“….it is necessary to say everything that in the Lord one feels should be said, with human respect, without fear. And, at the same time, one must listen with humility and receive with an open heart what the brothers say. Synodality will be exercised with these two attitudes. Therefore, I ask you, please, for these attitudes of brothers in the Lord: to speak with parrhesia and to listen with humility.” Pope Francis
I pray that the bishops see that a conversation about family that is just among “brothers” is one in which the absence of women speaks. May they find that absence eloquent.
I pray that they look around them and see the family in all its frailty and all its strength. May they see families blessed by grace, not just when a man and a woman marry, but wherever two men or two women commit to love each other. May the bishops not deny children the grace of that love in a nurturing home.
I pray that the bishops see what those who are still in the pews, as well as those who have left in despair, long for: a church that is about love, not laws.
That laws of our making are ripe for the unmaking.
Take words with you and return to God, says Hosea.
I pray that the bishops have the courage to find new words.
That they will have the courage to be done with church rules that were not good enough to protect little children; rules that keep us from offering the kind of welcome Jesus offered to everyone; rules that trump conscience.
May the bishops find their way back to the radical teachings of Jesus; that together we might rebuild the church on the foundation of love and justice that he left us. Let us be done with the church as corporation.
I pray that the bishops find the courage amongst themselves, and in themselves, to throw the church doors open so wide that all find entry. May the bishops speak for, and move with the poor and the peacemakers, the merciful and those who work for justice as publicly as they speak for, and move with the rich and the powerful.
May the bishops remind us, by example, that the call of the Gospel is covenantal, not capitalistic.That the call of grace is not limited by gender.
I pray that this synod might point the way back to a church that is relevant to the lives of the young. That our children might find in the teachings of the church, not reasons to stay away, but life-affirming resources with which to map their lives, and heal our hurting world. Amen.