men from St Francis House Brooklyn (http://sfhbrooklyn.com/) live an odyssey of solidarity with the human family. Whether assembling cardboard box shelters with homeless women and men, conversing with a young mother dying of AIDS, joking with the members of an isolated leper community or reconciling with family members, these young men walk into the heart of the Gospel. Rated PG-13, this 90 minute DVD presents material too emotionally stark for young viewers. However, the entire DVD or individual chapters can be fruitfully used with high school and adult groups. Use the on-line Order Form and request this title or search related resources with the key word: family @ click here or call Dan Hardester or Diane Gallagher@ 407-246-4895 (or 4897).
The Trappist abbot, Thomas Keating, visited the Diocese of Orlando at the invitation of Annunciation Catholic community’s Contemplative Outreach Central Florida Chapter.